What Are the Greatest Works of Michelangelo?


Michelangelo is one of history’s greatest artists. His famous works include the Sistine Chapel Ceiling’s ‘The Creation of Adam,’ the lifelike statue of David, and the touching La Pietà. The dramatic painting, The Last Judgment, and the powerful statue of Moses are also celebrated masterpieces. These artworks are known for their incredible detail and lasting impact.

The Sistine Chapel Ceiling

In 1508, Pope Julius II asked Michelangelo to paint the Sistine Chapel ceiling. This work is one of the greatest in art history. When people enter the Vatican and look up, they see detailed paintings showing stories from the Bible’s Book of Genesis. The most famous part is ‘The Creation of Adam,’ showing God giving life to Adam. Michelangelo spent four years painting the ceiling, finishing in 1512. Today, about five million people visit each year to see this amazing artwork.


Michelangelo’s David is a 14-foot marble statue in Florence. It shows the biblical hero David before his fight with Goliath. Made between 1501 and 1504, the statue is known for its detailed anatomy and lifelike appearance. Initially meant for the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, it is now in the Galleria dell’Accademia and attracts millions of visitors yearly. David’s strong muscles and focused expression highlight Michelangelo’s skill and the ideals of the Renaissance. This statue symbolizes strength and beauty.

Aspect Description Significance
Material Marble Represents purity and durability
Height 14 feet Emphasizes grandeur and dominance
Location Galleria dell’Accademia, Florence Major cultural attraction
Creation Period 1501-1504 Highlights Michelangelo’s peak years

When you stand before David, you are not merely observing a sculpture but witnessing the embodiment of an era’s artistic and cultural aspirations.

La Pietà

Pietà - Hallwylska museet

La Pietà is a touching sculpture showing the Virgin Mary holding the body of Jesus after his crucifixion. It was made by Michelangelo in 1498 for French Cardinal Jean de Bilhères. The sculpture is 69 inches tall and carved from a single block of marble, highlighting Michelangelo’s exceptional skill.

Mary’s calm expression and Jesus’ lifeless form are very moving. Michelangelo’s talent for showing deep emotion and intricate detail is evident in the folds of Mary’s robe and the delicate positioning of Jesus’ body.

La Pietà is the only sculpture Michelangelo signed, marking his pride in this work. This timeless sculpture demonstrates Michelangelo’s technical skill and ability to evoke deep emotional responses.

The Last Judgment

Last Judgement Michelangelo

The Last Judgment is a dramatic and intense fresco by Michelangelo in the Sistine Chapel, commissioned by Pope Clement VII. Michelangelo painted it when he was 67, completing it 25 years after he painted the chapel’s ceiling.

The fresco shows muscular bodies and vivid scenes of heaven and hell, evoking strong emotional responses. Its controversial elements, like nudity and dramatic poses, led to censorship, with draperies added later to cover the nudity, reflecting societal norms of the time.

The Last Judgment is a powerful piece of art, showcasing Michelangelo’s skill and talent. It remains a significant work in art history, known for its dramatic and intense imagery. This fresco not only captivates the eye but also challenges the viewer, making it one of Michelangelo’s most memorable works.


Michelangelo’s sculpture of Moses, commissioned by Pope Julius II, is a stunning example of his marble sculpting skill. Completed between 1513 and 1515, this masterpiece is located in the Church of San Pietro in Vincoli in Rome, drawing visitors from around the world.

Moses is one of Michelangelo’s most iconic works. The statue shows Moses holding the Ten Commandments, with an intense expression of emotion and authority. Michelangelo’s ability to convey human emotion and spirituality in marble is evident in this piece.

The lifelike details, from the folds of Moses’ robe to the powerful muscles in his arms, showcase Michelangelo’s technical expertise. This sculpture’s ability to convey intense emotion and divine inspiration makes it a standout piece in his body of work.


Michelangelo’s famous works like the Sistine Chapel Ceiling, David, La Pietà, The Last Judgment, and Moses are some of the best in art history. His amazing skill and ability to show deep emotions make these pieces timeless. They continue to inspire and attract millions of people, proving Michelangelo is one of the greatest artists ever.

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