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Michelangelo was born in Italy in the village of Caprese. His father was a government agent. He attended school, and at the age of 12 he became an apprentice to a famous painter in Florence, Domenico Ghirlandajo. After a year or so he stopped painting and began working as a sculptor. It was during this time that he lived with the Medici family, an influential Italian family. When they lost power he went to Rome, and it was there he carved the marble sculpture "Pieta" when he was 23 years old. Pope Julius II commissioned him to paint the ceiling of the Sistene chapel in the Vatican at Rome. This became his most famous work. It covered 1,000 square yards and showed nine scenes from the Old Testament. He began the work in 1508 and finished it in 1512. When the Medici returned to power, he spent nearly twenty years working for them designing their tombs and the Medici Chapel. The next ten years were spent in Rome working for Pope Paul III. During this time he painted "The Last Judgment" and started the construction of the dome in St. Peter's Church. Michelangelo at the end of his productive life was 89 years old.