Birthday: From our Christian Masterpiece Collection #BD1600w, The Creation of Adam by Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni (1475–1564). Michelangelo was an Italian Renaissance painter, sculptor, architect, poet, and engineer who had an unequaled influence on the development of Western art. His versatility was of such a high order that he is often considered a contender for the title of the archetypal Renaissance man, along with fellow Italian Leonardo da Vinci. Michelangelo was considered the greatest living artist in his lifetime, and is arguably today regarded as one of the greatest artists of all time. A number of his works in painting, sculpture, and architecture rank among the most famous in existence. His prolific output in every field during his long life was extraordinary and he is the best-documented artist of the 16th century. Two of his best-known works, the Pietà and David, were sculpted before he turned thirty. The Creation of Adam (1511) is a section of Michelangelo’s fresco Sistine Chapel ceiling. It illustrates the Biblical story from the Book of Genesis in which God, the Father, breathes life into Adam, the first man. Chronologically the fourth in the series of panels depicting episodes from Genesis on the Sistine ceiling, it was among the last to be completed. A further example of his unique standing, Michelangelo was the first Western artist whose biography was published while he was still alive. In one of the two biographies published of him during his lifetime, Giorgio Vasari, proposed that he was the pinnacle of all artistic achievement since the beginning of the Renaissance. It was the attempts of subsequent artists to imitate Michelangelo’s impassioned and highly personal style that resulted in Mannerism, the next major movement in Western art after the High Renaissance.