If you ask a random person to name any three artists, you’re more likely than not to hear the name of Michelangelo Buonarroti, better known as simply Michelangelo. He has many other names too – Renaissance Artist, Il Divino (The Divine One) and even the father of Mannerism.
“If people knew how hard I worked to get my mastery, it wouldn’t seem so wonderful at all.” – Michelangelo
This Italian artist is known for the amazing likeness to real life of his sculptures and paintings. He was incredibly talented, completing two major works – David and Pieta – before turning thirty! Despite being a sculptor first, his most famous work is the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. This is unlike any other work of art, and it’s sheer size is just one of the factor it is so. At 134 feet by 46 feet, it covers a huge area – all at nearly 44 feet above the floor! That’s the level of the grandeur of Michelangelo’s work!
Michelangelo was quite a prodigy, being apprenticed to a famous painter at 13, and then working relentlessly on his craft.
Although the political situation in Italy was volatile during his lifetime, he never lost his focus, taking up work wherever he was, and being dedicated to his projects.
The result of that dedication is the impressive amount of art that the world has today, to study and admire. Since March is his birth month, we’ve put together a list of 10 Michelangelo Art Projects for Kids, to introduce them to the work of this amazing artist!
10 Michelangelo Art Projects for Kids
Michelangelo’s most famous work of art, also considered one of the greatest of all time, is the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. Basically a sculptor, Michelangelo wasn’t sure about painting the ceiling, but the Pope insisted and he had to agree. However, he wanted to do it his way, the result of which is the grand work of art we see today! Let the kids make their own Sistine Chapel to decorate at home, the way it’s done at Family Days Tried and Tested!
Most of Michelangelo’s famous work was done on ‘fresco’, another name for fresh plaster of Paris. This is a fun project to do from home, although a little messy! Laugh Paint Create shows you how to set the plaster in a dish, paint and un-mold for your very own fresco work of art!
3. Art with Mati and Dada Video
This video is so adorable, you can’t help smiling throughout! Mati and Dada meet Michelangelo and he explains various aspects of his art – laced with a little humor. From breaking the marble away from the mountain to persevering to finishing a masterpiece – it’s got everything! The English is simple and does not have
If you’d like something a little less complicated to start the kids on, nothing beats a coloring page! This Creation of Adam coloring page from Super Coloring is based on one of the two most replicated religious paintings of all time. So let the kids have a go at their own version of the masterpiece. For older kids, you can ask them who they think the characters are, and what their specific poses or actions seem to indicate.
Michelangelo was first and foremost, a sculptor. He famously said, “I saw the angel in the marble and carved till I set him free.” The impressive statue of David is a testament to this fact! While marble was his favorite medium, kids can try sculpting with soap, like in these fun projects from 123 Homeschool 4 Me! All you need is soap, cookie cutters, and some toothpicks or Popsicle sticks. Start by asking the kids what they think is trapped in the soap, and let them carve away!
Michelangelo wasn’t just an artist, he was also an architect! There are quite a few incidents when he was called upon to create art, but he ended up changing the entire structure. This art lesson from Meet the Masters teaches some architectural compositions from the Renaissance, the kind that Michelangelo was involved in.
Are the kids up for a challenge? Then you might want to try putting this 1000 pc Sistine Chapel jigsaw together! It is incredibly intricate and is the perfect way to spend a boring afternoon indoors! This is something the whole family could work on together, and learn about the various parts of the painting at the same time too!
Reading about historical figures in a distant land may not exactly be every kid’s idea of fun, but the right book can make it much better. This book is an excellent biography of Michelangelo for a kids’ level and details all the good qualities of the artist – hard work, perseverance and even a little bit of humor! The book also has lots of activities to keep the kids occupied.
When you talk to kids about Michelangelo painting the Sistine Chapel’s ceiling, their first question is bound to be ‘How did he paint upside down?’ Well, contrary to popular rumors, he didn’t paint it lying down, but built his own scaffolding and used it for support. My Small Potatoes has a quick and easy way to build your own makeshift chapel, covered with white paper to paint. This is perfect for young kids who can try to imagine the effort that must go into painting at odd angles!
By now, the kids are already familiar with many terms related to Michelangelo and his works of art, so why not have some fun with it! This free Michelangelo Word Search printable from Making Art Fun is perfect for the kids to spend some quiet time looking for DAVID or PIETA among the other words!
Michelangelo’s works are unlike other contemporary artists, which may seem more relatable to kids. Michelangelo’s art is likely to seem incredibly complex – and it is! For this reason, we’d recommend these projects for primary school kids or older. Kids shouldn’t feel overwhelmed, though, so use this opportunity to talk about this style of art. They can understand how different art looks in different eras. Talk about how detailed Michelangelo’s work is, especially when he painted or sculpted human bodies. We’re pretty sure that these Michelangelo Art Projects for Kids will have them fascinated with the artist and his work!