In 1536, after the devastating sack of Rome, Michelangelo
returned to the chapel to paint The Last Judgement, the largest fresco
of the Renaissance, which also marked the era's end. The figures portrayed
on the ceiling demonstrated a mastery of the human form that changed
Western art forever.
Late in his life, Michelangelo began a friendship with
the poet Vittoria Colonna, who inspired a great many sonnets and drawings.
He died in Rome in 1564, leaving behind a treasury of artwork that
established a standard for excellence in art that has never been surpassed.