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After his parents died in 1483 from the plague, Erasmus was put into the care of guardians, who were adamant about him becoming a monk.

Michelangelo's father realized early on that his son had no interest in the family financial business, so agreed to apprentice him, at the age of 13, to the fashionable Florentine painter's workshop.

There, Michelangelo was exposed to the technique of fresco.

His mother, Lady Anne Cooke Bacon, was his father's second wife and daughter to Sir Anthony Cooke, a humanist who was Edward VI's tutor.

Francis Bacon’s mother was also the sister-in-law of Lord Burghley.

Peter Paul Rubens was one of the most famous and successful European artists of the 17th century, and isknown for such works as "The Descent from the Cross," "Wolf and Fox Hunt" and "The Garden of Love."Born on June 28, 1577, Flemish artist Peter Paul Rubens was one of the most celebrated and prolific artists in Europe during his lifetime as well as the entire Baroque era.

His patrons included royalty and churches, and his art depicted subjects from religion, history and mythology.

He served as an apprentice to several established artists, and was admitted into Antwerp's professional guild for painters in 1598.

In 1600, Rubens traveled to Italy, where he viewed the art of such Renaissance masters as Titian and Tintoretto in Venice, and Raphael and Michelangelo in Rome.

Known for such works as "The Descent from the Cross," "Wolf and Fox Hunt," "Peace and War," "Self-Portrait with Helena and Peter Paul" and "The Garden of Love," Rubens's style combined a knowledge of Renaissance classicism with lush brushwork and a lively realism. Peter Paul Rubens was born on June 28, 1577, in the town of Siegen in Westphalia (now Germany), one of seven children of a prosperous lawyer and his cultured wife.

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