In 1534, Pope Clement VII commissioned Michelangelo to return to the Sistine Chapel and paint the altar wall. From 1534 to 1541, Michelangelo laboured over “The Last Judgment”, portraying the moment of the Second Coming of Christ, in which Jesus is surrounded by a vortex of saints, martyrs, angels and demons. Upon its completion, Michelangelo was met with some disapproving critiques, as he had painted all of the figures nude. It was not until after his death, during the Reformation, that clothing was added.
During his final years in Rome, Michelangelo took on a wide array of architectural projects, the long list of which includes designs for the trapezoidal Piazza Campidoglio, the upper floor of Palazzo Farnese, the interior of the Church of Santa Maria degli Angeli e Martiri, and the Sforza Chapel in the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore. The shining diamond of all his architectural accomplishments, however, is the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica.
Michelangelo died on February 18, 1564 before the dome’s completion, but his legacy will live on forever. If you wish to see the tomb of Michelangelo, it is in Florence at the Basilica of Santa Croce.