Arguably the most exalted artist of the High Renaissance, and perhaps the greatest artist of all time and existence, Michelangelo created the legendary marble statues of David and Pieta. He is also famous for his Sistine Chapel frescoes, including Last Judgement. Michelangelo was a painter, sculptor, architect, and poet: truly a Renaissance Man. He had an enormous influence in the development of western art. Although his paintings garnered more success than works in other media, Michelangelo primarily thought of himself as a sculptor. His work typically demonstrated psychological insight and physical realism. Michelangelo was born into a middle-class family. He became a painting apprentice to a member of the powerful Medici family where he was welcomed into their palatial home. His artistry grew from the scholars and writers that became a part of his new intellectual circle, helping him become a success. Much of his work is result of commissions from wealthy, powerful men. He explored poetry more at later stages of his life. Michelangelo died of old age, at 88, surpassing the usual life expectancy. Simply living was another thing he excelled at!