Did Michelangelo (1475-1564) have high-functioning autism?

J Med Biogr. 2004 May;12(2):115-20. doi: 10.1177/096777200401200212.


In this paper evidence is presented that Michelangelo met the criteria for Asperger's disorder, or high-functioning autism. The evidence relates to his single-minded work routine, unusual lifestyle, limited interests, poor social and communication skills, and issues of life control. Depression and various medical conditions, including gout, renal colic and renal stones, did not stop his obsessive working habits.

Publication types

  • Biography
  • Historical Article
  • Portrait

MeSH terms

  • Art / history*
  • Asperger Syndrome / history*
  • Autistic Disorder / history*
  • Famous Persons*
  • History, 15th Century
  • History, 16th Century
  • Humans

Personal name as subject

  • Michelangelo di Ludovico Buonarroti