Michelangelo was a Scouser!

The original Liverpool Madonnri (pavement artist) …….Born (1475-1564)

Long before James William Carling was born…..Michelangelo Mc-da-Gear grew up in Liverpool, the son of Irish immigrants (Tommy & Rose Mc-da-Gear), he was born in Jingle-by-the-Dingle. Down-a-jigger….A place of extreme poverty that became known locally as ‘Little Italy’

At the age of 2, Michelangelo became known as ‘Bella Chalky’ after the beautiful portraits he would paint in chalks on the pavements and walls all around ‘Little Italy’ His father Tommy would later recall that his son ‘Bella’ would “often come home covered from head to toe in chalk dust and bulging pockets of pennies given by people amazed to see the skill of such a young Madonnari (pavement artist) “

"Bella Chalky" Self Portrait!

"Bella Chalky" Self Portrait.....

Destiny was calling the young Michelangelo and by his early teens he was getting restless and hungry for adventure. At 17 He met a young Italian girl named Giovanna whose family had emigrated to Liverpool from the Florence area of Italy only 10 years earlier.

Giovanna introduced Michelangelo to all things Italian…….food, culture but most of all art. This was a whole new world to the little ‘Bella Chalky’

By 18, Michelangelo together with Giovanna moved to Florence in Italy to indulge his new found passion for Italian culture and pursue his ambitions of becoming a great artist. By 19 he changed his name to Giovanna’s family name of Buonarroti…..and as they say, the rest is history!

Michelangelo perfected his craft on the streets of Liverpool and until recently no surviving examples of his work had been found, but in 2008, members of the Liverpool BID team were ‘routing’ around in the basement of St. George’s Hall when they uncovered what looked like fragments of brightly coloured art painted on plaster. (Fresco)

Intrigued, Tracey and Ged from Liverpool BID bagged up the plaster fragments in old Rapid and Home & Care carrier bags and carried the fragments the short distance to Liverpool’s Walker Art Gallery…… Art historians where amazed to see the couple, covered from head to toe in chalk dust and carrying six bags of precious broken plaster fragments. 

Local artists UrbanCanvas (Phil & Cath) where called in to assist in piecing together the art fragments. Unknowingly Tracey and Ged had uncovered a lost masterpiece by Michelangelo Mc-da-Gear. The fragments actually formed part of a much earlier building, built over 400 years before the present St. George’s Hall.

Could this be one of Liverpool’s oldest pieces of Renaissance art?  Michelangelo’s lost ceiling and Liverpool’s answer to the Sistine Chapel perhaps?

Well only time will tell because now local international award winning artists UrbanCanvas have teamed up with Liverpool BID in an attempt to recreate one of the largest piece’s of street art ever seen on the streets of Great Britain….Michelangelo’s lost masterpiece?……could be!!

Illustration by Stacey Kelly taken from an original design by Michelangelo Mc-da-Gear

Illustration by Stacey Kelly taken from an original design by Michelangelo Mc-da-Gear

Liverpool Resurgent

Over 4 days in September between 21st and 24th in Williamson Square. Award winning local artists from The James William Carling Competition 2008 will attempt to recreate this lost masterpiece in front of your very eyes. Every day from 10am to 5pm.

Six artists can be seen working all day on this massive 60ft x 15ft work of art. You can visit each day to see how the work is progressing, talk to the artists, take photos and on the final day join in the fun with a special pavement art workshop and Leave your mark on the streets of Liverpool for the grand unveiling of Liverpool Resurgent!

A modern day descendent of Michelangelo Mc-da-Gear…… Mike McGear said of this great event……”I can’t wait!” 

For more info on Liverpool Resurgent and The James Carling Pavement Art Competition visit:


 Liverpool Resurgent & the James Carling event is supported by Liverpool BID

This entry was published on September 12, 2010 at 11:22 am. It’s filed under arts, culture, fun, liverpool, street art and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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