Thursday, February 18, 2021

February 18th Victor Emmanuel II, Alessandro Volta, Martin Luther, Michelangelo

Here are some events that happened on February 18th. It could be an event or a person that died or was born on that day


1546 Died: Martin Luther, German priest and theologian, leader of the Protestant Reformation (b. 1483)

Martin Luther (10 November 1483 – 18 February 1546) was a German professor of theology, composer, priest, monk, and a seminal figure in the Protestant Reformation.

Luther was ordained to the priesthood in 1507. He came to reject several teachings and practices of the Roman Catholic Church; in particular, he disputed the view on indulgences. Luther proposed an academic discussion of the practice and efficacy of indulgences in his Ninety-five Theses of 1517. His refusal to renounce all of his writings at the demand of Pope Leo X in 1520 and the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V at the Diet of Worms in 1521 resulted in his excommunication by the pope and condemnation as an outlaw by the Holy Roman Emperor.

Luther taught that salvation and, consequently, eternal life are not earned by good deeds but are received only as the free gift of God's grace through the believer's faith in Jesus Christ as redeemer from sin. His theology challenged the authority and office of the Pope by teaching that the Bible is the only source of divinely revealed knowledge, and opposed sacerdotalism by considering all baptized Christians to be a holy priesthood. Those who identify with these, and all of Luther's wider teachings, are called Lutherans, though Luther insisted on Christian or Evangelical (German: evangelisch) as the only acceptable names for individuals who professed Christ.

His translation of the Bible into the German vernacular (instead of Latin) made it more accessible to the laity, an event that had a tremendous impact on both the church and German culture. It fostered the development of a standard version of the German language, added several principles to the art of translation, and influenced the writing of an English translation, the Tyndale Bible. His hymns influenced the development of singing in Protestant churches. His marriage to Katharina von Bora, a former nun, set a model for the practice of clerical marriage, allowing Protestant clergy to marry.

In two of his later works, Luther expressed antagonistic views towards Jews. His rhetoric was not directed at Jews alone, but also towards Roman Catholics, Anabaptists, and nontrinitarian Christians. Luther died in 1546 with Pope Leo X's excommunication still effective.


Stamps from several countries depicting Martin Luther

Czechoslovakia - 1983 Celebrities Anniversaries - Martin Luther


France 1983 Martin Luther FDC First Day Cover


Germany 1952 Martin Luther


Netherlands 1983 Martin Luther FDC First Day Cover


Postcard, Deutsches Reich, Martin Luther




1564 Died: Michelangelo, Italian sculptor and painter (b. 1475)

Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni (6 March 1475 – 18 February 1564), known best as simply Michelangelo, was an Italian sculptor, painter, architect and poet of the High Renaissance born in the Republic of Florence, who exerted an unparalleled influence on the development of Western art. Considered by many the greatest artist of his lifetime, and by some the greatest artist of all time, his artistic versatility was of such a high order that he is often considered a contender for the title of the archetypal Renaissance man, along with his rival, the fellow Florentine and client of the Medici, Leonardo da Vinci.

A number of Michelangelo's works of painting, sculpture and architecture rank among the most famous in existence. His output in these fields was prodigious; given the sheer volume of surviving correspondence, sketches and reminiscences, he is the best-documented artist of the 16th century. He sculpted two of his best-known works, the Pietà and David, before the age of thirty. Despite holding a low opinion of painting, he also created two of the most influential frescoes in the history of Western art: the scenes from Genesis on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in Rome, and The Last Judgment on its altar wall. His design of the Laurentian Library pioneered Mannerist architecture. At the age of 74, he succeeded Antonio da Sangallo the Younger as the architect of St. Peter's Basilica. He transformed the plan so that the western end was finished to his design, as was the dome, with some modification, after his death.

Michelangelo was the first Western artist whose biography was published while he was alive. In fact, two biographies were published during his lifetime. One of them, by Giorgio Vasari, proposed that Michelangelo's work transcended that of any artist living or dead, and was "supreme in not one art alone but in all three".

In his lifetime, Michelangelo was often called Il Divino ("the divine one"). His contemporaries often admired his terribilità—his ability to instil a sense of awe. Attempts by subsequent artists to imitate Michelangelo's impassioned, highly personal style resulted in Mannerism, the next major movement in Western art after the High Renaissance.

Stamps issued to commemorate Michelangelo and his works

Italy 1961 Famous Works of Michelangelo

Italy 1961 Famous Works of Michelangelo

Germany 1975 Head by Michelangelo


France 2003 Michelangelo Painting Sculpture Slaves Naked Man In Museum


Michelangelo's David

Germany Michelangelo's David maximum card

Monaco Michelangelo's David

Germany 1457-58 986 Details from Michelangelo's David Full EUROPA 60

Germany 1457-58 986 Details from Michelangelo's David Full EUROPA 80



1745 Born: Alessandro Volta, Italian physicist, invented the battery (d. 1827)

Alessandro Giuseppe Antonio Anastasio Volta (18 February 1745 – 5 March 1827) was an Italian physicist, chemist, and pioneer of electricity and power who is credited as the inventor of the electric battery and the discoverer of methane. He invented the Voltaic pile in 1799, and reported the results of his experiments in 1800 in a two-part letter to the President of the Royal Society. With this invention Volta proved that electricity could be generated chemically and debunked the prevalent theory that electricity was generated solely by living beings. Volta's invention sparked a great amount of scientific excitement and led others to conduct similar experiments which eventually led to the development of the field of electrochemistry.

Volta also drew admiration from Napoleon Bonaparte for his invention, and was invited to the Institute of France to demonstrate his invention to the members of the Institute. Volta enjoyed a certain amount of closeness with the emperor throughout his life and he was conferred numerous honors by him. Volta held the chair of experimental physics at the University of Pavia for nearly 40 years and was widely idolized by his students.

Despite his professional success, Volta tended to be a person inclined towards domestic life and this was more apparent in his later years. At this time he tended to live secluded from public life and more for the sake of his family until his eventual death in 1827 from a series of illnesses which began in 1823. The SI unit of electric potential is named in his honor as the volt.

1927 Alessandro Volta Italy

Anniversary Alessandro Volta Italy


1861 – With Italian unification almost complete, Victor Emmanuel II of Piedmont, Savoy and Sardinia assumes the title of King of Italy.

Victor Emmanuel II (14 March 1820 – 9 January 1878) was King of Sardinia from 1849 until 17 March 1861, when he assumed the title of King of Italy and became the first king of a united Italy since the 6th century, a title he held until his death in 1878. Borrowing from the old Latin title Pater Patriae of the Roman emperors, the Italians gave him the epithet of Father of the Fatherland (Italian: Padre della Patria).

Born in Turin as the eldest son of Charles Albert, Prince of Carignano, and Maria Theresa of Austria, he fought in the First Italian War of Independence (1848-49) before being made King of Piedmont-Sardinia following his father's abdication. He appointed Camillo Benso, Count of Cavour, as his Prime Minister, and he consolidated his position by suppressing the republican left. In 1855, he sent an expeditionary corps to side with French and British forces during the Crimean War; the deployment of Italian troops to the Crimea, and the gallantry shown by them in the Battle of the Chernaya (16 August 1855) and in the siege of Sevastopol led the Kingdom of Sardinia to be among the participants at the peace conference at the end of the war, where it could address the issue of the Italian unification to other European powers. This allowed Victor Emmanuel to ally himself with Napoleon III, Emperor of France. France had supported Sardinia in the Second Italian War of Independence, resulting in liberating Lombardy from Austrian rule.

Victor Emmanuel supported the Expedition of the Thousand (1860–1861) led by Giuseppe Garibaldi, which resulted in the rapid fall of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies in southern Italy. However, Victor Emmanuel halted Garibaldi when he appeared ready to attack Rome, still under the Papal States, as it was under French protection. In 1860, Tuscany, Modena, Parma and Romagna decided to side with Sardinia-Piedmont, and Victor Emmanuel then marched victoriously in the Marche and Umbria after the victorious battle of Castelfidardo over the Papal forces. He subsequently met Garibaldi at Teano, receiving from him the control of southern Italy and becoming the first King of Italy on 17 March 1861.

In 1866, the Third Italian War of Independence allowed Italy to annex Veneto. In 1870, Victor Emmanuel also took advantage of the Prussian victory over France in the Franco-Prussian War to taking over the Papal States after the French withdrew. He entered Rome on 20 September 1870 and set up the new capital there on 2 July 1871. He died in Rome in 1878, and was buried in the Pantheon.

The Italian national monument Altare della Patria (or Vittoriano) in Rome was built in his honor.

Stamps from Italy depicting Victor Emmanuel II

Italy # 21  - King Victor Emmanuel II

Italy # 31  - King Victor Emmanuel II

Italy Victor Emmanuel II of Italy, King of Italy

Victor Emmanuel II




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