Leonardo da Vinci, Michaelangelo, Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino (Raphael) and Donato Bardi (Donatello) are some of the most prominent and influential artists of the Renaissance period. Three of the four (Leonardo, Raphael and Michaelangelo) were all alive at roughly the same time (although da Vinci was a teenager when Donatello died in 1466). My question is, is there any evidence that these artists ever met, or were familiar with the works of the others to any extent?

The fact that the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were named after these artists, and I asked the question because of this fact is purely coincidental :-)

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    It's well known that da Vinci and Michaelangelo were bitter rivals in Florence at the same time. Supposedly they simultaneously painted battle scenes in direct competition in the Palazzo Vecchio. Feb 8, 2016 at 18:07
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    @TheMathemagician - Perhaps that was the 15th century equivalent of a rap battle.
    – T.E.D.
    Feb 8, 2016 at 18:46

1 Answer 1


The book "The Agony and the Ecstasy" by Irving Stone, a biographical novel of Michelangelo, mentions many interactions and conversations by Michelangelo with both da Vinci and Raphael. From the details in the book, it appears that at least with respect to Michelangelo, he was familiar with their works, and they were, with his. The book also recounts the early rivalry between Michelangelo and da Vinci, Michelangelo's frustration and anger at da Vinci's regard of sculpture as an art form inferior to painting, the mellowing of his anger later in life, especially after da Vinci's praise of his work at Sistine Chapel as being close to perfection.

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    It is (as you say) a novel.
    – fdb
    Jun 10, 2017 at 18:58

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