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Title: Michael Angelo Buonarroti
Author: Holroyd, Charles, 1861-1917
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Michael Angelo Buonarroti" ***

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Michael Angelo Buonarroti
By Charles Holroyd,

Keeper of the National Gallery of British Art, with Translations of the
Life of the Master by His Scholar, Ascanio Condivi, and Three Dialogues
from the Portuguese by Francisco d’Ollanda

Duckworth and Company

New York
Charles Scribner’s Sons



                              MICHAEL ANGELO

                 From an early proof of the engraving by
                             GIULIO BONASONI
               (_In the Print Room of the British Museum_)




Of all the many lives of Michael Angelo that have been written, that by
his friend and pupil, Ascanio Condivi, is the most valuable. For not only
is it a contemporary record, like the lives inserted by Giorgio Vasari in
the two editions of his famous book, "The Lives of the Most Eminent
Painters, Sculptors, and Architects," published in Florence in 1550 and
1568; but Condivi’s work has almost the authority of an autobiography,
many phrases are in the same words, as certain letters in the hand of
Michael Angelo still in existence, especially those relating to the early
life and the ancestry of the master, to his favourite nephew Lionardo, and
concerning the whole story of the Tragedy of the Tomb to Francesco
Fattucci and others.

Condivi’s description of his master’s personal appearance is so detailed
that we can see him with his sculptor’s callipers measuring the head of
his dear master, and gazing earnestly into his eyes, recording the colours
of their scintillations, with the patience of a painter.

Vasari’s account has been translated more than once, but Condivi’s never,
at least never completely. Extracts have been given, and it has been the
main resource of every writer on the master; but the faithful and reverent
character of the whole work can only be given in a complete translation,
its transparent honesty, and its loving devotion. Even had the subject of
this naif and unscholarly narrative been an ordinary man in an ordinary
period, it would have been worth translating for its truth to life and
human nature, much more, therefore, when it is about the greatest
craftsman of the Cinque Cento.

Condivi published his "Vita di Michael Angelo Buonarroti" on July 16,
1553; probably incited thereto by the master himself, who desired to
correct certain misstatements of his excellent friend, Giorgio Vasari,
without hurting that worthy’s feelings. Nevertheless, we gather from what
Vasari says in his second edition that he somewhat resented the appearance
of this new biographer. Perhaps this coloured his unflattering account of
Condivi as an artist, when describing Michael Angelo’s scholars: "Ascanio
della Ripa took great pains, but no results have been seen, whether in
designs or finished works. He spent several years over a picture for which
Michael Angelo had given him the cartoon, and, at a word, the hopes
conceived of him have vanished in smoke." What a good thing it would have
been for Vasari’s reputation if his art work had vanished in smoke, too,
and only his biographies remained. Condivi lives, as he said he wished to
live, in the dedication of his work to Pope Julius III., with the name of
being a faithful servant and disciple of Michael Angelo.

A second edition of the "Vita di Michael Angelo," by Ascanio Condivi, was
published at Florence in 1746. The introduction informs us that Condivi
was born at Ripa Transona, and that he outlived his master ten years,
dying on February 17, 1563 (1564), aged nearly eighty-nine years.

The second part of this book may be regarded as an appendix(1) to Condivi.
It is a supplementary account of the existing works of the master, and
details of their fashioning that may help us to realise the mystery of
their production, from contemporary documents: letters, contracts, and the
life by Vasari, with some few explanations that will not interest the
learned, but may help young students of the works of the great master.
Londoners have peculiar facilities for this study. The bas-relief in the
Diploma Gallery of the Royal Academy, the drawings in the British Museum,
and the unfinished and altered picture at the National Gallery, are an
excellent foundation from which to study the casts at Kensington and in
the Crystal Palace (the latter are unique in this country, but, alas! in a
poor state now). Students of to-day have one immense advantage over those
of former times in the magnificent series of photographs that have been
issued, especially those of the vault of the Sistine Chapel, which may
almost be said never to have been so well seen before.

Since this book went to press, the author has seen an antique intaglio,
No. 210 in the Estense Collection at Modena, which he is informed came
from Ferrara in 1598, representing a Leda. This confirms the view
expressed in the note on page 61, as to the genesis of the Leda by Michael
Angelo, for it is exactly similar in composition.

The author desires to express his gratitude to many friends for valuable
advice and assistance, especially to his wife for help in the
translations, and to Mr. S. Arthur Strong for kindly looking over the
proofs, and other aid; to the Earl of Leicester, of Holkham, for
permission to photograph and reproduce the Cartoon at Holkham Hall; to the
trustees of the British Museum and Mr. Sidney Colvin for facilities to
reproduce two engravings in the Print Room; to the Signori Fratelli
Alinari, Signor Anderson, Mm. Braun et Cie., and Signor Brogi, for kindly
allowing their photographs to be used in making the illustrations.






                         SHRINE OF SAINT DOMINIC

Michael Angelo Buonarroti, the unique painter and sculptor, was descended
from the Counts of Canossa, a noble and illustrious family of the land of
Reggio, both on account of their own worth and antiquity, and because they
had Imperial blood in their veins.(2) For Beatrice, sister of Enrico II.,
was given in marriage to Count Bonifazio of Canossa, then Signor of
Mantua; the Countess Matilda was their daughter, a lady of rare and
singular prudence and piety; who, after the death of her husband
Gottifredo, held in Italy (besides Mantua) Lucca, Parma, Reggio, and part
of Tuscany, which to-day is called the Patrimonio of San Pietro; and,
having in her lifetime done many things worthy of memory, died and was
buried in the Badia of San Benedetto, beyond the walls of Mantua, which
abbey she had built, and largely endowed.

II. Messer Simone then, of this family, coming to Florence as Podestà(3)
in the year 1250, was deemed worthy of being made a citizen, and head of a
_sesitiere_ or sixth part of the town, for into so many wards was the
township divided at that time; to-day the wards are _quartieri_ or fourth
parts. The Guelph party were in power in Florence, and he, from Ghibelline
that he was, became Guelph, because of the many benefits he received from
that faction, changing the colour of his coat-of-arms, which originally
was gules, a dog rampant with a bone in his mouth, argent—to azure, a dog
or; and the Signoria afterwards granted him five lilies, gules, in a
Rastrello, and at the same time the crest with two horns of a bull, the
one or, and the other azure, as may be seen to this day painted on their
ancient shields; the old arms of Messer Simone may be seen in the palace
of the Podestà, carved in marble by his orders, according to the custom of
those who held that office.

III. The reason why the family in Florence changed their name from Canossa
to de’Buonarroti was because the name Buonarroto was usual in their house
from age to age, almost always, down to the time of Michael Angelo
himself, who had a brother called Buonarroto, and many of these Buonarroti
being of the Signori, that is of the supreme magistracy of the Republic;
the said brother especially, who was of that body at the time when Pope
Leo was in Florence, as may be seen in the annals of the city; this name
held by so many of them became a surname for the whole family, the more
easily as it is the custom of Florence in the lists of voters and other
nomination papers, after the proper name of the citizen, to add that of
his father, his grandfather, his great-grandfather, and even of those
further removed. Therefore, from the many Buonarroti thus continued, and
from that Simone who was the first of the family to settle in Florence,
and who was of the House of Canossa, they became Buonarroti Simoni, for so
they are called at this day. Lastly, Pope Leo X. being at Florence,
besides many other privileges, gave to this family the right to bear on
their coat the palla or ball, azure, of the arms of the House of Medici,
with three lilies, or

IV. Of such family, then, was Michael Angelo born; his father’s name was
Lodovico di Leonardo Buonarroti Simoni, a good and religious man, somewhat
old-fashioned. Michael Angelo was born to him whilst he was Podestà of
Chiusi and Caprese(4) in the Casentino, in the year of our salvation
1474,(5) on the sixth day of March, four hours before daylight on a
Monday. A fine nativity truly, which showed how great the child would be
and of how noble a genius; for the planet Mercury with Venus in seconda
being received into the house of Jupiter with benign aspect, promised what
afterwards followed, that the birth should be of a noble and high genius,
able to succeed in every undertaking, but principally in those arts that
delight the senses, such as painting, sculpture, and architecture. Having
completed his term of office, the father returned to Florence and put the
child out to nurse in the village of Settignano, three miles from the
city, where he had a property, which was one of the first places in that
country bought by Messer Simone da Canossa. The nurse was a daughter of a
stone-carver and the wife of a stone-carver, so Michael Angelo used to say
jestingly, but perhaps in earnest too, that it was no wonder he delighted
in the use of the chisel, knowing that the milk of the foster-mother has
such power in us that often it will change the disposition, one bent being
thus altered to another of a very different nature.

V. The child grew and came to be of a reasonable age. His father, noticing
his ability, desired that he should devote himself to letters; he
therefore sent him to the school of a certain Maestro Francesco da Urbino,
who in those days taught grammar in Florence;(6) but although Michael
Angelo made progress in these studies, still the heavens and his nature,
both difficult to withstand, drew him towards the study of painting, so
that he could not resist, whenever he could steal the time, drawing now
here, now there, and seeking the company of painters. Amongst his familiar
friends was Francesco Granacci, a scholar of Domenico del Grillandaio,(7)
who, seeing the ardent longing and burning desire of the child, determined
to aid him, and continually exhorted him to the study of art, now lending
him drawings and now taking him with him to the workshops of his master
when some works were going forward from which he might learn. These sights
moved Michael Angelo so powerfully, following as they did his nature,
which never ceased to urge him, that he altogether abandoned letters. So
that his father and his uncles, who held the art in contempt, were much
displeased, and often beat him severely for it: they were so ignorant of
the excellence and nobility of art that they thought shame to have her in
the house. This, however much he disliked it, was not enough to turn him
back, but, on the contrary, made him more bold: he wished to begin to
colour, and he borrowed a print from Granacci which represented the story
of St. Antony when he was beaten by devils. The engraver was a certain
Martino d’Olanda,(8) a brave artist for that time. Michael Angelo painted
it on a panel of wood, Granacci lending him colours and brushes, in such a
manner that not only did it raise the admiration of every one who saw it,
but also envy, as some will have it, even in Domenico, the most famous
painter of the day; as may be seen by what happened afterwards. Domenico
used to say that the painting came from his own workshop in order to make
it appear less wonderful. In this little picture, besides the figure of
the Saint, there were many strange forms and monstrosities in the demons;
these Michael Angelo executed with so much care that no part of them was
coloured without reference to the natural object from which it had been
derived. For that purpose he frequented the fish-market and observed the
forms and tints of the scales and fins of fish and the colours of their
eyes and all their other parts, copying them in his picture, which much
conduced to the perfection of that work, exciting the wonder of the world,
and, as I have said, some envy in Grillandaio; this was much more seen one
day when Michael Angelo asked to see his book of drawings in which were
represented shepherds with their flocks and dogs, landscapes, buildings,
ruins, and such like things. Domenico would not lend it to him—indeed, he
had the reputation of being a little envious: for not only was he hardly
courteous to Michael Angelo, but even to his own brother, when he saw that
he was progressing rapidly and having great hopes of himself: he sent him
into France, not so much that it might be to his advantage, as some say,
but that he himself might remain the first artist in Florence. The reason
I have mentioned this is because I have heard it said that the son of
Domenico attributes the excellence and divinity of Michael Angelo in great
part to the training he received from his father: he received absolutely
no assistance from him;(9) nevertheless, Michael Angelo does not complain
of it, nay, even praises Domenico both for his art and his manners. But
this is a slight digression; let us return to our story.

VI. Possibly not less wonderful was another labour of Michael Angelo’s
done at this time, perhaps as a jest. Some one lent him a drawing of a
head to copy; he returned his copy to the owner instead of the original
and the deception was not noticed, but the boy talking and laughing about
it with one of his companions it was found out. Many people compared the
two and found no difference in them, for besides the perfection of the
drawing, Michael Angelo had smoked the paper to make it appear of the same
age as the original. This brought him a great reputation.(10)

VII. Now drawing one thing and now another, the boy had no fixed plan or
method of study. It happened one day that Granacci took him to the gardens
of the Medici at San Marco. In this garden the Magnificent Lorenzo, father
of Pope Leo, a man renowned for every excellence, had disposed many
antique statues and decorative sculptures. Michael Angelo, seeing these
things and appreciating the beauty of them, never afterwards went to the
workshop of Domenico, but spent every day at the gardens, as in a better
school, always working at something or other. Amongst the rest, he studied
one day the head of a Faun, in appearance very old, with a long beard and
a laughing face, although the mouth could hardly be seen because of the
injuries of time. As if knowing what would be, or because he liked the
style of it, he determined to copy it in marble. The Magnificent Lorenzo
was having some marble worked and dressed in that place to ornament the
most noble library that he and his ancestors had gathered together from
all parts of the world. (These works, suspended on account of the death of
Lorenzo and other accidents, were, after many years, carried on by Pope
Clement, but even then they were left unfinished, so that the books are
still packed in chests.) Now these marbles being worked, as I said,
Michael Angelo begged a piece from the masons and borrowed a chisel from
them: with so much diligence and intelligence did he copy that Faun that
in a few days it was carried to perfection, his imagination supplying all
that was missing in the antique, such as the lips, open, as in a man who
is laughing, so that the hollow of the mouth was seen with all the teeth.
At this moment passed the Magnificent to see how his works progressed; he
found the child, who was busy polishing the head. He spoke to him at once,
noticing in the first place the beauty of the work, and having regard to
the lad’s youth he marvelled exceedingly, and although he praised the
workmanship he none the less joked with him as with a child, saying: "_Oh!
you have made this Faun very old, and yet have left him all his teeth: do
you not know that old men of that age always lack some of them?_" It
seemed a thousand years to Michael Angelo before the Magnificent went away
and he remained alone to correct his error. He cut away a tooth from the
upper jaw, drilling a hole in the gums as though it had come out by the
roots.(11) He awaited the return of the Magnificent upon another day with
great longing. At last he came. Seeing the willingness and
single-mindedness of the child he laughed very much, but afterwards
appreciating the beauty of the thing and the boy’s youth, as father of all
talent he thought to bestow his favour upon such a genius and take him
into his house, and hearing from him whose son he was, he said: "_Let your
father know that I desire to speak with him._"

VIII. When he got home Michael Angelo carried out the embassy of the
Magnificent; his father divining why he was called, with great persuasion
from Granacci and others made ready to go: lamenting to himself that his
son would be taken away. Stating, moreover, that he would never suffer his
son to be a stonemason, it was useless for Granacci to explain how great
was the difference between a sculptor and a mason. After all this long
disputation he ultimately was ushered into the presence of the
Magnificent, who asked him if he would deliver his son over to his care,
for he would not neglect him; "_Even so,_" he replied, "_not only Michael
Angelo, but all of us, with our lives and all our best faculties, are at
the service of your Magnificence._" And when the Magnificent asked what he
could do for himself, he replied: "_I have never practised any profession;
but have always lived upon my small income and attended to the small
property left to me by my ancestors; trying not only to keep it up
properly, but also endeavouring to increase it as far as I may with my
powers and by my diligence._" The Magnificent then replied: "_Very well,
look about you, see if there is not something in Florence that will suit
you; make use of me; I will do the best I can for you._" And so dismissing
the old man, he gave Michael Angelo a good room in his own house with all
that he needed,(12) treating him like a son, with a seat at his table,
which was frequented every day by noblemen and men of great affairs. Now
they had a custom that those who were present at the beginning of a meal
should take their places next to the Magnificent according to their rank,
and should not change them, no matter who came in afterwards; so that
often Michael Angelo was seated even above the sons of Lorenzo and other
persons of quality; for in that house noble persons abounded: by all of
them Michael Angelo was caressed and incited to his honourable work; but
above all by the Magnificent, who would often call for him many times in
the day to show him engraved gems,(13) cornelians, medals, and such like
things of great price, seeing that he had genius and good judgment.

IX. Michael Angelo was between fifteen and sixteen years of age when he
entered the house of the Magnificent, and he stayed with him until his
death, which was in ninety-two,(14) a space of two years. During that time
an office in the customs fell vacant which could only be held by a
Florentine citizen; so Lodovico, the father of Michael Angelo, came to the
Magnificent and spoke for it: "_Lorenzo, I can do nothing but read and
write; the comrade of Marco Pucci in the Dogana is dead. I should like to
have his place. I believe I shall be able to carry out the duties
properly._" The Magnificent put his hand upon his shoulder and, smiling,
said: "_You will always be poor_," for he expected that he would ask for
some great thing. However, he continued, "_If you will be the comrade of
Marco, be it so, till something better turns up_." This place brought him
eight scudi(15) the month, a little more or a little less.

X. In the meantime Michael Angelo prosecuted his studies, showing the
result of his labours to the Magnificent each day. In the same house lived
Poliziano, a man, as every one knows, and as is testified by his works,
most learned and witty. This man recognising the lofty spirit of Michael
Angelo loved him exceedingly, and little as he needed it, spurred him on
in his studies, always explaining things to him and giving him subjects.
One day, amongst others, he suggested "The Rape of Deianira" and "The
Battle of the Centaurs," telling him in detail the whole of the story.
Michael Angelo set himself to carve it out in marble in mezzo-rilievo, and
so well did he succeed, that I remember to have heard him say that when he
saw it again he recognised how much wrong he had done to his nature in not
following promptly the art of sculpture, judging by that work how well he
might have succeeded, nor does he say this boastingly, he was a most
modest man, but because he truly laments having been so unfortunate that
by the fault of others he has sometimes been ten or twelve years doing
nothing, as will be seen presently. This particular work may still be seen
in Florence in his house; the figures are about two palms high.(16) He had
hardly finished this work when the Magnificent Lorenzo passed out of this
life, and Michael Angelo returned to his father’s house. So much grief did
he feel for his patron’s death that for many days he was unable to work.
When he was himself again he bought a large piece of marble, that had for
many years been exposed to the wind and rain, and carved a Hercules out of
it, four braccia high, that was ultimately sent into France.(17)

XI. Whilst he was working at this statue there was a great snowstorm in
Florence, and Pier de’ Medici, the eldest son of Lorenzo, who occupied the
same position as his father, wished childishly to have a statue of snow
made in the middle of the court-yard, so he remembered Michael Angelo, and
had him found and made him carve the statue.(18) He desired him to live in
his house as he had done in his father’s time, and gave him the same
apartment and a place at the table as before; where the same customs
obtained as when the father was living, that is, that after they had sat
down at the beginning of a meal no one should change his place however
great might be the personage who came in afterwards.

XII. Lodovico, the father of Michael Angelo, now became more friendly to
his son, seeing that he was almost always in the society of great
personages, and he dressed him in finer clothes. The youth lived with
Piero some months and was much caressed by him. Piero used to say,
boastingly, that he had two remarkable men in his establishment: one was
Michael Angelo, and the other a certain Spanish groom who, besides being
marvellously beautiful to look upon, was so nimble and strong and so
long-winded that, let Piero ride as fast as he could, he was not able to
pass the runner by a finger.

XIII. At this time, Michael Angelo, to please the Prior of Santo Spirito,
a church much venerated in Florence, carved a crucifix in wood, a little
under life size, which to this day may be seen over the high altar of that
church.(19) He had much familiar intercourse with the Prior, and received
many kindnesses from him, amongst others the use of a room and subjects to
enable him to study anatomy. Nothing could have given him more pleasure,
and this was the beginning of his study of the science of anatomy, which
he followed until fortune had made him a master of it.(20)

XIV. There was living in the house of Piero a certain man named Cardiere,
who had been very acceptable to the Magnifico, he improvised songs to the
lyre most marvellously; in fact, he made a profession of it, and practised
his art nearly every evening after supper. This man was friendly with
Michael Angelo and imparted to him a vision, which was this: That Lorenzo
de’ Medici had appeared to him with nothing but a black cloak, all torn,
over his naked body, and had commanded him to speak to his son, and tell
him that shortly he would be hunted out of his house and never return to
it again. Piero de’ Medici was so proud and insolent that neither the
generosity of his brother, Giovanni the Cardinal, nor the courtesy and
kindness of Giuliano, were so powerful to keep him in Florence as those
vices were to hunt him out. Michael Angelo exhorted Cardiere to inform
Piero of the vision and carry out the will of Lorenzo, but he, fearing
Piero’s nature, kept all to himself. One other morning Michael Angelo was
in the court-yard of the Palace, and beheld Cardiere all terrified and
weeping: that night, he said, Lorenzo had appeared to him again in the
same form as at first, and looking him through and through had given him a
terrible box on the ears, because he had not reported what he had seen to
Piero. Michael Angelo scolded him to such purpose that Cardiere plucked up
his spirit and set out on foot for Careggi, a country house of the Medici,
about three miles from the city, where his master was staying. But when he
was half-way there he met Piero on the road returning home to Florence;
Cardiere stopped him and told him all he had seen and heard. Piero only
laughed at him, and made even his grooms jeer at him. The Chancellor, who
was afterwards the Cardinal Bibbiena, said to him: "_You must be mad! Do
you think Lorenzo would rather appear to you or to his own son? Would he
not rather appear to him than to any one else?_" They ridiculed him and
let him go. He went home and bemoaned himself to Michael Angelo, and he
spoke so effectually of the vision, holding that the thing was true, that
two days afterwards with two companions they left Florence together for
Bologna, and from there went to Venice, fearful lest that which Cardiere
prophesied should come to pass, and Florence not be safe for them!

XV. In a few days lack of funds (his companions having spent all his
money) made Michael Angelo think of returning to Florence; but coming to
Bologna a curious chance hindered them. Now there was a law in that land
in the time of Messer Giovanni Bentivogli that every stranger who entered
into Bologna should be obliged to have a great seal of red wax impressed
upon his nail. Michael Angelo inadvertently entered without being sealed,
so he was conducted, together with his companions, to the office of the
Bullette, and condemned to pay a fine of fifty Bolognese lire: not having
the wherewithal he was obliged to remain at the office. A certain
Bolognese gentleman, Messer Gian Francesco Aldovrandi, who was then of the
Sixteen, seeing him there, and hearing the reason, liberated him, chiefly
because he was a sculptor. Aldovrandi invited the sculptor to his house.
Michael Angelo thanked him, but excused himself because he had two
companions with him who would not leave him, and he would not burden the
gentleman with their company. To this the gentleman replied: "_I, too,
will come and wander over the world with you, if you will pay my
expenses._" With these and other words he prevailed over Michael Angelo,
who excused himself to his companions and took leave of them, gave them
what little money he had, and went to lodge with the gentleman.

XVI. By this time the House of the Medici, with all their followers,
having been hunted out of Florence, came to Bologna and were lodged in the
House of the Rossi. Thus the vision of Cardiere, whether a delusion of the
devil, a divine warning, or a strong imagination that had taken hold of
him, was verified; a thing so truly remarkable that it is worthy of being
recorded. I have narrated it just as I heard it from Michael Angelo
himself. It was about three years after the death of the Magnificent
Lorenzo that his children were exiled from Florence, so that Michael
Angelo was between twenty and twenty-one years of age when he escaped the
first popular tumults by remaining with the aforesaid gentleman of Bologna
until the city of Florence settled down again. This gentleman honoured him
highly, delighting in his genius, and every evening he made him read
something from Dante or from Petrarca, or now and then from Boccaccio,
until he fell asleep.

XVII. One day walking together in Bologna they went to see the ark of San
Domenico, in the Church dedicated to that Saint; two marble figures were
still lacking, a San Petronio and a kneeling angel supporting a
candlestick in his arms. The gentleman asked Michael Angelo if he had the
heart to undertake them, and he replying "yes," had it arranged that he
should have them to do; he was paid thirty ducats for it, eighteen for the
San Petronio, and twelve for the angel. The figures were three palms high;
they may still be seen in that same place. But afterwards Michael Angelo
mistrusted a Bolognese sculptor, who complained that he had taken away the
commission for the before-mentioned statues from him, as it had first been
promised to him, and as he threatened to do him an injury Michael Angelo
went back to Florence to accommodate matters,(21) as affairs had now
become quiet and he could live safely in his house. He remained with
Messer Gian Francesco Aldovrandi a little over a year.



XVIII. Having returned to his native town Michael Angelo set to work to
carve out of marble a god of Love, between six and seven years of age,
lying asleep; this figure was seen by Lorenzo di Pier Francesco de’ Medici
(for whom in the meantime Michael Angelo had carved a little Saint John),
and he judged that it was most beautiful and said of it: "_If you can
manage to make it look as if it had been buried under the earth I will
forward it to Rome, it will be taken for an antique and you will sell it
much better._" Michael Angelo hearing this immediately prepared it as one
from whom no craft was hidden, so that it looked as if it had been made
many years ago. In this state it was sent to Rome; the Cardinal di San
Giorgio bought it as an antique for two hundred ducats; though the man who
took all that money only paid thirty ducats to Michael Angelo as what he
had received for the Cupid. So much of a rogue was he that he deceived at
the same time both Lorenzo di Pier Francesco and Michael Angelo.(22) But
meanwhile it came to the ear of the Cardinal how the putto was made in
Florence. Angry at being made a fool of, he sent one of his gentlemen
there, who pretended to be looking for a sculptor to do some work in Rome.
After visiting many others he came to the house of Michael Angelo; with a
wary eye for what he wanted he observed the young man and inquired of him
if he could let him see any work; but Michael Angelo not having any to
show, took a pen (for in those days the pencil was not in general use) and
drew a hand with so much ease that the gentleman was astonished.
Afterwards he inquired if he had never done any works of sculpture. Yes,
replied Michael Angelo, and amongst the rest a Cupid, in such and such a
pose and action. The gentleman understood then that he had found the man
he sought, and narrated how the affair had gone, and promised him that if
he would come with him to Rome he would make the dealer disgorge, and
arrange matters with his lord which he knew would be much to his
satisfaction. Michael Angelo then, partly to see Rome, so much be praised
by the gentleman as the widest field for a man to show his genius in, went
with him and lodged in his house near the palace of the Cardinal, who,
advised by letter in the meantime how the matter stood, laid hands on the
merchant who had sold the Cupid to him as an antique, returned the statue
to him, and got his money back; it afterwards came, I know not how, into
the hands of the Duke Valentino, and was presented to the Marchesana of
Mantua. She sent it to Mantua, where it is still to be found in the house
of the lords of that city.(23) The Cardinal di San Giorgio was blamed in
this affair by many, for the work was seen by all the craftsmen of Rome,
and all, equally, considered it most beautiful; they thought that he ought
not to have deprived himself of it for the sake of two hundred scudi,
although it was modern, as he was a very rich man. But he, smarting under
the deceit, being able to punish the man, made him disburse the remainder
of the payment. But nobody suffered more than Michael Angelo, who never
received anything more for it than the money paid him in Florence.
Cardinal di San Giorgio understood little and was no judge of sculpture,
as is shown clearly enough by the fact that all the time Michael Angelo
remained with him, which was about a year, he did not give him a single

XIX. All the same, others were not wanting who understood such things and
who made use of Michael Angelo. For Messer Iacopo Galli, a Roman gentleman
of good understanding, made him carve a marble Bacchus, ten palms in
height, in his house; this work in form and bearing in every part
corresponds to the description of the ancient writers—his aspect, merry;
the eyes, squinting and lascivious, like those of people excessively given
to the love of wine. He holds a cup in his right hand, like one about to
drink, and looks at it lovingly, taking pleasure in the liquor of which he
was the inventor; for this reason he is crowned with a garland of vine
leaves. On his left arm he has a tiger’s skin, the animal dedicated to
him, as one that lives on grapes; and the skin was represented rather than
the animal, as Michael Angelo desired to signify that he who allows his
senses to be overcome by the appetite for that fruit, and the liquor
pressed from it, ultimately loses his life. In his left hand he holds a
bunch of grapes, which a merry and alert little satyr at his feet
furtively enjoys. He appears to be about seven years old, and the Bacchus
eighteen.(25) The said Messer Iacopo desired also that he would carve him
a little Cupid.(26) Both of these works may still be seen in the house of
Messer Giuliano and Messer Paolo Galli, courteous and worthy gentlemen,
with whom Michael Angelo has always retained a real and cordial

XX. A little afterwards, at the request of the Cardinal de San Dionigi
(called the Cardinal Rovano), he carved from a block of marble that
marvellous statue of our Lady, which is now in the church of the Madonna
della Febbre;(27) although at first it was placed in the chapel of the
King of France in the Church of Santa Petronilla, near to the Sacristy of
Saint Peter’s, formerly, according to some, a temple of Mars; this church
was destroyed by Bramante for the sake of his design for the new Saint
Peter’s. The Madonna is seated on the stone upon which the Cross was
erected, with her dead son on her lap. He is of so great and so rare a
beauty, that no one beholds it but is moved to pity. A figure truly worthy
of the Humanity which belonged to the Son of God, and to such a Mother;
nevertheless, some there be who complain that the Mother is too young
compared to the Son. One day as I was talking to Michael Angelo of this
objection, "_Do you not know_," he said, "_that chaste women retain their
fresh looks much longer than those who are not chaste? How much more,
therefore, a virgin in whom not even the least unchaste desire ever arose?
And I tell you, moreover, that such freshness and flower of youth besides
being maintained in her by natural causes, it may possibly be that it was
ordained by the Divine Power to prove to the world the virginity and
perpetual purity of the Mother. It was not necessary in the Son; but
rather the contrary; wishing to show that the Son of God took upon himself
a true human body subject to all the ills of man, excepting only sin; he
did not allow the divine in him to hold back the human, but let it run its
course and obey its laws, as was proved in His appointed time. Do not
wonder then that I have, for all these reasons, made the most Holy Virgin,
Mother of God, a great deal younger in comparison with her Son than she is
usually represented. To the Son I have allotted His full age_."
Considerations worthy of any theologian, wonderful perhaps in any one
else, but not in Michael Angelo, whom God and Nature have formed not only
for his unique craftsmanship, but also capable of any, the most divine,
conceptions, as may be seen not only in this but in very many of his
arguments and writings. He may have been twenty-four or twenty-five years
old when he finished this work. He gained great fame and reputation by it,
so that already, in the opinion of the world, not only did he greatly
surpass all others of the time and of the times before, but also he
challenged the ancients themselves.



XXI. These works being finished, he had to return to Florence for family
affairs; he stayed there long enough to carve the statue called by all men
the Giant, which is placed to this day by the door of the Palazzo della
Signoria at the end of the balustrade.(28) The thing happened in this
wise. The Operai(29) of Santa Maria del Fiore possessed a piece of marble
nine braccia high, which had been brought from Carrara by an artist(30)
who was not so wise as he ought to have been, as it appeared. Because to
transport the marble with greater convenience and less labour, he had
roughed it out on the quay itself in such a clumsy way, however, that
neither he nor any one else had the courage to put their hands to the
block to carve a statue out of it, either of the full size of the marble
or even one very much less. As they were not able to get anything out of
this piece of marble likely to be any good, it seemed to Andrea del Monte
a San Savino, that he might obtain the block, and he asked them to make
him a present of it, promising that by joining certain pieces on to it he
would carve a figure from it; but the Operai, before disposing of it, sent
for Michael Angelo, and told him the wish and offer of Andrea, and, having
heard his opinion that he could get something good out of it, in the end
they offered it to him. Michael Angelo accepted it, and extracted the
above-mentioned statue without adding any other piece at all, so exactly
to size that the old surface of the outsides of the marble may be seen on
the top of the head and in the base. He has left the same roughnesses in
other of his works, as that statue for the tomb of Pope Julius II., which
represents Contemplative Life. This is the custom of great masters, lords
of their art. But in the Giant it is more wonderful than ever, because,
besides not adding any pieces, he amended the faults of the roughing out,
an impossible or, at least, a most difficult thing to do (as Michael
Angelo himself has said). He received four hundred ducats for this work,
and finished it in eighteen months.

XXII. In order that no copy of the Giant should exist which was not his
own handiwork, he had it cast in bronze, of the size of the original, for
his good friend Pier Soderini, who sent it to France; and similarly he
cast a David with Goliath under him. The one to be seen in the middle of
the court-yard of the Palazzo de’Signori is by Donatello, a man excellent
in his art, and much praised by Michael Angelo, except for one thing—he
had not the patience to properly polish his works; so that in the distance
they look admirable, but close to they lose their quality. Michael Angelo
also cast a bronze group of the Madonna with her Son in her lap, which was
sent into Flanders(31) by certain Flemish merchants, the Moscheroni, great
people at home; they paid him one hundred ducats for it. And, in order not
altogether to give up painting, he executed a round panel of Our Lady(32)
for Messer Agnolo Doni, a Florentine citizen, for which he received
seventy ducats.

XXIII. It was some time since he had worked at that art, having given
himself up to the study of poets and authors in the vulgar tongue and
writing sonnets for his own pleasure. After the death of Pope Alexander
VI. he was called to Rome by Pope Julius II., and received a hundred
ducats in Florence as his _viaticum_. At this time Michael Angelo was
about twenty-nine years old; for if we count from his birth in 1474,
already stated, to the death of the above Alexander, which was in 1503, we
shall find the number of years as given.



XXIV. Coming then to Rome, many months(33) passed before Julius II.
resolved in what way to employ him. Ultimately it came into his head to
get him to make his monument. When he saw Michael Angelo’s design it
pleased him so much that he at once sent him to Carrara to quarry the
necessary marbles, instructing Alamanno Salviati, of Florence, to pay him
a thousand ducats for this purpose. Michael Angelo stayed in these
mountains more than eight months with two workmen and his horse, and
without any other salary except his food. One day whilst he was there he
saw a crag that overlooked the sea, which made him wish to carve a
colossus that would be a landmark for sailors from a long way off, incited
thereto principally by the suitable shape of the rock from which it could
have been conveniently carved, and by emulation of the ancients, who,
perhaps with the same object as Michael Angelo not to be idle, or for some
other end, left several records unfinished and sketched out, which give a
good idea of their powers. And of a surety he would have done it if he had
had time enough, or the business upon which he had come had allowed him.
He afterwards much regretted not having carried it out. Enough marbles
quarried and chosen, he took them to the sea coast and left one of his men
to have them embarked. He himself returned to Rome, and because he stopped
some days in Florence on the way, when he arrived at Rome he found the
first boat already at the Ripa(34) unloading. He had the blocks carried to
the piazza of St. Peter’s, behind Santa Caterina, where he had his
workshop near the Corridore.(35) The quantity of marble was immense, so
that, spread over the piazza, they were the admiration of all and a joy to
the Pope, who heaped immeasurable favours upon Michael Angelo; and when he
began to work upon them again and again went to see him at his house, and
talked with him of monuments and other matters as with his own brother;
and in order that he might more easily go to him, the Pope ordered that a
drawbridge should be thrown across from the Corridore to the rooms of
Michael Angelo, by which he might visit him in private.

XXV. These many and frequent favours were the cause (as often is the case
at Court) of much envy, and, after the envy, of endless persecution, since
Bramante, the architect, who was much loved by the Pope, made him change
his mind as to the monument by telling him, as is said by the vulgar, that
it is unlucky to build one’s tomb in one’s lifetime. Fear as well as envy
stimulated Bramante, for the judgment of Michael Angelo had exposed many
of his errors. Bramante, as every one knows, was given to all kinds of
pleasures and a great spendthrift. The pension allotted to him by the
Pope, however rich it might be, was not enough for him; he tried to make
money out of the works, building the walls of bad materials, which,
notwithstanding their greatness and width, are not very firm or solid. As
is manifest to every one in the works of Saint Peter’s, the Corridore di
Belvedere, the Convents di San Pietro ad Vincula, and other fabrics built
by him, it has been necessary to put new foundations and to strengthen all
of them by props and buttresses, like buildings about to fall. Now because
he had no doubt that Michael Angelo knew these errors of his, he always
sought to remove him from Rome, or, at least, to deprive him of the favour
of the Pope, and of the glory and usefulness that he might have acquired
by his industry. He succeeded in the matter of the tomb. There is no doubt
that if he had been allowed to finish it, according to his first
design,(36) having so large a field in which to show his worth, no other
artist, however celebrated (be it said without envy), could have wrested
from him the high place he would have held. Those parts which he did
finish show what the rest would have been like. The two slaves were done
for this work: those who have seen them declare that no such worthy
statues were ever carved.

XXVI. And to give some idea of it, I say briefly that this tomb was to
have had four faces, two of eighteen braccia, that served for the flanks,
so that it was to be a square and a half in plan. All round about the
outside were niches for statues, and between niche and niche terminal
figures; to these were bound other statues, like prisoners, upon certain
square plinths, rising from the ground and projecting from the monument.
They represented the liberal arts, as Painting, Sculpture, and
Architecture, each with her symbol so that they could easily be
recognised; denoting by this that, like Pope Julius, all the virtues were
the prisoners of Death, because they would never find such favour and
nourishment as he gave them. Above these ran the cornice that tied all the
work together. On its plane were four great statues; one of these, the
Moses, may be seen in San Piero and Vincula. It shall be spoken of in its
proper place. So the work mounted upward until it ended in a plane. Upon
it were two angels who supported an arc; one appeared to be smiling as
though he rejoiced that the soul of the Pope had been received amongst the
blessed spirits, the other wept, as if sad that the world had been
deprived of such a man. Above one end was the entrance to the sepulchre in
a small chamber, built like a temple; in the middle was a marble
sarcophagus, where the body of the Pope was to be buried; everything
worked out with marvellous art. Briefly, more than forty statues went to
the whole work, not counting the subjects in mezzo rilievo to be cast in
bronze, all appropriate in their stories and proclaiming the acts of this
great Pontiff.

XXVII. Having seen this design the Pope sent Michael Angelo to Saint
Peter’s to decide where it might most conveniently be erected. The church
was in the form of a cross. At the head Pope Nicolas V. had begun to
rebuild the tribune; the walls were already three braccia above the ground
when he died. It seemed to Michael Angelo that this place was very
suitable. When he returned to the Pope he told him what he thought, and
added, that if it seemed good to his Holiness, it would be necessary to go
on with the building and roof it in. The Pope asked him, "_What would be
the cost of this?_" Michael Angelo replied, "_One hundred thousand
scudi._" "_Let it be two hundred thousand_," said Julius. And sending San
Gallo, the architect, and Bramante to see the place, by their suggestion
it came into the mind of the Pope to rebuild the church altogether. He
directed them to prepare designs, and that of Bramante was approved, as
being more graceful and better understood than the others. Thus, Michael
Angelo was the cause, both that those parts of the building already begun
were completed, which otherwise might have remained as they were to this
day, and that it came into the mind of the Pope to rebuild the rest of the
church on a more magnificent scale.

XXVIII. Returning to our story, Michael Angelo became acquainted with the
change in the wishes of Julius in the following manner: The Pope
instructed Michael Angelo that if he needed money he was to come direct to
him and not to others, so that he might not have to go from one to another
for it. It happened one day that the rest of the marbles that had been
left at Carrara arrived at the Ripa; Michael Angelo had them disembarked
and carried to Saint Peter’s, and desiring at once to pay the freight, the
landing, and the porterage, he went to ask the Pope for money, but found
access to the palace more difficult than usual, and his Holiness occupied.
So he returned home, and not to incommode the poor men who had earned
their wages he paid them all out of his own pocket, thinking that his
money would be returned by the Pope at a more convenient season. One
morning he returned and entered the ante-chamber for an audience. A groom
came up to him and said: "_Pardon me, I have been ordered not to admit
you_." A bishop was present, and hearing the words of the man, cried out:
"_You cannot know who this man is?_" "_I know him very well_," replied the
groom, "_but I am obliged to do what I am bid by my masters without
further question_." Michael Angelo, who had never before been kept waiting
or had the door barred against him, seeing himself so turned off and
scorned, was angered and replied: "_You may tell the Pope that,
henceforward, if he wants me he must look for me elsewhere_." So he
returned to his house and instructed his two servants to sell all his
furniture, and when they got the money to follow him to Florence. He
himself took horse and at the second hour of the night reached Poggibonsi,
a castle in the Florentine territory, eighteen or twenty miles from the
city, where, as in a safe place, he rested.

XXIX. A little later five messengers from Pope Julius arrived with orders
to bring Michael Angelo back wherever they might find him. But overtaking
him in a place where they were unable to offer him any violence, Michael
Angelo threatening them with death if they dare lay hands on him, they
turned to entreaties; then not succeeding, they obtained from him the
concession that at least he would reply to the letter from the Pope which
they had given to him, and that he should particularly write that they had
only overtaken him in Florence that the Pope might understand that they
were unable to bring him back against his will. The letter of the Pope was
of this tenour: "At sight of this return immediately to Rome, under pain
of my displeasure." Michael Angelo replied briefly: "That he was never
going to return, and that his good and faithful service had not deserved
this change, to be hunted away from his presence like a rogue; and as his
Holiness did not wish to have anything more to do with the tomb, he was
free and did not wish to bind himself again." So dating the letter as has
been said he let the messengers go, he himself went on to Florence, where,
during the three months he remained there, three Briefs were sent to the
Signoria, full of menaces, demanding that he should be sent back either by
fair means or force.

XXX. Pier Soderini, who was then Gonfaloniere of the Republic for life,
having formerly let him go to Rome much against his will, wished him to
work for him by painting in the Sala del Consiglio. On receipt of the
first Brief he did not oblige Michael Angelo to return, hoping that the
anger of the Pope would abate; but when a second and a third arrived, he
called Michael Angelo to him and said: "_You have braved the Pope as the
King of France would not have done, therefore prayer is unavailing. We do
not wish to go to war with him on your __account and risk the State, so
prepare yourself to return_."(37) Michael Angelo, seeing it had come to
this, and fearing the wrath of the Pope, thought of going to the Levant,
principally because he had been sought after by the Turk with rich
promises, through the agency of certain Franciscan Friars, to throw a
bridge from Constantinople to Pera, and for other works. But the
Gonfaloniere, hearing of this, sent for him and dissuaded him, saying:
"_That it was better to die with the Pope than to live with the Turk;
nevertheless, there was nothing to fear, for the Pope was kind, and sent
for him because he loved him well, not because he wished him harm; and if
he was still afraid, the Signoria would send him as ambassador, because
violence was not offered to public persons without it being offered to
those who sent them._" By reason of these and other arguments Michael
Angelo prepared to return.

XXXI. Whilst he was still in Florence two things happened. One was that he
finished the marvellous cartoon he had begun for the Sala del Consiglio,
which represented the war between Florence and Pisa, and the many and
various events that occurred in it, which cartoon of consummate art was a
light to all those who afterwards took pencil in hand. I cannot tell what
evil fortune happened to it afterwards, it was left by Michael Angelo in
the Sala del Papa (a place so called in Florence) at Santa Maria Novella.
Fragments of it can be seen in the various places, preserved with greatest
care like something sacred.(38) The other thing was, that Pope Julius had
taken Bologna and had gone there; he was delighted with the acquisition,
and this gave courage to Michael Angelo to appear before him more



XXXII. So he arrived at Bologna one morning, and going to San Petronio to
hear mass,(39) behold, the grooms of the Pope, who recognised him and
conducted him to his Holiness, who was at table in the Palazzo de’ Sedici.
When he saw Michael Angelo in his presence, Julius, with an angry look,
said to him, "_You ought to have come to us, and you have waited for us to
come to you_." Meaning to say, that his Holiness being come to Bologna, a
place much nearer to Florence than Rome is, it was as if he (the Pope) had
come to him. Michael Angelo with a loud voice and on his knees craved
pardon, pleading that he had not erred maliciously but through
indignation, for he could not bear to be hunted away as he had been. The
Pope kept his head lowered and replied nothing, to all appearances much
troubled, when a certain monsignore, sent by the Cardinal Soderini to
excuse and intercede for Michael Angelo, broke in, saying: "_Your
Holiness, do not remember his fault, for he has erred through ignorance;
these painters in things outside their art are all like this._" The Pope
indignantly replied: "_You __abuse him, whilst we say nothing; you are the
ignorant one, and he is not the culprit; take yourself off in an evil
hour._" But as he was not going, he was, as Michael Angelo used to tell,
hustled out of the room with blows by the servants of the Pope. Thus the
Pope having spent his fury on the bishop, called Michael Angelo closer to
him, and pardoned him, ordering him not to leave Bologna until another
commission had been given to him. Nor was he long before he sent for him
and said that he wished Michael Angelo to make a great portrait statue of
him in bronze, which he wished to place on the front of the Church of San
Petronio. And he left a thousand ducats in the bank of Messer Antommaria
da Lignano to carry out the work when he departed for Rome. It is true
that before he left Michael Angelo had already modelled it in clay, but he
was doubtful as to what the statue should hold in the left hand, the right
was raised as if giving a benediction. He asked the Pope, who had come to
see the statue, if it pleased him that he should be made holding a book.
"_What! a book?_" he replied, "_a sword! As for me, I am no scholar._" And
jesting about the right hand, which was in vigorous action, he said,
smiling the while, to Michael Angelo, "_Does this statue of yours give a
blessing or a curse?_" Michael Angelo replied to him: "_It threatens this
people, Holy Father, lest they be foolish._" But, as I have said, Pope
Julius returned to Rome and Michael Angelo remained behind at Bologna, and
spent sixteen months in completing the statue and erecting it where the
Pope had directed. Afterwards, on the return of the Bentivogli to Bologna,
this statue was thrown to earth in the fury of the populace and destroyed.
Its height was more than three times that of life.


                     THE VAULT OF THE SISTINE CHAPEL

XXXIII. After he had finished this work he went to Rome, where Pope Julius
wished to employ him, keeping still to his purpose of not going on with
his tomb. It was put into his head by Bramante and other rivals of Michael
Angelo that he should make him paint the vault of the chapel of Sixtus the
Fourth, in the Vatican, making him believe that he would do wonders. This
was done maliciously, to distract the Pope from works of sculpture; and
because they thought it was certain, either, that by his not accepting
such a commission, he would stir up the Pope’s anger against himself, or
that by accepting it he would come out of it very much inferior to
Raffaello da Urbino, whom they heaped with favours on account of their
hatred for Michael Angelo, judging that his principal art was sculpture,
as in truth it was. Michael Angelo, who as yet had never used colours and
knew the painting of the vault to be a very difficult undertaking, tried
with all his power to get out of it, proposing Raffaello and excusing
himself, in that it was not his art and that he would not succeed,
refusing so many demands that the Pope was almost in a passion. But seeing
his obstinacy, Michael Angelo set himself to do the work, which to-day is
seen in the palace of the Pope, and is the admiration and wonder of the
world; it brought him so much fame that it lifted him above all envy. I
will give some brief account of this work.

XXXIV. The shape of this ceiling is what is commonly called a barrel
vaulting, resting on lunettes, six to the length and two to the width of
the building, so that the whole formed two squares and a half. In this
space Michael Angelo has depicted, firstly, the creation of the world, and
then almost the whole of the Old Testament. He has divided the work after
this fashion: Beginning at the brackets, where the horns of the lunettes
rest, up to almost a third of the arch of the vault, the walls appear to
continue flat, running up to that height with certain pilasters and
plinths imitating marble, which project into the open like a balustrade
over an additional storey, with corbels below, and with other little
pilasters above the same storey, where sit the prophets and sybils. The
first pilasters grow from the arches of the lunettes, placing the
pedestals in the middle, leaving, however, the greater part of the arch of
the lunette—that is to say, the space they contain between them. Above the
said plinths are painted some little naked children in various poses, who,
in guise of terminals, support a cornice, which binds the whole work
together, leaving in the middle of the vault from end to end, as it were,
the open sky. This opening is divided into nine spaces; for from the
cornices over the pilasters spring certain arches with cornices, which
traverse the highest part of the vault, and join the cornice on the
opposite side of the chapel, leaving from arch to arch nine openings,
large and small. In the smaller spaces are two fillets, painted like
marble that cross the opening in such a way that in the middle rest the
two parts and one of the bands, where medallions are placed, as shall be
told in due course; and this has been done to avoid monotony, which is
born of sameness. Now, at the head of the chapel, in the first opening,
which is one of the smaller ones, is seen how the Omnipotent God in the
heavens by the movement of His arms divides light from darkness. In the
second space is how He created the two great lights. The Creator is seen
with arms extended: with the right He lights the sun, and with the left
the moon. With Him are child-angels; one on the left hides his face
against the bosom of his Creator, as though shielding himself from the
harmful light of the moon. In the same space on the left God is seen
turning to create the trees and plants of the earth, painted with such art
that wherever you turn He appears to turn away also, showing the whole of
the back down to the soles of His feet—a thing most beautiful, and which
shows what may be done by foreshortening. In the third space the great God
appears in the heavens, again with a company of angels, looking upon the
waters and commanding them to bring forth all those forms of life
nourished in that element, just as in the second He commands the earth. In
the fourth is the creation of Man. God is seen with arm and hand stretched
forth as if giving His commandments to Adam, what to do and what not to
do; with His other arm He draws His angels about Him. In the fifth is how
He drew woman from the side of Adam. She comes forth with her hands
joined, raising them in prayer towards God, bending with gracious mien and
offering thanks as He blesses her. In the sixth is how the Devil tempted
man. From the middle upwards the wicked one is of human form, and the rest
of him like unto a serpent, his legs transformed into tails winding around
a tree. He seems to reason with the man and persuade him to act contrary
to the commands of his Creator, and he offers the forbidden apple to the
woman. On the other side of the space the two are seen driven forth by the
angel, terrified and weeping, flying from the face of God. In the seventh
is the sacrifice of Abel and of Cain;(40) the one grateful to and accepted
by God, the other hateful and refused. In the eighth is the Deluge, when
the ark of Noah is seen in the distance in the midst of the waters; some
men attempt to cling to it for safety. Nearer, in the same abyss of
waters, is a boat laden with many people, which, both by the excessive
weight she has to carry and by the many and tumultuous lashings of the
waves, loses her sail, and, deprived of every aid and human control, she
is already filling with water and going to the bottom. It is an admirable
thing to see the human race so wretchedly perishing in the waves.
Likewise, nearer to the eye, there still appears above the waters the
summit of a mountain, like unto an island, on which, fleeing from the
rising waters, collect a multitude of men and women, who exhibit different
expressions, but all wretched and all terrified, dragging themselves
beneath a curtain stretched over a tree to shelter them from the unusual
rains; and above them is represented with great art the anger of God,
which overwhelms them with water, with lightnings, and with thunderbolts.
There is also another mountain-top on the right,(41) much nearer the eye,
and a multitude labouring under the same disasters, of which it would be
long to write all the details; it shall suffice me to say that they are
all very natural and tremendous, just as one would imagine them in such a
convulsion. In the ninth, which is the last, is the story of Noah when he
was drunken with wine, lying on the ground, his shame derided by his son
Ham and covered by Shem and Japhet. Under the before-mentioned cornice
which finishes the walls, and above the brackets where the lunettes rest,
between pilaster and pilaster, sit twelve large figures—prophets and
sybils—all truly wonderful, as much for their grace as for the decoration
and design of their draperies. But admirable above all the others is the
prophet Jonah, placed at the head of the vault, because contrary to the
form of this part of the ceiling, by force of light and shade, the torso,
which is foreshortened so that it goes back away into the roof, is on the
part of the arch nearest the eye, and the feet and legs which, as it were,
project within the walls, are on the part more distant. A stupendous
performance, which shows what marvellous power was in this man of turning
lines in foreshortening and perspective. Now in the spaces that are below
the lunettes, as well as in those above, which have a triangular shape,
are painted all the genealogy, or, I should say, all the ancestors of the
Saviour, except the triangles at the corners, which come together, and so,
two make up one of double the area. In one then of these, above the wall
of the Last Judgment on the right hand,(42) is seen how Aman, by command
of King Ahasuerus, was hung upon a cross; and this was because, in his
pride and arrogance, he wished to hang Mordecai, the uncle Queen Ester,
for not honouring him with a reverence as he passed by. In another corner
is the story of the bronze serpent, lifted by Moses on a staff, in which
the children of Israel, wounded and ill-treated by lively little serpents,
are healed by looking up. Here Michael Angelo has shown admirable force in
those figures that are struggling to free themselves from the coils of the
serpents. In the third corner, at the lower end of the chapel, is the
vengeance wreaked upon Holofernes by Judith, and in the fourth that of
David over Goliath. And these are briefly all the histories.

XXXV. But no less marvellous is that part which does not relate to the
histories at all, that is to say, certain nudes who sit upon plinths above
the before-mentioned cornice, one on either side holding up the
medallions, which, as has been said, appear to be of metal, on which, in
the style of reverses, are designed several stories, all however
appropriate to their principal histories. By the beauty of the divisions,
by the variety of the poses, and by the balance of the proportionate
parts, in all of them Michael Angelo exhibited the highest art. But to
tell the particulars of these things would be an infinite labour, a book
to them alone would not be enough; therefore I pass over them briefly,
wishing rather to give a little light upon the whole than to detail the

XXXVI. In the meanwhile he did not lack troubles; for, having finished the
picture of the Deluge, the work began to grow mouldy,(43) so much so that
the figures could hardly be distinguished. Michael Angelo, thinking that
this excuse would suffice to enable him to shake off his burden, went to
the Pope and said to him: "_I have already told your Holiness that this is
not my art; all that I have done is spoiled; if you do not believe it send
and see._" The Pope sent Il San Gallo, who, when he examined the fresco,
saw that the plaster had been applied too wet, and the dampness running
down caused this effect; and informing Michael Angelo of this he made him
proceed, and the excuse was unavailing.

XXXVII. Whilst he was painting Pope Julius went to see the work many
times, ascending the scaffolding by a ladder, Michael Angelo giving him
his hand to assist him on to the highest platform. And, like one who was
of a vehement nature, and impatient of delay, when but one half of the
work was done, the part from the door to the middle of the vault,(44) he
insisted upon having it uncovered, although it was still incomplete and
had not received the finishing touches. Michael Angelo’s fame, and the
expectation they had of him, drew the whole of Rome to the chapel, where
the Pope also rushed, even before the dust raised by the taking down the
scaffolding had settled.

XXXVIII. After this, Raphael, having seen this new and marvellous manner
as one who excelled in imitating, tried by the aid of Bramante to get the
rest of the chapel to paint. Michael Angelo was much troubled, came before
the Pope, and bitterly complained of the injury Bramante was doing him;
and in his presence grieved over it with the Pope, discovering to him all
the persecution he had suffered from him, and afterwards unfolded to him
many of Bramante’s shortcomings, principally that in pulling down the old
church of Saint Peter’s he threw to earth those marvellous columns that
were therein, not respecting them or caring whether they were broken to
pieces or not, when he might have lowered them gently and preserved them
whole; explaining how it was an easy thing to pile brick on brick, but to
make such a column was most difficult, and many other things that it was
most necessary to relate; so that the Pope, hearing of all these sad
doings, willed that Michael Angelo should continue the work, showing him
more favour than ever. He finished all this work in twenty months(45)
without assistance,(46) not even any one to grind the colours. It is true
that I have heard him say that the work is not finished as he would have
wished, as he was prevented by the hurry of the Pope, who demanded of him
one day when he would finish the chapel. Michael Angelo said: "_When I
can_." The Pope, angered, added: "_Do you want me to have you thrown down
off this scaffolding?_" Michael Angelo, hearing this, said to himself:
"_Nay, you shall not have me thrown down_," and as soon as the Pope had
gone away he had the scaffolding taken down and uncovered his work upon
All Saints Day. It was seen with great satisfaction by the Pope (who that
very day visited the chapel), and all Rome crowded to admire it. It lacked
the retouches "a secco" of ultramarine and of gold in certain places,
which would have made it appear more rich. Julius, his fervour having
abated, wished that Michael Angelo should supply them; but he considering
the business it would be to reerect the scaffolding, replied that there
was nothing important wanting. "_It should be touched with gold_," replied
the Pope. Michael Angelo said to him familiarly, as he had a way of doing
with his Holiness: "_I do not see that men wear gold._" The Pope again
said: "_It will seem poor_." "_Those who are painted here were poor
also_," Michael Angelo replied. This he threw out in jest; but so the
vault has remained. Michael Angelo received for this work and all his
expenses three thousand ducats, of which I have heard him say he spent in
colours about twenty or twenty-five.


                     THE RISEN CHRIST OF THE MINERVA

XXXIX. When he had finished this work Michael Angelo, because he had
painted so long a time with his eyes turned upwards towards the vault,
could hardly see anything when looking down, so that when he had to read a
letter or look at a minute object it was necessary for him to hold it
above his head. Nevertheless, little by little, he became able to again
read looking down. By this we are able to judge with how much attention
and assiduity he had carried out his work. Many other things happened to
him during the life of Pope Julius, who loved him from his heart, having a
more jealous care for him than for any one else he had about him, as one
may see clearly by what we have already written. Indeed, one day fearing
that Michael Angelo was angry, he immediately sent to pacify him. It
happened in this wise. Michael Angelo wanting to go to Florence for Saint
John’s Day asked the Pope for money; and he demanded when his chapel would
be finished. Michael Angelo, as his custom was, replied, "_When I can_."
The Pope, who was of a hasty nature, struck him with a stick that he had
in his hand, saying: "_When I can, indeed; when I can!_" After he got home
Michael Angelo was preparing, without more ado, to go to Florence, when
Accursio arrived, a highly favoured young man, sent by the Pope, and
brought him five hundred ducats and pacified him as best he could, making
the Pope’s excuses. Michael Angelo accepted the apology and went away to
Florence. So that it seems as if Julius cared more than for anything else
to keep this man for himself; nor was he contented with his services
during his life only, but required them after his death; wherefore coming
to die he commanded that the Tomb which Michael Angelo had formerly begun
should be finished for him, giving this charge to the old Cardinal Santi
Quattro and the Cardinal Aginense, his nephew: they, however, had new
designs prepared, the first appearing to them too large. So Michael Angelo
again became involved in the Tragedy of the Tomb, which had no better
success than at first; on the contrary much worse, it brought him infinite
vexations, troubles, and labours; and, what is worse, by the malice of
certain men, shame, from which he was hardly able to clear himself for
many years. Michael Angelo then began all over again and set to work. He
brought many masters from Florence, and Bernardo Bini, who was trustee,
provided the money as he needed it. But it had not got on very far when he
was interrupted, much to his disgust, for it came into the head of the
Pope Leo, who had succeeded Julius, to ornament the façade of San Lorenzo,
in Florence, with sculpture and marble work. This was the church built by
the great Cosimo de’ Medici; and, except for the façade mentioned above,
was all completely finished. This part, then, Pope Leo resolved to supply.
He thought of employing Michael Angelo, and sending for him he made him
prepare a design, and finally on that account wished him to go to Florence
and take upon himself all this charge. Michael Angelo, who was working
with love and diligence at the tomb of Julius, made all the resistance
that he could, saying that he was bound to Cardinal Santi Quattro and to
Aginense, and could not fail them. But the Pope, who was determined in
this matter, replied: "_Leave me to deal with them; I will content them._"
So he sent for both of them and made them release Michael Angelo, much to
the sorrow both of himself and the Cardinals, especially of Aginense,
nephew, as has been said, of Pope Julius, for whom, however, Pope Leo
promised that Michael Angelo should work in Florence, and that he would
not hinder him. In this fashion, weeping, Michael Angelo left the tomb and
betook himself to Florence. As soon as he arrived he put everything in
order for building the façade, he himself went to Carrara to transport
marbles, not only for the façade but also for the tomb, relying upon the
promise of the Pope that he would be able to go on with it. In the
meantime the Pope was informed that in the mountains of Pietrasanta, in
the Florentine territory, there were marbles as good and beautiful as at
Carrara. When this was discussed with Michael Angelo, he, as a friend of
the Marchese Alberigo, and having come to an understanding with him about
the marbles, preferred rather to quarry at Carrara than at these new
places in the State of Florence. The Pope wrote to Michael Angelo and
commanded him to go to Pietrasanta and see if it was as he heard from
Florence. He went there and found the marble very unmanageable and
unsuitable;(47) and even if it had been suitable, it would be a difficult
and very expensive business to bring it down to the sea; for it would
require a new road to be constructed for several miles over the mountains
with pickaxes, and across the plains, which were very marshy, on piles.
Michael Angelo wrote all this to the Pope; but he rather believed those
who had written to him from Florence, and ordered him to make the road. So
to carry out the will of the Pope he constructed this road,(48) and by it
carried a vast quantity of marble to the sea coast, amongst them five
columns of the right size; one of them is to be seen on the Piazza of San
Lorenzo, brought by him to Florence;(49) the other four, because the Pope
had changed his mind and turned his thoughts elsewhere, are still lying on
the sea shore. But the Marchese di Carrara, thinking that Michael Angelo,
as a citizen of Florence, might have been the originator of the quarrying
at Pietrasanta, became his enemy; nor would he allow him to return to
Carrara afterwards even for marble that he had already quarried, which was
a great loss to Michael Angelo.


                       THE SACRISTY OF SAN LORENZO

XL. Now having returned to Florence, and finding, as was said before, that
the fervour of Pope Leo was all spent, Michael Angelo, grieving, remained
there doing nothing for a long while, having, first in one thing and then
in another, thrown away much of his time, to his great annoyance.
Nevertheless, with certain blocks of marble that he had placed in his own
house, he proceeded with the work of the Tomb. But Leo departing this
life, Adrian was created Pope, and the work was interrupted again, for
they charged Michael Angelo with having received from Julius for this work
quite sixteen thousand scudi, and that he did not trouble himself to get
on with it, but stayed at Florence for his own pleasure. All these
accusations called for his presence in Rome; but the Cardinal de’ Medici,
who afterwards became Pope Clement VII., and who then had the government
of Florence in his hand, did not wish him to go; and to keep him employed,
and to have an excuse, he made him begin the Medici Library in San
Lorenzo, and at the same time the sacristy with the tombs of his
ancestors, promising to satisfy the Pope for him, and arrange matters.
Then Adrian living only a few months and Clement succeeding him in the
Papacy, nothing more was said about the Tomb of Julius for some time. But
Michael Angelo was advised that the Duke of Urbino, Francesco Maria,
nephew of Pope Julius of happy memory, complained greatly of him, and
menaced him with vengeance if he did not quickly come to Rome. Michael
Angelo conferred with Pope Clement about the affair, and he counselled him
to call the agents of the Duke and prepare an account with them of all
that he had received from Julius and all the work he had done for him,
knowing that if Michael Angelo’s work were properly estimated he would
turn out to be the creditor rather than the debtor. Michael Angelo
remained in Rome about this against his will; and having arranged affairs
returned to Florence, principally because he anticipated the ruin that a
little while afterwards came upon Rome.

XLI. In the meantime the House of Medici was driven out of Florence by the
opposing faction, because they had taken more authority to themselves than
could be suffered in a free city that ruled herself by her Republic. As
the Signoria did not expect that the Pope would do anything to forego his
family’s authority they expected certain war, and turned their minds to
the fortifications of their city, and appointed Michael Angelo
Commissary-General for that work. He then, accepting this preferment,
besides many other preparations carried out by him on every side of the
city, encircled with strong fortifications the hill of San Miniato, that
stands above the city and overlooks the surrounding plain. If the enemy
took this hill nothing could prevent him becoming master of the city also.
This fort was judged to be the saving of the country, and very dangerous
to the enemy; being, as I have said, of high elevation, it menaced the
hosts of their antagonists, especially from the bell-tower of the church,
where two pieces of artillery were placed, which continually did great
damage to the besiegers. Michael Angelo, notwithstanding that he had made
provision beforehand for whatever might occur, posted himself upon the
hill. After about six months the soldiers began to grumble amongst
themselves of I know not what treachery; Michael Angelo partly knowing
about this himself, and partly by the warnings of certain captains, his
friends, betook himself to the Signoria and discovered to them what he had
heard and seen, showing them in what danger the city stood, saying that
there was yet time to provide against the danger, if they would. But
instead of thanking him they abused him, and reproached him with being a
timid man and too suspicious. He who replied to him thus had better have
opened his ears to him, for the House of Medici entered into Florence and
his head was cut off; whereas, if he had listened, he might have been yet

XLII. When Michael Angelo saw how little his word was considered, and how
the ruin of the city was certain, by the authority he had he caused a gate
to be opened, and went out with two of his people, and betook himself to
Venice. And certainly this notion of a treachery was no fable; but he who
arranged it judged that it would pass over with less disgrace if it was
not discovered just then, as time would achieve the same result by his
merely failing in his duty and hindering others who wished to do theirs.
The departure of Michael Angelo was the occasion of many rumours, and he
fell into great disgrace with the governors. All the same, he was recalled
with many prayers, with appeals to his patriotism, and by those who urged
that he must not abandon the responsibilities that he had taken upon
himself, and that the matter was not at such an extremity as he had been
given to understand, and many other things. Persuaded by all this, and by
the authority of the personages who wrote to him, but chiefly by his love
for his country, after he had received a safe conduct for ten days before
the day of his arrival in Florence, he returned, not without danger to his

XLIII. Again in Florence the first thing he did was to protect the
bell-tower of San Miniato, which was all broken by the continual
cannonading of the enemy, and had become very dangerous to those within.
The method of defence was in this wise: a large number of mattresses, well
filled with wool, were slung with stout cords from the top of the tower to
the bottom, covering parts likely to be hit. And as the cornice projected
considerably, the mattresses hung out from the main wall of the bell-tower
more than six hands, so that the cannon-balls of the enemy, partly on
account of the distance from which they were fired, and partly by the
opposition of these mattresses, did little or no damage, not even injuring
the mattresses themselves, because they were so yielding. Thus he held
that tower all the time of the siege, which lasted a year, without its
suffering any injury, and rejoicing greatly in the salvation of the land
and the damage he did to the enemy.

XLIV. But afterwards the enemy entered the city by treachery, and many of
the citizens were taken and killed. The court sent to the house of Michael
Angelo to seize him; all the rooms and the chests were searched by them,
even to the chimney and closet; but Michael Angelo, afraid of what might
follow, had taken refuge in the house of a great friend. Here he remained
in hiding many days, no one knowing that he was there except the friend
who saved him. When the fury was over, Pope Clement wrote to Florence that
Michael Angelo must be sought out, and ordered that, when found, he should
be set at liberty if he would go on with the work of the Medici tombs
formerly begun, and that he must be used courteously. Michael Angelo,
hearing this, came out; and, although it was some fifteen years since he
had touched the chisel, yet he set himself so earnestly to his task that
in a few months he carved all the statues now to be seen in the sacristy
of San Lorenzo, urged on more by fear than by love.(50) It is true that
none of these statues have received their last touches; nevertheless, they
are carried so far that the excellence of the workmanship can be very well
seen; nor does the lack of finish impair the perfection and the beauty of
the work.

XLV. The statues are four, placed in a sacristy erected for this purpose
on the left of the church opposite the old sacristy; and although each
figure balances the other in design and general shape, nevertheless, they
are quite different in form, idea, and action. The sarcophagi are placed
against the side walls, and above their lids recline two figures, larger
than life—that is to say, a man and a woman, signifying Day and Night; and
by the two of them Time, that consumes all things. And in order that his
idea might be better understood, he gave to the Night, who was made in the
form of a woman of a marvellous beauty, an owl and other symbols suitable
to her; similarly to the Day, his signs; and for the signification of Time
he intended to carve a rat, because this little animal gnaws and consumes,
just as Time devours, all things. He left a piece of marble on the work
for it, which he did not carve, as he was afterwards prevented. There were
besides other statues, which represented those for whom the tombs were
erected. All, in conclusion, were more divine than human; but above all,
the Madonna, with her little child straddling across her thigh, of this I
judge it better to be silent than to say but little, and so I pass it
by.(51) We owe thanks to Pope Clement for these masterpieces; and if he
had done no other praiseworthy act in his life (but, of course, he did
many), this one was enough to cancel all his faults, for through him the
world possesses these noble statues. And much more we owe him in that he
did not fail to respect the virtue of this man when Florence fell, just as
in olden times Marcellus respected the virtue of Archimedes when he
entered Syracuse, although in that case it was of no effect; in this case,
thanks be to God, it availed much.

XLVI. For all that Michael Angelo lived in great fear, because he was
greatly disliked by the Duke Alessandro, a young man, as every one knows,
very fierce and vindictive. There is no doubt that, if it had not been for
the fear of the Pope, he would have had him put away long ago; the more
so, as this Duke of Florence, when erecting those fortresses of his, sent
for Michael Angelo, by Signor Alessandro Vitelli, to ride out with him and
indicate where they would most usefully be placed, and he would not,
replying that he had received no such commission from Pope Clement. The
Duke was much angered; so that for this reason, as well as for the old
ill-will he bore him, and on account of the nature of the Duke, Michael
Angelo had good reason to fear him. And truly it was a blessing of God
that he was not in Florence at the time of the death of Clement; he was
called to Rome by the Pontiff before he had quite finished the tombs at
San Lorenzo. He was received gladly. Clement respected this man like one
sacred, and talked with him familiarly, both on grave and trivial
subjects, as he would have done with his equals. He sought to relieve him
of the burden of the Tomb of Julius, so that he might settle in Florence
permanently, not only to finish the works already begun, but that he might
execute others no less worthy.

XLVII. But before I say any more about this it behoves me to write of
another fact concerning Michael Angelo, which I have inadvertently
omitted. After the violent departure of the Medici from Florence, the
Signoria fearing, as I have said above, the coming war, and intending to
fortify their city, sent for Michael Angelo, as they knew him to be a man
of consummate ingenuity and most active in whatever he undertook;
nevertheless, by the advice of certain citizens who favoured the cause of
the Medici and wished covertly to hinder or delay the fortification of the
city, they sent him to Ferrara, under pretext that he should study the
system by which Duke Alfonso had armed and fortified his city, knowing
that his Excellency was most expert in these matters and in everything
else most prudent. The Duke received Michael Angelo gladly, not only for
the great worthiness of the man, but also because Don Ercole, his son and
now Duke in his stead, was Captain of the Signoria of Florence. The Duke
riding with him in person there was nothing that he did not show him, even
more than was needful, so many bastions, so many pieces of artillery, and,
indeed, he opened to him his cabinet also and showed him everything with
his own hands, especially certain works of painting and portraits of his
ancestors, by masters excellent in their day.(52) But when Michael Angelo
had to depart, the Duke said to him jestingly: "_Michael Angelo, you are
my prisoner. If you want me to let you go free you must promise to do some
work for me with your own hands, whatever suits you best, let it be what
you will, sculpture or painting._" Michael Angelo agreed, and returned to
Florence. Although much occupied in arming the country, yet he began a
large easel picture, representing Leda and the Swan, and near by the egg
from which Castor and Pollux were born, as is fabled by ancient writers.
When the Duke heard that the Medici had entered Florence, fearing to lose
so great a treasure in the tumult, he immediately sent one of his own
people. His man, when he came to the house of Michael Angelo and saw the
picture, said: "_Why! this is but a small matter._" Michael Angelo asked
him what his business was? Realising that every one thinks they know other
people’s business best, he replied simpering, "_I am a merchant_;" perhaps
disgusted by such a question, and not being taken for a gentleman, while
at the same time despising the industry of the Florentine citizens, who
for the most part are merchants, as if he had said: "_You ask what is my
business, would you ever believe that I am a merchant?_" Michael Angelo
heard what he said, and replied: "_You have done bad business for your
lord; leave my sight._" So having dismissed the Ducal messenger, he gave
the picture shortly afterwards to one of his assistants, who had two
sisters to marry off. It was sent into France, where it still is,(53) and
was bought by King Francis.

XLVIII. Now to return, Michael Angelo having been called to Rome by Pope
Clement, thereupon began the affair with the Duke of Urbino’s agents
concerning the Tomb of Julius. Clement, who wished to employ him in
Florence, tried by every means to free him, and gave him for his attorney
one Messer Tommaso, of Prato, who afterwards became Datario. But Michael
Angelo, who knew and feared the ill-will of Duke Alessandro towards him,
and at the same time loved and revered the bones of Pope Julius, and all
the illustrious House della Rovere, did all he could to remain in Rome and
work at the Tomb; the more so because he was accused by every one of
having received from Pope Julius for that purpose fully sixteen thousand
scudi, and of having enjoyed it without doing what he had undertaken. As
he held his honour dear he could not bear the disgrace, and desired that
the affair should be cleared up, not refusing, although he was old, the
heavy task he had begun. It came to this pass: the adversaries were unable
to prove payments that came within a long way of the sum they had at first
stated; on the contrary, more than two-thirds were wanting of the entire
sum agreed upon by the two Cardinals. Clement thought this a fine
opportunity to get rid of the business, and to leave Michael Angelo free
to serve him. He called him and said: "_Come, tell me, you wish to
complete this tomb; but you want to know who is to pay for the rest of
it._" Michael Angelo, who knew the Pope’s mind, and that he wished to make
use of him himself, replied: "_And what if some one were found who would
pay me?_" Pope Clement said to him: "_You are quite mad if you imagine
that any one is likely to come forward to offer you a penny._" So when
Messer Tommaso, his attorney, appeared in court making his proposition to
the agents of the Duke, they began to look one another in the face, and
determined together that some sort of tomb should be made for the money
that had already been advanced. Michael Angelo, thinking well of it,
consented willingly, moved chiefly by the influence of the Cardinal of
Montevecchio, a follower of Julius II. and uncle to Julius III., now,
thanks be to God, our Pontiff. The agreement was: That Michael Angelo
should make a tomb with one _façade_ only, and that he should use the
marbles already carved for the quadrangular tomb, arranging them as best
he could; and that he should supply six statues from his own hand. It was
conceded to Pope Clement that Michael Angelo should serve him in Florence,
or wheresoever he pleased, four months in the year, his Holiness requiring
this for the work in Florence. Such was the contract agreed upon between
his Excellency the Duke and Michael Angelo.

XLIX. But now it must be understood that these accounts being settled
Michael Angelo, to appear more indebted to the Duke of Urbino and to give
Pope Clement less hope of sending him to Florence (where he did not by any
means wish to go), secretly agreed with the counsel and agent of his
Excellency that it should be said that he had received some thousand scudi
more on this account than he really had. This was done not only by word of
mouth, but without his knowledge and consent it was inserted in the
written contract, not when it was sealed but when it was written out, at
which he was much disturbed. Nevertheless, the counsel persuaded him that
it would not prejudice his case, for it did not matter whether the
contract specified twenty thousand or one thousand scudi, since they were
agreed that the scheme of the Tomb should now be reduced in scale
according to the amount of money actually received, adding that nobody but
themselves would question the proceeding, and his interests were secured
by the understanding that was between them. So with this Michael Angelo
was pacified, because it appeared to him that he might put his trust in
them, as also because he desired that this excuse should serve him with
the Pope for the purpose mentioned above. And thus the matter ended for
the time; but it was not nearly over yet, because after he had served the
four months at Florence and returned to Rome, the Pope sought to use him
in another way, by making him paint the end wall of the Sistine Chapel.
And as one who had a good wit, he thought of one thing after another until
finally he resolved to have the Day of the Last Judgment painted,
considering that the variety and grandeur of the subject would give a wide
field for this man to prove the power that was in him. Michael Angelo,
knowing the obligation he was under to the Duke of Urbino, endeavoured to
free himself from this new charge, but as he could not he put it off as
much as possible; whilst pretending to busy himself with the cartoon, as
he partly did, he was secretly working at the statues for the Tomb.



L. Meanwhile Pope Clement died and Paul III. was elected. He sent for
Michael Angelo and requested him to serve him. Michael Angelo, fearing
that he would be hindered in the work of the Tomb, replied that he could
not, for he was engaged by contract to the Duke of Urbino until he had
finished the work that he had in hand. The Pope was much annoyed, and
said: "_It is some thirty years that I have had this wish, shall I not
satisfy it now I am Pope? Where is the contract that I may tear it up?_"
Michael Angelo, seeing it had come to this, was for leaving Rome and
betaking himself to the country about Genoa, to an abbey of the Bishops of
Aleria, to a follower of Julius, very much his friend, and there bring his
work to an end. This place was conveniently near Carrara and good for
carrying the marbles by sea. He thought also of going to Urbino, where he
had formerly designed to live, as a quiet resting-place, and where, for
the sake of Julius, he would be welcomed cordially. For this reason he had
sent one of his men some months before to buy a house and some land; but
fearing the greatness of the Pontiff, with good reason, he did not go, and
hoped with soft words to satisfy the Pope.

LI. But the Pope continued firm in his proposals. One day he came to visit
Michael Angelo in his house, bringing with him eight or ten Cardinals. He
wished to see the cartoon for the wall of the Sistine Chapel made for
Clement, and the statues already carved for the Tomb, and minutely
examined everything. Then the Most Reverend Cardinal of Mantua, who was
present, seeing the Moses, of which we have already written, and of which
we will write more copiously by-and-bye, said: "_This statue alone is
enough to do honour to the Tomb of Pope Julius._" When Pope Paul had seen
everything he again asked Michael Angelo, in the presence of the
Cardinals, including the before-mentioned Most Reverend and Illustrious of
Mantua, to come and work for him, but finding Michael Angelo obdurate, he
said: "_I will arrange that the Duke of Urbino shall be satisfied with
these statues by your hand, and that the three remaining ones shall be
given to others to do._" He obtained a new contract from the agents,
confirmed by his Excellency the Duke, who did not wish to displease the
Pope. Although Michael Angelo might have avoided paying for these three
statues, this contract freeing him from the obligation, nevertheless he
wished to bear the expense himself, and he deposited for these and the
remaining works of the Tomb one thousand five hundred and eighty ducats.
Thus the agents of the Duke allowed it, and the Tragedy of the Tomb and
the Tomb itself had an end at last. To-day it may be seen in the Church of
San Pietro ad Vincula, not according to the first design with four sides,
but with one side, and that one of the lesser, not detached all round and
isolated, but built up against a wall on account of the hindrances
mentioned above. It is yet true that, although it is botched and patched
up, it is the most worthy monument to be found in Rome, or, perhaps,
anywhere else; if for nothing else, at least, for the three statues that
are by the hand of the master: among them that most marvellous Moses,
leader and captain of the Hebrews, who is seated in an attitude of thought
and wisdom, holding under his right arm the tables of the law, and
supporting his chin with his left hand, like one tired and full of cares.
Between the fingers of that hand escape long waves of his beard—a very
beautiful thing to see. And his face is full of life and thought, and
capable of inspiring love and terror, which, perhaps, was the truth. It
has, according to the usual descriptions, the two horns on his head a
little way from the top of the forehead. He is robed and shod in the
manner of the antique, with his arms bare. A work most marvellous and full
of art, and much more so because all the form is apparent beneath the
beautiful garments with which it is covered. The dress does not hide the
shape and beauty of the body, as, in a word, may be seen in all Michael
Angelo’s clothed figures, whether in painting or sculpture. The statue is
more than twice the size of life. At the right hand of this statue, under
a niche, is one that represents Contemplative Life—a woman, larger than
life and of rare beauty, with bent knee, not to the ground but on a
plinth, with her face and both her hands raised to heaven, so that she
seems to breathe love in every part. On the other side, that is to say on
the left of Moses, is Active Life, with a mirror in her right hand, into
which she gazes attentively, meaning by this that our actions should be
governed by forethought; and in her left hand a garland of flowers. In
this Michael Angelo followed Dante, of whom he was always a great student,
for in his Purgatorio he feigns to have the Countess Matilda, whom he
takes to represent Active Life, in a field full of flowers. The Tomb is
altogether beautiful, especially the binding of the several parts together
by the great cornice, to which no one could take exception.

LII. Now that is enough for this work; indeed, I fear it is only too much,
and that instead of giving pleasure it will have been tedious to the
reader. Nevertheless, it appeared to me necessary, in order to remove
those unfortunate and false scandals, rooted in men’s minds, that Michael
Angelo had received sixteen thousand scudi, and then would not carry out
the work he had undertaken. Neither the one nor the other was true,
because he had from Julius for the Tomb only one thousand ducats, spent in
those months of quarrying marble at Carrara. How then could Michael Angelo
have received money for it from him, since he changed his purpose and
would hear no more of the Tomb? As to the money Michael Angelo received,
after the death of Pope Julius, from the two cardinals, his executors,
Michael Angelo possesses a written public acknowledgment—by the hand of a
notary, from Bernardo Bini, Florentine citizen, who was trustee, and payed
out the money—that the payments amounted to about three thousand ducats.
Never was man more anxious about his work than Michael Angelo in this, as
much because he knew how great fame it would bring him as for the loving
memory in which he always held the blessed spirit of Pope Julius, for that
reason he has always honoured and loved the House della Rovere, and
especially the Dukes of Urbino, for that reason he has contended with two
Popes, as has been said, who wished to withdraw him from the undertaking.
But what grieved Michael Angelo the most, is that instead of thanks all he
got was odium and disgrace.

LIII. But returning to Pope Paul. I must tell you that after the last
agreement made between his Excellency the Duke and Michael Angelo, the
Pope took Michael Angelo into his service, and desired him to carry out
what he had begun in the time of Clement, to paint the end wall of the
Sistine Chapel, which he had already covered with rough-cast and screened
off with boards from floor to ceiling. As this work was instigated by Pope
Clement, and begun in his time, it does not bear the arms of Paul,
although he desired it; but Pope Paul so loved and reverenced Michael
Angelo that however much he desired it he would never have vexed him. In
this work Michael Angelo expressed all that the human figure is capable of
in the art of painting, not leaving out any pose or action whatsoever. The
composition is careful and well thought out, but lengthy to describe;
perhaps it is unnecessary, as so many engravings and such a variety of
drawings of it have been dispersed everywhere. Nevertheless, for those who
have not seen the real thing, and into whose hands the engravings have not
come, let us say, briefly, that the whole is divided into parts, right and
left, upper and lower, and central. In the central part, near to the
earth, are seven angels, described by Saint John in the Apocalypse, with
trumpets to their lips, calling the dead to judgment from the four corners
of the earth. With them are two others having an open book in their hands,
in which every one reads and recognises his past life, having almost to
judge himself. At the sound of these trumpets the graves open and the
human race issues from the earth, all with varied and marvellous gestures;
while in some, according to the prophecy of Ezekiel, the bones only have
come together, in some they are half clothed with flesh, and in others
entirely covered; some naked, some clothed in the shrouds and
grave-clothes in which they were wrapped when buried, and of which they
seek to divest themselves. Among these are some who are not yet fully
risen, and looking up to heaven in doubt as to whither Divine justice
shall call them. It is a delightful thing to see them with labour and
pains issue forth from the earth, and, with arms out-stretched to heaven,
take flight; those who are already risen lifted up into the air, some
higher and some lower, with different gestures and characters. Above the
angels of the trumpets is the Son of God in majesty, in the form of a man,
with arm and strong right hand uplifted. He wrathfully curses the wicked,
and drives them from before his face into eternal fire. With His left hand
stretched out to those on the right, He seems to draw the good gently to
Himself. The angels are seen between heaven and earth as executors of the
Divine commands. On the right they rush to aid the elect, whose flight is
impeded by malignant spirits; and on the left to dash back to earth the
damned, who in their audacity attempt to scale the heavens. Evil spirits
drag down these wicked ones into the abyss, the proud by the hair of the
head, and so also every sinner by the member through which he sinned.
Beneath them is seen Charon with his black boat, just as Dante described
him in the "Inferno," on muddy Acheron, raising his oar to strike some
laggard soul. As the bark touches the bank, pushed on by Divine justice,
all these souls strive to fling themselves ashore, so that fear, as the
poet says, is changed into longing. Afterwards they receive from Minos
their sentence, to be dragged by demons to the bottomless pit, where are
marvellous contortions, grievous and desperate as the place demands. In
the middle of the composition, on the clouds of heaven, the Blessed
already arisen form a crown and circle around the Son of God. Apart, and
beside the Son, appears His Mother, timorous and seeming hardly secure
herself from the wrath and mystery of God; she draws as near as possible
to the Son. Next to her the Baptist, the Twelve Apostles, and all the
saints of God, each one showing to the tremendous Judge the symbol of the
martyrdom by which he glorified God: St. Andrew the cross, St. Bartholomew
his skin, St. Lawrence the gridiron, St. Sebastian the arrows, San Biagio
the combs of iron, St. Catherine the wheel, and others other things
whereby they are known. Above these on the right and left, on the upper
part of the wall, are groups of angels, with actions gracious and rare,
raising in heaven the Cross of the Son of God, the Sponge, the Crown of
Thorns, the Nails, and the Column of the Flagellation, to reproach the
wicked with the blessings of God of which they have been so heedless, and
for which they have been so ungrateful, and to comfort and give confidence
to the good. There are infinite details which I pass over in silence. It
is enough that, besides the divine composition, all that the human figure
is capable of in the art of painting is here to be seen.



LIV. Finally, Pope Paul having built a chapel on the same floor as the
before-mentioned Sistine, he desired to decorate it in his own memory, and
he made Michael Angelo paint the frescoes on the side walls. In one is
represented the crucifixion of St. Peter; in the other the story of St.
Paul—how he was converted by the apparition of Jesus Christ—both
stupendous in general composition as in the individual figures. And this
is the last work of painting by Michael Angelo that has been seen to this
day; he finished it in his seventy-fifth year. At present he has in hand a
group in marble, which he works at for his pleasure, as one who full of
ideas and powers must produce something every day. It is a group of four
figures, larger than life—a Deposition. The dead Christ is held up by His
Mother; she supports the body on her bosom with her arms and with her
knees, a wonderfully beautiful gesture. She is aided by Nicodemus above,
who is erect and stands firmly—he holds her under the arms and sustains
her with manly strength—and on the left by one of the Marys, who, although
exhibiting the deepest grief, does not omit to do those offices that the
Mother, by the extremity of her sorrow, is unable to perform. The Christ
is dead, all His limbs fall relaxed, but withall in a very different
manner from the Christ Michael Angelo made for the Marchioness of Pescara
or the Christ in the Madonna della Febbre. It is impossible to speak of
its beauty and its sorrow, of the grieving and sad faces of them all,
especially of the afflicted Mother. Let it suffice; I tell you it is a
rare thing, and one of the most laborious works that he has yet done,
principally because all the figures are distinct from each other, the
folds of the draperies of one figure not confused with those of the

LV. Michael Angelo has done infinitely more things of which I have not
spoken, such as the Christ that is in the Church of the Minerva, a St.
Matthew in Florence; when he began it he designed to carve all the twelve
Apostles to be placed near twelve pilasters in the Duomo. His cartoons for
several works of paintings, and of designs for buildings, both public and
private, are infinite in number; and, lastly, for a bridge to span the
Grand Canal of Venice, of a new shape and style of which the like was
never seen; and many other things never to be seen. It would be long to
describe them, so I make an end. He intends to give the Deposition from
the Cross to some church, and to be buried at the foot of the altar where
it is placed. The Lord God in His goodness long preserve him to us, for
without doubt the same day will end his life and his labours, as is
written of Socrates. His active and vigorous old age gives me firm hope
that he has many years to live, as also the long life of his father, who
lived to ninety-two years without knowing what it was to have a fever, and
then dying more for lack of resolution than for any illness; so that when
he was dead, as Michael Angelo relates, his face retained the same colour
that he had when living, appearing rather asleep than dead.

LVI. From a child Michael Angelo was a hard worker, and to the gifts of
nature added study, not using the labours and industry of others, but,
desiring to learn from nature herself, he set her up before him as the
true example. There is no animal whose anatomy he did not desire to study,
much more than that of man; so that those who have spent all their lives
in that science, and who make a profession of it, hardly know so much of
it as he. I speak of such knowledge as is necessary to the arts of
painting and sculpture, not of other minutiæ that anatomists observe. And
thus it is that his figures show so much art and learning, so that they
are inimitable by any painter whatever. I have always been of this
opinion, that the forces and efforts of nature have a prescribed end,
fixed and ordained by God, which it is impossible for ordinary powers to
pass; and this is so not only in painting and sculpture, but universally
in all arts and sciences; and that she gives power to one person that he
may be a rule and example in a particular art, giving him the first place;
so that afterwards, if any one desires to bring forth a great work in that
art, worthy to be read or seen, he must work in the same way as the first
great example, or, at least, similarly, and go by his road; for if he does
not his work will be much inferior, the worse the more he diverges from
the direct path. After Plato and Aristotle, how many philosophers have we
seen who, not following them, have been worth anything? How many orators
after Demosthenes and Cicero? How many mathematicians after Euclid and
Archimedes? How many doctors after Hypocrates and Galen? Or poets after
Homer and Virgil? And if there has been any one who has been able by his
own abilities to arrive at the first place in any one of these sciences
and finds it already occupied, he either acknowledges the first one to
have arrived at perfection, and gives up the attempt, or if he has sense
he follows him as the ideal of the perfect. This has been exemplified in
our own day in Bembo, in Sanazzaro, in Caro, in Guidoccione, in the
Marchioness of Pescara, and in other writers and lovers of the Tuscan
rhyme, who, although gifted with the highest and most singular genius,
none the less, not being able of themselves to do better than nature
exemplifies in Petrarca, they set themselves to follow him, but so happily
that they are judged worthy to be read and counted with the best.



LVII. Now to consider my remarks. I say, that it seems to me, that nature
has endowed Michael Angelo so largely with all her riches in these arts of
painting and sculpture, that I am not to be reproached for saying that his
figures are almost inimitable. Nor does it appear that I have allowed
myself to be too much carried away, for until now he alone has worthily
taken up both chisel and brush. Of the painting of the ancients there is
no memorial, and to whom does he yield in their sculpture (of which,
indeed, much remains)? In the judgment of men learned in the art, to no
one, unless we stoop to the opinion of the vulgar, who admire the antique
for the sole reason that they envy the genius and industry of their own
times. All the same, I have not yet heard any one say the contrary; this
man is so far above envy. Raffael da Urbino, although he desired to
compete with Michael Angelo, was often constrained to say that he thanked
God he was born in his time as he acquired from him a style very different
from that which he learnt from his father, who was a painter, and from his
master Perugino. But what greater and clearer sign can we ever have of the
excellence of this man than the contention of the Princes of the world for
him? From the four Pontiffs, Julius, Leo, Clement, and Paul, to the Grand
Turk, father of him who to-day holds the Empire. As I have said above, the
Sultan sent certain monks of the Order of Saint Francis with letters
begging Michael Angelo to come and stay with him; arranging by letters of
credit for the bank of the Gondi, in Florence, to advance the amount of
money necessary for his journey, and also that from Cossa, near Ragusi, he
should be accompanied to Constantinople most honourably by one of his
grandees. Francesco(54) Valesio, King of France, tried every means to get
him, crediting him with three thousand scudi for his journey whenever he
should go. Il Bruciolo was sent to Rome by the Signoria of Venice to
invite him to come and dwell in that city, and to offer him a provision of
six hundred scudi a year, not binding him to anything, only that he should
honour the Republic with his presence; with the condition also that if he
did any work in her service he should be paid for it as if he received no
pension from them at all. These are not ordinary doings that happen every
day, but new and out of the common use, and would only happen to singular
and most excellent worth, as was that of Homer, for whom many cities
contested, each one appropriating him as her own.

LVIII. He is held of no less account, than by those already named, by the
present Pontiff, Julius III., a Prince of supreme wisdom and a lover and
patron of all the arts; but particularly inclined to painting, sculpture,
and architecture, as may be clearly known by the works he has done in the
Palazzo and the Belvedere, and now has ordered for his villa Giulia (a
memorial and scheme worthy of a noble and generous soul like his). It is
filled with so many statues, ancient and modern, so great variety of
beautiful stones, precious columns, plaster work, paintings, and every
other kind of ornament, of which I will write another time, as a unique
work, not yet in its perfection, requires. He does not ask Michael Angelo
to work for him. Having respect for his age, he understands well and
appreciates his greatness; but wishes not to overburden him. This regard,
in my judgment, brings Michael Angelo more honour than all his employment
under the other Popes. It is, however, true, that in the paintings and
architecture that his Holiness is continually having done, he almost
always seeks Michael Angelo’s advice and judgment, frequently sending the
artists to seek him at his house. It grieves me, and it grieves also his
Holiness, that by reason of a certain natural timidity, or let us say
respect and reverence, which some call pride, Michael Angelo does not
profit by the goodwill, kindness, and liberality of so great a Pontiff and
so much his friend. As I first heard from the most Reverend Monsignor di
Forlì, his chamberlain, the Pope has often said that (if it were possible)
he would willingly take from his own years and his own blood to add to the
life of Michael Angelo, that the world might not so soon be deprived of
such a man. I also, having access to his Holiness, heard it from his lips
with my own ears, and more also, that if he survives him, as in the
natural course of life is probable, he will have Michael Angelo’s body
embalmed and keep it near him, so that it should be as lasting as his
works. He said this at the beginning of his Pontificate to Michael Angelo
himself in the presence of many. I do not know what could be more
honourable to Michael Angelo than these words, or a greater proof of the
esteem in which the Pope holds him.

LIX. Again the Pope showed his esteem plainly when Pope Paul died and he
was created Pontiff, in a consistory, all the Cardinals then in Rome being
present. He defended Michael Angelo and protected him from the overseers
of the fabric of St. Peter’s, who, for no fault of his, as they said, but
of his servants, wished to deprive him of, or at least to restrain, that
authority given him by Pope Paul by a _moto proprio_, of which more will
be said below. He defended him, and not only confirmed the _moto proprio_
but honoured him by many kind words, not lending his ears to the quarrels
of the overseers or anybody else. Michael Angelo knows (as many times he
has told me) the love and kindness of his Holiness towards him, and how he
respects him; and because he cannot requite the Pope with his services,
and show his love, he will regret all the rest of his life that he seems
useless and appears ungrateful to his Holiness. One thing comforts him
somewhat (as he is accustomed to say); knowing the wisdom of his Holiness
he hopes to be excused, and being unable to give more, that his good will
may be accepted. Nor does he refuse, as far as he has the power, and for
all he may be worth, to spend his life in his service; this I have from
his own mouth. Nevertheless, at the request of his Holiness, Michael
Angelo designed the façade of a palace that the Pope had a mind to build
in Rome, a thing new and original to those who have seen it—not bound to
any laws, ancient or modern, as in many other works of his in Florence and
in Rome—proving that architecture has not been so arbitrarily handled in
the past that there is not room for fresh invention no less delightful and

LX. Now to return to anatomy. He gave up dissection because it turned his
stomach so that he could neither eat nor drink with benefit. It is very
true that he did not give up until he was so learned and rich in such
knowledge that he often had in his mind the wish to write, for the sake of
sculptors and painters, a treatise on the movements of the human body, its
aspect, and concerning the bones, with an ingenious theory of his own,
devised after long practice. He would have done it had he not mistrusted
his powers, lest they should not suffice to treat with dignity and grace
of such a subject, like one practised in the sciences and in rhetoric. I
know well that when he reads Alberto Duro he finds him very weak, seeing
in his own mind how much more beautiful and useful his own conception
would be. To tell the truth, Alberto only treats of the proportions and
diversities of the body, for which one cannot make fixed rules, making
figures as regular as posts; and what matters more, says nothing of human
movements and gestures. And because Michael Angelo has now reached a ripe
old age, he thinks of putting his ideas in writing and giving them to the
world. With great devotion he has explained everything minutely to me; he
also conferred with Messer Realdo Colombo, an anatomist and most excellent
surgeon, a great friend of Michael Angelo’s and mine. He sent to Michael
Angelo for study the body of a Moor, a very fine young man, and very
suitable to the purpose; he was sent to Santa Agata, where I then lived
and still live, as it is a quiet place. On this corpse Michael Angelo
showed me many rare and recondite facts, perhaps never before understood,
all of which I noted down, and hope one day, with the help of some learned
man, to publish for the advantage and use of painters and sculptors; but
enough of this.

LXI. He devoted himself to perspective and to architecture, his works show
with what profit. Michael Angelo did not content himself with knowing only
the main features of architecture, but wished also to know about
everything that could be useful in any way in that profession, such as
ties, platforms, scaffolding, and such like, he knew as much of these
things as those who profess nothing else, which was exemplified in the
time of Julius II. in this wise. When Michael Angelo had to paint the
ceiling of the Sistine Chapel the Pope ordered Bramante to erect the
scaffolding. For all the architect he was he did not know how to do it,
but pierced the vault in many places, letting down certain ropes through
these holes to sling the platform. When Michael Angelo saw it he smiled,
and asked Bramante what was to be done when he came to those holes?
Bramante had no defence to make, only replied that it could not be done
any other way. The matter came before the Pope, and Bramante replied again
to the same effect. The Pope turned to Michael Angelo and said: _"As it is
not satisfactory go and do it yourself."_ Michael Angelo took down the
platform, and took away so much rope from it, that having given it to a
poor man that assisted him, it enabled him to dower and marry two
daughters. Michael Angelo erected his scaffold without ropes, so well
devised and arranged that the more weight it had to bear the firmer it
became. This opened Bramante’s eyes, and gave him a lesson in the building
of a platform, which was very useful to him in the works of St. Peter’s.
For all that, Michael Angelo, although he had no equal in all these
things, would not make a profession of architecture. On the contrary, when
at last Antonio da San Gallo, the architect of St. Peter’s, died, and Pope
Paul wished to put Michael Angelo in his place, he refused the post,
saying that architecture was not his art. He refused it so earnestly that
the Pope had to command him to take it, and issue an ample _moto proprio_,
which was afterwards confirmed by Pope Julius III., now, as I have said,
by the grace of God, our Pontiff. For these, his services, Michael Angelo
received no payment; so he wished it to be stated in the _moto proprio_.
One day, when Pope Paul sent him a hundred scudi of gold by Messer Pier
Giovanni, then Gentleman of the Wardrobe to his Holiness, now Bishop of
Forlì, as his month’s salary on account of the building, Michael Angelo
would not accept it, saying it was not in the agreement they had between
them, and he sent them back. The Pope was very angry, as I have been told
by Messer Alessandro Ruffini, a gentleman of Rome, then Groom to the
Chambers and Carver before his Holiness; but this did not move Michael
Angelo from his resolution. When he had accepted this charge he made a new
model, both because certain parts of the old one did not please him in
many respects, and, besides, if it was followed one would sooner expect to
see the end of the world than St. Peter’s finished. This model, praised
and approved by the Pope, is now being followed to the great satisfaction
of those who have judgment, although there be certain persons who do not
approve of it.

LXII. Michael Angelo gave himself, then, whilst still young, not only to
sculpture and painting, but to all the kindred arts, with such devotion
that for a time he almost withdrew from the fellowship of men, only
consorting with a few. So that by some he was held to be proud, and by
others odd and eccentric, though he had none of these vices; but (like
many excellent men) a love of knowledge and continued exercise in the
learned arts made him solitary, and he was so satisfied and took such a
delight in them that company not only did not please him but even annoyed
him, as interrupting his meditations he was never less solitary than when
alone (as the great Scipio used to say of himself).

LXIII. Nevertheless, he willingly kept the friendship of those from whose
wise and learned conversation he could gather any fruit and in whom shone
some ray of excellence, such as the Most Reverend and Illustrious
Monsignor Polo,(55) for his rare learning and singular goodness; and
similarly my Most Reverend patron the Cardinal Crispo, finding in him
besides his many good qualities a rare and excellent judgment. He had also
a great affection for the Most Reverend Cardinal Santa Croce, a man of
great weight and most prudent, of whom I have heard him speak more than
once with the highest esteem; and the Most Reverend Maffei, whose goodness
and learning he always speaks of; and generally loves and honours all the
House of the Farnese, for the lively memory he cherishes of Pope Paul,
recalling him with the utmost reverence, speaking of him constantly as a
good and holy old man. And so, too, the Most Reverend Patriarch of
Jerusalem, formerly Bishop of Cesena, with whom he has often conversed
familiarly, as one whose open and liberal nature much pleased him. He had
also a close friendship with my Most Reverend patron, the Cardinal
Ridolfi, of happy memory, the refuge of all men of talent. There are
others whom I leave out, so as not to be tedious, as Monsignor Claudio
Toleméi, Messer Lorenzo Ridolfi, Messer Donato Giannotti, Messer Lionardo
Malaspini, Il Lottino, Messer Tomaso de’ Cavalieri, and other honourable
gentlemen, of whom I will not write at length. Finally, he has a great
affection for Annibal Caro. He has told me that he is sorry not to have
known him before, as he is so much to his taste. More particularly he
loved greatly the Marchioness of Pescara, of whose divine spirit he was
enamoured, being in return loved tenderly by her. He still possesses many
letters of hers, full of an honest and most sweet love, such as issued
from her heart. He has written to her also many and many sonnets, full of
wit and sweet desire. She often returned to Rome from Viterbo and other
places, where she had gone for her pastime and to spend the summer, for no
other reason than to see Michael Angelo; and he bore her so much love that
I remember to have heard him say: Nothing grieved him so much as that when
he went to see her after she passed away from this life he did not kiss
her on the brow or face, as he did kiss her hand. Recalling this, her
death, he often remained dazed as one bereft of sense. He made at the wish
of his lady a naked Christ, when He was taken down from the Cross, and His
dead body would have fallen at the feet of His most holy Mother, if it
were not supported by the arms of two angels; but she, seated under the
Cross with a tearful and sorrowful face, raises to heaven both hands with
her arms out-stretched, with this cry, which one reads inscribed on the
stem of the cross:


The Cross is like that which was carried in procession by the Bianchi at
the time of the plague of 1348, and afterwards placed in the Church of
Santa Croce, at Florence. He also made for love of her a drawing of a Jesu
Christ on the Cross, not as if dead, as is the common use, but with a
Divine gesture. Raising His face to the Father He seems to say, "Eli,
Eli." The body does not hang like a corpse but as if still living, and
contorted by the bitter agony of His death.

LXIV. And as he greatly delighted in the conversation of the learned, so
he took pleasure in the study of the writers of both prose and poetry. He
had a special admiration for Dante, delighting in the admirable genius of
that man, almost all of whose works he knew by heart; he held Petrarca in
no less esteem. He not only delighted in reading, but occasionally in
composing, too, as may be seen by some sonnets that are to be found of
his. Concerning some of them, there have been published—"Lectures and
Criticisms by Varchi." But he wrote these sonnets more for his pleasure
than because he made a profession of it, always belittling them himself,
accusing himself of ignorance in these matters.

LXV. Likewise, with deep study and attention, he read the Holy Scriptures,
both the Old and the New Testaments, and searched them diligently, as also
the writings of Savonarola, for whom he always had a great affection,
keeping always in his mind the memory of his living voice. He has also
loved the beauty of the human body, as one who best understands it; and in
such wise that certain carnal-minded men, who do not comprehend the love
of beauty, have taken occasion to think and speak evil of him, as if
Alcibiades, a youth of perfect beauty, had not been purely loved by
Socrates, from whose side he arose as from the side of his father. I have
often heard Michael Angelo reason and discourse of Love, and learned
afterwards from those who were present that he did not speak otherwise of
Love than is to be found written in the works of Plato. For myself I do
not know what Plato says of Love, but I know well that I, who have known
Michael Angelo so long and so intimately, have never heard issue from his
mouth any but the most honest of words, which had the power to extinguish
in youth every ill-regulated and unbridled desire which might arise. By
this we may know that no evil thoughts were born in him. He loved not only
human beauty, but universally every beautiful thing—a beautiful horse, a
beautiful dog, a beautiful country, a beautiful plant, a beautiful
mountain, a beautiful forest, and every place and thing beautiful and rare
after its kind, admiring them all with a marvellous love; thus choosing
the beauty in nature as the bees gather honey from the flowers, using it
afterwards in his works, as all those have done who have ever made a noise
in painting. That old master who had to paint a Venus was not content to
see one virgin only, but studied many, and taking from each her most
beautiful and perfect feature gave them to his Venus; and, in truth, who
ever expects to arrive at a true theory of art without this method of
study is greatly mistaken.

LXVI. All through his life Michael Angelo has been very abstemious, taking
food more from necessity than from pleasure, especially when at work, at
which time, for the most part, he has been content with a piece of bread,
which he munched whilst he laboured. But latterly he has lived more
regularly, his advanced age requiring it. I have often heard him say:
"_Ascanio, rich man as I have made myself, I have always lived as a poor
one._" And as he took little food so he took little sleep, which, as he
says, rarely did him any good, for sleeping almost always made his head
ache, and too much sleep made his stomach bad. When he was more robust he
often slept in his clothes and with his buskins on; this he made a habit
of for fear of the cramp, from which he continually suffered, besides
other reasons; and he has sometimes been so long without taking them off
that when he did so the skin came off with them like the slough of a
snake. He was never miserly with his money, nor did he hoard it, contented
with enough to live honestly. Works from his hand were sought for more and
more by the gentry and rich people with large promises, but he has rarely
satisfied them; and when he has done so, it has been from friendship and
goodwill rather than for hope of reward.

LXVII. He has given away many of his things, which, if he had wished to
sell them, would have brought him in endless money; as, for example, were
there no others, the two statues that he gave to Roberto Strozzi, his
great friend.(56) He has not only been liberal with his works, but with
his purse also he has often helped the talented and studious poor in their
need, whether men of letters or painters; of this I am able to testify,
having benefited by it myself. He was never jealous of the labours of
others even in his own art, more by his goodness of nature than any
opinion he had of himself. On the contrary, he has praised all
universally, even Raphael of Urbino, between whom and himself there was
formally some rivalry in painting, as I have written; only I have heard
him say that Raphael had not his art by nature, but acquired it by long
study. Nor is it true what many say of him, that he would not teach; on
the contrary, he has done so willingly, as I know myself, for to me he has
made known all the secrets of his art; but unfortunately he has met either
with pupils little apt, or even if apt without perseverance, so after
working under his discipline a few months they thought themselves masters.
Now, although he would readily do kindly acts, he was unwilling to have
them known, wishing more to do well than to appear to do so. It must also
be known that he has always desired to cultivate the arts in persons of
nobility, as was the manner of the ancients, and not in plebeians.

LXVIII. Michael Angelo had a most retentive memory, so that although he
has painted so many thousand figures, as may be seen, he has never made
one like to another, or in the same pose; indeed, I have heard him say
that if ever he draws a line which he remembers to have drawn before, he
rubs it out if it is to come before the public. He has also a most
powerful imagination, from whence it comes, firstly, that he is little
contented with his work, his hand not appearing to carry out the ideas he
has conceived in his mind. And, secondly, from the same cause (as often
happens to those who lead a peaceful and contemplative life), he has
always been somewhat timid; saving only when a just indignation against
some wrong or lapse of duty to himself or to others moves him, then he
plucks up more spirit than those who are held to be courageous; otherwise
he is of a most patient disposition. Of his modesty it is not possible to
say as much as he deserves; and so also of his manners, and his ways, they
are seasoned with pleasantries and sharp sayings: for instance, his
conversation at Bologna with a certain gentleman, who, seeing the mere
largeness and mass of the bronze statue Michael Angelo had made, marvelled
and said: "_Which do you suppose to be the larger, this statue or a pair
of oxen?_" To whom Michael Angelo replied: "_It is according to the oxen
you mean; if it be these of Bologna doubtless they are much larger; if
ours of Florence they are much smaller._"(57) So also when Il Francia, who
was at that time thought to be an Apelles in Bologna, came to see that
same statue and said: "_This is a beautiful bronze_," it seemed to Michael
Angelo that he was praising the metal and not the form, so he laughingly
replied: "_If this be beautiful bronze, I must thank Pope Julius for it,
who gave it to me, as you have to thank the apothecaries who provide your
colours_." And another day, seeing the child of Francia, who was a very
beautiful boy: "_My son,_" said he, "_your father makes better living
pictures than painted ones._"

LXIX. Michael Angelo is of a good complexion; his figure rather sinuous
and bony than fleshy and fat; healthy above all by nature, as well as by
the use of exercise and his continence of life and moderation in taking
food; nevertheless, as a child he was feeble and sickly, and as a man he
had two illnesses. He has suffered much for several years in the passing
of urine, which trouble would have turned into a stone if he had not been
relieved by the care and diligence of the before-mentioned Messer Realdo.
Michael Angelo has always had a good colour in his face; he is of middle
height; he is broad shouldered, with the rest of the body in proportion,
rather slight than not. The shape of his skull in front is round; the
height above the ear is a sixth part of the circumference round the middle
of the head, so that the temples project somewhat beyond the ears, and the
ears beyond the cheek-bones, and the cheek-bones beyond the rest of the
face; the skull in proportion to the face must be called large. The front
view of the forehead is square, the nose a little flattened, not
naturally, but because when he was a boy, one Torrigiano, a brutal and
proud fellow, with a blow almost broke the cartilage, so that Michael
Angelo was carried home as one dead; for this Torrigiano was banished from
Florence, and he came to a bad end.(58) Michael Angelo’s nose, such as it
is, is in proportion to the forehead and the rest of the face. His lips
are mobile, the lower one somewhat the thicker, so that seen in profile it
sticks out a little. The chin goes well with the above-mentioned parts.
The forehead in profile is almost in front of the nose, which is little
less than broken, except for a small lump in the middle. The eyebrows have
few hairs; the eyes are rather small than otherwise, the colour is that of
horn, but changing, with sparkles of yellow and blue; the ears in
proportion; the hair black, and beard also, but, in this his seventy-ninth
year, plentifully sprinkled with grey; his beard is forked, four or five
fingers long and not very thick, as may be seen in his portraits. Many
other things remain to be said, but I have left them out because of the
hurry in which I bring out these writings, hearing that others(59) wish to
reap the reward of my labours, which I had confided to their hands; so, if
it should ever happen that another should undertake this work again, I
hereby offer to tell him all I know, or most lovingly to give it to him in
writing. I hope before long to bring out some of Michael Angelo’s sonnets
and madrigals, which I have for a long time collected, both from himself
and from others, that the world may know the worth of his imaginations,
and how many beautiful conceits were born in his divine spirit, and with
this I close.


                       THE WORKS OF MICHAEL ANGELO

    "Non essendo homo in Italia apto ad expedire una opera di costesta
    qualità, e necessario che lui solo, e non altro."

    _Piero Soderini to the Marchese Alberigo Malaspina_, GAYE ii. 107.


                         SHRINE OF SAINT DOMINIC

All accounts agree as to the precocity of the genius of Michael Angelo,
and Piero Soderini vouches for its practical character in the words quoted
above. It was not until he had suffered from the procrastination and
uncertainty of the patronage of the Popes, that his work took him so long
to finish that sometimes it had to be left incomplete. His early works
were remarkable, not only for their high finish but also for the
expedition with which they were carried out.

Condivi has given us the story of his early difficulties and of his first
picture,(60) probably in Michael Angelo’s own words; we may supplement
this account by the following extract from Vasari, who gathered his
information from the gossip of the workshops of Florence, and from Ridolfo
Ghirlandaio, the son of his first master. "Michael Angelo grew in power
and character so rapidly that Domenico(61) was astonished, seeing him do
things quite extraordinary in a youth, for it seemed to him that he not
only surpassed the other students, of whom Domenico had a large number,
but that he often equalled the work done by him as master. Now, one of the
lads who studied under Domenico made a pen-drawing of some women, draped,
after Ghirlandaio. Michael Angelo took up the paper, and with a thicker
pen went over the outline of one of the women with a new line, correcting
it, and making it perfect, so that it is wonderful to see the difference
between the two styles, and the ability and judgment of a boy, so spirited
and bold that he had the courage to correct his master’s handiwork. This
drawing is to-day in my possession, valued as a relic. I had it from
Granacci to put it in my book of drawings with others given to me by
Michael Angelo. In the year 1550, being in Rome, I, Giorgio, showed it to
Michael Angelo, who recognised it and was pleased to see it again, saying
modestly that he knew more of art as a child than now as an old man.(62)
It happened that Domenico was working in the great Chapel of Santa Maria
Novella, and one day when he was out Michael Angelo set himself to draw
from nature the scaffolding, the tables with all the materials of the art,
and some of the young men at work. Presently Domenico returned, and saw
Michael Angelo’s drawing. He was astonished, saying this boy knows more
than I do; and he was stupefied by this style and new realism: a gift from
heaven to a child of such tender years."

The first art school of Michael Angelo was the beautiful Church of Santa
Maria Novella, called by him affectionately "_Mia Sposa_." Here, day by
day, he beheld the "Last Judgment" of Orcagna, the enthroned figures in
the Spanish Chapel, and the solemn blue Madonna, now in the Capella
Rucellai, with its little figures of prophets on the frame that are
already almost Michael Angelesque. Here he transferred cartoons for
Domenico and painted draperies and ornaments; here he mixed colours for
fresco painting after the Florentine fashion; and here possibly he first
painted on a vault. No certain trace of his handiwork can be identified
upon the walls, but there is a nude figure seated upon the steps resting
his chin upon his hand in the fresco of the Blessed Virgin going to the
Temple, that has a sinister expression and a force of modelling that
Domenico does not usually command.

Now Lorenzo de’ Medici, the Magnificent, desired to encourage the art of
sculpture in Florence; he therefore established a museum of antiquities in
his garden near San Marco, and made Bertoldo, the pupil of Donatello and
the foreman of his workshop, keeper of the collection, with a special
commission to aid and instruct the young men who studied there. Lorenzo
requested Domenico Ghirlandaio to select from his pupils those he
considered the most promising, and send them to work in the garden.
Domenico sent Michael Angelo Buonarroti and Francesco Granacci; possibly
he was rather glad to get these talented elements of insubordination out
of his workshop. Thus it was that Michael Angelo came under the influence
of a pupil and foreman of Donatello. Bertoldo must be considered the
instructor of Michael Angelo in his beloved art of sculpture, and the most
important influence in shaping his genius. Very little is known of the man
upon whom this responsibility was placed, but he appears to have been
worthy of it. Vasari tells us that Bertoldo "was old and could not work;
that he was none the less an able and highly reputed artist, not only
because he had most diligently chased and polished the casts in bronze for
the pupils of Donatello his master, but also for the numerous casts in
bronze of battle-pieces and other little things, which he had executed of
his own; there was no one then in Florence more masterly in such work." We
have no important work entirely by Bertoldo, but he must have been a
considerable artist or he would not have been appointed to his important
post by such a wise man as Lorenzo the Magnificent. His share of the work
for the pulpits of San Lorenzo was probably much greater than we are
accustomed to think. Vasari’s word _rinettato_ had a much wider meaning to
him than it has to us, the chasing of a bronze was considered no small
part of its quality by the Florentines. Lorenzo Ghiberti’s supposed
superiority over his competitors for the doors of San Giovanni was more in
his superb finish than in anything else. The pulpits in San Lorenzo have
something about them that is between the art of Donatello and the art of
Michael Angelo; we may even owe a large part of the composition in some of
the stories to Bertoldo. Donatello must have needed a man of judgment and
ability to carry out the numerous and important commissions that issued
from his workshops in his old age. That Michael Angelo studied the pulpits
of San Lorenzo is proved by the numerous motives he took from them in
after life; the general aspect of the figures strangely suggests the
"terribilità" of his style, and the beginnings of several of his motives
can be traced to them, such as the _Centaurs_, the _Pietà_, and, in the
Sistine ceiling, the _Adam_; the monochrome putti used as Caryatides; the
single putto placed at the springing of two arches; the athletes
supporting garlands, similar in proportion to the cherubs supporting
garlands used for the capitals of columns in the pulpits; two figures for
the spaces over the windows. The man with the clean-shaven and bird-like
face writing in a book and dressed in trousers tied in at the ankles, like
the captive barbarians of Roman art, in one of the semi-circular spaces
round the windows, is very like a man standing behind the Madonna who
supports the dead Christ in the deposition of the pulpit. Perhaps it is a
portrait of old Bertoldo himself. In this panel, too, are horsemen riding
animals similar to the ones Michael Angelo drew in his last fresco, _The
Conversion of Saint Paul_. The composition for the scourging of Christ,
supplied by Michael Angelo to Sebastiano del Piombo for his wall painting
in San Pietro in Montorio, follows the lines of the bas-relief of the same
subject on the pulpit. What is more likely than that Bertoldo should have
educated his great pupil by directing him to the glories of the last work
of his master, Donatello, and that Michael Angelo should have studied them
eagerly, particularly if Bertoldo himself was partly responsible for some
of the panels, and may have been working upon them at this time.(63)

The pulpits of San Lorenzo were the second school of Michael Angelo, and
Bertoldo was his master. No great style ever sprang complete from the
brain of its great exponent, but grew and developed from master to pupil
until its supreme exponent blazed it before the world full of the
traditional fire of his predecessors, but distinctly marked by his own
dominant personality. The root of the style of Michael Angelo may be seen
in the works of Donatello and in the pulpits of San Lorenzo. His study of
the antique,(64) modified by his love of grace, of high finish, and his
own powerful character, only had to be added to complete the perfect
flower of Florentine art, Michael Angelo, the topmost bloom of the lily.

                                [Image #2]


                        CASA BUONARROTI, FLORENCE
           (_By permission of the Fratelli Alinari. Florence_)

By good fortune, Michael Angelo attracted the notice of Lorenzo the
Magnificent, as Condivi has related;(65) and thus at the age of fifteen
years he entered the most cultured house in Italy and there acquired that
distinction of style that he kept all through his life, both in his art
and his manner. In these halcyon days at this hospitable table Michael
Angelo met such men as Massilio Ficino, the interpreter of Plato; Pico
della Mirandola, the phoenix of erudition; Luigi Pulci and Angelo
Poliziano—the latter is supposed to have incited Michael Angelo to carve
the bas-relief(66) now in the Casa Buonarroti, called by Condivi "The rape
of Deianeira and the battle of the Centaurs." This is the earliest work
that we know from the master’s hand to which we can give a date; it
already shows his double love for the Hellenistic and for the Tuscan
styles. The degree of relief is alto-rilievo, like those on the Roman
sarcophagi and the pulpits of the Pisani; in shape it is almost as high as
it is long; this unusual proportion is similar to some of the divisions of
the bronze reliefs in the Donatello pulpits at San Lorenzo. The struggling
figures, Centaurs, and Lapithæ, already exhibit Michael Angelo’s power
over rhythm of line in a crowded composition as in the later groups of
"Moses raising the Serpent in the Wilderness," and "The Last Judgment,"
both in the Sistine Chapel. The method is extraordinarily free for so
young a sculptor; he evidently thinks out his work as it proceeds; his
delight in the beauty of the male human form is shown in every figure.
Some critics have been unable to distinguish the figure of Deianeira, as
her form has been so little differentiated or emphasised by the master.
She is towards the left of the composition; a man holds her by the hair of
her head. The centre figures and the two at the lower corners remind us
forcibly of the pulpits of San Lorenzo.

                                [Image #3]


           (_By permission of the Fratelli Alinari, Florence_)

Vasari mentions another bas-relief executed at this period, a seated
Madonna with the Infant Jesus, in the manner of Donatello; the inferior
bas-relief, now in the Casa Buonarroti, is said to be this work. If the
club-shaped feet and thick hands of the Madonna are compared with the
beautiful long feet and graceful hands of the angel holding a candlestick,
at San Domenico, in Bologna, certainly by Michael Angelo, it cannot be
supposed that these two works were either executed or even designed by the
same artist. The pose of the Holy Child in the Madonna bas-relief has been
arranged by some one who has seen "The Day" on the tomb of Giuliano at San
Lorenzo; in the background are children on a stairway, somewhat in the
style of Donatello, but they are more like imitations of the later works
of Michael Angelo. The folds of the draperies are like the folds of some
silken material, whereas the folds of the robe of the angel at San
Domenico are large, like the folds of a blanket, a characteristic of all
the draperies designed by the master. This bas-relief, now in the Casa
Buonarroti, was presented to Cosimo dè Medici, first Grand Duke of
Tuscany, by Michael Angelo’s nephew Leonardo,(67) as a work by his uncle,
but we do not know that Leonardo was a good judge of his uncle’s works,
and this bas-relief was supposed to have been executed more than fifty
years before its presentation; afterwards it came back into the possession
of the Buonarroti family, and was presented by them to the city of
Florence along with the house in Via Ghibellina.

Michael Angelo, like all young artists who have had the opportunity, drew
and studied in the Brancacci Chapel of the Church of the Carmine,
containing the frescoes of Masaccio and his followers; the result of these
studies may be seen in some of the compositions, and especially in the
draperies of the Sistine ceiling. There are two pen-drawings in Vienna
that show us the sort of work Michael Angelo did at this time: one
represents a kneeling figure, evidently from a picture by Pesellino; the
other, two standing figures, that might be after Ghirlandaio. The
draperies have been specially studied. Another pen-drawing, in the Louvre,
is a careful study from Giotto’s fresco of the Resurrection of St. John in
the Cappella Peruzzi at Santa Croce.

A gloom was cast over all Italy by the death of Lorenzo de’ Medici on
April 8, 1492. Michael Angelo lost his best friend and returned to his
father’s house; here he worked upon a statue of Hercules that stood in the
Strozzi Palace until the siege of Florence in 1530, when Giovanni Battista
della Palla bought it and sent it into France as a present to the French
King. It is lost.

In the year 1495, whilst living with Aldovrandi at Bologna, as Condivi
tells us, Michael Angelo, for the sum of thirty ducats, completed the
drapery of a San Petronio, begun by Nicolo di Bari on the arca or shrine
of San Domenico, and carved the very beautiful and highly finished
statuette of an angel holding a candlestick, still to be seen there.(68)

When Michael Angelo returned to Florence a government had been established
by Savonarola. No doubt, like all the other citizens, the master listened
to the voice of the preacher, but we have no evidence that he was
particularly influenced by his teaching, though many of his biographers
would have us believe that Savonarola made him Protestant, Lutheran, or
what not, according to the sect of the biographer. Michael Angelo loved
the sermons of the eloquent Frate as works of art; no doubt, if the
prophets of the Sistine could speak, they would preach with the voice of

Michael Angelo set to work and carved a San Giovannino for Lorenzo di Pier
Francesco, a cousin of the exiled Medici. The Berlin Museum acquired, in
1880, a marble statue of a young St. John, which had been placed in the
palace of the Counts Gualandi Rosselmini, at Pisa, in 1817, and was
rediscovered there in 1874. It is supposed to be this San Giovannino by
Michael Angelo, though it has nothing of the large quality of Michael
Angelo’s work. Donatello has been suggested as the author, but it has
still less of the square planes and ascetic character of the great Donato.
It is a charming, almost a cloying statue. St. John seems to find his
honeycomb distinctly sweet.



The story of a Cupid, carved and coloured in imitation of the antique, is
given by Condivi.(69) It was the cause of Michael Angelo’s first visit to
Rome. As soon as he reached the Eternal City he set to work at his
sculpture, as the purchase of a piece of marble mentioned in his letter to
Pier Francesco de’ Medici, sent to Florence under cover to Sandro
Botticelli,(70) indicates. During the whole of this very important visit
he worked in marble. We have, however, one record of a cartoon by him for
a Saint Francis receiving the Stigmata, to be painted by a certain barber;
but that is all. He studied the works of antique art and imitated the
finish and softness of the Hellenic style: marbles of debased Greek
workmanship abound to this day in the Roman collections. Messer Jacopo
Gallo, a Roman gentleman and a banker, commissioned a Bacchus, now in the
Bargello at Florence, and a Cupid, said to be the statue now in the
Victoria and Albert Museum, South Kensington. Condivi records these
commissions.(71) This Bacchus is the least dignified work that Michael
Angelo ever executed. Perhaps, like a young artist struggling to get on,
he listened too much to the wishes and suggestions of his intelligent
patron. The finish and the truth to nature of the unpleasant youth are
exquisite. The folds of the skin and the softness of the flesh are
perfectly rendered, but the work is repulsive, save for the mischievous
little Satyr who steals the grapes; he seems to take us out into the open
air, and away from the fumes of the wine shop. Condivi calls the second
statue a Cupid,(72) but Springer points out(73) that Ulisse Aldovrandi,
who saw the statue in Messer Gallo’s house at Rome, talks of an Apollo
quite naked, with a quiver at his side and an urn at his feet. The work,
Cupid or Apollo, at Kensington, is not so finely finished as the other
statues of this first Roman period; the head is like a copy of the head of
the David, the division between the pectoral muscles is weak, and their
attachments to the breast-bone are round, regular, and without
distinction, very different from either the naturalism of the Bacchus, the
delicate truth of the Pietà, or the dignified abstraction of the David,
done very shortly afterwards. This work at Kensington was discovered some
fifty years ago in the cellars of the Gualfonda (Rucellai) Gardens by
Professor Miliarini and the sculptor Santarelli. The left arm was broken,
the right hand damaged, and the hair unfinished, as may be seen to-day;
Santarelli restored the arm. The statue is like the work of a poor
imitator. A work by Michael Angelo may easily have been destroyed in
troublous times, but can never have been lost and forgotten. He has always
had lovers in every age; unlike the primitives and the quattrocentisti, he
has never been out of fashion.

Whilst Michael Angelo was working away in Rome he was much troubled by
family affairs in Florence. After the expulsion of the Medici in 1495,
Lodovico lost his post at the Customs, and his three younger sons appear
to have been put into trade. Buonarroto, who was the only sensible one
left at home, and dearly loved by Michael Angelo, was born in 1477; he was
sent to serve in the Strozzi cloth warehouse in the Porta Rossa. All the
noble families of Florence practised some trade, in order that they might
share in the Government. Giovan Simone, another brother, born in 1479, led
a vagabond life until he joined Buonarroto in a cloth business that was
bought for them by Michael Angelo. Sigismondo, born in 1481, was a
soldier. At the age of forty he settled down on the small paternal farm at
Settignano, and became a mere peasant, very much to the annoyance and
chagrin of his famous brother, Michael Angelo, who spent his earnings for
the advantage of his brothers, and the advancement of his family, with a
kindness and generosity as beautiful as it is rare. Francesca, the mother
of Michael Angelo and of the other sons of Lodovico Buonarroti, was
married to him in 1472. When she died is not known, but Lodovico married
his second wife Lucrezia in 1485. She died childless in 1497, and was
buried upon July 9 in the Church of Santa Croce.

In the year 1497 Buonarroto visited Rome, and informed Michael Angelo, the
only hope of the family, of their pecuniary troubles. Michael Angelo wrote
kindly to his father:

               "DOMINO LODOVICO BUONARROTI, _in Florence_.

            "In the name of God, the 19th day of August, 1497.

    "DEAREST FATHER, &c.—Bonarroto arrived on Friday; as soon as I
    knew of it I went to seek him at the inn, and he told me by word
    of mouth how you are doing, and informed me that Consiglio, the
    mercer, annoys you very much, and will not, by any means, come to
    an agreement, and that he wishes to have you arrested. I tell you
    that you must satisfy him and pay him some ducats on account; and
    whatever you agree to pay him for the balance, send and tell me,
    and I will send it to you, if you have it not; although I have but
    little myself, as I have told you, I will contrive to borrow it,
    so that you need not take money out of the Monte,(74) as Bonarroto
    says. Do not wonder that I have sometimes written irritably, for I
    often get very angry, owing to the many annoyances that happen to
    one away from his home.

    "I had an order to do a work for Piero de’ Medici and bought the
    marble; but I never began it because he did not do as he had
    promised, so I stayed at home and carved a figure for my pleasure.
    I bought a piece of marble for five ducats; it was not good; the
    money was thrown away. Afterwards I bought another piece, another
    five ducats, and worked at it for my pleasure; so you must believe
    that I also have expenses and troubles, and you must make
    allowances. I will send you the money, though I should have to
    sell myself into slavery.

    "Buonarroto arrived in safety and has returned to his inn; he has
    a room; he is all right and lacks nothing for as long as he likes
    to stay. I have no accommodation for him to stay with me, because
    I am living in another’s house. It suffices that I do not let him
    want for anything. Well, as I hope you are.

                                            "MICHAEL ANGELO, in Rome."

    (In the hand of Lodovico.)

    "He says he will help me to pay Consiglio."(75)

Nevertheless, Milanesi tells us in a note, Lodovico settled with
Consiglio, to whom he owed ninety gold florins, in the way Michael Angelo
did not approve and after going to law about it. A letter of Lodovico’s
refers to the kindness of Michael Angelo in establishing his brothers in
the cloth business. It is dated December 19, 1500. "... and more, I know
that you have advanced money, and the love you have for your brothers; it
is a great consolation to me. About this matter of the money with which
you wish to set up Buonarroto and Giansimone in a shop, I have hunted and
I am still hunting, but as yet I have not found anything to please me.
True it is I have my hands on a good thing, but it is necessary to keep
one’s eyes open and to take care not to get into difficulties; I want to
go slowly and with good counsel, and I will tell you all about it day by
day. Buonarroto tells me how you live yonder, very economically, or rather
penuriously; economy is good, but penuriousness is evil, for it is a vice
displeasing to God and man, and, moreover, it is bad for the body and
soul. Whilst you are young you will be able to bear these hardships for a
time, but when the strength of youth fails you, disease and infirmities
will develop, for they are engendered by hardship, mean living, and
penurious habits. As I said, economy is good. But, above all, do not be
penurious; live moderately and do not stint yourself; above all things
avoid hardships, because in your art, if you fall ill (which God forbid),
you are a lost man; above all things have a care of your head, keep it
moderately warm, and never wash; have yourself rubbed down, but never
wash. Buonarroto also tells me that you have a swelling on your side; it
comes from hardship or fatigue, or from eating something bad and windy, or
suffering the feet to be cold or damp. I have had one myself, and it still
troubles me when I eat windy food, or when I endure cold or such like
things. Our Francesco formerly had one, too, and also Gismondo similarly.
Be careful about it because it is dangerous."

The name of Michael Angelo’s good friend, Jacopo Gallo, appears in the
agreement drawn up concerning the crowning work of this the first Roman
period, the Pietà, called the Madonna della Febbre, first placed in the
Chapel of Santa Petronilla, and now in the Chapel of Santa Maria della
Febbre, on the right of the entrance to St. Peters, in Rome. The
commission for this work was given by the Cardinal Jean de la Grostaye de
Villiers François, Abbot of St. Denis, called in Italy Cardinal di San
Dionigi. It is dated August 26, 1498.

                                [Image #4]

                         THE MADONNA BELLA PIETÀ

                           SAINT PETER’S, ROME
           (_By permission, of the Fratelli Alinari, Florence_)

"Be it known and manifest to whoso shall read the ensuing document, how
the Most Reverend Cardinal of San Dionigi has agreed with the master,
Michael Angelo, sculptor of Florence, that the said master shall make a
Pietà of marble at his own cost; that is, a Virgin Mary clothed, with the
dead Christ in her arms, of the size of a proper man, for the price of
four hundred and fifty golden Papal ducats, within the term of one year
from the day of the beginning of the work" (the Cardinal agrees to pay
certain sums in advance). The contract concludes: "And I, Jacopo Gallo,
promise to his Most Reverend Monsignore that the said Michael Angelo will
finish the said work within one year, and that it shall be the most
beautiful work in marble which Rome to-day can show, and that no master of
our days shall be able to produce a better. And similarly I promise the
said Michael Angelo that the Most Reverend Cardinal will disburse the
payments as written above; and in good faith, I, Jacopo Gallo, have made
the present writing with my own hand, according to date of year, month,
and day, as above."(76)

Jacopo’s boast and promise were justified, for even now there is no finer
complete work of sculpture in the whole of Rome than the Pietà at St.
Peter’s. It is said that Michael Angelo overheard certain Lombards ascribe
the Pietà to their own sculptor, Cristoforo Solari, called "Il Gobbo." He
therefore carved his name upon the belt of the Madonna’s robe. He never
signed any other work. Nothing closes the great period of the fifteenth
century so fitly as the Pietà of Michael Angelo, prophesying at the same
time the power of the art of the sixteenth.



Family affairs recalled Michael Angelo to Florence in the spring of 1501.
He returned full of honours gained in Rome, and took up his position as
the first sculptor of the day. His next commission came from Cardinal
Francesco Piccolomini, afterwards Pope Pius III. A contract was signed on
June 5, 1501, by which Michael Angelo agreed to complete some fifteen
statues of male saints within the time of three years, for the Piccolomini
Chapel, in the Duomo of Siena. A Saint Francis was begun by Piero
Torrigiano, and may have been finished by Michael Angelo. The rest of the
four works that were the outcome of this commission can have had nothing
to do with the chisel of the sculptor of the Madonna della Febbre and the
David. Michael Angelo must have merely contracted to supply them, as the
master sculptor of a sculptor’s yard, possibly furnishing the designs
himself. There is a drawing at the British Museum of a bearded saint,
cowled and holding a book in his left hand, which may be a design for one
of these inferior works.

                                [Image #5]


                          THE ACADEMY, FLORENCE
            (_By permission of the Fratelli Alinari Florence_)

                                [Image #6]


                              IN THE PIAZZA
           (_By permission of the Fratelli Alinari, Florence_)

                                [Image #7]

                              SAINT MATTHEW

           (_By permission of the Fratelli Alinari, Florence_)

In August of the same year, 1501, Michael Angelo began the colossal statue
of David, that used to stand in the Piazza and is now in the Academy at
Florence. The first contract for this work, signed between Michael Angelo,
the Arte della Lana, and the Opera del Duomo, is dated August 16, 1501. It
states "That the worthy master, Michael Angelo, son of Lodovico Bonarroti,
citizen of Florence, has been chosen to fashion, complete, and perfectly
finish the male statue, already rough hewn and called the giant, of nine
cubits in height,(77) now existing in the workshop of the Cathedral, badly
blocked out afore-time by Master Agostino,(78) of Florence. The work shall
be completed within the term of the next ensuing two years, dating from
September, at a salary of six golden florins(79) per month; and whatever
is needful for the accomplishment of this task, as workmen, wood, &c.,
which he may require, shall be supplied him by the said Operai; and when
the said statue is finished, the Consuls and Operai, who shall be in
office, shall estimate whether he deserve a larger recompense, and this
shall be left to their consciences." Michael Angelo began to work in a
wooden shed, erected for that purpose near the Cathedral, on Monday
morning, September 13, 1501, and the "David" is said to be almost entirely
finished in a note, dated January 25, 1503,(80) when a solemn council of
the most important artists, then resident in Florence, met at the Opera
del Duomo to consider where the statue should be placed. What an original
way of deciding æsthetic questions! They came to the admirable conclusion
that the choice of the site should be left to Michael Angelo. Amongst
those who spoke at the meeting were Francesco Monciatto, a wood carver,
who suggested that the statue should be erected in front of the Duomo,
where the block was originally meant to be set up; he was supported by the
painters Cosimo Rosselli and Sandro Botticelli. Giuliano da San Gallo
proposed to place it under the Loggia dei Lanzi, because "the imperfection
of the marble, which is softened by exposure to the air, renders the
durability of the statue doubtful." Messer Angelo de Lorenzo Manfidi
(second herald) objected because it would break the order of certain
ceremonies held in the Loggia. Leonardo da Vinci followed San Gallo; he
did not think it would injure the ceremonies. Salvestro, a jeweller, and
Filippino Lippi supported Piero di Cosimo, who proposed that the precise
spot should be left to the sculptor who made it, "as he will know better
how it should be." Michael Angelo elected to have his David set up on the
steps of the Palazzo Vecchio, on the right side of the entrance. Its
effect in that position may be well seen, appropriately enough, in a
picture by the same Piero di Cosimo (No. 895), in the National Gallery,
where the Piazza della Signoria forms the background to a portrait of a
man in armour. Il Cronaca, Antonio da San Gallo, Baccio d’Agnolo, Bernardo
della Cecca, and Michael Angelo were associated in the task of
transporting the giant from the workshop near the Duomo to the Piazza
della Signoria. It was encased in planks and suspended upright from great
beams. "On May 14, 1504, the marble giant was dragged from the Opera. It
came out at twenty-four o’clock, and they broke the wall above the door
enough to let it pass. That night some stones were thrown at the Colossus
with intent to injure it; a watch had to be set over it at night, and it
made way very slowly, bound as it was upright, suspended so that the feet
were off the ground by enormous beams with much ingenuity. It took four
days to reach the Piazza, arriving on the 18th at the hour of twelve. More
than forty men were employed to make it go, and there were fourteen logs
to go beneath it, which were changed from hand to hand. Afterwards they
worked until June 8, 1504, to place it on a pedestal where the Judith used
to stand. The Judith was removed and set upon the ground within the
palace. The said giant was the work of Michael Angelo Buonarroti."(81) The
great marble David stood in the Piazza three hundred and sixty-nine years;
it was removed to the hall of the Accademia delle Belle Arti in 1873 for
its better preservation. It has suffered very little from its exposure in
the fine air of Florence, but the left arm was broken by a huge stone
thrown during the tumults of 1527. Giorgio Vasari and his friend Cecchino
Salviati collected the broken pieces and brought them to the house of
Michael Angelo Salviati, father of Cecchino. They were carefully put
together and restored to the statue in 1543. The David was the first work
by Michael Angelo that displayed the awe-inspiring quality known as his
_Terribilità_; from the fierce frown of the brow to the sharp, strained
forms of the feet and toes there is an expression of strenuous force
struggling against an almost overwhelming power. The force of the David
may succeed against Goliath; but in Michael Angelo’s later works the
struggle always appears to be a hopeless one, nobly as his Titans fight
against fate and omnipotence. The face of the David is a development of
the Saint George of Or San Michele, by Donatello, and the figure is of the
same type, only this triumphant boy of Michael Angelo’s shows a more exact
study of the antique than the naturalistic work of his master. In
Donatello the planes are given as flat, and their junctions are sharp and
hard; in Michael Angelo they are carefully rounded and finished with the
grace of the antique and of life. The details of the head, although so
high up, are so absolutely perfect that the separate features have been,
and are still, the models set before all students of art when they first
begin to study the human figure, and they are known as _the_ nose, _the_
eye, _the_ ear, and _the_ mouth. We have noticed that the young student is
more interested in his work when he is told that they are the features of
_the_ David. Michael Angelo carved his giant without modelling a full-size
clay figure first, but with the guidance of drawings and small wax models
about eighteen inches high only, carving the figure out of the block in
the way that is so well seen in the unfinished Saint Matthew in the court
of the Accademia delle Belle Arti, in Florence. There are two small wax
models of the David in the Casa Buonarroti at Florence, said to be Michael
Angelo’s designs for this figure, but they are of very doubtful authority.
Later in his life he is said to have worked from full-sized models, as
Benvenuto Cellini tells us in his _Trattati dell’ Oreficeria_, &c.(82)
Vasari tells the story of how Michael Angelo contented the Gonfaloniere
and silenced his criticism of the David: "While still surrounded by the
scaffolding Pier Soderini inspected the statue, which pleased him
immensely, and when Michael Angelo was re-touching it in parts, Soderini
said to him that the nose appeared to him too big. Michael Angelo, knowing
that the Gonfaloniere was close under the statue and that from this point
of view the truth was not to be discerned, mounted the scaffolding, which
was as high as the shoulder of the giant, and quickly took a chisel in his
left hand with a little of the marble dust from the platform and began to
let fall a little of it at each touch of the tool, but he did not alter
the nose from what it was before; then he looked down to the Gonfaloniere,
who stood watching below: ’Look at it now,’ said Michael Angelo. ’I like
it better. You have given it life,’ said the Gonfaloniere," rubbing the
dust out of his eyes.

On August 12, 1502, Michael Angelo undertook another commission for the
Republic—another giant David. This time it was to be in bronze, two cubits
and a quarter in height; in the casting he was to be assisted by Benedetto
da Rovezzano. It has been suggested that the pen and ink drawing in the
Louvre is a design for this second David, but the drawing of an arm on the
same sheet is so like the right arm of the first David that it is more
probably an early idea for the first David, in which we see that Michael
Angelo’s design needed more room than the cramped block of marble allowed;
it makes us wonder the more at the marvellous freedom of action that he
managed to get out of the cramped stone. The bronze David was intended for
the French statesman, Pierre de Rohan, Maréchal de Gié, as a present from
the Florentine Republic, but before it was finished the Maréchal fell into
disgrace and could be of no further use to the Florentines. The Signory
therefore determined to send the bronze to Florimond Robertet, Secretary
of Finance to the French King. A minute of the Signory dated November 6,
1508, informs us that the bronze David, weighing about 800 pounds, had
been "packed in the name of God," and sent to Signa on its way to Leghorn.
Florimond Robertet placed it in the courtyard of his château of Bury, near
Blois. It remained there for more than a hundred years, then it was
removed to the château of Villeroy, and disappeared no one knows whither.

On April 24, 1503, the Consuls of the Arte della Lana and the Operai of
the Duomo ordered Michael Angelo to carve out of Carrara marble twelve
Apostles, each four and a quarter cubits high, to be placed inside the
church. One was to be finished each year, the Operai paying all expenses,
including the cost of living for the sculptor and his assistants, and
paying him two golden florins a month. They built a house and workshops
for him in the Borgo Pinti; it was designed by Il Cronaca. Michael Angelo
lived there rent free until it was evident that the contract could not be
carried out. He then hired it on a lease, but on June 15, 1508, the lease
of the house was transferred to Sigismondo Martelli. The St. Matthew, now
in the courtyard of the Accademia delle Belle Arti, in Florence, is the
only work we know of resulting from this commission. The apostle is just
emerging from the marble, and shows us Michael Angelo’s method of work.
Vasari says: "At this time he also began a statue in marble of San Matteo
in the works of Santa Maria del Fiore, which, though but roughly hewn,
shows his perfections, and teaches sculptors how to carve figures from the
stone without maiming them, always gaining ground by cutting away the
waste stone, and being able to draw back or alter in case of need." The
deep chisel marks in the stone are sometimes as much as four inches long,
and their directions indicate that Michael Angelo worked equally well with
either hand, a fact confirmed by Raffaello de Montelupo in his
"Autobiographie."(83) "Here I may mention that I am in the habit of
drawing with my left hand, and that once, at Rome, while I was sketching
the arch of Trajan from the Colosseum, Michael Angelo and Sebastiano del
Piombo, both of whom were naturally left-handed (although they did not
work with the left hand excepting when they wished to use great strength),
stopped to see me, and expressed great wonder."

                                [Image #8]


                         THE BARGELLO, FLORENCE
           (_By permission of the Fratelli Alinari, Florence_)

The Florentine love of bas-relief explains to some extent their extreme
devotion to the tondo, or circular shape, in paintings and in sculptures.
According to Vasari, it was at this time that Michael Angelo carved two
tondi: one for Bartolommeo Pitti, now in the Bargello at Florence, and the
other for Taddeo Taddei, now at Burlington House, in the Diploma Gallery
of the Royal Academy, London. It was acquired by Sir George Beaumont, and
is the most valuable work the Academy possesses. If it were in an
out-of-the-way palace in Florence many of us would see it more frequently
than we do now, although we have only to climb a few steps to visit this
glorious work any day we are in Piccadilly. Both of these reliefs
represent the Madonna and Child, with the child St. John. The one in the
Bargello appears to be the earlier; the composition is very beautiful and
simple, and fills the circular space admirably. The Madonna is seated
facing the spectator, and looks out full towards him with an enigmatical
expression on her proud features; the Child stands beside her, His elbow
on her knee, as in the Bruges Madonna. The St. John is only roughly cut,
but the movement and forms are so well realised under the marble that one
does not wish for any further finish. In the Royal Academy tondo the
Madonna is seated more to the side of the circle, and is in profile; the
Child reclines upon her knee, clinging to her arm, startled but interested
by the little bird St. John has brought to show Him (a favourite motive
with Italian artists). The head and shoulders of the Madonna and the torso
of the Child Jesus are the only parts that are near completion, yet the
whole group is so much there that we do not ask for another touch; in
fact, the works of Michael Angelo were finished from the very first
strokes. The rough charcoal drawing upon the block of marble, could we see
it, would have been complete to us, only Michael Angelo could add anything
to it; and so it is with every fragment of stone or other piece of work by
his hand, from the lightest charcoal drawing to the great marble fragments
in the grotto of the Boboli Gardens. They are complete to us; the thing he
thought is there, and the art is there, and we are satisfied.

                                [Image #9]

                             THE HOLY FAMILY

                          THE UFFIZI, FLORENCE
 (_Reproduced by permission from a photograph by Sig. D. Anderson, Rome_)

Another tondo executed about this time is the painting now in the Uffizi,
the only easel picture known with certainty to be by the hand of Michael
Angelo. This Holy Family, with naked shepherds in the background, was
painted for Angelo Doni, the same man whose portrait was painted by
Raphael. Vasari says that Michael Angelo asked seventy ducats for the
work, but that Doni only offered forty when the picture was delivered.
Michael Angelo sent word that he must pay a hundred or send back the
picture. Doni offered the original seventy; but Michael Angelo replied
that if he was bent on bargaining, he should not pay less than one hundred
and forty. In this composition the Madonna is seated upon the ground,
forming a pyramid, of which the heads of Joseph and the Child form the
apex; her lithe and strong form has a Greek loveliness as she turns
quickly and receives the beautiful Child on to her shoulder from the arms
of Joseph. Never in any painting have the drawing and modelling of the
human figure been so perfectly executed as in the figure of this Child and
the arms of the Madonna; the hands and feet are modelled with the delicacy
of a Flemish miniature, and at the same time have a beauty and suavity of
modelling and a magnificent choice of line altogether Italian. On either
side of the central triangle the spaces between it and the circumference
of the tondo are filled by the introduction of the infant St. John and
some nude shepherds; the landscape background is austere as the mountain
tops of some primeval world where such titanic beings as these of Michael
Angelo’s alone could dwell. The old painters loved to decorate their
Madonna pictures with all the most beautiful things they could think of,
or most loved. The Florentines with fair and pleasant gardens; the
Umbrians with spacious colonnades, distant landscapes, and rare skies; the
Venetians with fruits and garlands of foliage and fruit, and even
vegetables, if they had a particular regard for them, as Crivelli had for
the cucumber. One painter only before this time decorated his pictures
with nude human figures, Luca Signorelli. Michael Angelo may have seen a
Madonna of his, with two nude figures in the background, executed for
Lorenzo de’ Medici, and now hung in the Gallery of the Uffizi. Michael
Angelo, who knew the beauty of the human form better than any one, would
never be content to decorate his tondo with any less beautiful offering
after seeing this picture by Signorelli. The tondo form was a favourite
one with Signorelli. His two pictures of this shape in Florence perhaps
helped Michael Angelo in the three compositions we have been considering;
and this is the only debt Michael Angelo owes to the Umbrian painter.
Their way of looking at the nude and their ideals of its beauty are so
absolutely different, the one from the other, that possibly the Florentine
could hardly bear to look at the work of the Umbrian.

                               [Image #10]

                           THE CARTOON OF PISA

                (_By permission of the Earl of Leicester_)

In August 1504, Michael Angelo was commissioned to prepare cartoons for
the decoration of a wall in the Sala del Gran Consiglio in the Palazzo
Vecchio, opposite the wall for which Leonardo da Vinci was already
preparing designs. Michael Angelo had a workshop given him in the Hospital
of the Dyers at San Onofrio, under the date October 31, 1504; a minute of
expenditure shows that paper for the cartoon was provided. Leonardo’s
design was the famous "Fight for the Standard." Michael Angelo chose an
episode from the war with Pisa, when, on July 28, 1364, a band of four
hundred Florentines were surprised bathing in the Arno by Sir John
Hawkwood (Giovanni Acuto) and his cavalry, then in the service of the
Pisans, a subject that enabled Michael Angelo to express his delight in
the beauty of the human form, and his power of drawing and foreshortening
the naked limbs of the bathers as they hurry out of the river and don
their armour at the sound of the alarm. This great central work of Michael
Angelo’s prime has disappeared, and we must be very careful in studying it
to allow for the weakness of the work of the copyists and engravers who
preserved what little record of it is left for us, especially in the
drawing of the nude. If we compare the vault of the Sistine Chapel with
the contemporary engravings we shall be able to estimate the enormous
difference between the cartoon, which may have been the greatest work of
art produced in Italy, and the copies of it that exist. The most complete
copy of the cartoon is the monochrome painting belonging to the Earl of
Leicester, at Holkham Hall. There is a sketch of the whole composition in
the Albertina Gallery at Vienna, and the line engraving by Marc Antonio
Raimondi of three principal figures with a foolish Italian rendering of a
German engraved landscape in the background, utterly destroying what
little Michael Angelesque dignity the engraver was able to get into the
figures, with his poor knowledge of the nude. The best remnants we have
are some few of Michael Angelo’s own studies from the nude, done
especially for this composition; they are full of the power, vigour, and
naturalism peculiar to this period, rude forms hacked out of the paper
with a broad pen, altered with charcoal, chalk, white paint, or anything
handy and effective; from them we must try and imagine the power, breadth
and dignity of the great composition. The work was done upon ordinary
paper, stretched over canvas or linen fixed on a wooden frame, like the
few cartoons by the great masters that have come down to us. The outlines
were usually pricked, and when finished the cartoon was cut into
convenient sizes for pouncing on the wall or other foundation upon which
the picture was to be painted, unless the artist took the precaution of
putting a plain piece of paper under the original drawing and pricking
both together and transferring the outlines by the aid of the second
sheet. These cut-up cartoons became the property of the whole workshop,
and were used by the pupils when they wished. No doubt the roughness of
this treatment soon destroyed many of them. Vasari, who cannot have seen
the Cartoon of Pisa, gives us a long, enthusiastic description of it,
ending with some helpful notes as to the materials with which it was
drawn, and an account of its effect upon contemporary artists. He
continues: "In addition, you discovered groups of figures sketched in
various methods, some outlined with charcoal, some shaded with lines, some
rubbed in, some heightened with white-lead, the master having sought to
prove his empire over all materials of draughtsmanship.(84) The craftsmen
of design remained therewith astonished and dumbfounded, recognising the
fullest reaches of their art revealed to them by this unrivalled
masterpiece. Those who examined the forms I have described, painters who
inspected and compared them with works hardly less divine, affirm that
never in the history of human achievement was any product of man’s brain
seen like to them in mere supremacy. And certainly we have the right to
believe this; for when the cartoon was finished and carried to the hall of
the Pope, amid the acclamation of all artists and to the exceeding fame of
Michael Angelo, the students who made drawings from it, as happened with
foreigners and natives through many years in Florence, became men of mark
in several branches. This is obvious, for Aristotele da San Gallo worked
there, as did Ridolfo Grillandaio, Rafael Santio da Urbino, Francesco
Granaccio, Baccio Bandinelli, and Alonso Berugetta, the Spaniard; they
were followed by Andrea del Sarto, il Franciabigio, Jacomo Sansovino, il
Rosso, Maturino, Lorenzetto, Tribolo (then a boy), Jacomo da Puntormo, and
Pierin del Vaga, all of them first-rate masters of the Florentine school."

Benvenuto Cellini’s account is important, for he himself copied the
cartoon in 1513 just before it disappeared. He says: "Michael Angelo
portrayed a number of foot soldiers, who, the season being summer, had
gone to bathe in the Arno. He drew them at the moment the alarm is
sounded, and the men, all naked, rush to arms. So splendid is their
action, that nothing survives of ancient or of modern art which touches
the same lofty point of excellence; and, as I have already said, the
design of the great Leonardo was itself most admirably beautiful. These
two cartoons stood, one in the Palace of the Medici, the other in the hall
of the Pope. So long as they remained intact they were the school of the
world. Though the divine Michael Angelo in later life finished that great
chapel of Pope Julius, he never rose half-way to the same pitch of power;
his genius never afterwards attained to the force of those first studies."

These years spent under the shadow of the Duomo, away from which no
Florentine is happy, working at his sculptures and drawings, were probably
some of the happiest years of Michael Angelo’s whole life.



                               [Image #11]


            (_By permission of Sig. Giacomo Brogi, Florence_)

The cartoon, The Apostles for the Duomo, and all these works, had to be
left unfinished, as Michael Angelo was summoned to Rome in the beginning
of 1505 by Pope Julius II. From this period Michael Angelo was the
servant, often the unwilling servant, of the Popes (his Medusa as he
said). Much of his time was wasted owing to the different dispositions and
likings of his patrons, yet we must be thankful to them for the
opportunities they gave him in their great undertakings. Now began what
Condivi called "The Tragedy of the Tomb"; the phrase is so apt that we
imagine he must have got it from Michael Angelo himself. Julius appears to
have appreciated his artist from the first; both were what the Italians
call _uomini terribili_, men whose brains worked with furious energy,
grand and formidable in their imaginations. Michael Angelo was packed off
to Carrara for marble as soon as his design was approved. There is a
contract signed by him and two shipowners of Lavagna, dated November 18,
1505. Thirty-four cartloads of marble were then ready for shipment,
together with two blocked-out figures. He probably left Carrara soon
afterwards, returning to Rome by way of Florence. The only authoritative
account of the original project of the Tomb is that of Condivi; Vasari’s
account was not published until his second edition in 1558. The
architectural drawings, said to be designs for this Tomb, are of doubtful
authenticity; most of them are certainly not by Michael Angelo. We must
therefore study Condivi, who probably got the details from Michael Angelo
himself, though he, too, must have had great difficulty in recalling the
ideas of forty-eight years ago.(85) The plans for the new church of St.
Peter’s, the largest church in Christendom, were altered to embrace this
huge monument, but a transept of the little church of San Pietro in
Vincoli gave ample space for the final scheme, when it was set up in 1545.
The only statues we know belonging to it by Michael Angelo are the Moses
and the two bound Slaves in the Louvre; the other six statues in San
Pietro in Vincoli were finished by assistants. The unfinished marble
figures so unworthily housed in the stupid rock-work grotto of the Boboli
Gardens, Florence, may have been for the Tomb, although their measurements
do not agree with the Slaves of the Louvre. How well these superlative
fragments would look in the corners of the Loggia dei Lanzi, or in the
courtyard of the Bargello. In the Bargello two groups, the Victory and the
Dying Adonis, may have been originally intended for the Tomb, but we
believe they have been finished and considerably altered by some later
workman; possibly they were only blocked out by Michael Angelo. The
movement of the figure and the position of the head have been altered in
the Victory, and the whole subject of the Adonis has been changed by the
introduction of the insignificant boar. Vasari tells us that in his time
there were, besides the Moses, Victory, and two Slaves, eight figures
blocked out by Michael Angelo at Rome, and five at Florence; possibly
these five at Florence were the four in the Boboli Gardens and an earlier
state of the Adonis.

After his flight from Rome in 1506 Michael Angelo had some six months at
Florence, working on his cartoon in the workshop at the Spedale dei
Tintori. When he went to Julius at Bologna in November it was finished,
and was exhibited in the Sala del Papa at Santa Maria Novella. All this
time Bramante and his set had the Pope’s ear in Rome. He has been accused
of suggesting that Michael Angelo should paint the vault of the Sistine
Chapel, in the hope that he would ignominiously fail in such an unusual
task; but we do not think we can thank Bramante even for that indirect
service, for Michael Angelo’s friend, Pietro Rosselli, wrote on May 6,

                               [Image #12]


           (_By permission of the Fratelli Alinari, Florence_)

"Dearest in place of a brother, after salutations and kind regards:—I
inform you how on Saturday evening, when the Pope was at supper, I showed
him certain designs that Bramante and I had to examine. When the Pope had
supped and I had showed them to him, he sent for Bramante and said to him:
’Sangallo goes to Florence and will bring Michael Angelo back with him.’
Bramante replied to the Pope, and said: ’Holy Father, he will do no such
thing, because I know Michael Angelo well enough, and he has told me many
a time that he will not undertake the Chapel, which you wanted to put upon
him; and that he intended to apply himself to sculpture all the time and
not to painting.’ And he said: ’Holy Father, I believe that he has not
courage enough for it, because he has not painted many figures, and
especially as these will be high up and foreshortened; and that is quite
another thing to painting on the ground.’ Then the Pope replied, and said:
’If he does not come he will do me wrong, so I think he will return
anyhow.’ Upon this I up and abused him soundly there in the presence of
the Pope; and said what I believe you would have said for me, so that he
did not know what to reply, and he seemed to think he had made a mistake.
And I said further: ’Holy Father, he has never spoken to Michael Angelo,
and as to what he has now told you, if it be true may you cut my head off,
for he never did speak to Michael Angelo; and I believe he will return by
all means, whenever your Holiness desires.’ And so the thing ended. I have
nothing more to tell you. God keep you from harm. If I can do anything for
you let me know; I will do it willingly. Remember me to Simone il

Bramante was not far wrong in what he said about vault painting. He
alluded to the method of foreshortening employed by his fellow countryman,
Melozzo da Forli, by which he made figures painted on domes and vaults
look as if they were suspended in the air really above the spectators, and
not simply a pattern painted on the surface of the plaster; this method
was perfected by Correggio, but was never practised successfully by a



The Pope entered Bologna in triumph on November 11, 1506, after the
marvellous campaign by which he restored two rich provinces to the Church
with only five hundred men-at-arms and his twenty-four Cardinals. Less
than ten days afterwards he inquired for his artist. The Cardinal of Pavia
wrote an autograph letter to the Signory of Florence on the 21st, urgently
requesting that they would despatch Michael Angelo immediately to that
town, inasmuch as the Pope was impatient for his arrival, and wanted to
employ him on important works. On November 27 Soderini wrote to the
Cardinal of Pavia introducing Michael Angelo and praising the cartoon the
artist had to leave unpainted, and to the Cardinal of Volterra more
formally as follows:—

    "The bearer will be Michael Angelo, the sculptor, whom we send to
    please and satisfy his Holiness our Lord. We certify your Lordship
    that he is a worthy young man, and in his own art without a peer
    in Italy; perhaps also in the universe. We cannot recommend him
    too highly. He is of such a nature, that with good words and
    kindness one can make him do anything. Show him love and show him
    kindness, and he will do things that will make all who see them
    wonder. We inform your Lordship that he has begun a story for the
    Republic which will be admirable, and also XII Apostles, each
    4-1/2 to 5 braccia high, which will be remarkable. We recommend
    him to your lordship as much as we can.

    "The XXVII of November, 1506."(87)

Michael Angelo says in his letter to Fattucci(88) that the portrait he now
modelled of Pope Julius was in bronze, sitting, about seven cubits in
height.(89) At the end of the two years that it took him to finish the
work he had to cast it twice. He says. "I found that I had four and a half
ducats left. I never received anything more for this work; and all the
moneys paid out during the said two years were the 1000 ducats with which
I promised to cast it." Michael Angelo worked in the Stanza del Pavaglione
behind the Cathedral; he employed three assistants, from Florence—Lapo
Antonio di Lapo, a sculptor; Lodovico del Buono, called Lotti, a founder;
and Pietro Urbano, a man who worked for him for a long time. His way of
life was frugal and sordid in the extreme. In his letter to his brother
Buonarroto he says(90):—

    "With regard to Giovansimone coming here, I do not advise it as
    yet, for I am lodged in one wretched room, and have bought one
    single bed, in which we all four of us sleep. And I shall not be
    able to receive him suitably. But if he will come all the same,
    let him wait till I have cast the figure I am doing, and I will
    send away Lapo and Lodovico who are helping me, and I will send
    him a horse so that he may come decently and not like a beggar. No
    more. Pray to God for me that things may go well.

                               "MICHAEL ANGELO, Sculptor, in Bologna."

Another letter tells of a visit from the Pope, troubles with his workmen,
and his usual generosity to his brothers and father.

    "_To_ BUONARROTO DI LODOVICO SIMONE, _in Firenze_(91)

    "To be delivered at the shop of Strozzi, wool merchant, in the
    street of the Porta Rossa.

    "BUONARROTO,—I hear by one of yours how things went about the
    little farm; it is a great comfort to me and pleases me well, if
    it is a sure thing. Of the affairs of Baronciello I am well
    informed, and from what I understand it is a much more serious
    thing than you make out; and for my part, it not being to my
    taste, I do not ask it. We are all obliged to do all we can for
    Baronciello, and so we will, especially everything that is in our
    power. You must know that on Friday evening at twenty-one o’clock
    Pope Julius came to my house where I work, and stayed about half
    an hour while I was at work; then he gave me the benediction, and
    went away, and showed himself well pleased with what I am doing.
    For all this we must thank God heartily; and so I beg you to do,
    and pray for me. I inform you further, how that on Friday morning
    I sent away Lapo and Lodovico, who were with me. Lapo I dismissed
    because he is good for nothing and a rogue, and would not serve
    me. Lodovico is better, and I would have kept him another two
    months; but Lapo, so as not to be the only one blamed, so
    corrupted him that they both had to go. I write this not because I
    care for them, for they are not worth three halfpence between
    them, but because, if they come to talk to Lodovico, he must not
    be surprised. Tell him by no means to lend them his ears; and if
    you want to know about them go to Messer Agnolo, the Herald of the
    Signoria, for I have written all the story to him, and he, out of
    his kindness, will relate it to you. Of Giovansimone I have heard.
    I shall be pleased if he goes to the shop of your master and is
    careful to do his best; and so comfort him, because, if all goes
    well, I have hopes of placing you both in a good position, if you
    will be discreet. About that land which is beside that of Mona
    (92) Zanobia, if Lodovico likes it, tell him to see about it and
    let me know. I think, according to what is rumoured here, the Pope
    will leave about the time of Carnival.

    "The first day of February, 1506.

                                          "MICHAEL ANGELO DI LODOVICO
                                               "DI BUONARROTA SIMONI,
                                               "Sculptor, in Bologna."

Notwithstanding this warning, the silly old man, his father, wrote a
scolding letter to his son about the workmen. Michael Angelo’s humble
reply was dated February 8, 1507.(93)

    "MOST REVERED FATHER,—I have received a letter from you to-day,
    from which I learn that you have been talked to by Lapo and
    Lodovico. I am glad that you should rebuke me, because I deserve
    to be rebuked as a miserable sinner, as much as any one, perhaps
    more. But you must know that I have not been guilty in this affair
    for which you blame me now."

He goes on to explain his dealings with the rogue Lapo. There is also
trouble about a sword-hilt(94) Michael Angelo had designed for Pietro
Aldobrandini. However, Aldobrandini objected that the blade was too short.
Michael Angelo affirmed that it was ordered exactly to the measure sent,
and bade his brother present it to Filippo Strozzi as a compliment from
the Buonarroti family; but the stupid fellow bungled it in some way, for
Michael Angelo writes to say that he is sorry "he behaved so scurvily
towards Filippo in so trifling an affair."

Michael Angelo must have spent his spare time in studying the bas-reliefs
by Jacopo della Quercia upon the façade of San Petronio, for he used many
of the motives in his next great work, the Sistine vault. When the wax
model of the statue of Pope Julius was ready, Michael Angelo sent to
Florence for the ordnance founder to the Republic, Maestro dal Ponte, of
Milan, to cast it for him. This master’s leave of absence was signed on
May 15, 1507. Just before the casting Michael Angelo wrote to Buonarroto:—

    "_To_ BUONARROTO DI LODOVICO SIMONI, _in Florence, at the Shop of_
    LORENZO STROZZI, _Wool Merchant, in Porta Rossa, Florence_.

    "BUONARROTO,—I have received yours by the hand of Master Bernardo,
    who has arrived; by it I hear all are well except Giovansimone,
    who has not yet recovered. I am very sorry, and it grieves me not
    to be able to help him. But soon I hope to be with you, and I will
    do something that will please him, and you others, too. Therefore
    comfort him and tell him to be of good cheer. Tell Lodovico also
    that about the middle of next month I hope to cast my figure
    without fail; therefore, if he will offer prayers, or anything
    else for its good success, let him do so betimes, and say I beg
    this of him. I have no time to write more. Things go well.

    "The twenty-sixth day of May (1507).

                                     "MICHAEL ANGELO, in Bologna."(95)

At last, on July 1, it is done, but done badly; and he writes:—

To the same.

    "BUONARROTO,—We have cast my figure, and it has come out so badly
    that I truly believe I shall have to do it all again. I cannot
    write all the particulars, because I have other things to think
    of. Enough that it has come badly. Thanks be to God all the same,
    because I believe everything is for the best. Before long I shall
    know what I have to do and will write to you. Tell Lodovico about
    it, and be of good cheer. And if it should be that I have to do it
    all again, and that I am not able to return to you, I will find
    means somehow to do what I have promised in the best way I can.

    "The first day of July.

    "MICHAEL ANGELO, in Bologna."(96)

He gives further details in his next letter:—

    "BUONARROTO,—Understand how that we have cast my figure. I have
    not had much luck in it; for Master Bernardino, either by
    ignorance or misfortune, did not sufficiently melt the bronze. How
    it happened would be long to tell; it is enough that my figure has
    come out up to the girdle; the rest of the stuff, that is to say
    the metal, remained in the furnace; it was not melted; so that to
    get it out I shall have the furnace taken to pieces, and that I am
    doing now, and I will have it remade again this week. Next week I
    will recast the upper part and finish filling the mould, and I
    believe that this bad business will go very well, but not without
    the greatest devotion, labour, and expense. I would have believed
    that Master Bernardino could have cast it without fire, so much
    faith had I in him; all the same, it is not that he is not a good
    master and that he did not work with a will. But he who fails,
    fails. And he has failed enough to my loss and his own, for he
    blames himself so much that he cannot lift his eyes in Bologna. If
    you see Baccio d’Agnolo read him this letter and ask him to tell
    San Gallo, at Rome, and remember me to him and to Giovanni da
    Ricasoli, and to Granaccio give my respects. I hope, if the thing
    goes well, in from fifteen to twenty days to be through with it
    and to return to you. If it should not go well, I should perhaps
    have to do it again. I will tell you all. Let me know how
    Giovansimone is.

    "The sixth day of July.  (_No signature_.)

    "With this will be a letter to go to Rome for Giuliano da San
    Gallo. Send it safely and as quickly as you can; but if he should
    happen to be in Florence, give it to him."(97)

Again, to the same:—

    "BUONORROTO,—I hear by one of yours that you are well and happy.
    It pleases me very much. My business here, I hope, will turn out
    well after all, but as yet I know nothing. We have recast the
    upper part which was wanting, as I informed you, but have not been
    able to see how it has come, for the sand is so hot that we cannot
    as yet uncover it. By next week I shall know and will tell you.
    Master Bernardino left here yesterday. When he salutes you receive
    him kindly enough.

    "The tenth day of July.

                                     "MICHAEL ANGELO, in Bologna."(98)

To the same, later (July 18, 1501):—

    "BUONARROTO,—My affairs might have turned out much better and also
    much worse; at any rate, all of it is there as far as I can make
    out, for it is not yet all uncovered. I estimate that it will take
    some months to chase, for it has come out with a bad surface; all
    the same, we must thank God! for, as I say, it might have been
    worse. If anything is said to you by Salvestro del Pollaiolo(99)
    or others, tell them that I do not need any one, so that no one
    will be sent here to be on my shoulders, because I have spent so
    much that there hardly remains enough for me to live on, let alone
    keeping others. About next week I will let you know more when I
    have uncovered the whole figure.

                                    "MICHAEL ANGELO, in Bologna."(100)

After several letters describing his labours, he writes, ultimately, to
the same:—

    "BUONARROTO,—I marvel you write to me so seldom. I am sure you
    have much more time to write to me than I to write to you, so let
    me hear often how things go. I understand by your last how, with
    good reason, you wish me to return soon. It made me anxious for
    several days; therefore, when you write to me, write strongly and
    clearly what the matter is so that I may understand it—and enough.
    Know that I desire to return soon even more than you desire it,
    for I pass my life here in the greatest discomfort and with the
    hardest labour, doing nothing but work day and night, and I have
    endured so much fatigue and hardship that if I should have to go
    through it again, I do not believe my life would hold out, for it
    has been an enormous undertaking, and if it had been in any one
    else’s hands it would have come out very badly. But I believe the
    prayers of some one have sustained me and kept me in health, for
    all Bologna was of opinion that I should never finish it after it
    was cast, and before also, when no one would believe that I should
    ever cast it. Enough that I have brought it to a good end, but I
    shall not quite have finished it by the end of this month, as I
    hoped; but next month, at any rate, it will be done, and I will
    return. So be all of good cheer, for I will do as I promised
    whatever happens. Comfort Lodovico and Giovansimone for me and
    write to me how Giovansimone does. Mind and learn to keep shop, so
    that you will know how to do it when you need, which will be soon.

    "The tenth day of November.

                                    "MICHAEL ANGELO, in Bologna."(101)

He worked on until February, and wrote to the same:—

    "BUONARROTO,—It is now a fortnight since I expected to be with
    you, for I thought that directly my figure was finished they would
    place it. And now these people are dawdling and doing nothing; and
    I have orders from the Pope not to leave until it is placed, so
    that it seems to me I shall be prevented. I shall stay and look
    after it all this week too; if there are no further orders I will
    come away at all costs, without observing the command. With this
    will be a letter to go to the Cardinal of Pavia, in which I reply
    to him about it all, so that he cannot complain. So put it in a
    cover and direct it to Giuliano da San Gallo on my part, and
    desire him to deliver it with his own hand.

    "Di Bologna (the 18th day of February, 1508)."(102)

On February 21, 1508, the statue of Pope Julius II. was hoisted on to its
pedestal above the great central door of San Petronio. Alas! this work
which cost Michael Angelo a year and three months of hard, unremitting
labour only existed for about twice that period. It was destroyed by the
worst enemy of art—war. The Papal Legate fled from Bologna in 1511 and the
Bentivogli again entered the city. The people of their party dragged the
heavy bronze to the ground and broke it into pieces on December 30. The
broken fragments were sent to Alfonso d’Este, Duke of Ferrara, who cast a
huge cannon with the metal, which the Italians, with their usual mocking
spirit, immediately called La Giulia. The Duke kept the head only, and
said he would not take its weight in gold for it; it weighed six hundred
pounds. This head has disappeared too; there is no drawing, engraving, or
any fragment to help us to reconstruct in our minds this mighty bronze;
only, perhaps, we may imagine that we have an echo of this Pope by Michael
Angelo when we turn our eyes from the bare front of San Petronio to the
niche on the Palazzo Comunale to the right of the square, where a bronze
Pope, Gregory XIII., stretches his hand to curse the iconoclastic people.
In the Piazza Dante, at Perugia, is the bronze statue of Pope Julius III.,
by Vincenzio Dante, that makes us think of the master, and in Rimini a
mighty bronze form stretches out his right hand with a threatening
gesture. He, too, is a Pope—Paul V.

                               [Image #13]


                          SISTINE CHAPEL, ROME
            (By permission of the Fratelli Alinari, Florence)


                     THE VAULT OF THE SISTINE CHAPEL

Michael Angelo’s work in Bologna well over, he returned to Florence upon
March 18, 1508, and hired his house at Borgo Pinti from the Operai del
Duomo, probably intending to proceed with the Twelve Apostles for that
church. Michael Angelo’s father now emancipated his son from parental
control. The date of the document is March 13; it was entered in the State
Archives upon March 28. According to the law of Florence a son was not of
age until his father had executed this document. Michael Angelo appears to
have had the idea of settling in Florence at this time, but "his Medusa,"
as he called the Pope, commanded the presence of his artist in Rome as
soon as he heard that the work at Bologna was finished. Michael Angelo
obeyed at once this time. We have a good account by his own hand of what
happened when he arrived in Rome, his famous letter to Fattucci, written
sixteen years later.


    "_From_ FLORENCE (_January_ 1524).

    "MESSER GIOVAN FRANCESCO,—You ask of me in your letter how my
    affairs stood with Pope Julius. I tell you that I estimate that I
    could demand payment and interest on it, to receive money rather
    than give it. For when he sent for me to Florence, I believe it
    was in the second year of his Pontificate, I had begun to decorate
    the half of the Sala del Consiglio of Florence, that is to paint
    it. I was to have had three thousand ducats for it, and the
    cartoon was already completed, as was well known to all Florence,
    so that they seemed to me half earned. And of the Twelve Apostles,
    which I had still to do for Santa Maria del Fiore, one was
    sketched out, as may still be seen; and I had carried thither the
    greater part of the marbles. Pope Julius calling me away, I
    received nothing for either undertaking. Afterwards, I being in
    Rome with the said Pope Julius, he commissioned me to make his
    tomb, into which was to go a thousand ducats’ worth of marbles. He
    paid me the money, and sent me to Carrara for them; there I stayed
    eight months having them blocked out, and brought them almost all
    to the piazza of St. Peter’s; a part remained at the Ripa. After I
    had paid the freightage of these said marbles the money received
    for this work came to an end. I furnished the house I had on the
    piazza of St. Peter’s with beds and furniture with my own money,
    on my hopes of the tomb, and sent for workmen from Florence (some
    of whom are still living), and paid them with my own in advance.
    By this time Pope Julius had changed his mind, and no longer
    wished to have it done. I, not knowing this and going to him for
    money, was chased from the room; and for this insult I immediately
    left Rome, and everything I had in my house went to the bad; and
    these marbles which I had bought lay on the piazza of St. Peter’s
    until the creation of Pope Leo; and on every side things went
    wrong. Among other things that I can prove, two pieces, of four
    braccia and a half each, on the Ripa were stolen from me by
    Agostino Chigi, which had cost me more than fifty gold ducats; and
    these could be claimed for, because there are witnesses. But to
    return to the marbles. From the time that I went for them, and
    that I remained at Carrara, until I was driven from the Palace,
    was more than a year, for which period I never received anything,
    and I paid out many tens of ducats.

                               [Image #14]

                             CREATION OF MAN

                             SISTINE CHAPEL
       (_By permission of Messrs. Braun, Clement & Co., in Dornach,

    "Afterwards, the first time Pope Julius went to Bologna, I was
    obliged to take my courage in both hands and go there to beg his
    pardon; then he ordered me to make his portrait in bronze, which
    was seated, about seven braccia high. He asking me what it would
    cost, I said I believed I could cast it for a thousand ducats, but
    that it was not my art and that I could not promise. He replied to
    me: ’Go to work and cast it until it come well, and we will give
    you what will content you.’ To be brief, it was cast twice. At the
    end of the two years that I stayed there I found myself four
    ducats and a half in pocket; and during that time I never received
    anything for all the expenses that I had, except the thousand
    ducats which I had said that I could cast it for; these were paid
    me in several installments by Messer Antonio Maria da Legnia
    (_me_), the Bolognese.

    "Having hoisted the figure on to the façade of San Petronio, and
    returned to Rome, Pope Julius did not yet wish me to go on with
    the tomb, but set me to paint the vault of Sisto, and we made an
    agreement for three thousand ducats. The first design was for
    twelve apostles in the lunettes, and for the rest certain
    compartments filled with ornaments of the usual sort.

    "After beginning the said work it seemed to me it would be but a
    poor thing. He asked me why? I told him, because they also were
    poor. Then he gave me a new order to do what I would, and that he
    would satisfy me, and that I was to paint down to the stories
    below. When the vault was almost finished the Pope returned to
    Bologna, where I went twice for money I needed, uselessly, and
    lost all my time, until he returned to Rome. I returned to Rome
    and set myself to work on the cartoons for the said vault, that
    is, for the ends and sides of the said Chapel of Sisto, hoping to
    have money to finish the work. I never could obtain anything; and
    complaining one day to Messer Bernardo da Bibbiena and Attalante
    how that I was unable to stay any longer in Rome, but that I must
    go away, with the help of God, Messer Bernardo said to Attalante
    that he must remember that he was to give me money in any case,
    and he had two thousand ducats of the Chamber given to me, which
    are the moneys, with that first thousand for marbles, that they
    put to the account of the tomb; and I estimate that I should have
    more for the time lost and the work done. And of the said moneys,
    Messer Bernardo and Attalante having obtained it for me, I gave to
    the one a hundred ducats, to the other fifty.

    "Then came the death of Pope Julius, and in the first years of
    Leo, Aginensis, wishing to enlarge the tomb, that is, to make a
    greater work than the design I had at first prepared, we made a
    contract, and I not wishing the said three thousand ducats I had
    received to be put to the account of the tomb, and showing that I
    ought to have much more, Aginensis said to me that I was a

                               [Image #15]

                             CREATION OF MAN

                          DETAIL, SISTINE CHAPEL

The preliminary works for the vault of the Sistine Chapel were carried on
without delay, and there is a note in Michael Angelo’s hand, saying: "I
record how on this day, the tenth of May, in the year one thousand five
hundred and eight, I, Michael Angelo, Sculptor, have received from the
Holiness of our Lord Pope Julius II. five hundred ducats of the Camera,
the which were paid me by Messer Carlino, chamberlain, and Messer Carlo
degli Albizzi, on account of the painting of the vault of the Chapel of
Pope Sisto, on which I begin to work this day, under the conditions and
contracts set forth in a document written by his Most Reverend Lordship of
Pavia, and signed by my hand. For the painter assistants who are to come
from Florence, who will be five in number, twenty gold ducats of the
Camera a-piece, on this condition, that is to say, that when they are here
and are working in accord with me, the said twenty ducats shall be
reckoned to each man’s salary; the said salary to begin upon the day they
leave Florence to come here. And if they do not agree with me, half the
said money shall be paid them for their travelling expenses and for their

From this important record we learn that Michael Angelo, who still calls
himself "sculptor," intends to engage five painter assistants, and very
wisely arranges terms by which he can send them away if he does not get on
with them, and also that he began to work upon May 10, 1508. This must not
be taken to mean that he began to paint, but only to prepare the vault by
carefully pointing the bricks and covering it with rough cast plaster
ready for the fine coat called intonaca, in this case made of marble dust
and Roman lime, prepared each day and plastered on the wall in patches
sufficient for one day’s work only. In true fresco painting the colour is
put on the plaster only whilst it is still wet. Michael Angelo must also
have prepared a general scheme to scale from his small design, approved by
the Pope, and set it off with very careful measurements on the surface of
the rough cast, at least as to the architectural framework. The cartoons
for the figure-subjects and details he may have left until they were
needed. He considerably altered the scale of the figures in his stories as
he proceeded with the work; this alteration in scale is not only
observable in the central subjects or pictures of the vault, but also in
the decorative figures on the framework, called Athletes; those at the
end, near the stories of Noah and the Flood, and where Michael Angelo
began to work, are at least a head smaller than those at the other end of
the chapel over the altar, where the stories relate to the Creation. This
can be seen even in a photographic reproduction. Although the development
of the great scheme was so much upon the traditional lines of Italian art,
yet the details of arrangement and placing must have fully occupied the
artist for some months. He cannot have begun actually to paint on the
vault until late autumn, at least, not any of the work we see now, for his
assistants did not arrive from Florence until August, and he had to
experiment with their work, and find it wanting, before he dismissed them,
destroyed their work, and began alone. All the work of the part of the
vault executed first is by Michael Angelo’s own hand, as far as can be
judged from the floor of the chapel, or from the cornice level with the
windows. The following receipts for the plaster, or for rough-coating the
vault, show that painting cannot have begun so early as has been

                               [Image #16]

                           THE CREATION OF EVE

                           SISTINE CHAPEL, ROME

    "In the name of God, the 11th day of May, 1508.

    "I, Piero di Jacopo Roselli, Master Mason, have this day received,
    the 11th of May as above said, from Michael Angelo Bonaroti,
    Sculptor, ten ducats in gold, full weight, on account of
    ’Scialbatura’ on the vault of Pope Sixtus, and for rough
    plastering in his chapel, and doing that which was needful by
    order of Pope Julius; and in faith of the truth I have done this
    with my own hand, this day above said. Ducats 10 of gold, full

This payment was made by Michael Angelo. The second receipt of Rosselli
for fifteen ducats was made out on May 24, to Francesco Granacci, so he
was already in Rome, helping his friend. The next payment of ten ducats
was also made by Granacci on June 3, and another on June 10. On July 17
Michael Angelo himself paid the mason; so Granacci had gone to Florence by
then to hire the other assistants. On July 27 Michael Angelo paid Rosselli
thirty golden ducats, full weight, for rough plastering and other details.
The amount paid, and the time taken, go to prove that the whole vault was
plastered. Granacci(106) wrote from Florence about the assistants. Heath
Wilson gives a literal translation of his rather bewildering letter.

    "VERY DEAR FRIEND,—I recommend myself and wish you infinite
    health. This is to your Excellency, as to-day I met Raffaelino,
    the painter, and gathered from him in fine that if you have need
    of him he will come at your bidding, should you be pleased to pay
    him the salary which he has received from the Master Pietro Matteo
    d’Amelia, who, he says, gave him ten ducats a month. Ever faithful
    to your Excellency, I give the advice as from myself. If you have
    need to employ him, offer him your amount of salary; he is ready
    to do what you may command as to work. He is a good master and
    honest. And if for me there is anything, advise me, for I am
    always here to do for you those things which are useful and
    honourable. If I can do one thing more than another let me know; I
    will do it with love and solicitude. Nothing more. Christ have you
    in his keeping. _Bene Valeti_.

    "This day, 22nd of July, 1508.

                                                  "FRANCESCO GRANACCI.

    "If you can employ me as above is said, I shall be willing to be
    with you. Nothing more.

                                                     "GIOVANNI MICHI,
                                               "San Lorenzo, Florence
                                   "(Faithful service and honest man).

                                    "Directed to the Excellent Master
                                         Michael Angelo, Florence, at
                                          St. Peter’s, Sculptor, Rome.

    "Given from the Bank of Baldassare in Campo di Fiore."

                               [Image #17]

                              THE EXPULSION

                          SISTINE CHAPEL, ROME
  (_By permission of Messrs. Braun, Clément & Co., in. Dornach, Alsace_)

Neither Raffaellino del Garbo nor Giovanni Michi were employed, but the
next letter of Granacci, dated July 24, 1508, mentions Giuliano
Buggiardini and Jacopo L’Indaco, who were both tried. Vasari informs us
that Granacci, Jacopo di Sandro, and the elder Indaco, Agnolo di Donnino,
and Aristotile da Sangallo also accepted work. We have another proof that
the actual fresco painting did not begin at this period, in a document
preserved in the National Archives at Florence. Heath Wilson obtained
legal opinion that Michael Angelo must have been in Florence in person
when this deed was executed. It runs: "In the year of our Lord, 1508, on
the 11th day of August, Michael Angelo, the son of Ludovico Lionardo di
Buonarroto, cancelled his lawful claim upon the estate of his uncle
Francis by a deed drawn up by Ser Giovanni di Guasparre da Montevarchi,
Florentine notary, on the 27th of the month of July, 1508." Another
instance of Michael Angelo’s generosity to his family. If Michael Angelo
at once proceeded to Rome, he and his assistants may have begun work
towards the end of August. During all this period we must notice how
troubled he was by the affairs of his family and his household
arrangements. Michael Angelo, while living like a poor man in Rome, sent
money to, and purchased land for, his family in Florence, and helped to
establish Buonarroto in business, but they were never satisfied, and his
letters to his father and Giovan Simone show how his mind was troubled.
There is a letter in the British Museum that belongs to this summer of

    "MOST REVEREND FATHER,—I have learnt by your last how things go
    with you, and how Giovan Simone behaves himself. I have not had
    worse news for ten years than on the evening when I read your
    letter, for I thought that I had arranged their affairs so that
    they had reason to hope they would make a good shop with my aid.
    Now, I see, they do the contrary, especially Giovan Simone. From
    this I know that it is profitless to try and do him good. Had it
    been possible on the day when I received your letter I should have
    mounted on horseback and by this time should have settled
    everything; but not being able to do so, I write him such a letter
    as appears to me to be necessary, and if from now he does not
    change his nature, or if ever he takes from the home so much as a
    stick, or does anything to displease you, I pray you to let me
    know, because I will obtain leave from the Pope to come to you,
    when I shall show him his error. I wish you to be certain that all
    the labours which I have continually endured have been more for
    your sake than for my own, and the property which I have bought I
    have bought that it may be yours whilst you live. Had it not been
    for you I should not have bought it. Therefore, if it please you
    to let this house or the farm, do so; and with that income and
    with what I shall give you you will live like a gentleman. Were it
    not that the summer were coming on I would say come and live with
    me here, but it is not the season, for here in summer you would
    not live long. It has occurred to me to take from him (Giovan
    Simone) the money which he has in the shop, and to give it to
    Gismondo, so that he and Buonarroto may get on together as well as
    they can ... and if you let these said houses and the farm of the
    Pazolatica, and with that income and with the help that I will
    give you besides, you will take refuge in some place where you
    will be comfortable, and you will be able to keep some one to
    serve you either in Florence or outside Florence, and leave that
    good-for-nothing ... I pray you to consider yourself, and in all
    things whatever you wish to do—that is, for yourself in all you
    desire—I will aid you all I know and can. Let me hear about
    Cassandra’s affairs. I am advised not to go to law about it here.
    I am told that I shall spend here three times as much as there;
    and this is certain, for a grosso goes further there than two
    carlini here. Besides, I have no friend here to trust to, and I
    could not attend to such things. It seems to me, when you desire
    to attend to it, that you should go by the usual way, as reason
    demands, and you must defend yourself as well as you are able and
    know how; and for the money that is necessary to spend I will not
    fail as long as I have any. Have as little fear as you can, for it
    is not a case of life and death. No more. Let me know, as I told
    you above.

                                  "From MICHAEL ANGELO, in Rome."(107)

                               [Image #18]

                                THE DELUGE

                     A DETAIL, SISTINE CHAPEL, ROME
 (_Reproduced by permission from a photograph by Sig. D. Anderson, Rome_)

Truly his family did all they could to disturb his mind during this
important period of the development of his greatest work. The mind that
wrote the following letter to Giovan Simone cannot have been in a good
state for work; but as he never lets a thought about his art appear in his
letters, so, no doubt, when once the mood of work was upon him, all other
thoughts were left without the workshop door:

    "ROME, _July_ 1508.

    "GIOVAN SIMONE,—It is said that when one does good to a good man
    it makes him become better, but a bad man becomes worse. I have
    tried now many years with words and deeds of kindness to bring you
    to live honestly and in peace with your father and the rest of us.
    You grow continually worse. I do not say that you are a bad man,
    but you are of such sort that you have ceased to please me or
    anybody. I could read you a long lesson on your ways of living,
    but they would be idle words, like all the rest that I have wasted
    on you. To cut the matter short, I will tell you for a certain
    truth that you have nothing in the world. What you spend and your
    house-room I give you, and have given you these many years, for
    the love of God, believing you to be my brother like the rest.
    Now, I am sure that you are not my brother, else you would not
    threaten my father. Nay, you are a beast; and as a beast I mean to
    treat you. Know that he who sees his father threatened or roughly
    handled is bound to risk his own life in this cause. Enough, I
    tell you that you have nothing in the world; and if I hear the
    least thing about your goings on, I will come post-haste and show
    you your error, and teach you to waste your substance and set fire
    to houses and farms you have not earned. Indeed, you are not where
    you think yourself to be. If I come, I will open your eyes to what
    will make you weep hot tears, and let you know on what false
    grounds you found your pride.

    "I have something else to say to you which I have not said before.
    If you will endeavour to live rightly, and to honour and revere
    your father, I will help you like the rest, and make you able
    shortly to open a good shop. If you do not do so, I shall come and
    settle your affairs in such a fashion that you will know what you
    are better than you ever did, and will understand what you have in
    the world, and it will be seen in every place where you may go. No
    more. What I lack in words I will supply with deeds.

                                             "MICHAEL ANGELO, in Rome.

                               [Image #19]


                          SISTINE CHAPEL, ROME
           (_By permission of the Fratelli Alinari, Florence_)

    "I cannot refrain from adding two lines. It is this: I have gone
    these twelve years past, drudging about through all Italy, borne
    every shame, suffered every hardship, worn my body in every toil,
    put my life into a thousand dangers, solely to help the fortunes
    of my house, and now that I have begun to raise it up a little,
    you alone choose to destroy and ruin in one hour all that I have
    done in so many years, and with such labours. By Christ’s body
    this shall not be! for I am the man to confound ten thousand such
    as you whenever it be needed. Be wise in time then, and do not try
    one who has other things to vex him."

So with hindrances enough, private and public, we must imagine the great
artist climbing his scaffolding to the vault of the Pope’s chapel,
followed by his assistants, and setting them their task, transferring his
full-size outline cartoons, prepared from the general designs, to the
roof. We may fancy L’Indaco, Buggiardini, and the rest, staring with
amazement at the huge figures and the great flowing lines before them, and
trying to fit their dry manner of painting to the new grandeur of design.
It could but end in one way. The clause prepared beforehand by Michael
Angelo in the contracts came into effect, and they had to be sent away,
with plenty of grumbling on their part, no doubt. Michael Angelo was too
exacting in the perfection of his taste to allow any work short of the
absolute ideal he had imagined. Unlike Raphael, who was working in the
neighbouring stanze, and who was contented to pass, and some would have us
believe to execute, ill-turned foreshortenings and false drawing, so long
as his general effect was preserved and the work done in reasonable time.
Perhaps his gentle and sunlike genius could not bear to use harsh words
and shut the door against the mediocre men with whom he was surrounded.
Michael Angelo could brook no imperfection of whatever kind, so that he
destroyed all that his assistants had done and shut himself up alone in
the chapel. He was the only man who could do the work to his satisfaction;
so he did it, alone and unaided, as to the actual painting, and produced a
work unequalled in perfection since Phidias worked in Athens.

The dismissal of his assistants appears to have begun about the New Year
1509. It is hinted at in this letter:—

    "DEAREST FATHER,—I have to-day received one of yours. When I read
    it I was sufficiently displeased. I doubt that you are more timid
    and fearful than you need be. I should like you to tell me what
    you imagine they can do to you, that is, if it should come to the
    worst. I have no more to say. It grieves me that you should be in
    such fear, so I comfort you by advising you to be well prepared
    against their power, with good advice, and then think no more
    about it; for if they took away all you have in the world you
    should not lack means to be comfortable as long as I was there.
    Therefore be of good cheer. I am still in a great quandary, for it
    is now a year since I received a groat from the Pope, and I do not
    ask for it, for my work does not go forward in such a fashion as
    to deserve it, as it seems to me. And this is because of the
    difficulty of the work, and also that it is not my profession. And
    so I lose my time fruitlessly. God help me. If you are in need of
    money go to the Spedalingo(108) and make him give you anything up
    to fifteen ducats, and let me know what remains. Jacopo,(109) the
    painter whom I brought here, has just left, and as he has been
    grumbling here about my doings, I expect he will grumble there
    also. Turn a deaf ear to him. It is enough. For he is a thousand
    times in the wrong. I have good reason to complain of him. Take no
    notice of him. Tell Buonarroto that I will reply to him another

    "The day twenty 7 of January.

                                       "MICHAEL ANGELO, in Rome."(110)

                               [Image #20]


                          SISTINE CHAPEL, ROME
           (_By permission of the Fratelli Alinari, Florence_)

Buggiardini appears to have fared better than L’Indaco. He painted a
portrait of Michael Angelo with a towel tied round his head like a turban,
now in the Casa Buonarroti, at Florence. From the age of the sitter it
appears to belong to this period; the towel may have been used to protect
the hair and head of the artist from falling colour as he painted the roof
above him. It is an energetic head, with jet black hair and sallow
complexion, with many lines and wrinkles for so young a face, determined,
sad, and scornful in expression; a slight weakness and affectation may be
due to the personality of the painter. Buggiardini also executed a
painting from the cartoon of the master, the Madonna and Child with
Angels, number 809, of the National Gallery. The beauty and grandeur of
the lines of this design are far above the imagination of any one except
Michael Angelo, but the details of the execution of the hands and the feet
are inferior to any authentic work of his. The hatchings in the shadows,
especially of the draperies, are made up of short and feeble lines, and do
not express the form of the folds at all in the same way as we are
accustomed to see Michael Angelo express them, even in his earlier
drawings, the copies from Giotto and the primitives. The form of the
mouths, and the expression and shape of the heads, especially in the
second angel on the right, are similar to the work of Buggiardini as seen
in Florence, Milan, and the Cathedral of Pisa. Buggiardini is the only one
of the assistants who seems to have reaped any benefit, beyond their
wages, from the work they did for the great master. This trouble with his
assistants was not the only difficulty that Michael Angelo had to contend
with in the execution of his work. Vasari says that he shut himself alone
in the chapel, without any one to help him even in the grinding of his
colours; but, as he adds, that he took great precautions to prevent the
workmen informing the public as to what he was doing, we must assume that
Vasari was repeating a fable that had grown up about the marvellous work
forty years after it was executed, much as we might at this day repeat
stories of the making of the Wellington Monument by Alfred Stevens. The
carpenters and plasterers Michael Angelo employed would soon learn to
perform the more mechanical part of his work, such as laying the intonaco,
pricking the cartoons, and grinding colours, and as they could not have
inserted into the work any tradition contrary to the new manner of the
artist, would be preferred by him to second-rate artist assistants; no
doubt, too, the boy he employed in household work would be made to help.
The trouble he had in his household arrangements before the time of his
trusted servant, Urbino, may be illustrated by a letter relating to the
boy he got from Florence about this time. He never would have a woman to
work for him in any way.

                               [Image #21]


                          SISTINE CHAPEL, ROME
           (_By permission of the Fratelli Alinari, Florence_)


                                               "ROME (_January_ 1510).

    "MOST REVERED FATHER,—I answered you about the business of
    Bernardino, as I wished first to settle the affairs of my
    household as you know, and so I now reply to you. I sent first for
    him because I was promised that within a few days he would be
    ready and that I might get to work. Afterwards I saw that it would
    be a long business; in the meantime I am seeking another suitable
    one to get out of it. I won’t have any work done until I am ready,
    but tell him how the matter stands. About the boy who came, that
    rascal of a muleteer did me out of a ducat. He took an oath that
    he had agreed for two broad golden ducats, and all the lads who
    come here with the muleteers do not give more than ten carlinos. I
    was more angry than if I had lost twenty-five ducats, because I
    see it is the fault of the father, who wanted to send him on
    muleback in state. Oh! I had never such good fortune! not I.
    Although the father declared, and the son likewise, that he would
    do anything, attend to the mule, and sleep on the ground if
    necessary; and now I have to look after him. Did I need any more
    bothers than I have had since my return? Here I have my boy, whom
    I left here, ill since the day I returned until now. He is now
    better it is true, but he has been between life and death, given
    up by the doctors, so that for about a month I have not been in
    bed, let alone many others. Now I have this nuisance of a boy, who
    says, and says again, that he does not want to lose time, that he
    must learn. And he told me that he would be satisfied with two or
    three hours a day. Now all day is not enough, so that he will be
    drawing all night also. These are counsels of the father. If I say
    anything he would declare that I did not wish him to learn. I want
    some one to mind the house, and if he did not feel like doing it
    they should not have put me to this expense. But they are no good,
    no good at all, and are working for their own ends; but enough. I
    beg you to have him taken away from before me, for he annoys me so
    much that I cannot stand him any longer. The muleteer has had so
    much money that he can very well take him back again; he is a
    friend of his father’s. Tell the father to send for him. I’ll not
    give him another farthing, for I have no money, I will have
    patience until he sends for him, and if he is not sent for I will
    turn him out, for I have done so already, on the second day after
    his arrival and other times as well, and he won’t believe it.

    "For the business of the shop I will send you a hundred ducats
    next Saturday. With this, if you see that they are diligent and do
    well, give it to them and make me their creditor, as I was to
    Buonarroto when he went away. If they are not diligent, and do
    badly, place it to my account at Santa Maria Nuova. It is not yet
    time to buy.

                                        "Your MICHAEL ANGELO, in Rome.

    "If you are speaking to the father of the boy, put the matter
    nicely, mannerly; that he is a good lad, but too genteel, and that
    he is not fit for my work, and that he must send for him."(111)

                               [Image #22]


                          SISTINE CHAPEL, ROME
           (_By permission of the Fratelli Alinari, Florence_)

The more gentle tone of the postscript is very characteristic. Outwardly
he would be rough, consumed with anger and indignation; but inwardly his
nature was kindly to a degree to those he had about him.

Condivi tells us of the delay in the works in the Sistine due to the mould
on the surface of the fresco, and of the haste of Julius. The progress was
fast enough, one would have thought, even for that exacting Pontiff; for
although the whole work consists, on counting heads, of some three hundred
and ninety-four figures, the majority ten feet high; the prophets and
sibyls, twelve in number, would be eighteen feet high if they stood up;
yet by the following letters to his brother Buonarroto, of October 1509,
we know he had finished the first half, consisting probably of some two
hundred figures, even then; or assuming that he began to paint when the
assistants were dismissed in January 1509, he worked at the rate of about
a figure a day.


                             _From_ ROME, _the 17th of October, 1509._

    "BUONARROTO,—I got the bread: it is good, but it is not good
    enough to make a trade of, for there would be little gain. I gave
    the knave five carlini, and he would hardly hand it over. I learn
    by your last how Lorenzo(112) will pass this way, and how I am to
    give him a good reception. It appears you do not know how I am
    situated here, all the same I excuse you. What I can do, I will.
    About Gismondo and how he intends to come here to advance his
    business, tell him from me not to have any designs on me, not
    because I do not love him as a brother, but because I am unable to
    help him in anything. I am obliged to love myself more than
    others, and I have not enough for my own needs. I live here in
    great distress and with the greatest fatigue of body, and have not
    a friend of any sort, and do not want one, and have not even
    enough time to eat necessary food; therefore, do not annoy me any
    more, for I cannot bear another ounce.

    For the shop I encourage you to be careful. It pleases me to hear
    that Giovanni Simone begins to do well. Endeavour to advance a
    little, or, at least, maintain what you have got, so that you will
    know how to manage larger affairs afterwards; for I have a hope,
    when I return to you, that you will be men enough to manage for
    yourselves. Tell Lodovico that I have not replied to him because I
    had not the time, and not to wonder if I do not write.

                             "MICHAEL ANGELO, Sculptor, in Rome."(113)

To the same.

                                            _From_ ROME (_Oct. 1509_).

    "BUONARROTO,—I hear by your last how that all are well, and how
    Lodovico has another office. It all pleases me, and I encourage
    him to accept it if it will allow him to return when necessary to
    his post in Florence. I am here just as usual, and shall have
    finished my painting by the end of next week, that is, the part of
    it I began; and when I have uncovered it I believe I shall receive
    my money, and I will endeavour again to get leave to come to you
    for a month. I do not know whether it will be, but I need it for I
    am not very well. I have no time to write more. I will tell you
    what happens.

                             "MICHAEL ANGELO, Sculptor, in Rome."(114)

                               [Image #23]

                            THE DELPHIC SIBYL

                          SISTINE CHAPEL, ROME
 (_Reproduced by permission from a photograph by Sig. D. Anderson, Rome_)

The work was exposed to view upon November 1, 1509. So at the longest
possible estimate of time from May 10, 1508, to November 1, 1509, Michael
Angelo took four hundred and sixty-two working days to paint it. The more
probable, in fact, almost certain estimate of the time occupied in
painting the fresco, as we now see it, is from the time his assistants
left him, about New Year’s Day 1509, to November 1 in the same year, or
two hundred and thirty-four working days. As the plaster could only be
painted on whilst wet, we can tell, by the marks of the divisions between
the separate days’ plasterings, how many days the larger individual
figures took. One of the largest and most prominent, as well as one of the
finest and most finished, the Adam in the Creation of Man, was painted in
three sittings only. The lines of the junctions of the plaster may be seen
in a photograph; one is along the collar bone, and one across the junction
of the body and the thighs. There is also a division all round the figure,
an inch or so from the outline, so we know that the beautiful and highly
finished head and neck were painted in one day; the stupendous torso and
arms in another; and the huge legs, finished in every detail, in a third.
Such power of work and of finish is utterly inconceivable to any artist of
to-day. Some will even excuse the imperfection of the study of a head by
saying that they had only three or four sittings.

Condivi asserts, and Vasari follows him, that the part uncovered in
November 1509, was the first half of the whole vault, beginning at the
large door of entrance and ending in the middle. But Albertini states in
his _Mirabilia Urbis_(115) that the upper portion of the whole vaulted
roof had been uncovered when he saw it in 1509, and this statement is
corroborated by the work itself. There is a distinct enlargement of the
style from the Sin of the Sons of Ham through the series of the Creation
and the Athletes to the Prophets and Sibyls, and again from the first of
these, near the large door, to those near the altar wall. So it may have
been the complete work on the flat part of the vault that was shown to the
world, including the story of the Creation and Fall of Man; and it was
not, therefore, so very unreasonable of Bramante to propose that Raphael
should continue the work, for he probably did not know of Michael Angelo’s
intention of commemorating the promise of the Redeemer by his prophets and
sibyls upon the curved surface of the vaulting. Michael Angelo was
naturally indignant at his action, but Julius, who probably was the only
man who knew Michael Angelo’s scheme, commanded him to complete his work.

We gather from a letter to his father that the scaffolding for completing
the painting of the vault was not put up on September 7, 1510.

                               [Image #24]

                             THE PROPHET JOEL

                          SISTINE CHAPEL, ROME
           (_By permission of the Fratelli Alinari, Florence_)


                                     _From_ ROME, _September 7, 1510._

    "DEAREST FATHER,—I have received your last, and hear with the
    greatest anxiety that Buonarroto is ill; therefore, as soon as you
    see this, go to the Spedalingo(116) and make him give you fifty or
    an hundred ducats; you may need them. Arrange that all things
    necessary be provided in good time, and that there be no lack of
    money. Let me tell you how that I am waiting to receive from the
    Pope five hundred ducats, well earned, and he should give me as
    much again to put up the scaffolding and go on with the other part
    of my work. And he has gone from here without leaving me any
    orders. I have written him a letter. I do not know what will
    follow. I should have come to you immediately on the receipt of
    your last, but if I left without permission I doubt the Pope would
    be angry, and I should lose all that I ought to have.
    Nevertheless, let me know immediately if Buonarroto should still
    be very bad, because if you think I ought to come I will ride post
    and be with you in two days, for men are worth more than money.
    Let me know at once, for I am very anxious.

    "On the 7th day of September.

                        "Your MICHAEL ANGELO, Sculptor, in Rome."(117)

The following note tells of the end of the work:

"I have finished the Chapel which I painted. The Pope is very well
satisfied, but other things do not happen as I wished. Lay blame on the
times, which are unfavourable to art." It is a note by Michael Angelo in
the Buonarroto manuscripts of the British Museum, but undated. It is
probably of October 1512, and marks the close of this period of enormous
work. The decoration of the Sistine Chapel now consisted, firstly, on the
flat of the vault, of Michael Angelo’s history of the Creation and the
Fall of Man, of the Punishment of the Flood, and the Second Entry of Sin
into the World; secondly, on the pendentives, of the Prophets and Sibyls
proclaiming the coming of a Redeemer; and thirdly, of the Ancestors of
Christ, filling the arches of the windows and the arches on the two end
walls. Those on the altar wall are now covered by angels bearing the
instruments of the Passion of Christ, parts of the great fresco of the
Last Judgment, finished by Michael Angelo thirty years afterwards. At
Oxford there are two drawings after these two destroyed frescoes of the
Ancestors of Christ series. Fourthly, at the four corners the four great
Deliverances of the Chosen People, emblems of the Redemption; fifthly,
below, between the windows, a row of the figures of the Popes by Sandro
Botticelli and others; these are still in existence, except the three that
were on the wall of the high altar, now occupied by the Last Judgment.
They were the earliest of the Popes, St. Peter probably in the centre.
Lastly, below again, the great series of frescoes of the History of Christ
and the History of Moses by Sandro Botticelli, Domenico del Ghirlandaio,
Cosimo Rosselli, Pietro Perugino, Bernardino Pintoricchio, Luca
Signorelli, and Bartolomeo della Gatta. This splendid series forms a
worthy predella to the epic work of Michael Angelo above; that they are
worthy the one of the other is the highest compliment that can be paid to
either. These stories well repay prolonged study, and help to keep our
mind fresh to enjoy the idea of the advance Michael Angelo made in the art
of painting. It is very instructive to compare his work with these
frescoes of men who were almost his contemporaries. Above the altar three
of this series were destroyed to make way for the Last Judgment; they were
all three by Perugino, and represented the Assumption of the Virgin in the
centre, the Nativity on the right, and the finding of Moses on the left.
At the opposite end, over the great door, were two pictures by Domenico
del Ghirlandaio, representing the Resurrection of Christ, and Michael
contending with Satan for the Body of Moses, completing the series of the
lives of the Redeemer and of his prototype in the Old Testament: Moses,
the Deliverer. These last two works were destroyed for the ridiculous
caricatures of Arrigo Fiammingo and Mattei da Lecce. Ultimately the
Tapestry woven after the cartoons by Raphael, now at South Kensington
Museum, completed the cycle of decoration down to the ground level.

                               [Image #25]

                           THE PROPHET EZEKIEL

                          SISTINE CHAPEL, ROME
           (_By permission of the Fratelli Alinari, Florence_)

When Pope Julius prevented Michael Angelo from going on with his beloved
project of the Tomb and made him paint the vault, the master set to work
to produce a similar conception to the Tomb in a painted form. The vault
became a great temple of painted marble and painted sculptures raised in
mid-air above the walls of the chapel. The cornices and pilasters are of
simple Renaissance architecture, the only ornaments he allowed himself to
use being similar to those he would have used as a sculptor. Acorns, the
family device of the della Rovere, rams’ skulls, and scallop shells, and
the one theme of decoration that Michael Angelo always delighted in—the
human figure. The Prophets and Sibyls took the positions occupied by the
principal figures designed for the Tomb, like the great statue of Moses.
The Athletes at the corner of the ribs of the roof were in place of the
bound captives, two of which are now in the Louvre, and the nine histories
of the Creation and the Flood fill the panels like the bronze reliefs of
the Tomb. The detail and completeness of this fresco are the best
refutation of the frequent criticism that Michael Angelo did not finish
his work. The fact is, that he finished more than any one. Had Michael
Angelo done no work but this vault of the Sistine Chapel, it would have
represented an output equal in quantity alone to that of the most prolific
of his brother Italian artists. It is veritably a large picture-gallery of
his works in itself. An idea of its numerical magnitude may be got by
dividing it up into its component units and making an inventory of them.
The vault itself, according to Heath Wilson, is one hundred and thirty-one
feet six inches long, by forty-five feet two and a half inches wide at the
large door end, and forty-three feet two and a half inches at the altar
end, an area of nearly six thousand square feet, which apparently does not
represent the arch measurement but only the plane covered by the arch, nor
does it take account of the triangular and semicircular spaces above the
windows. This vast surface is divided into:—

Four large pictures stretching over more than one-third of the width of
the roof, and containing from five to more than forty-five figures, some
of them twelve feet in height.

Five pictures, half the size of the last, with from one to eight figures
in each.

Twenty colossal nude figures of Athletes.

Ten circular medallions.

Seven large figures of Prophets.

Five large figures of Sibyls; these Prophets and Sibyls would be eighteen
feet high if they stood upright, and most of them have secondary figures
of angel boys between them, twenty-three in all.

Twenty-four decorative pilasters of two children each, in monochrome.

                               [Image #26]

                            THE PROPHET DANIEL

                          SISTINE CHAPEL, ROME
           (_By permission of the Fratelli Alinari, Florence_)

Four large triangular compositions representing the Redemptions of Israel,
and containing from five to twenty-two colossal figures.

Eight triangular spaces above the windows, representing the Ancestors of
Christ, containing from two to four colossal figures.

Twenty-four groups in the semicircular spaces above the windows, also of
the Ancestors of Christ, of from one to four colossal figures.

Ten large figures of children forming brackets under the figures of
Prophets and Sibyls, at the springing of the arches between the windows.

Twenty-four bronze-coloured colossal figures filling up the spaces in the
architectural framework.

Thus, the vault may be regarded as a gallery of one hundred and forty-five
separate pictures by Michael Angelo. There is one reservation, and that
is, that the twenty-four groups of two children forming pilasters are in
pairs, of the same outline but reversed; as they are differently lighted
they may still be taken as different pictures. These pilasters form the
sides of the thrones of the Prophets and Sibyls, and repeating them in
reversed outline on either side of the same throne has a very valuable
decorative effect, well known to the old Italian workmen, who frequently
repeated the forms of their fruit and flower decorations in this manner,
by the expedient of reversing the paper-pricking from one and the same
cartoon. It is interesting to find Michael Angelo resorting to this simple
trick to get the effect of balance in figure decoration. The light and
shade of the reversed figures follow the general scheme of the
illumination, so that the figures traced from the same cartoons look very
dissimilar when painted, but if the outlines are traced from a photograph,
and reversed on the corresponding figures, they will be seen to coincide.
It seems impossible to explain the exactness in any other way, a few
measurements on the vault itself would make it certain. Probably the same
method was employed in transferring the twenty-four bronze-coloured
decorative figures also.

The historical sequence of the events in the nine pictures on the central
space of the vault represents the Story of the Creation, the Fall, the
Flood, and the second entry of Sin into the world, demonstrating the need
for a scheme of Salvation, promised by the Prophets and Sibyls in the
second part of the decoration. The series represented is an old invention,
and all the scenes may be found in Byzantine and early Italian works; but
the new treatment gives them a character of grandeur only equalled by the
Old Testament narrative which they illustrate. All the human figures and
most of the angels appear to be dominated by an idea of impending doom,
but they nobly act their part in a fateful present, although they know
that the future cannot be changed by any effort of theirs, however noble
it may be. They are all fatalists, but all noble in their pessimism; they
reflect the mind of the artist. The individual motives of the figures,
their grouping and their action, are frequently taken from earlier art,
especially sculpture, and they show how carefully and reverently Michael
Angelo studied the works of his predecessors, Massaccio, Lorenzo Ghiberti,
Donatello, and Jacopo della Quercia.

                               [Image #27]

                             THE LIBYAN SIBYL

                          SISTINE CHAPEL, ROME
  (_Reproduced by permission from a Photograph by Sig. Anderson, Rome_)

                               [Image #28]

                           THE PROPHET JEREMIAH

                          SISTINE CHAPEL, ROME
           (_By permission of the Fratelli Alinari, Florence_)

The first division above the High Altar represents the creation of light.
God separates light from darkness, and brings order out of chaos. In the
second division, one of the larger pictures, God creates the sun and moon;
He passes on and spreads His hand in blessing over a segment of the earth
where the trees and herbs spring forth. In the third, God gathers together
in one place the waters which were under the firmament. In these works
Michael Angelo designed a figure of the Creator that has remained ever
since the only possible pictorial symbol of God the Father. He is like an
old man in appearance and in wisdom, but as alert and powerful as a young
man. The creation of Adam is the central composition of the ceiling. The
Deity, accompanied by six angels, gives life to Adam by the touch of
finger tips. The figure of Adam is the most beautiful in modern art. It
appears to have been inspired by a Greek intaglio. The angels are much
varied in type. They are without the tinsel and gold embroidery used by
earlier artists to represent celestial glory. The simple and solemn lines
of the landscape showing the curved surface of the globe give a cosmic
character to the scene, and the beautiful indigo blue of the distance
forms a fine background for the supremely modelled flesh. This composition
is the first in the order of execution in which Michael Angelo fully
realised his scheme of decoration, as to scale and form, making a few
figures fill the space allotted to them with ease and freedom of movement.
Truly the space occupied appears to have been arranged and cut specially
to suit the figures, and not the figures made, as was the fact, to fit the
space. The next compartment, the creation of Eve, is only less beautiful
than that of the Adam. It is small, and the space is a little crowded: the
composition is taken exactly from the beautiful bas-relief by Jacopo della
Quercia at Bologna. The Almighty is shrouded in a voluminous mantle; Eve
joins her hands in worship. The figure is modelled with a delicious
softness, and the pearly colour is a delightful rendering of the lighter
flesh tints of woman, something like the quality sought by Correggio in
later times. The Adam reclining in the corner fills that part of the space
as a good medal design fits its circumference; the grey of the shadow,
especially in the darker parts, envelops the figures in a way that had
never been attempted in fresco painting, but is somewhat like a hand in
shadow by Rembrandt. The representations of the Fall and the Expulsion
fill the next compartment, a large one. Here we have another rendering of
a female nude; the type, and especially the modelling of the flank, is a
prophecy of the figure of Dawn in the Sacristy of San Lorenzo. The upper
part of the serpent has a woman’s form, and the junction is most admirably
managed after the manner of the sea maidens in Græco-Roman art. In this
story is the only foreground tree in full leaf ever painted by Michael
Angelo, and yet it is as supreme as everything else. It is remarkable that
the Paradise of Michael Angelo should be such a rocky place, like the side
of a marble mountain, for in his time such places were regarded with
distaste. The landscape into which Adam and Eve are expelled is a lone
flat desert, where no marble could be found. This part of the composition
is taken almost exactly from Massaccio’s version in the Brancacci Chapel.
The Sacrifice of Noah fills the next, a smaller compartment. It is placed,
historically, before the Deluge, and must be taken to represent how Noah,
the just man and perfect, and his family, found grace in the eyes of the
Lord. As there are five male persons present, this scene cannot represent
the sacrifice immediately after the Flood, nor is any rainbow to be seen
as was usual in the traditional representations of that subject, like the
one in the Chiostro Verde at Santa Maria Novella. Raphael also gives more
figures than can be accounted for as having been in the ark in his
composition of the sacrifice of Noah, in the series called the Bible of
Raphael in the Loggia. The large composition of the Deluge gives us some
idea of what the cartoon of Pisa may have been like. There never was a
collection of naked figures so many and so beautiful. One is filled with
sorrow at the idea of their being drowned. They are all, too, engaged in
noble works; charity, energy, and inventiveness are amongst the virtues
they exhibit; there is no panic, or struggling one with another; no anger
or selfishness, excepting only in the boat in the middle distance; a woman
helps her children, a man his wife, an old man bears a young man in his
arms, Priam carrying Æneas, an even more pathetic imagination than
Homer’s; others attempt to save their household goods; others erect a
tent; others, again, attempt to scale the sides of the ark or break into
it with axes—one cannot but hope they will succeed. The female figures are
especially beautiful in this picture, and again we have a foretaste of
that wonderful modelling of the flank and thigh seen to perfection in the
tombs at San Lorenzo. The weird sea and sky, the ark and the dead tree,
show what Michael Angelo could do when he liked, in departments of art
other than the human figure. The individual figures in the Deluge are
difficult to see on account of the smallness of scale in this part of the
vault. It must have been after seeing them from the floor of the chapel,
by removing some of the boards of his scaffolding, that Michael Angelo
determined to alter the scale in the remaining compositions. In no other
way can we account for the change in the size of the Athletes, at any
rate. The difference of scale between those surrounding the Sin of Ham
over the large door, and those surrounding the separation of Light from
Darkness over the High Altar, must be almost two feet. The increase is
gradual along the ceiling. Similarly the Sybilla Delphica is very much
smaller than the Sybilla Lybica, and the Prophet Joel than the Prophet
Jeremiah. The last composition of this series—a small one—represents the
Sin of Ham, and was the first painted. The vat and the wine jug are
wonderful still-life, reminding us of Bassano.

                               [Image #29]

                                THE FLOOD

                     A DETAIL, SISTINE CHAPEL, ROME
 (_Reproduced by permission from a photograph by Sig. D. Anderson, Rome_)

The twenty Athletes that decorate the corners of these central
compositions, and support bronze medallions held in place by oak garlands
or by draperies, are nothing but the most direct of transcripts from the
nude model, but the most noble that have been executed in the art of
painting. They are finished to the smallest detail, and are as truthful to
nature as it was possible for a man with an innate sense of grandeur of
line to make them. Italian models have been posed in the positions of most
of them, and drawings from them compared with the photographs of these
figures; they are marvellously true, to the very wrinkles of the skin
under the arms and about the knees, and the drawing of the curves and
creases of the torso as the body bends. So naturalistic are they that
Michael Angelo must have posed a model and made drawings in the chapel
itself, perhaps even on the scaffolding, and worked straight away. He
appears to have used only three models for this purpose. The Athletes
drawn from the same model can easily be distinguished; they are actual
portraits. One was the man who sat for the Adam, and was of a noble
proportion with a small head, a beautiful brow, and a solemn mouth. His
hair was wavy and of a wispy character; he had broad shoulders; his
extremities were small, the thighs large and well developed, showing the
individual muscles by large forms with flat planes. He may be seen, as we
have said, in the Adam, and in the four figures surrounding the fresco
representing God dividing the Light from the Darkness; in the two figures
near the Adam in his creation of Eve; and best of all, for comparison, in
the figures near the foot of Adam in the creation of Man. Another model
was of a rounder and more bacchanalian character, not unlike the Dancing
Fawn in the Uffizi; but he was not in such good training. He was decidedly
fat, his face was mobile, and very easily took jovial expressions, his
cheeks dimpled, his eyes round and large, the pupils very dark and the
whites very white; his hair went into short, soft, frizzy curls; his
shoulders were small and round, the arms feeble, the thighs short, round,
and formless; his back was well developed, the folds of the skin in the
torso, when he bent, were very large and fat in line. It was probably for
this that Michael Angelo chose him. He is well seen in three of the
figures surrounding the third panel from the High Altar representing The
Spirit of God upon the Face of the Waters, and the two figures nearest to
the Adam and Eve in the scene of the Expulsion. The other model was of
more ordinary but of still very fine proportion. His head was rather
large, and his mouth petulant in expression, the upper eyelids very thick;
his hair is broken into large, hard curls. He is seen in the figures
surrounding the Sin of Ham, and was probably the first employed for this
work. These Athletes are the very epitome of the work of Michael Angelo.
If a man does not love them he cannot care for the work of Michael Angelo.
They express his highest idea of beauty—man created in the image of God,
as he testifies in this vault, and in the sonnet ending:—

  Nè Dio, suo grazia, mi si mostra altrove,
  Più che’n alcun leggiadro e mortal velo;
  E quel sol amo, perchè’n quel si specchia.

  Nor hath God deigned to show himself elsewhere
  More clearly than in human form sublime
  Which, since they image Him, alone I love.(118)

No leaves or branches, minor works of the Great Artist, still less
draperies of cloth or even of gold brocade, the works of the hand of man,
shall cover any portion of the Divine Image. So all these figures are
frankly naked, the genii of the Beauty of the Human Race.

The festoons these Athletes carry support large medallions painted like
bronze. They were probably the portion that Michael Angelo intended to
finish with gilding, but owing to the impatience of the Pope they were
left in their present state. They are a most valuable part of the
decorative scheme. Continuity is given by the repetition of these
bronze-coloured circles.

                               [Image #30]

                            THE BRAZEN SERPENT

                          SISTINE CHAPEL, ROME
           (_By permission of the Fratelli Alinari, Florence_)

A great cornice divides the scheme of the flat part of the vault already
described, and perhaps the first portion executed, from the curved part
containing the Prophets and Sibyls. They are larger in scale and freer in
style than any portion of the flat part of the vault, as though with
practice Michael Angelo’s hand had grown even bolder than before. He may,
too, have thought the new scale of figures easier to see from the floor of
the chapel, for we must remember that this was his first experiment in
vault painting, and no doubt he would be glad to see its effect from below
when he was ordered to remove the scaffolding, and he must have learnt by
it. The Prophets and Sibyls appear to be the last word of Michael Angelo
in decorative painting, as Raphael knew, for he assimilated the teaching
both in the beautiful figures of Sibyls at Santa Maria della Pace and the
Prophet Isaiah of San Agostino. The motives of the genii or angels, wise
children whispering in the ears of the foretellers, seem to be inspired by
the sculpture of Giovanni Pisano as seen in the pilasters of the pulpit of
the Church of San Andrea at Pistoia.

It would be endless to try and tell all the thoughts and emotions, both
literary and artistic, suggested by the contemplation of these figures and
by the groups representing the Ancestors of Christ. Suffice it to say,
that all the thoughts that come into the minds of the beholders are as
nothing compared to the thoughts that passed through the mind of the
solitary artist composing and painting upon the high scaffolding of the
quiet chapel.

The series of the Ancestors of Christ illustrate the life of a being upon
this earth, from the terrible moment when the pregnant woman first feels
the pangs of approaching labour, in the semicircle of the window
(inscribed Roboam, Abias) to the lean and slippered pantaloon, who needs a
stick to help him rise from his seat (over the window inscribed Salmon,
Boaz, Obeth); there is the happy mother sleeping with her infant wrapped
in swaddling-clothes (Salmon, Boaz, Obeth); and the old man playing with
the children, (Eleazr, Matthew); the student attentively poring over his
book regardless of the female figure, possibly Inspiration, speaking to
him from the other side of the window (Naason). These figures, the
Ancestors of Christ, are more slightly painted than the rest of the vault.
They loom out of the darkness, caused by contrast to the light of the
windows they surround, grow in and out of the background and have an
atmospheric effect unequalled in fresco painting. Those who walk from the
Ponte Saint Angelo up the Borgo to the Vatican any morning early may see
at the back of the dim recesses of the arched cellar-like shops such
groups as these. The series may be regarded as the sketch-book of Michael
Angelo, in which he recorded his impressions of the life about him as he
trudged to his work.

The four triangular compositions that fill the corners of the chapel, the
four great Redemptions of Israel, are absolute masterpieces of space
arrangement, different methods of overcoming the same difficulty being
used in each picture, from the two principal figures and the tent in the
David and Goliath to the marvellous crowd of twisted limbs in the story of
the Brazen Serpent. In the composition of the Death of Holofernes Judith
covers with a napkin the severed head, which is carried in a basket on the
head of her handmaid; a most lovely group, said to have been taken from an
intaglio representing a vintage scene, in which a nymph fills with grapes
a basket supported on the head of a companion.

Under each of the Prophets and Sibyls, upon the side walls, is a
decorative putto supporting the name plate, standing at the springing of
the arches, as in Donatello’s bas-relief representing Christ before
Pilate, in the pulpit of San Lorenzo. These ten beautiful figures are
seldom noticed, but evidently Raphael thought them worthy of study, as may
be seen in the lovely child-figure attributed to him in the Accademia di
San Lucca.

                               [Image #31]


                          SISTINE CHAPEL, ROME
  (_By permission of Messrs. Braun, Clement & Co., in Dornach, Alsace_)

The whole vault contains hardly one unworthy human being, the only sins
they commit are the Sins of Adam and of Ham, necessary for the story. They
are all beautiful and all holy. Can Michael Angelo have had any thought of
the doom of these his creations, as exemplified by him on the altar wall,
twenty-two years afterwards? The great work was finished, the public saw
it, and, as Michael Angelo says, "the Pope was very well pleased."


                     THE RISEN CHRIST OF THE MINERVA

Julius II. died on February 21, 1513. He will ever be remembered as the
man who compelled Michael Angelo to paint the Sistine vault. He was the
best friend Michael Angelo ever had, notwithstanding their bickerings, and
he understood him as no one ever did afterwards; but he bequeathed to him
the Tragedy of the Tomb. In 1514 Michael Angelo signed the agreement for a
new commission:—

"Deed with Michael Angelo for the figure in marble(119) of a Risen Christ
for the Church of the Minerva, in Rome. The 14 day of June, 1514. Let it
be known and manifest to whoever reads this scrip, how Messere Bernardo
Cencio, Canon of St. Peter’s, and Messeri Mario Scappucci and Metello
Vari, have ordered Michael Angelo di Lodovico Simoni, Sculptor, to carve a
figure in marble of Christ as large as life, nude, standing, bearing a
cross, in whatever attitude the said Michael Angelo thinks good, for the
price of two hundred gold ducats of the Camera, to be paid in this manner,
that is to say: At the present time one hundred and fifty gold ducats of
the Camera, and the remainder, that is fifty similar ducats, the said
Messeri Mario and Metello delli Vari promise to pay when the work is
finished. As soon as the said Michael Angelo begins to work on the said
figure, which he promises to place in the Minerva in whatever position the
before-mentioned shall approve; and at his own expense to make a niche
where the said figure is to be placed; and every other adornment that
should be needful, it is understood that the before-mentioned Messer
Bernardo and Messer Mario shall supply at their own expense. This figure
the said Michael Angelo promises to do by the end of the next four years,
more or less as appears to him good, engaging, however, that he will not
exceed four years."

                               [Image #32]


                          SISTINE CHAPEL, ROME
           (_By permission of the Fratelli Alinari, Florence_)

Then follow their affirmations in due form. Metello Vari dei Porcari, a
Roman of an old family, appears to have been the real patron to whom
Michael Angelo was responsible. The first block of marble was found to be
faulty, so another one had to be carved. The work was not completed until
1521. It is now in the Church of Santa Maria Sopra Minerva at Rome.

In 1515 Michael Angelo was still at work on the Tomb, but apprehensive of
interruption from Pope Leo.


    "BUONARROTO,—I have written the letter to Filipo Strozzi; see if
    you like it and give it to him. If it is not well, I know he will
    hold me excused, for it is not my profession; enough if it serves
    its purpose. I wish you to go to the Spedalingo(120) of Santa
    Maria Nuova, and tell him to pay to me here one thousand and four
    hundred ducats of what he has of mine, because I must make a great
    effort this summer to finish my work quickly, because I expect
    soon to have to enter the Pope’s service. And for this I have
    bought perhaps twenty thousands of bronze for casting certain
    figures. I must have money; so when you see this arrange with the
    Spedalingo to have it paid over to me; and if you are able to
    arrange with Pier Francesco Borgerini, who is there, that he
    should have it paid to me by his people here, I should be glad,
    for Pier Francesco is my friend and will serve me well; and do not
    talk about it for I wish it to be paid to me here secretly; and
    for what remains at Santa Maria Nuova, accept security from the
    Spedalingo, on account. I wait for the money. No more.

    "On the 16th day of June, 1515.

                                       "MICHAEL ANGELO, in Rome."(121)

So now, besides the Moses and the Captives in marble, the panels in relief
were, perhaps, ready for casting. The lower portions of the architectural
base, now in San Pietro in Vincula, were also probably finished. Half the
period spent by Michael Angelo in quarrying and road-making for Pope Leo
would have sufficed for the completion of the Tomb, which would then have
been a monument of Michael Angelo’s power as a sculptor, fit to rank with
the monument of his power as a painter in the Sistine Chapel: a monument
containing four figures, equal in execution and size to the Moses, twelve
figures like the Slaves, altogether some forty statues and numerous bronze
bas-reliefs besides. It is a great misfortune that we have no bronze
bas-reliefs by Michael Angelo, for all his works prove that his genius
would have been well expressed in this art.

                               [Image #33]


 (_Reproduced by permission from a photograph by Sig. D. Anderson, Rome_)

The early years of the Pontificate of Leo X. were wasted over the project
for the facade of San Lorenzo. Michael Angelo was continually at Carrara.
In a letter, dated May 8, 1517, to Domenico Buoninsegna, Michael Angelo
writes with enthusiasm about his new scheme, and undertakes to carry it
out for 35,000 golden ducats in six years. Buoninsegna replied that the
Cardinal expressed the highest satisfaction at "the great heart he had for
conducting the work of the façade." The friendly relations of Michael
Angelo with the natives of Carrara continued until the Pope obliged him to
leave their quarries and open up those of Pietra Santa, in Tuscan
territory, by which act Michael Angelo lost much time. He had positively
to make roads down the mountains and over the marshes before he could get
a single block to the river. The Marquis of Carrara became his enemy, and
the contracts with the people of Carrara caused him much annoyance and
great loss. The orders from Rome were peremptory and had to be
obeyed.(122) Ten years of the best of Michael Angelo’s working life were
wasted; the numberless delays of this period, and the delays over the Tomb
of Julius, positively seem to have changed the character of the artist
from a man of action to a man of thought. Possibly advancing age had
something to do with it; but the fact remains that the man who executed
the bronze statue of Julius in two years, and painted the vault of the
Sistine in less than three years, took seven years to finish the Last
Judgment, which covers a surface about one-third the extent of the vault,
and also is in a much more favourable position for painting.

There is a document shown in the rooms of the State Archives at the Uffizi
that belongs to this period; it is a memorial addressed by the Florentine
Academy to Pope Leo X., asking him to authorise the translation of the
bones of Dante from Ravenna, where they still rest under "the little
cupola, more neat than solemn," to Florence. It is dated October 20, 1518.
All but one of the signatures appended are written in Latin; that one is
as follows:—"I, Michael Angelo, the sculptor, pray the like of your
Holiness, offering my services to the divine poet for the erection of a
befitting sepulchre to him in some honour-place in this city." Michael
Angelo’s devotion to Dante was well known to his contemporaries; he is
known to have filled a book with drawings to illustrate the "Divina Com
media"; this volume perished at sea, whilst in the possession of the
sculptor Antonio Montanti, who was shipwrecked on a journey from Leghorn
to Rome.

On April 17, 1517, Michael Angelo bought some ground in the Via Mozza, now
Via San Zanobi, Florence, from the Chapter of Santa Maria del Fiore, to
build a workshop for finishing his marbles; the purchase was completed on
November 24, 1518. This studio remained in his possession until his death.
He describes it to Lionardo di Compago, the saddle-maker, as an excellent
workshop, where twenty statues can be set up together.

Meanwhile he went on working at Pietra Santa for the façade. In August
1518, he writes:—--

                               [Image #34]


           (_By permission of the Fratelli Alinari, Florence_)

    "The place of quarrying is very rugged, and the workmen are very
    ignorant of this sort of work. So for some months I must be very
    patient until the mountains are tamed and the men are mastered.
    Then we shall get on more quickly. Enough, what I have promised
    that will I do by some means, and I will make the most beautiful
    thing that has ever been done in Italy if God helps me."

The melancholy end of this scheme is told in a Ricordo in the Archivio
Buonarroti, March 10, 1520.

    "Now Pope Leo, perhaps, to carry out more quickly the
    above-mentioned façade of San Lorenzo than according to the
    agreement he made with me, and I consenting, sets me free, and for
    all the above-said money that I have received, are counted the
    road that I have made to Pietra Santa, and the marbles that were
    quarried there and rough-hewn as may be seen to-day; and he
    declares himself content and satisfied with me, as is said, about
    all the money received for the said façade of San Lorenzo, and
    every other work that I have had to do for him until this tenth
    day of March, 1519; and so he leaves me my freedom, and not
    obliged to render account to any one for anything that I have had
    to do for him or with others for him."(123)

We have a series of most interesting letters from Sebastiano del Piombo,
Michael Angelo’s favourite gossip in Rome; most of them are dated from
1520 to 1533, and give Michael Angelo at Carrara news of Sebastiano and
the art world of Rome, They often relate to designs that Sebastiano wished
to get from Michael Angelo in order that he might be entrusted with
commissions from the Pope that would otherwise be given to the scholars of
Raphael. In one, dated October 27, 1520, he says:—

    "For I know how much the Pope values you, and when he speaks of
    you it is as if he were speaking of his own brother, almost with
    tears in his eyes; for he has told me that you were brought up
    together, and shows that he knows and loves you. But you frighten
    everybody, even Popes!"(124)

Michael Angelo seems to have taken exception to the remark, for Sebastiano
in his next letter but one says:—

    "As to what you reply to me about your terribleness, I for my part
    do not find you terrible; and if I have not written to you about
    this, do not wonder, for you do not appear to me terrible except
    only in art—that is to say, the greatest master that has ever
    been; so it seems to me if I am in error I am to blame. I have no
    more to say. Christ keep you safe. 9th day of November, 1520.
    Remember me to friend Leonardo and to Master Pier Francesco.

    "Your most faithful gossip,

                                          "BASTIANO, Painter, in Rome.

    "The Lord Michael Angelo de Bonarotis, the most worthy sculptor,

After Michael Angelo had been dismissed from the work of the façade of San
Lorenzo he appears to have remained quietly at Florence, possibly engaged
upon the marbles for the Tomb of Julius II. About the same time, at the
instigation of the Cardinal de’ Medici, he began to design the new
sacristy and the tombs at San Lorenzo.

                               [Image #50]

                            THE PROPHET JONAH

                          SISTINE CHAPEL, ROME
           (_By permission of the Fratelli Alinari, Florence_)

In the Ricordi, which run from April 9 to August 19, 1521, he says that on
April 9 he received two hundred ducats from the Cardinal de’ Medici to go
to Carrara and lodge there, to quarry marbles for the tombs which are to
be placed in the new sacristy at San Lorenzo. "And there I stayed about
twenty days and made out drawings to scale, and measured models in clay
for the said tombs." On August 16 the contractors for the blocks, all of
which were excavated from the old Roman quarry of Polvaccio, came to
Florence, and were paid on account.

The statue of the "Risen Christ" was forwarded to Rome during the summer.
The smaller detached, or more easily broken portions, were left in the
rough to prevent accidents during the journey, and Pietro Urbino went to
Rome with orders to complete the work there. Sebastiano del Piombo, like
the good friend he was, kept Michael Angelo informed of the progress of
the young scamp of a pupil, from whom his master had extracted a promise
that he would avoid the company of dissolute Florentines in Rome more than
he had previously done. On November 9, 1520, Sebastiano writes that his
gossip, Giovanni da Reggio, "goes about saying that you have not done the
figure yourself, but that it is the work of Pietro Urbino. Be sure that it
may be seen to be from your hand, so that poltroons and babblers may
burst." This was written whilst the work was still at Florence. On
September 6, 1531, after it had arrived at Rome, Sebastiano says of
Pietro: "Firstly, you sent him to Rome with the statue, to finish and
erect it. What he did and did not do you know; but I must let you
understand that wherever he has worked he has maimed it. Chiefly, he has
shortened the right foot, and it is plainly seen that he has cut off the
toes. He has shortened the fingers of the hands, too, more especially
those of the one which holds the cross, the right; Frizzi says, it seems
to have been worked by a cake-maker, not carved in marble. It looks as if
it had been made by one who worked in dough, it is so stunted. I do not
understand these things, not knowing the manner of working in marble; but
I can very well tell you that those fingers look to me very stumpy. I can
tell you, too, that it is easy to see he has been working on the beard. I
believe a baby would have had more discretion; it looks as though he had
done the hair with a knife without a point; but this can easily be
remedied. He has also cut one of the nostrils, so that with a little more
the whole nose would have been spoiled, so that no one but God could have
mended it, and I believe God inspired you to write your last letter to
Master Zovane da Reggio, my comrade, for if the figure had remained in the
hands of Pietro he would undoubtedly have ruined it." Michael Angelo
transferred the work of finishing from Pietro to Federigo Frizzi.
Sebastiano goes on to say: "Pietro is most malignant now that he is cast
off by you. He does not seem to value you or any one else alive, but
thinks he is a great master; he will find out what he is fast enough, for
I believe the poor young man will never know how to make statues. He has
forgotten the art. The knees of your statue are worth more than all Rome."

Frizzi mended up the mistakes and finished the work on the hair, face,
hands, feet, cross, and the parts undercut. Michael Angelo was evidently
anxious as to the result of this touching up, and as he was much attached
to Vari, he offered to make a new statue, but the courtly Roman replied
that he was entirely satisfied with the one he had received. He regarded
it and esteemed it as a thing of gold, and said that Michael Angelo’s
offer proved his noble soul and generosity, inasmuch as when he had
already made what could not be surpassed and was incomparable, he still
wanted to serve his friend better.(126)

This Christ of the Minerva is like a late Greek embodiment of the
Christian ideal; it is a work that has been a good deal criticised,
particularly as to the details, which the letters just quoted prove to
have been finished by assistants away from the supervision of the master.
The arms and torso, and, as Sebastiano justly says, the knees, are very
splendid, and if the spoiled head and extremities were broken away the
fragment, that is to say, the part really executed by the master, would be
as famous as many a fine work of Greece or of Old Rome. As it stands near
a column in the centre of the church in a subdued light it has a presence
of great beauty and sweetness, never allied with so much power before,
notwithstanding that brazen draperies and a sandal hide much of the
reverent workmanship.


                       THE SACRISTY OF SAN LORENZO

After the death of Leo X., on December 1, 1521, Adrian IV. was elected to
fill the seat of St. Peter. He was not an Italian and loved not the arts.
He is recorded to have called statues "idols of the Pagans," and he spent
no money on pictures or frescoes. No wonder the artists who were
accustomed to the patronage of the Popes rejoiced when he died,
notwithstanding his goodness, and hailed his physician as saviour of the
Fatherland. The Cardinal Giuliano de’ Medici was elected in his stead,
under the name of Clement VII., and Michael Angelo expressed the feelings
of most of his countrymen and all the artists when he wrote to his friend,
Topolino, at Carrara "You will have heard how the Medici is made Pope; it
seems to me that all the world is glad of it, so I imagine that here
(Florence) many things will soon be set going in art. Therefore, serve
well and with faithfulness, so that we may have honour."(127)

                               [Image #35]


           (_By permission of the Fratelli Alinari, Florence_)

In the year 1523 the Senate of Genoa banked 300 ducats towards the
expenses of a colossal statue of Andrea Doria, the great sea-captain, to
be carved by Michael Angelo. Unfortunately Michael Angelo was unable to
execute this congenial task. There is a magnificent portrait of this
prince, as Neptune, by Sebastiano del Piombo in the private rooms of the
Doria Palace at Rome. The admiral points down with Michael Angelesque
forefinger as though he were condemning his enemies to descend to the
lowest depths of the sea. It looks as if it had been inspired by a drawing
of Michael Angelo’s, possibly for this statue, which may have been
designed as a nude figure of Neptune; the parapet in front of the picture
is decorated with a painted bas-relief of a Roman galley.

Michael Angelo’s last known letter to his father is supposed to have been
written in June 1523.(128) It is a bitter complaint of the testy manner in
which his father always treated him, and the continual interruptions of
his work. It must have been a great grief to Michael Angelo when the old
man came to die if he had not made up this quarrel with him, for he loved
him in a way that is marvellous to us when we consider the character of
the old man as evidenced in the correspondence.

Clement VII. lost no time, after he was elected Pope, in setting Michael
Angelo to work, but again it was against the inclination of the artist,
who passionately desired to complete the Tomb of Julius, partly for the
love of his memory and partly to free himself from the importunity of the
executors, who threatened him with a lawsuit. Michael Angelo replied to
the agent of Clement, Francesco Fattucci, who requested plans for the
Laurentian Library: "I understand from your last that his Holiness our
Lord wishes that the design for the Library should be by my hand. I have
heard nothing and do not know where he wishes it to be built. True,
Stefano talked to me about it, but I did not give my mind to it. When he
returns from Carrara I will inform myself about it from him, and will do
all I can, although it is not my profession."

Clement, who really seems to have had a regard for the artist, and wished
to bind him to his interests, desired to provide for him for life. If
Michael Angelo would have consented to make the vows of celibacy he would
have given him an ecclesiastical appointment, failing that he offered him
a pension. Michael Angelo only asked for fifteen ducats a month. Fattucci,
on January 13, 1524, rebuked him for this modesty, and wrote that "Jacopo
Salviati has given orders that Spina should be instructed to pay you a
monthly provision of fifty ducats." A house also was assigned to him at
San Lorenzo, rent free, that he might be near his work. Stefano di Tomaso,
miniatore, was Michael Angelo’s right-hand man at this time, and his name
continually recurs in the Ricordi. He was not altogether a satisfactory
servant, and in April 1524, Antonio Mini seems to have taken his place.
This helps us to date the roofing of the sacristy of San Lorenzo, as in an
undated letter to Pope Clement Michael Angelo says that Stefano finished
the lantern and it was universally admired. This is the work of which it
is recorded that when folk told Michael Angelo it would be better than the
lantern of Brunelleschi, he replied: "Different, perhaps; but better, no!"
In the British Museum there is a drawing with a bit of advice to young
artists, personified in his new pupil, Antonio Mini. It is in Michael
Angelo’s own hand:—

     _Disegna Antonio, disegna Antonio, disegna e non perder tempo._

          Draw Antonio, draw Antonio, draw and do not lose time.

And now in August 1524,(129) the Tombs of the Medici in the new sacristy
were fairly under way. There are several preliminary designs in the Print
Room of the British Museum, the Albertina at Vienna, and the Uffizi,
Florence.(130) The first idea was for the tombs to be isolated in the
centre of the chapel, but we gather from a letter, written in May
1524,(131) that it had already been decided to have mural monuments. The
sarcophagi were to support portrait statues of the Dukes and Popes, of
Lorenzo and his brother Giuliano. At the foot were to be six rivers, two
under each tomb—the Arno, Tiber, Metauro, Po, Taro, and Ticino. The
drawings go to prove that the architectural background, as we see it now,
is as incomplete as it looks. Some of the drawings have elaborate
candlesticks at the top; others a circular panel supported by putti. In
several the first ideas for some of the final forms may be seen, but one
point is very important: in almost every case the sarcophagi are large
enough to support the figure or figures to be placed upon them, and never
do we see that uncomfortable arrangement by which the figures appear to be
sliding off their supports. Letters to Fattucci in October 1525, and April
1526,(132) give us an idea of the progress of the works. "I am working as
hard as I can, and in fifteen days I intend to begin the other captain.
Afterwards the only important things left will be the four rivers. The
four figures on the top of the sarcophagi, the four figures on the ground
which are the rivers, the two captains and Our Lady, who is to be placed
upon the tomb at the head of the chapel; these are the figures I mean to
carve with my own hand, and of them I have begun six; and I have
sufficient spirit to finish them in a convenient time, and bring partially
forward the others which are not of so much importance." The six he had
begun are those that are now in the chapel. The Giuliano and Lorenzo, Day
and Night, Dawn and Evening. The Madonna, perhaps Michael Angelo’s finest
work in sculpture, was also carved by his own hand; the two other works,
now in the chapel representing the patron saints of the Medici family,
Cosmo and Damiano, were carved by Montelupo and Montorsoli; they do not
seem to have anything of Michael Angelo about them, not even in design.

Meanwhile Francesco Maria, Duke of Urbino, the executor of Julius, was
pressing the affair of the Tomb; he threatened a lawsuit to recover money
advanced for the work. Michael Angelo appeals to the Pope in a letter
addressed to Giovanni Spina, of April 19, 1525:—

                               [Image #36]


           (_By permission of the Fratelli Alinari, Florence_)

    "It seems to me it is no good sending a power of attorney about
    the Tomb of Pope Julius, because I do not want to plead. They
    cannot bring a suit against me if I acknowledge that I am in the
    wrong; so I assume that I have sued and lost, and have to pay; and
    this I am disposed to do if I am able. Therefore, if the Pope will
    help me in this, as intermediary, and it would be the greatest
    blessing to me, seeing that I am not able to finish the said Tomb
    of Julius, both on account of my age and infirmity, he might
    express his will that I should repay what I have received for
    doing it, so as to release me of this burden, and so that the
    relatives of Pope Julius, with this repayment, may have the work
    done to their satisfaction by any one they like. Thus his Holiness
    our Lord could please me very greatly. Still, I wish to pay back
    as little as possible in reason. Making them listen to some of my
    arguments, such as the time spent for the Pope at Bologna, and
    other time lost without any payment, as Ser Giovanni Francesco,
    whom I have informed of everything, knows. As soon as I know
    clearly what I have to restore, I will make a division of what I
    have, sell, and arrange my affairs so as to repay all. Then I
    shall be able to think of the Pope’s business, and work. If this
    is not done I cannot work. There is no way more safe for myself,
    nor more agreeable, nor more likely to clear my spirit. It can be
    done amicably without a lawsuit. I pray to God that the Pope may
    become willing to arrange it in this fashion, for it does not seem
    to me that any one else can do it."(133)

Michael Angelo had a wholesome fear of the law, not because he was guilty
but because of the power of his antagonist. There can be no doubt that he
was perfectly honest in these transactions, and, as Pope Clement said, he
was rather creditor than debtor. Clement appears to have arranged matters
to some extent with the executors, and we have a hint of the new
arrangement in a letter by Michael Angelo to Fattucci,(134) dated
Florence, October 24, 1525:—

    "MESSER GIOVAN FRANCESCO,—In reply to your last, the four statues
    I have in hand are not yet finished, and much has still to be done
    upon them. The four others, for rivers, are not begun, because the
    marble was wanting, but now it has come. I do not tell you how
    because there is no need. With regard to the affair of Julius, I
    wish to make the Tomb like that of Pius in St. Peter’s, as you
    have written, and will do so little by little, now one piece and
    now another, and will pay for it out of my own pocket, if I hold
    my pension and my house, as you have written; that is to say, the
    house where I lived yonder in Rome, with the marbles and movables
    therein. So that I should not have to give to them, I mean to the
    heirs of Julius, in order to be quit of the Tomb contract,
    anything of what I have received hitherto, except the said Tomb,
    completed, like that of Pius in Saint Peter’s. Moreover, I
    undertake to perform the work within a reasonable time, and to
    finish the statues with my own hand." He now turns to his
    annoyances at San Lorenzo: "And given my pension as was said, I
    will never stop working for Pope Clement with what strength I
    have, though that be little, for I am old. At the same time I must
    not be slighted and affronted as I am now, for it weighs greatly
    on my spirits, and has prevented me from doing what I wished to do
    these many months; one cannot work at one thing with the hands,
    and at another with the brain, and especially in marble. ’Tis said
    here that these annoyances are meant to spur me on; but I maintain
    that those are scurvy spurs that make a good steed jib. I have not
    touched my pension during the last year, and struggle with
    poverty. I am alone in my troubles, and have many of them, which
    keep me more busy than my art, for I cannot keep a servant for
    lack of means."

There is a kind letter from Michael Angelo to Sebastiano del Piombo that
belongs to this period, May 1525.(135) It refers to a picture by
Sebastiano, probably the portrait of Anton Francesco degli Albizzi,
referred to in letter cccxcvi.:—

    "MY MOST DEAR SEBASTIANO,—Last evening our friend the Capitano
    Cuio(136) and certain other gentlemen were so good as to invite me
    to sup with them, which gave me very great pleasure, since it took
    me a little out of my melancholy, or rather folly. Not only did I
    enjoy the supper, which was very good, but I had far more pleasure
    in the conversation, and more than all it increased my pleasure to
    hear your name mentioned by the said Capitano Cuio; nor was this
    all, for it further rejoiced me exceedingly to hear from the
    Capitano that, in art, you are peerless in the world, and that so
    you were esteemed in Rome. If I could have rejoiced more I would
    have done so. So you see my judgment is not false, therefore do
    not any more deny that you are peerless, when I tell it you, for I
    have too many witnesses. And behold there is a picture of yours
    here, God be thanked, which wins credence for me with every one
    who can see daylight."

From the Ricordi we learn that Michael Angelo was busy with the Library of
San Lorenzo. He had in his employ stone hewers and masters in various
crafts: Tasio and Carota for wood carving, Battista del Cinque and Ciapino
for carpentry, and Giovanni da Udine, a pupil of Raphael, for the
grotesque decoration for the dome of the chapel. Clement added a
postscript in his own hand to one of his secretary’s letters: "Thou
knowest that Popes have no long lives; and we cannot yearn more than we do
to behold the chapel with the tombs of our kinsmen, or, at any rate, to
hear that it is finished. And so also the library. Wherefore we recommend
both to thy diligence. Meanwhile we will betake us (as thou said’st
erstwhile) to a wholesome patience, praying God that He may put it into
thy heart to push the whole forward together. Fear not that either work to
do or rewards shall fail thee while we live. Farewell; with the blessing
of God and ours.—JULIUS." (Clement signs with his baptismal name.)(137)

The Pope set Michael Angelo to make a Sacrarium for the relics belonging
to San Lorenzo. It was placed above the entrance door of the church, and
the details of that portion of the interior were altered for it. A design
by Michael Angelo at Oxford is for part of these alterations. Another
commission Clement desired Michael Angelo to undertake was of a curiously
absurd character. Fattucci wrote to say that the Pope wished a colossal
statue to be erected on the piazza of San Lorenzo, opposite the Stufa
Palace. The giant was to top the roof of the Medician Palace, with its
face turned in that direction and its back to the house of Luigi della
Stufa. Being so huge it would have to be constructed of separate pieces
fitted together. This project, evidently intended as a truly Florentine
insult to the house of Stufa, did not please Michael Angelo, and his
letter, of October 1525, in reply is an instance of his heavy, elephantine

                               [Image #37]


           (_By permission of the Fratelli Alinari, Florence_)

    "_To my dear friend_ MESSERE GIOVAN FRANCESCO, _priest of Saint
    Mary of the Flower of Florence, in Rome._

    "MESSER GIOVAN FRANCESCO,—If I had as much strength as I have had
    pleasure from your last letter, I should expect to carry out, and
    that quickly, all the things you write to me about, but as I have
    not I will do what I can.

    "About the colossus of forty braccia, of which you tell me, that
    is to go, or rather to be erected, at the corner of the loggia of
    the Medician garden, opposite the corner of Messer Luigi della
    Stufa, I have thought of it not a little, as you told me, and it
    seems to me that it would not do in that corner, for it would take
    up too much of the roadway; but in the other corner, where the
    barber’s shop is, it would turn out much better according to my
    way of thinking, because it has the piazza in front of it and
    would not be so much in the way; and perhaps as they would not
    allow the shop to be removed, for love of the income from it, I
    have been thinking that the said figure might be in a sitting
    position, and the seat high, the said work to be hollow within, as
    is right when working in pieces, so that the barber’s shop would
    come underneath, and the rent would not be lost. And again, so
    that the said shop may have wherewithal to dispose of its smoke as
    it has now, it occurred to me to give the said statue a horn of
    plenty in its hand, hollow within, which would serve for the
    chimney. Then having the head of the said figure empty, like the
    other members, of that also I believe we could make some use, for
    there is here in the piazza a huckster, very much my friend, who
    tells me in secret that it would make a very fine dovecot. Another
    fancy strikes me that would be much better, but we should have to
    make the figure ever so much larger. And it might be done, for a
    tower is built up of pieces; and that is, that the head should
    serve as campanile for San Lorenzo, which needs one badly. And the
    bells hanging within, the sound clanging from the mouth, it would
    seem that the said colossus were howling for mercy, and especially
    on feast days, when they ring oftenest and with the largest bells.

    "About the transport for the marbles for the above-mentioned
    statue, so that no one shall know of it, meseems they should come
    by night and well covered up, so that they may not be seen. There
    will be danger at the gates, and we must provide for it somehow;
    at the worst, we shall have San Gallo.(138)

    "As to doing, or not doing, the things that are to do, and which
    you say may stand over, it is better to let them be done by those
    who will do them, for I have so much to do that I do not care to
    undertake more. To me it will suffice if it be something worthy.

    "I do not reply to all you say, for lo Spina comes shortly to
    Rome, and will answer your letter by word of mouth, and more in
    detail than I can with the pen.

                         "Your MICHAEL ANGELO, Sculptor, in Florence."

This letter had its desired effect, nothing more was heard of the

The Sack of Rome in 1527 by the rabble of Germany and Spain, called the
Imperial army, naturally stopped all artistic work, for war is the worst
enemy of art. Clement was besieged in the Castle Saint Angelo for nine
months, and the Medici lost their power in Florence. The Cardinal of
Cortona, with the young princes Ippolito and Alessandro de’ Medici, fled,
and Niccolo Capponi was elected President of the Popular Government.
Michael Angelo was in Florence all this time. A Ricordo given in Lettere,
p. 598, says: "I record how, some days ago, Piero di Filippo Gondi asked
to enter the new sacristy at San Lorenzo to hide there certain goods of
his because of the peril in which we now find ourselves. This evening of
the 29th of April, 1527, he has begun to bring in certain bundles. He says
they are linen of his sisters, and I, not to witness what he does, or
where he hides the stuff, have given him the key of the said sacristy this
said evening."

Upon July 2, 1528, Michael Angelo’s favourite brother, Buonarroto, died of
the plague. Gotti tells how Michael Angelo held his brother in his
arms(139) while he was dying, notwithstanding the great risk to his own
life, and took care of his family after his death. There are minutes of
the expenses he incurred; the clothes were burnt to avoid infection; he
repaid the widow Bartolommea her dowry, placed his niece Francesca in a
convent until she was of an age to marry, and provided for his nephew
Lionardo, as if for a son of his own.

The citizens of Florence, fearing the anger of the Pope and his new
allies, now that their power was in the ascendant, prepared to endure a
siege. Michael Angelo was appointed general over the construction of the
walls and defences of the city in 1529. He had many difficulties with the
council; often they objected to his plan of fortifying the heights of San
Miniato. Michael Angelo went to Pisa and Arezzo to superintend the
strengthening of the works there. He was sent also to Ferrara with letters
from the Signori and the Ten to the Duke, the greatest Italian authority
upon fortification, and to their envoy, Galeotto Giugni, who wrote to
inform the Florentines that Michael Angelo refused to abandon the inn and
receive the hospitality of the Duke, who with great honour personally
conducted him over the fortresses and walls of Ferrara; no doubt at the
same time showing him his art collections. It would be interesting to know
if Michael Angelo looked upon the portrait-head of Julius II., broken from
his Bologna statue, when the bronze was turned into a cannon. Perhaps he
also saw La Giulia, the cannon herself. It may be that amongst the
engraved gems in the Duke’s collection was one representing "Leda and the
Swan," and that Michael Angelo talked with the Duke as to the
possibilities of this composition for pictorial treatment. Soon after
Michael Angelo returned to Florence he received warning from a mysterious
person that there was treachery in the garrison, so he fled to Venice. He
had no idea of wasting his life uselessly when he thought certain
destruction was before the city, and so he determined to leave Italy and
accept the overtures that had been made to him from the Court of France.
The courage that fears not to undertake the greatest and most difficult
works is of a different temper from that of a soldier, a bravo, or a
Benvenuto Cellini; all the noble and virtuous qualities cannot belong to
one hero. Unfortunately, the judgment of Michael Angelo turned out to be
right after all. Nevertheless, hearing better news, and hoping against
hope, he courageously returned to Florence in her extremity and went on
with the fortifications. Some of the works at San Miniato still remain.
Vauban is said to have found them of such interest that he surveyed and
measured them. During this sad time Michael Angelo laboured in secret at
the tombs of the Medici. The sad and despairing thoughts of the artist are
evident in the work he produced. No one can enter that solemn sacristy
without feeling the spirit of deepest sadness brooding over all—Il
Penseroso, and the figures of Day and of Night, of Morning and of Evening.

The city fell in August 1530. Marco Dandolo, of Venice, when he heard of
it, exclaimed aloud, "Baglioni has put upon his head the cap of the
biggest traitor upon record." The prominent citizens who escaped,
including Michael Angelo, were outlawed and their property confiscated.
Many who remained in the city were imprisoned, tortured, and beheaded.
Michael Angelo hid himself, the Senator Filippo Buonarroti says, in the
bell-tower of San Nicolo beyond Arno.(140) After the fury was over and
Clement’s anger abated, Michael Angelo, hearing a message of peace from
the Pope, came forth from his hiding-place and resumed work on the statues
at San Lorenzo, moved thereto more by fear of the Pope than by love of the
Medici. During November or December his pension of fifty crowns a month
was renewed, the Pope’s agent in Florence being Battista Figiovanni, Prior
of San Lorenzo.

In 1528 a block of marble had been assigned to Michael Angelo, from which
he determined to extract a heroic group of Hercules and Cacus. There is a
small wax model of this composition at South Kensington, attributed to
Michael Angelo, which may be for this design. The Medici Government handed
over the blocks to the craven Baccio Bandinelli, who produced the horrible
work, representing the same subject, now in front of the Palazzo Vecchio.

The Leda for the Duke of Ferrara,(141) but presented by Michael Angelo to
his pupil Mini, was painted during the siege. It was probably a design
from some antique gem in the Duke’s cabinet. The original, and a copy by
Benedetto Bene, were taken to Paris by Antonio Mini, where they passed
into the possession of the King. Michael Angelo’s Leda hung at
Fontainebleau until the time of Louis XIII., when a Minister of State, M.
Desnoyers, ordered its destruction, as it seemed to him to be an improper
picture. Pierre Mariette informs us that the picture was only hidden away,
and that it reappeared and was seen by him. It was restored and sent to
England. In the offices of the National Gallery is the best edition of
this picture. The head and arm are repainted, but the thigh and hip are
modelled in a magnificent style that reminds us of the figure of Night in
the Medician tombs that he was at this very time carving. From the power
of this portion of the work we may assume that it is the damaged and much
restored original by Michael Angelo.

                               [Image #38]

                           THE HEAD OF THE DAWN

           (_By permission of the Fratelli Alinari, Florence_)

Vasari informs us that about this time "he began a statue, of three
cubits, in marble. It was an Apollo drawing a shaft from his quiver. This
he nearly finished. It stands now in the chamber of the Prince of
Florence, a thing of rare beauty, though not quite completed." This work
was presented by the artist to Baccio Valori, the powerful agent of the
Medici. It is now in one of the upper rooms of the Bargello, in Florence.
The rough hatchings of the chisel lines are everywhere visible; the figure
is palpitating with life under a veil of hewn marble; the pose of the
young god as he glides along and turns his head over his shoulder is one
of the most beautiful and graceful Michael Angelo ever imagined. Until
1533 Michael Angelo worked at the Medici monuments. The ever recurring
trouble about the Tomb of Julius distracted him in 1532; a new contract
was made out in the May of that year, and Michael Angelo evidently
expected that he would have to go to Rome about it. This may be gathered
from the important letter written on February 24, 1531, by Sebastiano del
Piombo, in Rome, to Michael Angelo, in Florence; it marks the renewal of
the intercourse of the two old friends after the dangers and troubles they
had passed through during the siege of Florence and the sack of Rome.
Sebastiano’s previous letter, as far as we know, is dated April 25, 1525:—

    _1531, 24th February._

    "MY DEAREST COMRADE,—By Master Domenico, called Menichella, who
    has been to see me on your behalf. God knows how dear it was to
    me. After so many sorrows, hardships, and dangers, Almighty God
    has left us alive and well in His mercy and pity. A fact truly
    miraculous when I think over it; everlasting thanks to His Divine
    Majesty, and if I could express to you with my pen the anxiety and
    worry I have had on your account you would marvel at it. The
    Signor Fernando di Gonzaga will bear me witness, and God knows
    what sorrow I had when I heard you had been to Venice. If you had
    found me at Venice things would have been very different; but
    enough. Now gossip mine, now that we have been through fire and
    water, and experienced things one could never have imagined, let
    us thank God for all things, and for the little life that is left
    to us; at least, let us spend it in what quiet we may. Verily, we
    must put no faith in fortune, she is so perverse and sad. I am
    come to this; for aught I care the universe may be ruined. I
    should laugh at everything. Menichella will tell you by word of
    mouth of my life and how I am. I do not as yet seem to myself to
    be the same Bastiano that I was before the sack. I cannot collect
    my thoughts. I say no more. Christ keep you well.

    "The 24th day of February, 1531, in Rome.

    "About your coming here, according to what Master Menichella tells
    me, it does not seem to be necessary, unless you come for a jaunt
    or to put your house in order; which, in truth, is going to the
    bad in more ways than one, as in the roofs and other things. I
    suppose you know that the workshop, with the carved marbles in,
    has tumbled to pieces; it is a great pity. You will be able to
    remedy this and make some arrangements. As for me I should dearly
    love to enjoy your company for a while; truly I am dying to see
    you. I am all impatience; but do as you think best.

                                           "Your very faithful gossip,

                                                 "SEBASTIANO LUCIANIS.


    "Most rare Sculptor, in Florence."

                               [Image #39]


     (_By permission from the photograph by Sig. G. Brugi, Florence_)

Sebastiano continued his good services to his friend with regard to the
Tomb of Julius all through 1531. The course of events may be followed in
his letters. The Pope was interested, and always consulted, in the affair,
and most favourably disposed to Michael Angelo. All this anxiety preyed
upon the master and injured his health. Paolo Mini, the father of Antonio,
Michael Angelo’s assistant, wrote to Baccio Valori on September 29(142):
"Michael Angelo will not live long unless some measures are taken for his
benefit. He works very hard, eats little and poorly, and sleeps less. In
fact, he is afflicted with two kinds of disorder: the one in his head, the
other in his heart. Neither is incurable, since he has a robust
constitution; but, for the good of his head, he ought to be restrained by
our Lord the Pope from working through the winter in the sacristy, the air
of which is bad for him;(143) and for his heart, the best remedy would be
if his Holiness could accommodate matters with the Duke of Urbino." On
November 21 Clement addressed a brief to his sculptor, whereby Buonarroti
was ordered, under pain of excommunication, to lay aside all work, except
what was strictly necessary for the Medician monuments, and to take better
care of his health. On the 26th Benvenuto Valpaio added that his Holiness
desired Michael Angelo to select some workshop more convenient than the
cold and cheerless sacristy.

Sebastiano’s letters during 1533 often refer to an edition of some
madrigals written by Michael Angelo and set to music by Bartolomeo
Tromboncino, Giacomo Arcadelt, and Constanzo Festa.(144) Gottif(145)
publishes an essay by Leto Puliti on this music with the score of three of
the madrigals. Many of Michael Angelo’s poetical compositions may be
referred to this period of comparative inaction as to painting and
sculpture. All through his life he wrote sonnets and poems when his other
work did not proceed quickly.

In 1535 Michael Angelo finally left Florence. His father and his favourite
brother were dead, and so he left the shadow of the great Duomo, all
Florentines love, for ever. At Rome he dreamed a dream of another Dome,
that has given to that city the feature by which we know it best, and to
Romans a possession not less beloved than Bruneleschi’s gift to the

                               [Image #40]

                          THE HEAD OF THE NIGHT

           (_By permission of the Fratelli Alinari, Florence_)

When Michael Angelo left, the works at San Lorenzo were all unfinished;
the façade was not begun, the Sagrestia Nuova, the ground plan of which is
similar to Bruneleschi’s Sagrestia Vecchia, was left in the rough, and the
Library he designed to hold the priceless Medician manuscripts, collected
by Cosimo Pater Patriæ and Lorenzo the Magnificent, now known as the
"Biblioteca Laurenziana," was only begun. As Michael Angelo’s designs and
working drawings were of the roughest description, and he usually left a
great deal to be settled after he had seen the effect of the earlier part
of his works, we cannot blame him only for certain faults, such as, for
instance, the awkward approach to the Library. If he had completed the
work he very likely would have made an entrance from the piazza, as roomy
and convenient, as the curious staircase in the corner of the cloister is
awkward and cramped. It was completed by Giorgio Vasari, whose letters to
Michael Angelo about this difficult work, and Michael Angelo’s chaotic
replies, belong to a much later period. The curious manner of cutting up
the wall by pilasters and framed spaces cannot properly be judged without
the bronze bas-reliefs that they were intended to contain. Considered as a
method of hanging or displaying a collection of works of art they are
admirable, and might well serve for the interior decoration of a great
museum. The vestibule, with its curious stairway, large consoles, and
green and white colour, leaves an impression of power and eccentricity in
architecture like the effect of the serious caricatures of Leonardo da
Vinci in drawing. The buildings at San Lorenzo should be regarded as the
prentice work of the architect of the Dome of St. Peter’s. The decorations
of the Sagrestia Nuova, too, were left unfinished; the statues of Day,
Night, Morning, and Evening were left where he had worked upon them, on
the floor of the chapel. From Vasari’s letter to him of 1562, instigated
by the Duke Cosimo, who desired to complete the work according to Michael
Angelo’s designs, asking for help and advice,(146) we gather that Michael
Angelo intended to have placed statues in all the niches above the
sepulchres, and in the frames above the doors works of painting, stucco
for the arches, and painting to adorn the flat walls and semicircular
spaces of the chapel. Michael Angelo, on account of his great age, was
unable or unwilling to assist in the work. The present sarcophagi cannot
have been intended to hold the allegorical figures in the way they do, for
the under surfaces of the statues do not fit the top of the mouldings, and
certainly the rough stones that project over them, forming a base for the
feet, must have been intended to be supported by solid marble, and not to
rest uneasily on air. The sarcophagi are of a greyer marble than the
figures or than the panelling behind them. The architectural ornament
appears to be of three dates: First, the niches and panels of the walls;
second, the sarcophagi and their supports; third, the doors of the chapel
and niches over them. In the first, the grotesque heads in the mouldings
are like the dull grotesques Michael Angelo appears to have designed in
the architecture of the Tomb of Julius and on the armour of the captains
in this chapel. In the second, the four-horned skulls of rams on the sides
of the supports of the sarcophagi are very feeble and poor in design. If
we compare them with the powerful and true drawing of the rams’ heads used
in the frame-work of the vault of the Sistine Chapel, we shall see that it
is impossible for Michael Angelo to have designed them, or even let them
pass whilst he was superintending the works. The shell and rope patterns
are even worse and more feeble; they are easily seen to be executed by
different hands. The simple bosses of the base under "Dawn and Evening"
are still unfinished: that would go to prove that Michael Angelo had
designed them and seen them cut as far as they go—not necessarily that he
had seen them in position—and that the academicians, when they did their
best to complete the chapel, rightly decided to leave them as they were.
The base under Day and Night has no bosses; they had not been begun as in
the former case; we may presume the academicians thought it best to have
them flat. These simple bases are the most effective portions of the
architectural scheme of the monument, in character with the allegorical
figures, reminding us of the plinths or seats provided for the Athletes
and the Prophets of the Sistine. Perhaps they were the only portions,
except the figures and the panelling of the walls, seen by Michael Angelo
himself. The supports and lid of the sarcophagi, and the sarcophagus of
Giuliano, are of different marble to the actual receptacle of the body of
Lorenzo, that is under Dawn and Evening. The quiet mouldings of the latter
are much finer and more in character with the walls. The lids are of a
white sugary marble, the mouldings coarse and semicircular in section, and
the volutes and circular endings of the lids are of a perfectly stupid
design. These lids cannot have been seen by Michael Angelo; and,
therefore, he cannot have seen the figures in their places upon them. The
sarcophagus under the Day and Night has been copied from the one seen by
Michael Angelo: its mouldings are still beautiful, but heavier, more
deeply cut, and of less subtle line in the section. The difference is
perceptible to the eye and evident with the aid of a good foot-rule. This
sarcophagus is of a different marble, as has been said. As to the third
period, the garlands and little pretty vases over the doors of the chapel,
and the consoles and niches above, are like nothing else in the world but
those carved frames that in Florence to this day are called "Vasari

The marble candlesticks upon the altar of the chapel are of different
marble from the altar on which they stand, and appear to be of an earlier
date. The grotesques on the bases are of good design, and the drill holes
of the marble cutting are simply left to tell their story of how the work
was done, instead of being cut away and hidden as in later work. May they
not have been designed in Michael Angelo’s time, possibly for the brackets
on the cornice of the panelling behind the tombs? On the altar is the

                           PAULUS V. PONT. MAX.


The figures of Giuliano and Lorenzo are perfectly finished; they cannot be
regarded as portraits, but as symbols. The armour of the warrior Giuliano
is magnificently designed, and must have been founded upon some antique
example. The grotesque upon the breastplate is not unlike a grotesque in a
similar place upon an antique marble bust in the Naples Museum. The
helmeted Lorenzo, Il Penseroso, broods over what might have been, had he
acted his part in Florence. Under his elbow rests a box of peculiar
design, possibly the representation of a political instrument used in the
offices of his family’s unwise government. The unfinished head of Day is
an example of how the master appears to complete his work from the first
stroke of his chisel. The vigorous giant, just rising to his work, looks
over his shoulder at the bright sun. The rough chiselling of the face
suggests already the dazzle of the light in his eyes; how he tears his
right hand as yet half stone from out his stony breast! With his left hand
behind his back he appears to count the quattrini of his wage; this action
of the thumb placed on the second finger is Michael Angelo’s favourite one
for the hand; it may be seen many times in this chapel alone. The
shortness of the feet in the figure of Day appears to be due to a
miscalculation as to the size of the block; but, perhaps, had the head and
torso been thinned down in the finishing they would have been correct in
proportion. At the same time, the feet are finished most carefully and
beautifully, and are so true that photographs of them look almost like
photographs from the finest of living models.

                               [Image #41]


           (_By permission of the Fratelli Alinari, Florence_)

How much has been written about the Night and her meanings! We have good
proof that her maker intended her to have some of these many meanings in
the reply of Michael Angelo to Giovan Battista Strozzi’s complimentary

  La Notte, che tu vedi in si dolci atti
  Dormire, fu da un Angelo scolpita
  In questo sasso, e perchè dorme ha vita;
  Destala, se no’l credi, e parleratti.

  The Night, that thou seest, so sweetly sleeping,
  Was by an angel carved in the rude stone,
  Sleeping, she lives, if thou believ’st it not,
  Wake her, and surely she will answer thee.

The reply of Michael Angelo is in a much higher vein, and teaches us to
look to a far different aim in his work than the mere form represented:—

  Grato m’è ’l sonno e più l’esser di sasso;
  Mentre che ’l danno e la vergogna dura
  Non veder, non sentir m’è gran ventura;
  Però non mi destar; deh! parla basso!

  Dear is my sleep, more dear to be but stone;
  Whilst deep despair and dark dishonour reign
  Not to hear, not to feel is greatest gain;
  Then wake me not; speak in an undertone.

No one ever before gave such tragic beauty to the worn and tired figure of
a woman who has lived through her many days of toil and suffered many
labours. It is believed by a medical authority that the master meant the
statue to represent rest after a labour, but it is rather the
nightmare-troubled sleep of a tired woman, whose beautiful firm hips and
worn breasts prove her to have bravely met and passed through many cares,
and suckled many children. A horrid mask, symbolising these memories, in
bad dreams, grimaces beside her left hand. The eyes of the mask are cut
double so that the thing alters its glance as you move about the chapel,
fascinates and is intolerable. The noble and splendid thighs of the woman
again realise a favourite problem of Michael Angelo’s. He represented
these powerful limbs in the Flood and other parts of the Sistine vault,
and in the Leda. Beneath is seen an owl; never before in sculpture has a
bird been represented with such power and dignity, save only by the Greeks
in the eaglets head on the coin of Eiis. There are wreaths of poppy heads,
symbols of sleep, and a moon and stars to crown the head that is like the
head of a greater than Diana.

Evening, a brawny, hard-worked man, looks across the chapel with pity
towards the Night. He appears to be in the act of straightening and
stretching out his limbs, lately bent by the toils of the day, in
longed-for rest.

                               [Image #42]

                          THE MADONNA AND CHILD

           (_By permission of the Fratelli Alinari, Florence_)

The virgin Dawn lifts her weary head, as it were, in despair, that another
day of shame and reproach is beginning; her long, lithe limbs and narrow
hips contrast with the ample girth and muscular power of the Night. The
modelling of the torso of this figure is, perhaps, the finest piece of
workmanship in the chapel, and should be studied from every point of view,
even from the back of the monument. The muscular forms and the disposition
of the lines are so beautiful and true that it is a veritable marvel and
wonder of the world. The right proportion of development necessary for a
figure of that colossal size to move and live has never been so well
calculated. The head is so beautiful that it cannot be spoken about; but
must be seen in the position Michael Angelo designed it for, and not
tilted upright on an ordinary pedestal as it is always seen in the art
schools. All the four figures struggle with the trials, difficulties, and
despair of their lives, as who should say, to such a pass has Medici rule
reduced existence in Florence.

One other statue in the Chapel is entirely by the hand of the master, a
Madonna suckling the child Jesus, a strong boy straddling across her knee
and turning right round to reach the breast. Although unfinished, it is
one of Michael Angelo’s noblest works; it is a notable example of
compactness of design, and of how he left the shape of the block of marble
evident in his finished work.



As soon as Michael Angelo arrived in Rome, in 1535, he set to work to
complete his contract for the Tomb of Julius, and marbles that had waited
in silence for his liberating hand began to resound with the clink of the
iron. The two Slaves in the Louvre appear to have been worked upon once
again at this date, if we may judge by their likeness to the work in the
Dawn and the Day. After the death of Clement the new Pope, Paul III.,
Farnese, sent for him and requested him to enter his service, as Condivi
tells us.(147) Paul III., in a brief dated September 1, 1535,(148)
appointed Michael Angelo chief architect, sculptor, and painter at the
Vatican; he became a member of the Pope’s household, with a pension of
1200 golden crowns, raised on the revenue from a ferry across the river
Po, at Piacenza. This was so unremunerative, however, that it was
exchanged for a post on the Chancery at Rimini. And now the doors of the
Sistine Chapel once more close upon the master, not to be opened again
until the Christmas of 1541.

                               [Image #43]

                           THE DAY OF JUDGMENT

                  (_From a print in the British Museum_)

Michael Angelo had to destroy three frescoes by Perugino and two lunettes
of his own upon the altar wall of the Sistine Chapel for his new scheme.
He is said to have had the wall rebuilt of well-baked bricks, so possibly
the old frescoes had suffered from damp and dirt. Vasari says Fra
Sebastiano del Piombo prepared the wall for Michael Angelo, and secretly
had it grounded for oil painting, no doubt hoping himself to be employed
in the work, as oil was his special medium. Michael Angelo was very wroth
with his old friend for this, and declared that oil painting was an art
only fit for women and crazy fellows. We hear of no further intercourse
between Michael Angelo and the jovial frate. Vasari attributes their
coolness to this incident.

Hieronimo Staccoli wrote a letter in July 1537,(149) to the Duke of
Camerino, son and heir to the Duke of Urbino, about a salt-cellar designed
for him by Michael Angelo. This prince was afterwards a good friend to the
master, and his letter of September 7, 1539, informs us of the position of
affairs with regard to the Tomb of Julius during the progress of the large
painting in the Sistine:—

    "DEAREST MESSER MICHAEL ANGELO,—It always has been, and now is,
    more than ever our infinite desire, as you will naturally imagine,
    to see the Tomb to the sainted memory of Pope Julius, my uncle,
    brought to a good conclusion by you, and we know well that it
    belongs to our duty to have good care of it, and see it ultimately
    finished, being held to it as you so well know by that sainted
    spirit: nevertheless, having heard by letters from our ambassador
    at Rome the great desire of our Lord, we must comfort ourselves
    with all patience whilst this said work is passed over by you. As
    long as His Holiness holds you busy in finishing the picture in
    the said chapel of Sisto; not being able or willing, but by our
    duty and our natural inclination in this as in all things to
    otherwise than comply with his wishes, we are contented to agree
    with a good grace, on reflection and by the reverence we bear to
    His Holiness. You may, therefore, fairly go on with the painting
    until the work is finished; but with a firm hope and belief that
    when it is done you will give yourself up entirely to finishing
    the said Tomb, redoubling your diligence and care to make up for
    the loss of time, as His Holiness has also promised you shall,
    kindly offering himself to urge you to do it; and to this end we
    have written you this letter. So long a time has passed since this
    said Tomb was begun that we cannot persuade ourselves but that you
    are equally desirous with us to see it finished; and esteeming you
    an honourable man, as we certainly believe you are—you cannot be
    otherwise with your singular virtue—we judge it superfluous to
    give you any admonition except that you keep yourself in good
    health, in order that you may honour those sainted bones that
    living honoured you and the other gifted men of that age, by all
    that we have so often heard. We beg you will make use of us if
    there is any other matter in which we can do you pleasure, for we
    shall do it with that good will which your most rare gifts
    deserve. And keep well."

                               [Image #44]


                          SISTINE CHAPEL, ROME
           (_By permission of the Fratelli, Alinari, Florence_)

Shortly before the fresco was finished, Vasari informs us that Michael
Angelo had a bad fall from the scaffolding, and injured his leg. He
returned home, shut himself up in his house, and would not allow any
doctor to come near him or even enter the house. A certain Florentine
physician and lover of the arts, Baccio Rontini, contrived to creep in by
a back door, and roamed about until he found the master. He then insisted
upon remaining with him, looking after him until he had effected a
complete cure.

The Last Judgment was shown to the public upon Christmas Day, 1541. In
this picture of the Day of Wrath, Michael Angelo has concentrated all his
energies to represent the terror of the wrath of God. It is Jehovah with
His thunders that rises before the frightened mass of human souls. The
Holy Mother crouches beside Him, turning her face away so as not to see
the wrath to come. Even the saints look with dread towards the great
Judge, fearing lest they too should be condemned. Martyrs brandish the
emblems of their martyrdom before His eyes to plead for them, and, as some
have said, claim vengeance for their pains. Michael Angelo would have us
realise that no human soul is innocent beside the Holiness of Heaven. The
gentle happiness of the redeemed, as represented by the blessed Frate
Angelico is absent from the scene—it could not appear without destroying
the unities of the tragedy. Peace will follow as the blessed walk in the
Elysian fields after they have passed, with a fearful joy, from the
judgment seat. Michael Angelo has followed the traditional composition of
the subject in all its lines and details, adapting it with the least
change possible to the space at his command, and to the superior knowledge
of the drawing of the human form that he possessed. It is most interesting
to compare this rendering with the same subject in the Campo Santo at
Pisa. Every part of the composition is repeated, the action of the Judge,
the Madonna beside Him on His right, Apostles on either side, the
resurrection of the dead, the descent into hell, the angels blowing the
trumpets in the centre of the lower part, the angels bearing the cross and
other implements of the Passion in the upper corners. This crowded mass of
figures is divided into nine several parts, all the figures and groups
having room enough to move, and to spare. The more this work is studied in
detail the more beautiful the forms appear, and the more daring and
skilful the foreshortenings are found to be. Every figure is beautiful,
and every one of them noble. The picture is full of symbolism in the
details, and may be studied every day, and new thoughts and new meanings
found in it. Souls that help each other in their upward struggle. Beads of
prayers with which one good righteous man draws souls to heaven. The wife
who lifts up her despairing husband; his expression of awe and doubt as he
rises upward. Souls long separated by death rush together in close
embrace; father and son, husband and wife. Dante is there thirsting for
deepest mysteries, his face positively thrust between St. Peter and St.
Paul. Souls driven down to hell, beautiful and noble as are those destined
for heaven; even their despair is dignified as if they assented to their
doom as just. Old Charon, in his boat, "with eyes of brass, who beats the
delaying souls with uplifted oar," is taken directly from Dante:—

  Caron demonio con occhi di bragia
  Loro accenando, tutte le raccoglie,
  Batte col remo qualunque si adagia.

                               [Image #45]


                          SISTINE CHAPEL, ROME
           (_By permission of the Fratelli Alinari, Florence_)

Those portions of the fresco in the semicircular spaces at the top, angels
bearing implements of the Passion, appear to have been painted the last.
They approximate in style to the works afterwards done in the Pauline
Chapel, and are not so absolutely true in drawing as the rest of the work.
Here, for the first time, is a sense of fatigue in the workmanship. They
appear to have been treated as two separate compositions filling their
lunettes. Michael Angelo has used the favourite device of Raphael to give
movement, direction, and force of line, two figures pointing almost side
by side in almost exactly parallel actions. Nothing gives so much sense of
rush, as may be seen in many of the compositions in the Loggia. One
instance here is the angel bearing the Crown of Thorns and the figure near
him. Another is just below, two figures near the right arm of the Judge.
One of the finest and most superb groups ever designed by Michael Angelo
is the group of angels blowing the trumpets of doom in the forefront of
the fresco. Their energy and power, compared with the placid angels of
Pisa and Orvieto, exhibit the different aims of the artist most
effectively. It must be noticed how carefully Michael Angelo has arranged
his composition, so that the baldacchino used behind the High Altar upon
great occasions shall not injure his composition. The group of angel
trumpeters, the Charon and the devils in a cave, are all hidden and cut
off exactly by the curtains, and the composition generally is positively
improved by their absence. Michael Angelo, no doubt, thought the fresco
would be most seen on such occasions, and designed his work accordingly.
The space hidden, however, he did not neglect, but placed in it some of
his finest work.

The prophet above this end of the chapel is Jonah, whose history is a
symbol of the resurrection of the dead. His presence there makes us
suppose that Michael Angelo always contemplated the possibility of his
having to paint the Last Judgment upon this wall, although he himself
painted the lunettes now covered by the larger composition. The colour of
this fresco is very much darkened by dust and by smoke from the altar
candles; and, as it is more within reach than the vault, it has been
retouched. It should be a source of comfort to those who get tired with
looking upward at pictures in high places, if they will but remember that
their beloved paintings have often been protected from the restorer by
their high position. There is an interesting early copy of this fresco in
the Corsini Gallery in Florence, which, though rather crude, gives us a
good idea of the light tone of the painting in its early state.

This work was received by artists with enthusiasm, reflected in the pages
of Vasari. They came from all parts to study it; in fact, most of the
drawings attributed to Michael Angelo in collections are their studies
from it, and not his studies for it, as they are called. As a general
rule, whenever there are two or more figures drawn in a group, all equally
finished and accurately in the same position as the figures in the fresco,
the drawing may be assumed to be a copy.

Two sections of the public, even then, were unable to receive Michael
Angelo’s message of the beauty and purity of the human figure. Not only
scandalous persons, like Aretino, objected to them, but pious people, who
could not and cannot yet be brought to believe in the splendour and
holiness of the Creator’s work. Vasari tells us that when Michael Angelo
had almost finished the work Pope Paul came to see it, and Messer Biagio
da Cesena, Master of the Ceremonies, a very particular person, was with
him in the chapel, and was asked what he thought of it. Messer Biagio da
Cesena replied that he considered it highly improper to paint so many
shameless, naked figures in such an honourable building, and that it was
not a fit work for the Pope’s chapel, but more suitable to a bagno or an
inn. Michael Angelo nettled by this resolved to revenge himself at once.
As soon as they left the chapel he set to work and drew Messer Biagio’s
portrait, from memory, in hell as Minos, with a great serpent twisted
round his legs, surrounded by a crowd of devils. Messer Biagio complained
to the Pope, who asked him where he was placed? "In hell," was the reply.
"Then I can do nothing to help you," said the Pope; "had the painter sent
you to purgatory I would have used my best efforts to get you released,
but I exercise no influence in hell, _ubi nulla est redemptio_." Some
years afterwards Paul IV. objected to the naked figures, and employed
Daniele da Volterra to patch draperies on to some of them, with Michael
Angelo’s consent, whereby Daniele obtained the nickname of Il Braghettone,
or the breeches-maker. Daniele did his work with a good deal of
discretion, hiding as little of the original fresco as possible: the
additions are unfortunately offensive in colour. The early engravings show
the picture in its original state, and show that the additions are not so
many or so important as might be supposed, as most of the larger masses of
draperies are seen to be Michael Angelo’s own work. When the Pope obtained
Michael Angelo’s consent to this alteration, the artist replied to his
messenger: "Tell his Holiness this is a small matter, and can easily be
set right. Let him look to setting the world in order: to reform a picture
costs no great trouble." Pius V. also employed Girolamo da Fano to make
some further alterations. These retouches _a secco_ have destroyed to a
great extent the atmospheric quality and the relation of the planes in
Michael Angelo’s suave true-fresco method, which, as may be seen in the
vault, gives the grey half-tints of the flesh-tones in a way only equalled
by Andrea del Sarto in fresco and Rembrandt in oil painting.

As soon as Michael Angelo had finished the Last Judgment, Paul III. set
him to work again to fresco the walls of the chapel of the Holy Sacrament,
just completed by Antonio da San Gallo, and now known as the Cappella
Paolina. Michael Angelo had hoped to complete the Tomb of Julius at once,
with his own hand, but the Pope’s determination necessitated further
negotiations with the Duke of Urbino. The Duke wrote to Michael Angelo
upon March 6, 1542, saying that he would be quite satisfied if the three
statues by his hand, including the Moses, were assigned to the Tomb, the
execution of the rest being left to competent workmen under him.(150)

There is also a petition from Michael Angelo to Paul III.(151) stating
that his Holiness the Pope’s commission for Michael Angelo to work and
paint in his new chapel prevents him finishing the Tomb as agreed with the
illustrious signor Duke of Urbino. "Already Raffaello da Monte Lupo, the
Florentine, considered one of the best masters of the time, was well
forward with the standing group of the Madonna with the Child in her arms,
and a Prophet and a Sibyl seated, for four hundred scudi. The rest of the
decoration, excepting the part in front, was in the hands of Master
Giovanni de’ Marchesi and Francesco da Urbino, chisellers and carvers in
stone, for seven hundred scudi. But there still remained to be supplied
the three figures to be carved by Michael Angelo’s own hand, that is to
say, a Moses and two captives. But as the two said captives were designed
for the work when it was to have been on a much larger scale, they would
not fit in the reduced design, nor could they in any way be made to look
well there. Accordingly the said Messer Michael Angelo, not to lose his
honour, had blocked out two new statues to go on either side of the Moses,
representing the Active and Contemplative Life, which are well advanced,
so that they may be easily finished by another master. Michael Angelo
desires and supplicates his Holiness our Lord the Pope Paul the Third, in
order that he may work in his chapel, which needs all his energies and his
entire care, and he being aged, and desiring to serve the Pope with all
his power, to free him from his obligation to the signor Duke of Urbino
with regard to the said Tomb, cancelling and annulling every obligation.
Especially, to allow him to hand over the two statues that remain to be
done to the said Raffaello da Montelupo, or to some one pleasing to his
Excellency, for a good price, which it is thought would be 200 scudi. The
Moses will be finished entirely by Michael Angelo, and arrangements will
be made by Michael Angelo to pay the money due for these workers ... and
so he will be free in all things and able to serve and satisfy his
Holiness." Finally, he deposits a sum of 1200 crowns, and guarantees that
the work shall be efficiently executed in all its details. The final
contract in agreement with this petition was signed upon August 20,

The mighty design of Michael Angelo’s early years of enthusiasm dwindled
down to the Moses, but what a height above other men’s biggest designs is
this single figure! The Cardinal was right who said the statue of Moses
alone was a sufficient memorial of Julius. In a letter to Salvestro da
Montauto, of February 3, 1545(153), Michael Angelo says that the Duke of
Urbino ratified the deed, and the five statues were given to Raffaello da
Montelupo to be carved. "Of these five statues my Lord the Pope having at
my earnest prayer and for my satisfaction conceded to me a little time, I
finished two of them with my own hand, that is to say, the Contemplative
Life and the Active Life for the same sum that the said Raffaello was to
have had." From the works themselves we may be sure that there is a good
deal of Raffaello da Montelupo about these figures all the same.
Notwithstanding all this evidence of the desire of Michael Angelo to carry
out his contract, we have a letter(154) from Annibale Caro to Antonio
Gallo as late as 1553 entreating him to plead with the Duke of Urbino for
Michael Angelo. "I assure you that the extreme distress caused him by
being in disgrace with his Excellency is sufficient to bring his grey hair
with sorrow to the grave before his time."

In the finished work there are statues not yet accounted for, that is to
say, the recumbent portrait of the Pope which was executed by Maso del
Bosco, the coat of arms of the Della Rovere by Battista Benti of Pietra
Santa, and the terminal figures by Giacomo del Duca. The greatest drawback
to the effect of the whole is the change in the architectural treatment
and decorations. The lower part belongs to the period when the work was
begun in 1505, and the upper, with no transition but a joint in the stone,
to the heavier and coarser style of the period when it was finished, 1545.
The jointing and the masonry generally are not of a satisfactory
character,(155) and Michael Angelo’s assistants cannot be congratulated
upon the way they did their share of the work. With the exception of the
figures of Active and Contemplative Life, the work of the assistants would
be better away.

The two bound captives which were too big for the altered monument are now
the glory of the Italian sculpture galleries of the Louvre. They were
presented by Michael Angelo to Roberto degli Strozzi, because, when the
sculptor was ill in 1544, Luigi del Riccio, his friend, nursed him and
looked after him in the Strozzi Palace. They were taken to France and
offered to the King of France, who gave them to the Connétable de
Montmorenci; they were placed by him in Ecouen. They were bought for the
French nation by M. Lenoir when the Republic put them up for sale in 1793.

Four unfinished colossal figures, which still appear to be wrenching
themselves from their prison of stone, now lurk in the corners of a
repulsive grotto in the Boboli Gardens. They are supposed to have been
also for the Tomb of Julius. Heath Wilson suggests that they may have been
intended for the façade of San Lorenzo. The difficulty as to scale that
caused a doubt as to their being intended for the Tomb does not really
disprove it; for Michael Angelo was never very particular as to the
comparative size of the figures in his monuments, and the many alterations
of his schemes for the Tomb make it possible for them to have been worked
in somehow. It is very probable that when he was at Florence, and after
some of the more threatening letters of the executors, he set savagely to
work upon some blocks ready to his hand, with the idea of having them
conveyed to Rome afterwards. They belong to about the time of the siege of
Florence, and are more suggestive of his method of work, and of his
thoughts in the presence of the stone, than any other of his statues. If
they were removed from their ugly surroundings and placed, say, in the
Tribuna of David in the Belle Arti at Florence instead of the plaster
casts that represent the master in his own city, they, with the other
fragments, such as the Saint Matthew, the Apollo, the Victory, and the
other works in the Bargello, would make a gallery of his art even worthy
of Michael Angelo. Failing such a possibility, they might, at least, be
placed under the Loggia dei Lanzi, away from the repulsive grotesque of
stucco and stalactite that grins at them in the grotto. If something must
be left as a companion to the ugly thing, plaster casts would be quite
good enough.

The Victory, of the Bargello, was said by Vasari to have been designed for
the Tomb, but it may just as well have been intended for an angel
overcoming a demon, part of the ruined scheme for the façade of San
Lorenzo. The lower figure is still left in the rough, and is supposed to
be like the artist. The head of the upper figure is so dull that it cannot
have been carved by the sculptor who finished the torso so exquisitely. It
may have been left a mere block, like the head of one of the captives of
the Boboli. The man who carved the head, and also worked on other portions
of the group, turned the neck round too much. If we imagine the head less
turned and looking down towards the crouching figure, conquered by the
young genius of beauty and victory, we shall see the grace in the pose of
the torso to greater advantage. We imagine a somewhat similar story for
the figure in the Bargello, called the Adonis. The boar cannot be by
Michael Angelo’s hand, and, indeed, very little of the figure suggests his
grasp of plastic possibilities; the figure cannot have been much more than
blocked out by him, and was finished after his death by some artist of the
type of Vincenzio Danti.



Michael Angelo wrote a number of sonnets and made many drawings for his
friends, especially for the Marchioness of Pescara and Messer Tomaso dei
Cavalieri, a noble Roman gentleman. For him they were generally subjects
from Greek and Roman mythology, but for the Marchioness the drawings
always represented episodes from the story of the Passion of our Lord. A
Pietà, drawn for this lady, was engraved by Giulio Bonasoni and Tudius
Bononiensis in 1546. There are several drawings in the Print Room of the
British Museum and the Windsor and Oxford Collections of this character
and period. One at Oxford was probably the original sent to Vittoria, but
all are of the same sacred inspiration; in fact, the religious element
becomes very strong indeed in all his later work, just as in the later
work of Titian. These artists had the near prospect of death in view, and
thus they turned their thoughts entirely to work from which they hoped for
reward in the world to come. The fear of hell was not without its
influence upon both of them.

Some of the drawings made by Michael Angelo for his friend, Tomaso
Cavalieri, are mentioned in one of Tomaso’s letters, dated 1533.(156)

                               [Image #46]

                      THE CRUCIFIXION OF SAINT PETER

           (_By permission of the Fratelli Alinari, Florence_)

    "UNIQUE MY LORD,—Some days ago I received a letter from you, which
    was very welcome, both because I learned by it that you are well,
    and also because I can now be sure that you will soon return. I
    was very sorry not to answer at once. However, when you know the
    cause, you will hold me excused. On the day your letter reached me
    I was very sick, and in such a high fever that I was at the point
    of death; and verily I should have died if it had not revived me.
    Since then, thank God, I have been well. Messer Bartolomei has now
    brought me a sonnet by you, which has made it my duty to write.
    Some three days since I received my drawing of Phæton, which is
    exceedingly well done. The Pope, the Cardinal de’ Medici, and
    every one, have seen it. I do not know what made them want to do
    so. The Cardinal expressed a wish to inspect all your drawings,
    and they pleased him so much that he said he should like to have a
    Tityos and Ganymede done in crystal. I could not prevent him from
    using the Tityos, and it is now being executed by Master Giovanni.
    I struggled hard to save the Ganymede. The other day I went, as
    you requested, to Fra Sebastiano. He sends a thousand messages,
    but all to pray you to come back.

    "Your affectionate,

                                                   "THOMAS CAVALIERI."

Messer Tomaso feared the drawings would be damaged in the workshop of the
gem engraver. There are several of these drawings in existence in good
condition, with no marks of the thumbs of workmen about them.

From the letters referring to the last contract about the Tomb of Julius,
we learn that the frescoes in the Cappella Paolina were not begun in
October 1542. Michael Angelo worked at them with slight interruptions for
seven years; they represent the Conversion of Saint Paul and the Martyrdom
of Saint Peter. They are very highly finished in execution and studied in
grace of composition, but frigid, and too evidently the work of an old
man. The skill of the drawing and foreshortening is masterly as ever, but
he does not appear to have referred to nature for the forms; and even
Michael Angelo without nature became stale. Vasari says, after describing
the frescoes without his customary enthusiasm, "They were his last
productions in painting. He was seventy-five years old when he carried
them to completion; and, as he informed me, he did so with great effort
and fatigue—painting, after a certain age, and especially fresco painting,
not being in truth fit work for old men."

In the spring of 1546 Francis I. of France wrote to Michael Angelo asking
for some fine monument by his hand, and copies of the Pietà della Febbre,
now in St. Peter’s, and of the Christ holding the Cross, in Santa Maria
Sopra Minerva, for his chapel. A draft of Michael Angelo’s reply runs:—

                               [Image #47]

                       THE CONVERSION OF SAINT PAUL

                         THE CHAPEL OF POPE PAUL
           (_By permission of the Fratelli Alinari, Florence_)

    _To the most Christian King of France._(157)

    "SACRED MAJESTY,—I do not know which is the greater, the grace or
    the wonder at it, that your Majesty should have deigned to write
    to a man like me, and still more to ask him for things of his,
    unworthy even of the name of your Majesty; but, whatever they are,
    let your Majesty understand that for a long time I have desired to
    serve you in them; but, not having had the opportunity, because
    you have not been in Italy where my work is, I have not been able
    to do it. Now I am old, and have been occupied these many months
    with the work for Pope Paul. But if a little life is still left me
    after all these occupations, what I have desired is, as I have
    said, a little time to work for your Majesty at my art—one work to
    be in marble, one in bronze, and one in painting. And if death
    hinders me from carrying out my wish, and if it be possible to
    carve statues or to paint in the other life, I shall not fail to
    do so there, where there is no more growing old. And I pray God
    that He grant your Majesty a long and happy life.

    "From Rome, the day XXVI. of April, MDXLVI."

In the letters and poems of this period we note the endeavour to attain to
a style in literature full of rich conceits and elaborate compliment,
which may be compared to the style, elaborate and ornamental, but somewhat
cold and unattractive, of the frescoes in the Cappella Paolina. As he grew
older he devoted himself more entirely to architecture and literature. The
arts of sculpture and painting, as exercised by him, could not be carried
on by assistants; he now perforce had to employ himself upon work in which
the execution could be left to younger hands. He sought the help of
scholars to overhaul and set to rights his poems, sonnets, and thoughts in
words, as the masons and master-builders expressed his thoughts in
architecture—the Dome of St. Peter’s, and the cornice of the Farnese
Palace. In the devotional drawings we have mentioned, and an unfinished
group in sculpture, the Deposition from the Cross, now behind the High
Altar of Santa Maria del Fiore at Florence, we have the only further
manifestation of Michael Angelo’s genius in his favourite arts. Many of
these drawings appear to be designs for a great picture of the
Crucifixion. He went on executing them long after the death of the
Marchioness of Pescara, who first seems to have incited him to this work.
It almost appears to have become a religious exercise with him; they have
the same meaning as these last lines of a Sonnet.

  Nè pinger nè scolpir fia più che quieti
  L’ anima volta a quell’ Amor divino
  Ch’ aperse, a prender noi, in croce le braccia.

  Painting nor sculpture now can lull to rest
  My soul, that turns to His great love on high,
  Whose arms to clasp us on the Cross were spread.(158)

                               [Image #48]


            (_By permission of the Fratelli Alinari Florence_)

The marble group of the Deposition is so religious in character that it
can be compared with no work of art executed since Michael Angelo’s own
early work the Pietà, in St. Peter’s, the Madonna della Febbre. Both for
its earnestness and its noble religious sentiment it is an act of worship
to look at it, and the days and nights spent in its execution must have
been periods of the heartiest religious devotion and sorrowing love. The
old sculptor intended this work to have been his monument. The unfinished
head of Nicodemus, who sustains the body of his dear Lord, is his own
portrait, and, unfinished as it is, expresses the deepest devotion and
sadness. Vasari saw this work in progress, and gives us a glimpse into the
home-life of the aged worker, who was never content out of his workshop,
and spent his sleepless nights working at this huge marble with a paper
cap on his head, in which he stuck a lighted candle to see by. The
solitary figure of the old man in the vast and dimly lighted studio,
groping round the inchoate marble; the stillness of the night, broken only
by the sharp click of the mallet and the grating of the chisel, is a
picture of many of the bravest hours of his old age. Vasari, observing all
this, and wishing to do the revered artist a kindness, sent him 40 lbs. of
candles made of goat’s fat, knowing that they gutter less than ordinary
dips of tallow. His servant carried them politely to the house two hours
after night-fall, and presented them to Michael Angelo. He refused, and
said he did not want them. The man answered: "Sir, they have almost broken
my back carrying them all this long way from the bridge, and I will not
carry them home again. There is a heap of mud opposite your door, thick
and firm enough to hold them upright. Here then will I set them all up,
and light them." When Michael Angelo heard this he gave way: "Lay them
down; I do not mean you to play pranks at my house door." Vasari tells
another anecdote about the Deposition. Pope Julius III. sent him late one
evening to Michael Angelo’s house for a certain drawing. The aged master
came down with a lantern, and, hearing what was wanted, told Urbino to
look for the design. Meanwhile, Vasari turned his attention to one of the
legs of the Christ, which Michael Angelo had been altering. In order to
prevent his seeing it Michael Angelo let the light fall, and they remained
in darkness. He then called for another light, and stepped forth from the
screen of planks behind which he worked, saying: "I am so old that
oftentimes Death plucks me by the cape to go with him, and one day this
body of mine will fall like the lantern, and the light of life will be put

"If life gives us pleasure we ought not to expect displeasure from death,
seeing it is made by the hand of the same master," was a favourite
reflection of Michael Angelo’s upon mortality. This Deposition was never
completed, flaws appeared in the marble, and perhaps whilst working in the
imperfect light Michael Angelo’s impatient chisel cut too deep. He began
to break up the work, but luckily his servant Antonio, successor to
Urbino, begged the fragments from his master. Francesco Bandini, a
Florentine exile settled in Rome, wished for a work by the master, and,
with Michael Angelo’s consent, bought it from Antonio for two hundred
crowns. It was patched up, but apparently not worked upon, and remained in
the garden of Bandini’s heir at Monte Cavallo. It was afterwards taken to
Florence and was finally placed in the Duomo in 1722 by the Grand Duke
Cosimo III., where it may now be seen behind the high altar, well-placed,
so that the great cross of the altar looks like the tree from which the
body has just been lowered. So well does the line of the cross behind cut
the group that we cannot help imagining that the artist intended some such
erection to have been placed behind his figures. Those who would see this
group aright must visit the Duomo before seven o’clock on a summer
morning, when the light of the sun falls, though the white robe of a
bishop in one of the high eastern windows, upon the neighbouring pillars
and the floor, and lights up that end of the church; at other times the
darkness of the dome covers the group as the darkness covered the earth
during the tragic hours at Golgotha.

The right arm of the Christ has become over polished and much worn because
it is used as a balustrade by the acolytes, who carelessly run up and down
the steps between the group and the back of the high altar to light the
candles during service. On the other side a rough metal handle has
positively been let into the left side of the Joseph of Arimathea, so that
a clumsy boy may climb the more easily; wooden steps also fit so closely
to the marble that they injure the lines of the group. All the
characteristics of Michael Angelo’s impassioned period may be studied in
this group; his favourite mannerisms are there also. Examine the hand of
Joseph, with the middle finger touching the thumb, and compare it with the
allegorical statues of the Medici Chapel. Vasari tells us that Michael
Angelo began another Pietà on a smaller scale; this may be the beautiful
group that has been spoiled by an alteration, now in the courtyard of the
Palazzo Rondini, No. 418, the Corso, Rome. There is a cast of it in the
Belle Arti at Florence. The hanging limbs of the Christ have a most
pathetic effect, and so has the whole expression of the group. The effect
is obtained by the length of the principal lines.

There is a medallion of the Madonna clasping her dead son at the Albergo
dei Poveri, at Genoa, attributed to Michael Angelo; it may have been begun
by him during this long period of old age, but it cannot be called his
work. It has been entirely recarved by an imitator.

Michael Angelo made his famous report condemning the design of Antonio da
Sangallo for the rebuilding of the Farnese palace upon the shores of the
Tiber; it is a mysterious document, in Michael Angelo’s own hand, and does
not leave Sangallo a single merit. All the theories are proved by the
precepts of Vitruvius. The adherents of Sangallo resented it very
naturally, and the "Setta Sangallesca" became his bitter enemies. The Pope
himself was dissatisfied with Sangallo, and the design for the cornice was
thrown open to competition. Perino del Vaga, Sebastiano del Piombo,
Giorgio Vasari, and Michael Angelo all competed. Michael Angelo’s design
was eventually carried out after he had placed a wooden model of part of
his cornice in position. Vasari, who is the best authority upon this
period of the life of Michael Angelo, attributes to him also the exterior
of the palace from the second story upwards, and the whole of the central
courtyard above the first story, "making it the finest thing of its sort
in Europe." Michael Angelo had also a serious disagreement with Sangallo
before the military committee fortifying the Borgo for the Pope.

When Antonio da Sangallo died at Terni on October 3, 1546, Michael Angelo
succeeded to his post in Rome, architect-in-general to the Pope, the
principal work was, of course, the great Church of St. Peter’s. Bramante,
Raphael, and Peruzzi had all been architects-in-chief, and many were the
alterations in the plans. Notwithstanding their differences during his
early life, the design of Bramante was the one that commended itself to
Michael Angelo; he abandoned Sangallo’s design; the model for it still
exists and we cannot wonder at Michael Angelo’s decision. His criticisms
are given in a letter supposed to be to Bartolomeo Amanati.(159) "It
cannot be denied that Bramante was a brave architect, equal to any one
from the times of the ancients until now. He laid the first plan of Saint
Peter’s, not confused, but clear and simple, full of light and detached
from surrounding buildings, so as not to injure any part of the palace. It
was considered a fine thing, and, indeed, it is still manifest that it was
so; and all the architects who have departed from the plan of Bramante, as
Sangallo has done, have departed from the truth. And so it is, and all who
have not prejudiced eyes can see it in his model. He, with his outer
circle of chapels, in the first place takes all the light from the plan of
Bramante; and not only this, but he has not provided any other means of
lighting, and there are so many lurking places, both above and below, all
dark, which would be very convenient for innumerable knaveries, a secure
hiding-place for bandits, false coiners, and all sorts of ribaldry, and
when it was shut up at night twenty-five men would be needed to clear the
building of those in hiding there, and it would be difficult enough to
find them. There is yet another inconvenience: the circle of buildings
with their adjuncts outside added to Bramante’s plan would make it
necessary to pull down to the ground the Capella Paolina, the offices of
the Piombo and the Ruota, and more besides; nay, even the Sistine Chapel
would, I believe, not escape." May it not have been that this malicious
arrangement of Sangailo’s to destroy Michael Angelo’s masterpieces made
the great artist so bitter against him.

Paul III. conferred the post of architect-in-chief at St. Peter’s upon
Michael Angelo on January 1, 1547, "commissary, prefect, surveyor of the
works, and architect, with full authority to change the model, form, and
structure of the church at pleasure, and to dismiss and remove the workmen
and foremen employed upon the same." For all this work Michael Angelo
refused payment, declaring that he meant to labour, without recompense,
for the love of God and the reverence he felt for the Prince of the
Apostles. Speaking broadly, the former architects had designed ground
plans of St. Peter’s on two lines, the Greek and the Latin crosses.
Bramante, and Baldassare Peruzzi used the Greek cross; Raphael, the
Basilica form, the addition of a long nave made the plan like a Latin
cross; and Sangallo, by adding a huge portico to Peruzzi’s design, made
his ground plan a Latin cross. Michael Angelo followed the lines of
Bramante, the Greek cross, designed so that the cupola should be the
dominant note of the building and its principal feature, whether from
within or without, and from whichever side the building was approached.
Michael Angelo’s intention may be realised at the back of the present
building, and his work best judged as one walks round the great mass of
masonry to the old entrance to the Sculpture Galleries of the Vatican.
Those who approach Rome in the best way at present open to the newcomer,
by the light railway line from Viterbo, get a magnificent view of the
cupola, apparently rising out of a green hillside, just before they enter
the Eternal City, and then, on their way to the Trastevere station, they
pass behind the building and get their first impression of St. Peter’s
from Michael Angelo’s own work.(160)

Michael Angelo began his work by pulling down much of Sangallo’s
construction, and by severely repressing all sorts of jobbery in
connection with the supply of materials.

Michael Angelo states in a letter to Cardinal Ridolfo Pio of Carpi,(161)
that the study of the nude human figure is necessary to an architect. If
he had also stated that it was an essential to all art workers, many good
judges would have agreed with him.

    "MOST REVEREND MONSIGNOR,—When a plan has divers parts all those
    which are of one type in quality and quantity have to be decorated
    in the same fashion and in the same style, and similarly their
    counterparts. But when the plan changes form altogether it is not
    only allowable but necessary to change the said adornments and
    likewise their counterparts. The intermediate parts are always as
    free as you like, just as the nose, which stands in the middle of
    the face, is not obliged to correspond with either of the eyes;
    but one hand is obliged to be like the other, and one eye must be
    as its fellow, because they balance each other. Therefore it is
    very certain that the members of architecture depend upon the
    members of man. Who has not been, or is not a good master of the
    figure, and especially of anatomy, cannot understand it.

                                          "MICHAEL ANGELO BUONARROTI."

Vasari tells us "that the Pope approved of Michael Angelo’s model, which
reduced the cathedral to smaller dimensions, but also to a more essential
greatness. He discovered that four of the principal piers, erected by
Bramante and left standing by Antonio da Sangallo, which had to bear the
weight of the tribune, were feeble. These he fortified in part,
constructing a winding staircase at the side with gently sloping steps, up
which beasts of burden ascend with building material, and one can ride on
horseback to the level above the arches. He carried the first cornice,
made of travertine, round the arches—a wonderful piece of work, full of
grace, and very different from the others. Nor could anything be better
done in its kind. He began the two great apses of the transept; and
whereas Bramante, Raffaello, and Peruzzi had designed eight tabernacles
toward the Campo Santo, which arrangement Sangallo adhered to, he reduced
them to three, with three chapels inside."

The sect of Sangallo, headed by Nanni di Baccio Bigio, continued to annoy
and conspire against the aged architect, and though Michael Angelo brought
their machinations to the notice of the Superintendent of the Fabric in
1547,(162) he could not get his chief enemy dismissed.

The master’s good friend, Pope Paul III., died in 1549. Michael Angelo
wrote of him to his nephew(163): "It is true that I have suffered great
sorrow and not less loss by the Pope’s death, because I have received
benefits from his Holiness, and hoped for even more. God’s will be done.
We must have patience. His death was beautiful, fully conscious to the
last word. God have mercy on his soul." His successor, Julius III., was
also friendly to Michael Angelo, who spoke of him in a letter to his old
friend, Giovan Francesco Fattucci, at Florence.(164)

    "_To_ MESSER GIOVAN FRANCESCO FATTUCCI, _priest of Santa Maria del
    Fiore, My most dear friend at Florence._

    "MESSER GIOVAN FRANCESCO,—Dear friend, although for many months we
    have not written to each other, yet I have not forgotten our long
    and faithful friendship, and wish you well, as I have always done,
    and love you with all my heart and more, for the endless
    kindnesses I have received. As regards old age, which is upon us
    both alike, I should much like to know how yours treats you, for
    mine does not content me greatly, so I beg you will write
    something to me. You know how that we have a new Pope, and who he
    is. All Rome rejoices, thanks be to God, and expects nothing but
    the greatest benefit to all, especially to the poor, on account of
    his liberality...."

Efforts were made to dislodge Michael Angelo from his post of architect to
St. Peter’s. A memorial of grievances(165) was drawn up by the
Superintendent and set before the Pope, stating that Michael Angelo was
"carrying on with a high hand, and letting them know nothing of the work,
so that they do not like his ways, especially in what he keeps pulling
down. The demolition has been, and to-day is, so great that all who
witness it are moved to pity." Michael Angelo evidently satisfied the
Pope, for he was confirmed in his office with even greater powers than

Another plot ripened in 1557, and is excellently described by Vasari:—

    "It was some little while before the beginning of 1551, when
    Vasari, on his return from Florence to Rome, found the sect of
    Sangallo plotting against Michael Angelo. They induced the Pope to
    hold a meeting in Saint Peter’s, where all the overseers and
    workmen connected with the building should attend, and his
    Holiness should be persuaded by false insinuations that Michael
    Angelo had spoiled the fabric. He had already walled in the apse
    of the King where the three chapels are, and carried out the three
    upper windows. But it was not known what he meant to do with the
    vault. They then, misled by their shallow judgment, made Cardinal
    Salviati, the elder, and Marcello Cervini, who was afterwards
    Pope, believe that Saint Peter’s would be badly lighted. When all
    were assembled the Pope told Michael Angelo that the deputies were
    of opinion the apse would have but little light. He answered, ’I
    should like to hear these deputies speak.’ The Cardinal Marcello
    rejoined: ’We are here.’ Michael Angelo then remarked: ’My lord,
    above these three windows there will be other three in the vault,
    which is to be built of travertine.’ ’You never told us anything
    about this,’ said the Cardinal. Michael Angelo responded: ’I am
    not, nor do I mean to be, obliged to tell your lordships, or
    anybody else, what I ought or wish to do. It is your business to
    provide the money, and to see that it is not stolen. As regards
    the plans of the building, you have to leave them to me.’ Then he
    turned to the Pope and said: ’Holy Father, behold what gains are
    mine! Unless the hardships I endure are beneficial to my soul, I
    lose my time and my labour.’ The Pope, who loved him, laid his
    hands upon his shoulders and said: ’You are gaining both for soul
    and body; have no fear!’ Michael Angelo’s self-defence increased
    the Pope’s love, and he ordered him to repair next day with Vasari
    to the Vigna Giulia, where they held long discourses upon matters
    of art."

Vasari also tells us of the transfer of a piece of engineering work from
Michael Angelo to his enemy—if such a small man deserves to be called the
enemy of Michael Angelo—Nanni di Baccio Bigio. The old bridge of Santa
Maria had long shown signs of giving way, and it had to be rebuilt. Paul
III. entrusted the work to Michael Angelo. Nanni got it transferred to him
by the influence of his friends with the new Pope. The man laid his
foundations badly. Michael Angelo, riding over the new bridge one day with
Vasari, cried out: "Giorgio, the bridge shakes beneath us; let us spur on
before it gives way with us upon it." Ultimately the prophecy was
fulfilled, and the bridge fell during a great inundation. Its ruins are
known as the Ponte Rotto to this day.

Julius III. died in 1555, and Cardinal Marcello Cervini was elected in his
stead, under the title of Marcellus II. He had been Michael Angelo’s
adversary at the great conference, so the hopes of the Setti Sangalleschi
revived, and Michael Angelo began to think of accepting the oft-repeated
invitations of the Duke of Tuscany, who had long pressed him to come and
reside again in Florence, and dignify his native city with his presence
during his remaining years; but Marcellus died after a reign of only a few
weeks, and Pius IV., the next Pope, persuaded Michael Angelo not to
forsake his work at Saint Peter’s. In a letter to Vasari, intended for the
ears of the Duke, Michael Angelo states his mind.(166)

    "_To_ MESSER GIORGIO, _Excellent Painter, in Florence._

    "I was set to work upon Saint Peter’s by force, and I have served
    now about eight years, not only for nothing, but with the utmost
    injury and discomfort to myself. Now that the work is getting
    forward, and there is money to spend, and I am about to turn the
    vault of the cupola, if I left Rome it would be the ruin of the
    edifice, and for me a great disgrace throughout all Christendom,
    and to my soul a grievous sin. Therefore, Messer Giorgio, my
    friend, I pray you that on my part you will thank the Duke for his
    most gracious offer, and that you will ask his Lordship to give me
    leave to continue here until such time as I can depart with fame
    and honour and without sin.

    "The eleventh day of May, 1555.

                            "Your MICHAEL ANGELO BUONARROTI, in Rome."

Early in the year 1557 serious illness seized Michael Angelo, and his good
friends the Cardinal of Carpi, Donato Giannotti, Tomaso Cavalieri,
Francesco Bandini, and Lottino ultimately succeeded in persuading him to
make a model of his cupola, that the work might not be impeded or altered
in the event of his death. He mentions this in a letter to his nephew,
Lionardo.(167) "I prayed his Lordship that he would concede me so much
time that I could leave the works at St. Peter’s at such a point that my
plans could not be changed. As yet this point has not been reached; and
more, I am now obliged to construct a large wooden model for the cupola
and lantern, to secure its being finished as it was meant to be. All Rome,
and especially the Cardinal of Carpi, prayed me to do this, so that I
believe that I shall have to remain here not less than a year; and so much
time I beg the Duke to allow me for the love of Christ and Saint Peter, so
that I may come home to Florence without such a grief, but with a mind
free from the necessity of returning to Rome." This model was constructed
by a French master, named Jean, and took a year to make, as Michael Angelo

Continuous intrigues caused Michael Angelo to send in his resignation in a
haughty letter dated February 13, 1560, but Pius IV. confirmed the aged
artist in his office, and forbade any alteration of his design for Saint
Peter’s after his death. Nanni di Baccio Bigio managed to influence the
deputies so that they appointed him Clerk of the Works instead of Pier
Luigi, surnamed Gaeta, who was recommended by Michael Angelo in a
letter(168) to them.

Nanni then made a report, severely blaming Michael Angelo. The Pope had an
interview with the artist, and sent his relative, Gabrio Serbelloni to
report on the works. It was found that the irrepressible Nanni had again
calumniated Michael Angelo, and he was therefore dismissed.

Notwithstanding the Pope’s brief Michael Angelo’s design was most
seriously altered after his death by the erection of a long nave, making
the ground plan a Latin instead of Greek Cross. His idea appears to have
been that people should enter the church up a majestic flight of steps
through a gigantic door, and the hollow recesses of the huge dome should
be the dominant impression as soon as the portal was passed. To get his
effect it is necessary to proceed half-way up the present nave with closed
eyes, or merely looking at the pavement, the eyes religiously kept down.
Any one who will make this simple experiment (it is necessary to have a
friend as guide to tell you when you have arrived at the right point of
view) will see that Michael Angelo intended his building to have the
effect of a coherent geometrical whole. The sublime concave of the dome,
with the four arms of the great cross of equal size, will be all at once
grasped by the eye. The huge building is like a great naturally-formed
crystal with mathematically proportioned limbs, beautiful in large things
as in small. An old writer has well said: "The cross, which Michael Angelo
made Greek, is now Latin; and if it be thus with the essential form, judge
ye of the details!" The wooden model of the dome made under Michael
Angelo’s eyes is still in existence, and was followed fairly accurately by
Giacomo della Porta, who completed that portion of the work.

Amongst the other schemes that occupied Michael Angelo was the plan of the
improvements upon the Campidoglio, undertaken by a society of gentlemen
and artists. Paul III. approved their design, and we may believe, as all
Roman citizens will tell us, that Michael Angelo conceived, at least in
its broad lines, the present effect of the Capitol. Vasari informs us that
Michael Angelo’s old friend, Tomaso dei Cavalieri, superintended the work
after the great sculptor’s death; we may trust him not to have departed
from the master’s plans. Another scheme that interested Michael Angelo
considerably was the design for the church that the Florentine residents
in Rome wished to erect to their patron saint, San Giovanni. A letter to
his nephew Lionardo mentions it.(169) "The Florentines are minded to erect
a great edifice, that is to say, their church, and all of them with one
accord put pressure on me to attend to this. I have answered that I am
here by the Duke’s licence for the work at Saint Peter’s, and that without
his leave they will get nothing out of me." The Duke not only gave his
permission but was enthusiastic about the scheme. Michael Angelo promised
to send him his plan. "This I have had copied and drawn out more clearly
than I have been able to do it, on account of old age, and will send it to
your most Illustrious Lordship." Vasari tells us that Tiberio Calcagni,
"of gentle manners and discreet behaviour," not only copied this design,
but also made a model in clay under the master’s supervision. Michael
Angelo informed the building committee that "if they carried it out,
neither the Romans or the Greeks ever erected so fine an edifice in any of
their temples; words, the like of which neither before or afterwards
issued from his lips, for he was exceedingly modest," says Vasari. Money
was lacking and the scheme fell through; both model and drawing were
allowed to perish. The present church of San Giovanni dei Fiorentini, in
Strada Giulia, is the work of Giacomo della Porta; the west part is by
Alessandro Galilei.

Tiberio Calcagni was appointed to finish the bust of Brutus, now in the
Bargello at Florence. Michael Angelo began it for Cardinal Ridolfi at the
request of his friend, Donato Giannotti. Tiberio had the sense and good
feeling not to touch his master’s own work, but only carved the base and
the drapery; the face of the bust remains a magnificent specimen of the
great sculptor’s handiwork. This powerfully-conceived head is said to have
been taken from a small intaglio cut in cornelian. It has been pointed out
that the chisel marks are cut by both the right and left hand. The vigour
of the workmanship indicates that the bust was begun soon after Michael
Angelo left Florence in 1584, and may indicate Michael Angelo’s feelings
towards the tyrant Alessandro de’ Medici. We may remember in this
connection that the exiles nicknamed Lorenzino, his murderer, Brutus.

The Duke of Florence, through Vasari,(170) attempted to get at the ideas
of Michael Angelo with regard to the Medici Chapel and the entrance to the
Laurenziana, but the old man had lost and forgotten the plans, if he had
ever made them. The difficulties that beset the Duke and the academicians
in completing the designs, and the meagreness of Michael Angelo’s
instructions to them, must give us pause when we attempt to attribute the
faults of these monuments to the master mind. "About the staircase of the
Library, of which so much has been said to me, believe that if I could
remember how I had arranged it I should not need to be begged for
information. There comes into my mind, as in a dream, the image of a
certain staircase, but I do not believe this can be the one I then thought
of, for it seems so stupid. Nevertheless, I will write about it."

Leone Leoni erected the monument of Giangiacomo de’ Medici in Milan
Cathedral from a design supplied by Michael Angelo at the request of Pope
Pius IV. It is a fine monument and the bronzes are excellent. In
criticising the design we must remember that Michael Angelo had never seen
the church where it was to be placed, and that Leone was not the man to
hesitate in taking liberties with another’s design, good sculptor as he
was, and no doubt Michael Angelo would have approved of a good sculptor
like him making the design fit the workmanship.

                               [Image #49]


           (_By permission of the Fratelli Alinari, Florence_)

The old master is supposed to have supplied designs for many other
buildings in Rome, such as the Porta Pia and the Porta del Popolo, but
there is nothing about them to tell us that his genius is in them;
probably slight sketches were handed over to journeymen, who did pretty
much as they liked with them. It was otherwise with the great restoration
of the Baths of Diocletian. Michael Angelo was commissioned by Pius IV. to
convert them into the Christian Church of Santa Maria degli Angeli. The
design has been altered by Vansitelli in 1749, and horrible coloured
imitations of clumsy marble altars have been painted on the walls.
Churchwardens’ whitewash would here be well applied. If the visitor will
wait in this church until dusk, when all the tawdry paintings vanish into
darkness, then the great columns will stand out in all their dignity, and
the noble cornice cast a splendid shadow over the pillars of the huge
hall. The roof and the pavement, with their expression of space and
distance, will whisper "Michael Angelo!"

When Henry II. of France died, in 1559, his widow, Catherine de’ Medici,
wrote to Michael Angelo asking him to supply at least the design for the
equestrian statue of the late King she desired to set up in the courtyard
of the royal château at Blois. The sketch was prepared and the work given
to Daniele da Volterra. Catherine wrote again in 1560,(171) telling the
sculptor that she had deposited 6000 golden scudi with Gianbattista Gondi
for the said work, "therefore, since on my side nothing remains to be
done, I entreat you by the love you have always shown to my house, to our
country,(172) and lastly to genius, that you will endeavour with all
diligence and assiduity, so far as your years permit, to carry out this
noble work, so that we may see and recognise my lord as in life by the
accustomed excellence of your unique genius. Although you cannot add to
your fame, yet you will at least augment your reputation for a most
grateful and loving spirit toward myself and my ancestors, and will
through centuries keep fresh the memory of my lawful and only love, for
which I shall be ready and willing to reward you liberally." The Queen had
seen Michael Angelo’s sketch, and she adds in a postscript that "the
king’s head must be without curls, and the modern rich style of armour and
trappings must be employed." She is very particular about the likeness and
sends a portrait; evidently she did not want anything like the Roman
generals in the Medici Chapel at Florence. When Michael Angelo died the
work was left in the hands of Daniele, who was a slow workman, as Cellini
tells us. In 1566 Daniele died also, and only the horse was cast; it now
serves as part of Biard’s statue of Louis XIII.

In 1560 Leone Leoni made the well-known medal of Michael Angelo, which is
our best portrait of him. It represents him in old age. Vasari relates the
incident: "At this time the Cavaliere Leone made a very lovely portrait of
Michael Angelo upon a medal, and to meet his wishes modelled on the
reverse a blind man led by a dog, with this legend round the rim:


It pleased Michael Angelo so much that he gave Leone a wax model of a
Hercules strangling Antæus, by his own hand, together with some drawings.
There exist no other portraits of Michael Angelo, except two in painting,
one by Bugiardini, the other by Jacopo del Conte; and one in bronze, in
full relief, made by Daniele da Volterra. These, and Leoni’s medal, from
which many copies have been made, and a great number of them have been
seen by me in several parts of Italy and abroad." Francesco d’Olanda made
a drawing of the old man in hat and mantle.(173) Another portrait of
Michael Angelo is introduced into Marcello Venusti’s copy of the Last
Judgment, now in the Picture Gallery at Naples. The original study for it
may be the portrait in the Casa Buonarroti, at Florence; it was frequently
repeated by him. One replica may be the portrait, said to be by Michael
Angelo’s own hand, at the Capitol. The apostle in red on the spectator’s
right of the picture of the Assumption, by Daniele da Volterra, in the
Church of the Trinità de’ Monti, in Rome, is also said to be a portrait of
Daniele’s friend and master, who had supplied him with the design for his
great Crucifixion in the same church. There is a life-size, full-face
charcoal drawing of the master in the Teyler Museum at Haarlem which may
be by the hand of Daniele, it has been pricked for tracing. Bonasoni
engraved a profile portrait of Michael Angelo; it is dated 1546. It is a
very faithful and beautiful piece of work, and tells us what he looked
like at the age of seventy-two.(174) The bronze bust by Daniele da
Volterra, of which there are several copies, looks as if it had been
modelled from a mask taken after death; at least, it was finished from
one. Battista Lorenzi executed the bronze bust on Michael Angelo’s tomb at
Santa Croce, in Florence, from a similar mask.(175)

During all these later years, Michael Angelo kept up a brisk
correspondence with his dutiful nephew Lionardo about the purchase of land
in Florence, and other family matters.

Giovan Simone, the elder of Michael Angelo’s surviving brothers, died in

    "LIONARDO,—I hear from your last of Giovan Simone’s death. It
    gives me the greatest sorrow, for I still hoped, although I am
    old, to have seen him before he died, and before I died. God has
    willed it so. Patience! I should like to hear particularly how he
    died, and if he confessed and communicated with all the ordinances
    of the Church. For if he did so, and I know it, I shall suffer
    less." All through his life Michael Angelo is most punctilious
    about the observances of the Church.

    Lionardo was now the only hope of continuing the family, so his
    uncle reminds him that if he does not soon marry and get children,
    his property will all go to the Hospital of San Martino.(177) Old
    bachelor as he is, he gives his nephew advice, in another letter,
    as to the choice of a wife: "You ought not to look for a dower,
    but only to consider whether the girl is well brought up, healthy,
    of good character, and noble blood. You are not yourself of such
    parts and person as to be worthy of the first beauty of Florence.
    Let me tell you not to run after money, but only look for virtue
    and good name."

Lionardo married Cassandra Ridolfi in the year 1553, and the first child
born of this marriage was a boy, by Michael Angelo’s wish he was named
Buonarroto. "I shall be very pleased if the name of Buonarroto does not
die out of our family, it having lasted three hundred years with us."(178)
Vasari wrote to Michael Angelo describing the festivities at the
christening. Giorgio held the child at the font in the Baptistry, "Mio bel
Giovanni," as Michael Angelo always called it.

The letters to Vasari are full of a courtly friendship and regard; they
are very pleasant reading. One of them is the most beautiful and touching
letter by his hand, referring to the death of his servant Francesco,
called Urbino.(179)

    "MESSER GIORGIO, DEAR FRIEND,—Although I write but badly, yet will
    I say a few words in reply to yours. You know that Urbino is dead,
    for which I owe the greatest thanks to God; at the same time my
    loss is heavy and sorrow infinite. The grace is this, that while
    Urbino living kept me alive, in dying he has taught me to die not
    unwillingly, but rather with a desire for death. I had him with me
    twenty-six years, and always found him faithful and true. Now that
    I had made him rich, and thought to keep him as the staff and rest
    of my old age, he has departed, and the only hope left to me is
    that of seeing him again in Paradise, and of this God has given a
    sign in his most happy death. Even more than dying, it grieved him
    to leave me alive in this treacherous world, with so many
    troubles; the better part of me went with him, nothing is left to
    me but endless sorrow. I commend myself to you, and beg you, if it
    is not a trouble to you, to make my excuses to Messer
    Benvenuto(180) for not answering his letter, for grief abounds in
    such thoughts as these, so that I cannot write. Commend me to him,
    and I commend myself to you.

                             "Your MICHAEL ANGELO BUONARROTA, in Rome.

    "The 23 day of February, 1556."

Was ever servant loved after this fashion by his master?

Urbino appointed Michael Angelo as one of his executors, and the old man
fulfilled his irksome duties with fidelity. Urbino’s brother was Raphael’s
well-known pupil Il Fattore. Cornelia, Urbino’s wife, corresponded about
the children and other affairs. Michael Angelo had to approve her choice
of a second husband, and interviewed him, and made him promise to be a
second father to Urbino’s children.

The unusual event of an excursion by Michael Angelo into the country took
place in 1556, possibly with a view to avoiding the troubles feared in
Rome from the Duke of Alva, Spanish Viceroy of Naples. Michael Angelo
informed his nephew that he was making a pilgrimage to Loreto, but feeling
tired stopped to rest at Spoleto. To Vasari he says: "I have in these days
had a great pleasure, but with great discomfort and expense, among the
mountains of Spoleto, visiting the hermits there. Less than half of me has
come back to Rome, for truly there is no peace except among the


                                 THE END

Michael Angelo’s little circle of devoted friends in Rome were very
anxious about him during the winter of 1563-64. Although almost fourscore
years and ten he would still walk abroad in all weathers, and took none of
the precautions usual for a man of his age. Tiberio Calcagni, writing on
February 14 to Lionardo, says in the letter published by Daelli:(182)
"Walking through Rome to-day I heard from many persons that Messer Michael
Angelo was ill, so I went at once to visit him, and although it was
raining I found him out of doors on foot. When I saw him I said that I did
not think it right and seemly for him to be going about in such weather.
’What do you want?’ he answered; ’I am ill, and cannot find rest
anywhere!’ The uncertainty of his speech, with the look and colour of his
face, made me extremely uneasy about his life. The end may not be just
now, but I fear greatly that it cannot be far off." The gray colour and
the uneasiness of an old man who has suffered a slight stroke are
evidently indicated here. During the next four days he lived in his
arm-chair. On the 15th, Diomede Leoni wrote to Lionardo, with a letter
enclosed, signed by Michael Angelo but written by Daniele da
Volterra.(183) After exhorting Lionardo to come to Rome, but to run no
risks by travelling too fast, he adds, "as you may be certain Messer
Tomaso dei Cavalieri, Messer Daniele, and I will not fail during your
absence in every possible service in your place. Besides, Antonio, the old
and faithful servant of the master, will give a good account of himself
under any circumstances. ... If the illness of the master be dangerous,
which God forbid, you could not be in time to find him alive, even if you
could make more haste than is possible. But to give you a little account
of the state of Messere up to this hour, which is the third of the
night,(184) I inform you that just now I left him quite composed and fully
conscious, but oppressed with continual drowsiness. In order to shake it
off, between twenty-two and twenty-three,(185) this very day he tried to
mount his horse and go for a ride, as he was wont to do every evening in
good weather, but the coolness of the season and the weakness of his head
and legs prevented him, so he went back to his seat a little way from the
fire. He greatly prefers this chair to his bed. We all pray God to
preserve him unto us still for some years and that He may bring you here
in safety, to whom I earnestly commend myself."

Two days later, on the 17th, Tiberio Calcagni wrote:(186) "This is only to
beg you to hasten your coming as much as possible, even though the weather
be bad. For your Messer Michael Angelo is going to leave us indeed, and he
would have this one satisfaction the more."

Michael Angelo died a little before five o’clock on the afternoon of
February 18, 1564. His physicians, Federigo Donati and Gherardo
Fidelissimi, were with him at the last. Giorgio Vasari tells us "he made
his will in three words, committing his soul into the hands of God, his
body to the earth, and his goods to his nearest relatives, telling them
when their hour came to remember the Passion of Jesus Christ."

The Florentine envoy sent a despatch to inform the Duke of the event, and
he tells him the arrangements made as to the inventory of property and the
disposal for safe-keeping of seven or eight thousand crowns found in a
sealed box, opened in the presence of Messer Tomaso dei Cavalieri and
Maestro Daniele da Volterra. The people of the house are to be examined
whether anything has been carried away from it. This is not supposed to
have been the case. "As far as drawings are concerned they say that he
burned what he had by him before he died. What there is shall be handed
over to his nephew when he comes, and this your Excellency can inform
him." The list of works of art found in the house is very small. They

A blocked-out statue of Saint Peter.

An unfinished Christ with another figure.

A statuette of Christ with the Cross, like the Risen Christ in Santa Maria
Sopra Minerva; and

Ten original drawings, one, a Pietà, belonged to Tommaso dei Cavalieri.

A little design for the façade of a palace.

A design for a window in the Church of Saint Peters.

An old plan of the Church of Saint Peter’s, said to be after the model of
San Gallo, on several pieces of paper glued together.

A drawing of three small figures.

Architectural drawings for a window and other details.

A large cartoon for a Pietà, with nine figures, unfinished.

Another large cartoon, with three large figures and two putti.

Another large cartoon, with one large figure only.

Another large cartoon, with the figures of our Lord Jesus Christ and the
glorious Virgin Mary, His mother.

Another, the Epiphany.

This last drawing was presented to the notary who drew up the will, and is
supposed to be the cartoon now in the British Museum; all the others went
to Lionardo Buonarroti. Lionardo arrived three days after the death. The
body was deposited upon a catafalque in the Church of the Santissimi
Apostoli, where the funeral was celebrated by all the artists and
Florentines in Rome. In fulfilment of the wish of Michael Angelo, repeated
two days before his death, Lionardo made arrangements for the removal of
his uncle’s remains to Florence. But the Romans, who regarded him as a
fellow citizen, resented this, and Lionardo was obliged to send the body
away disguised as a bale of merchandise, addressed to the custom-house at
Florence. Vasari wrote, on March 10, duly informing him that the
packing-case had arrived, and had been left under seals until Lionardo’s
arrival at the custom-house. Notwithstanding this letter from Vasari, it
appears that the body was removed, on March 11, to the oratory of the
Assunta, beneath the Church of San Pietro Maggiore. Next day the painters,
sculptors, and architects of the newly-founded Academy, of which Michael
Angelo had been elected Principal after the Duke, met at the church,
intending to bring the body secretly to Santa Croce. They had with them
only an embroidered pall of velvet and a crucifix to place upon the bier.
At night the elder men lighted torches and the younger strove with one
another to bear the coffin. Meantime the curious Florentines found out
that something was going forward, and a great concourse assembled as the
news spread that Michael Angelo was being carried to Santa Croce, and huge
crowds followed the humble procession, lighted by the flaring torches such
as the Misericordia carry to this day. The vast church of Santa Croce was
so crowded that the pall-bearers had difficulty in reaching the sacristy
with their burden. When they at last got there, Don Vincenzo Borghini,
Lieutenant of the Academy, "thinking he would do what was pleasing to
many, and also, as he afterwards confessed, desiring to behold in death
one whom he had never seen in life, or, at any rate, at such an age that
he did not remember it, ordered the coffin to be opened. When this was
done, whereas he and all of us present expected to find the corpse already
corrupted and defaced, inasmuch as Michael Angelo had been dead
twenty-five days and twenty-two in his coffin, lo! we beheld him instead
perfect in all his parts and without any evil odour; indeed, we might have
believed that he was resting in a sweet and very tranquil slumber. Not
only were the features of his face exactly the same as when he was in life
(except that the colour was a little like that of death), none of his
limbs were injured or repulsive; the head and cheeks to the touch felt as
though he had passed away only a few hours before. When the eagerness of
the multitude who crowded round had calmed down a little, the coffin was
deposited in the church, behind the altar of the Cavalcanti."

Those who would read of the gorgeous catafalque of stucco, woodwork, and
painting erected in the Church of San Lorenzo by the Academy, may do so in
the pages of Vasari, and in the book called "Esequie del Divino Michel
Angelo Buonarroti, celebrate in Firenze dall’ Academia, &c., Firenze, i
Giunti, 1564," and Varchi’s "Orazione Funerali," published by the same
house at the same date. The great artist is dead: let us leave him to his
rest in Santa Croce, the Westminster Abbey of his city and the church of
his ward.

Vasari received from Lionardo Buonarroti the commission to design the tomb
for Santa Croce. He did his best to get the Pietà now in the Duomo to
serve as the principal part of the monument, asserting that it had been
intended by Michael Angelo for his monument. "Besides, there is an old man
in the group who represents the sculptor." This plan did not succeed, and
the ugly monument now in existence was designed instead. The Duke supplied
the marbles, and the figures were carved by Giovanni dall’ Opera, Lorenzi
and Valerio Cioli. The bust portrait in bronze was modelled by Battista
Lorenzi. It was erected in 1570, and bears the inscription:

                        MICHAELI ANGELO BONAROTIO
                      E VETVSTA SIMONIORVM FAMILIA
                         FAMA OMNIBVS NOTISSIMO.
                       MAGNO HETRVRIAE DVCE. P. C.
                         ANN. SAL. CIC. IC. LXX
                    VIXIT ANN. LXXXVIII. M. XI. D. XV.

The Romans also erected a monument in the church where they had hoped to
keep the bones of the artist who did more for their Immortal City than any
man who ever lived. Over this monument is the following epitaph:

                             MICHAEL ANGELUS
                       SCULPTOR PICTOR ARCHITECTUS
                       MAXIMA ARTIFICUM FREQUENTIA
                  IN HAC BASILICA SS. XII APOST. F.M.C.
                   XI CAL. MART. A. MDLXIV ELATUS EST
                    ET IN TEMPLO S. CRUCIS EORUMD. F.
                     V. ID. MART. EJUSD. A. CONDITUS
                              TANTO NOMINI
                            NULLUM PAR ELOGIUM

Michael Angelo formed no school, his love of excellence would not permit
him to leave any inferior work behind him, as Raphael did in certain
portions of the Stanze and Loggia of the Vatican. Michael Angelo’s
disposition was not so genial nor were his manners so universally pleasing
as those of the gentle Raphael, so he was unable to keep a body of workmen
together in good temper; the result is, we have no Sala of Constantine, or
Palazzo del Tè, to remind us of the passing of the master of a school. At
the same time, to his few assistants and workmen Michael Angelo was as
kind as father to son, when once he became accustomed to them about him.
He gave help to various other artists, and it may be noted that all those
he influenced became men devoted to high finish and the utmost perfection
possible. Decadence in Italian art began long before his death; but the
imitators of Michael Angelo are by far the best and most interesting
figures of that unfortunate period. They, at least, have great intentions,
and strive to attain a style of dignity and distinction, and do not grudge
any labour that may help them to their ideals. Vasari tells us of some of
these men and their works: "He loved his workmen and was on friendly terms
with them. Among them were Jacopo Sansovino, Il Pontormo, Daniele da
Volterra, and Giorgio Vasari Aretino, to whom he showed infinite
kindness...." He goes on to say that "he was unfortunate in those who
lived with him, since he chanced upon natures unfit to follow him. For
Pietro Urbano, of Pistoja, his pupil, was a man of talent, but would never
work hard. Antonio Mini had the will but not the brain, and hard wax takes
a bad impression. Ascanio della Ripa Transone (Condivi) worked very hard,
but nothing came of it either in work or in designs." Jacopo l’Indaco and
Mineghella were boon companions of the master. A stone-cutter Domenico
Fancelli nicknamed Topolino, Pilote the goldsmith, Giuliano Bugiardini the
painter, were of this company. The melancholy Michael Angelo is said to
have burst his sides with laughing at Mineghella’s stupidity. The very
proper Vasari describes the latter as "a mean and stupid painter of
Valdarno, but a very amusing person; and Michael Angelo, who could with
difficulty be made to work for kings, would leave everything to make
simple drawings for this fellow, San Rocco, San Antonio, or San Francesco,
to be coloured for one of the man’s many peasant patrons; among others
Michael Angelo made him a very beautiful model of a Christ on the Cross,
made a mould from it, and Mineghella cast it in _papier-maché_ and went
about selling it all over the country-side." It may be that the familiar
and often-repeated Crucifix in common use is an adaptation or copy, far
removed from this original; it has something of the style of Michael
Angelo’s later work, the figure is most beautifully disposed.

Sebastiano del Piombo lightened the old man’s labour by his genial humour
and jovial companionship; Sebastiano followed his teaching with great
industry and skill, as all his later works show; such as the Scourging of
Christ, in San Pietro in Montorio, and the Raising of Lazarus, in our own
National Gallery: drawings by the hand of Michael Angelo still exist for
the principal figures in both these pictures. There is a Pietà by
Sebastiano, at Viterbo, evidently following the lines of one of Michael
Angelo’s religious drawings; it is so beautiful in the expression of its
colour and the high finish of the nude, that we cannot but think that
Michael Angelo’s exacting eyes were peering over the shoulder of
Sebastiano when he painted it.

  Per ritornar là donde venne fora,
  L’ immortal forma al tuo carcer terreno
  Venne com’ angel di pietà si pieno
  Che sana ogn’ intelletto, e’l mondo onora.

  Questo sol m’ arde, eqesto m’ innamora;
  Non pur di fora il tuo volto sereno:
  Ch’ amor non già di cosa che vien meno
  Tien ferma speme, in cu’ virtù dimora.

  Nè altro avvien di cose altere e nuove
  In cui si preme la natura; e’l cielo
  E ch’ a lor parto largo s’ apparecchia.

  Nè Dio, suo grazia, mi si mostra altrove,
  Più che ’n alcun leggiadro e mortal velo;
  È quel sol amo, perchè ’n quel si specchia.


                      IN THE YEAR 1538. TRANSLATED
                        FROM THE PORTUGUESE, WITH
                       THE HELP OF MR. A.J. CLIFT,
                         BY CHARLES HOLROYD. THE
                        MANUSCRIPT WAS PUBLISHED
                              FOR THE FIRST
                         TIME IN THE RENASCENCA
                                NO. VII.


My intention in going to Italy was not to seek for advantage or honour,
but to study. I was sent there by my King, and I had no other interest in
view (such as having intercourse with the Pope or with the Cardinals of
the Court; and this God knows and Rome knows, if I had wished to dwell
there per-adventure I did not lack opportunities, both for myself and by
the favour of the principal persons in the Pope’s household), but all
ideas of this kind were so subdued in me, that I did not even allow them
to enter into my imagination; others I had, more noble and more to my
taste, which had much more power over me than covetousness or expectation
of benefits such as many people have who go to Rome. What alone was always
present to me was how I, with my art, might serve the king our Lord, who
had sent me there, communing always with myself how I could steal and
convey away to Portugal the excellencies and beauties of Italy to please
the King and the Infantas and the most serene Infante D. Luiz. I used to
say to myself: What fortresses or foreign cities have I not yet in my
book? What immortal buildings and what noble statues does this city still
possess which I have not already stolen from it and carried away without
carts or ships on thin paper? What painting, stucco, or grotesque has been
discovered amongst these grottoes and antiquities of Rome, Puzol, and
Baias, of which the most rare is not to be found in my sketch-books? Thus
I beheld nothing either antique or modern in painting, sculpture or
architecture of which I did not make some record of its best part, it
appearing to me that these were the greatest benefits that I could carry
away with me, more honourable and profitable to the service of my King and
to my own taste. I do not think I have made a mistake (although some
people tell me I have), for as these things alone were my care, my dispute
and demand, no great Cardinal Fernes had to help me, nor had I a greater
Dattario to obtain, in order to go one day to see D. Julio de Macedonia, a
most famous illuminator, and another day Master Michael Angelo, now Baccio
the noble sculptor; then Master Perino, or Bastiäo Veneziano, and
sometimes Valerio de Vicença, or Jacopo Mellequino, architect, and
Lactancio Tolomei, the acquaintance and friendship of these men I valued
much more than others of more parade and pretension (as if there could be
greater in the world, and so Rome values them); because from them, and
from their works in my art, I obtained some fruit and knowledge. I amused
myself in discussing with them many rare and noble works both of ancient
and modern times. Master Michael especially I esteemed so much that if I
met him either in the palace of the Pope or in the street, we could not
part until the stars sent us to rest. D. Pedro Mascarenhas, the
Ambassador, is my witness what a great thing this was and how difficult;
and, too, of the tales M. Angelo, when coming out of vespers one day, told
about me and about a book of mine in which I had drawn some things in Rome
and Italy, to Cardinal Santtiquatro and to him. Now my habit was to go
round the solemn temple of the Pantheon and note all its columns and
proportions; the Mausoleum of Adrian and that of Augustus, the Coliseum,
the Thermæ of Antoninus and those of Diocletian, the Arch of Titus and
that of Severus, the Capitol, the theatre of Marcellus and all the other
notable things in that city, the names of which have already escaped me.
At times, too, I was not turned out of the magnificent chambers of the
Pope, I only went there because they were painted by the noble hand of
Raphael of Urbino. I loved more those antique men of stone sculptured on
the arches and columns of the old buildings, than those more inconstant
which everywhere weary one with talking, I learned more from them and from
their grave silence.

Now amongst the days which I thus passed in that Court there was a Sunday
on which I went to see Messer Lactancio Tolomei, as others did; it was he,
with the assistance of Messer Blosio, the Pope’s secretary, who gave me
the friendship of Michael Angelo. And this M. Lactancio was a very
important personage, both on account of nobility of mind and of blood (he
being a nephew of the Cardinal of Siena), as well as through his knowledge
of Latin, Greek and Hebrew letters, and for the authority of his years.
But finding in his house a message that he was at Monte Cavallo, in the
church of St. Silvester, with the Lady Marchioness of Pescara, listening
to a lecture from the Epistles of St. Paul, I went to Monte Cavallo and to
St. Silvester. Now Senhora Vittoria Colonna, Marchioness of Pescara, and
sister of Senhor Ascanio Colonna, is one of the most illustrious and
famous ladies in Italy and in all Europe, which is the world, chaste yet
beautiful, a Latin scholar, well-informed and with all the other parts of
virtue and fairness to be praised in woman. She, after the death of her
great husband, took to a private and simple life, contenting herself with
the fact that she had already lived in her estate, and loving henceforward
only Jesu Christ and good deeds, doing good to poor women and bearing the
fruits of a true Catholic. For my friendship with this lady also I was
indebted to M. Lactancio, who was the most intimate friend that she had.

Having commanded me to sit down, the lecture and its praises over, the
Marchioness looking at me and at M. Lactancio, if I remember rightly,

"Francisco d’Ollanda will be better pleased to hear M. Angelo talk about
painting, than Brother Ambrosio expound this lesson."

Then I, almost angry, answered her:

Why, madam, does it appear to your Excellency that I can attend to nothing
but painting? Truly I shall always be pleased to hear M. Angelo, but when
the Epistles of St. Paul are read, I prefer to hear Brother Ambrosio."

"Do not be angry, M. Francisco," M. Lactancio then said, "for the
Marchioness does not think that the man who is a painter will not be
everything. We esteem painting higher in Italy. But perchance she said
that to you in order to give you, beyond what you already have, the
further pleasure of hearing Michael."

I then replied:

"Her Excellency will be doing no more than she is in the habit of doing,
giving always greater favours than one dares to ask."

The Marchioness, knowing my mind, called one of her servants, and said,

"To those who know how to express thanks one must study how to give,
especially as I get as much in the giving as Francisco d’Ollanda does in
receiving. Foao, go to the house of M. Angelo and tell him that I and M.
Lactancio are here in this quiet chapel, and that the church is closed and
very pleasant, if he cares to come and lose a little of the day with us,
so that we may gain it with him. And do not tell him that Francisco
d’Ollanda, the Spaniard, is here."

As I was whispering something about the discretion of the Marchioness in
everything, in the ear of Lactancio, she desired to know what it was

"He was telling me," said Lactancio, "how well your Excellency knows how
to preserve decorum in everything, even in a message. M. Michael is
already more his friend than mine, for he tells me that when they meet,
Michael Angelo does all he can to shun his company, seeing that when they
once come together they never can part."

"I know that, for I know Master Michael Angelo," she returned; "but I do
not know in what manner we shall treat him so that we may lead him on to
talk of painting."

Brother Ambrosio of Siena (one of the appointed preachers to the Pope),
who had not yet gone, said: "I do not believe that if Michael knows the
Spaniard to be a painter, he will talk about painting at all, therefore
let him hide himself that he may hear him."

"It is perhaps not so easy to hide this Portuguese," I replied with
emphasis to the Friar, "from the eyes of Master Michael Angelo; he will
know me better hidden than your reverence does here where I am, even if
you put on spectacles; and you will see that, being here, he will see me
very plainly if he comes."

Then the Marchioness and Lactancio laughed, but not I nor yet the Friar,
who however heard the Marchioness say that he would find me to be
something more than a painter.

After remaining but a short time silent, we heard a knocking at the door,
and all began to fear that Michael would not come, as the messenger had
returned so quickly. But Michael, who resides at the foot of Monte
Cavallo, happened by good luck to be walking towards St. Silvester, on his
way to the Thermae by the Esquiline road with his Orbino, philosophising
by the way; being informed of the message, he could not run away from us,
nor did he fail to be the person knocking at the door. The Marchioness
rose to receive him, and remained standing awhile before causing him to
take a seat between her and M. Lactancio. I sat a little way off, but the
Marchioness, remaining awhile without speaking, not wishing to delay her
practice of honouring those who conversed with her, and the place where
she was, commenced, with an art that I could not describe, to say many
things very well expressed, and with thoughts most graciously stated,
without ever touching on painting, in order to ensure the great painter to
us; and I saw her as one wishing to reduce a well armed city by discretion
and guile; and we saw the painter, too, standing watchful and vigilant, as
if he were besieged, placing sentries in one place and ordering bridges to
be raised in another, making mines and defending all the walls and towers;
but finally the Marchioness had to conquer, nor do I know who could defend
himself against her.

She said: "It is known that whoever comes into conflict with M. Angelo in
his own speciality, which is discretion, cannot but be vanquished. It is
necessary, M. Lactancio, that we should talk with him about actions or
briefs or painting to put him to silence and to obtain any advantage over

"Nay," I then said, "I know of no better way of wearying M. Angelo than by
informing him that I am here, as he has not seen me hitherto. But I
already know that the way not to see a person is to have him before one’s

You should then have seen Michael turn himself towards me with
astonishment, and say:

"Forgive me, M. Francisco, for not having seen you for had I not the
Marchioness before my eyes, but as God has sent you here, assist and help
me as a comrade."

"For that reason only will I forgive you; but it seems to me that the
Marchioness causes with one light contrary effects, as the sun does, which
with the same rays melts and hardens, because you were blinded by seeing
her and I both hear and see you, because I see her; and also because I
know how much a wise person will occupy himself with her Excellency, and
how little time she leaves for others; and therefore at times I do not
take the advice of some friars."

Here the Marchioness laughed again.

Then Friar Ambrosio rose and took leave of the Marchioness and of us,
remaining thenceforward a great friend of mine, and he went away.

And now the Marchioness began to speak thus:

"His Holiness has done me the favour of allowing me to build a nunnery for
ladies here at the foot of Monte Cavallo, by the broken portico, where it
is said that Nero saw Rome burning, so that the wicked footprints of such
a man may be trodden out by others more honest of holy women. I do not
know, M. Angelo, what shape and proportions to give to the house, where
the door should be placed, and whether some of the old work may be adapted
to the new?"

"Yes, madam," said Michael, "the broken portico might be used as a

And this was so pleasant, and Michael said it so seriously and in such a
manner that M. Lactancio could not help calling attention to it; and the
great painter added these words:

"I quite think your Excellency may build the nunnery; and when we leave
here, with your permission, we may very well go and look at the site, so
as to give you some drawing for it."

"I did not dare to ask you for so much," she said, "but I already knew
that in everything you follow the doctrine of the Lord: _deposuit
potentes, exaltavit humiles_; and in that also you are excellent, for you
acknowledge yourself at last as discreetly generous and not as an ignorant
prodigal. And therefore in Rome those who know you esteem you even more
than your works; and those who do not know you esteem only the least of
you, which are the works of your hands. And certainly I do not give any
less praise to your knowledge of how to retire within yourself and fly
from our useless conversations, and to your wisdom in not painting for all
the princes who ask you to do so, but confining yourself to the painting
of a single work during all your life as you have done,"

"Madam," said Michael, "perchance you attribute to me more than I deserve;
but in doing so you remind me that I wish to make a complaint against many
persons, on my own behalf and on behalf of painters of my temperament, and
also on behalf of M. Francisco here.

"There are many persons who maintain a thousand lies, and one is that
eminent painters are eccentric and that their conversation is intolerable
and harsh, they are only human all the while, and thus fools and
unreasonable persons consider them fantastic and fanciful, allowing them
with much difficulty the conditions necessary to a painter. It is quite
true that such conditions are only necessary where there is a real
painter, which is in very few places, as in Italy, where there is the
perfection of all things; but foolish, idle persons are unreasonable in
expecting so many compliments from a busy man: few mortals fulfil their
duty well, one who does will not accuse another who is fulfilling his;
painters are not in any way unsociable through pride, but either because
they find few pursuits equal to painting, or in order not to corrupt
themselves with the useless conversation of idle people, and debase the
intellect from the lofty imaginations in which they are always absorbed.
And I affirm to your Excellency that even his Holiness annoys and wearies
me when at times he talks to me and asks me somewhat roughly why do I not
come to see him, for I believe that I serve him better in not going when
he asks me, little needing me, when I wish to work for him in my house;
and I tell him that, as M. Angelo, I serve him more thus than by standing
before him all day, as others do,"

"Oh, happy M. Angelo," said I at this stage, "my prince is not a Pope, can
he forgive me such a sin?"

"Such sins, M. Francisco, are just those which kings pardon," said he, and
added: "Sometimes, I may tell you, my important duties have given me so
much licence that when, as I am talking to the Pope, I put this old felt
hat non-chalantly on my head, and talk to him very frankly, but even for
that he does not kill me; on the contrary, he has given me a
livelihood.(187) And as I say, I have paid him more compliments in his
service than unnecessary ones to his person. If perchance a man were so
blind as to invent such an unprofitable exchange, as it is for a man to
separate himself and content himself with himself whilst he loses his
friends and makes enemies of all, would it not be very wrong if they bore
him ill-will for that? But whoever has such a complexion both because the
force of his duty demands it, and because of his having been born with a
dislike of ceremony and dissimulation, it seems very foolish not to allow
him to live. And if such a man is so moderate that he does not want
anything of you, what do you want with him? And why should you wish to use
him in those vanities for which his quietness is not fitted? Do you not
know that there are sciences that require the whole man without ever
leaving him free for your idle trivialities? When he has as little to do
as you have, let him be killed if he does not observe your rules of
etiquette and compliment even better than you. You only seek his company
and praise him in order to obtain honour through him for yourselves, nor
do you really mind what sort of man he is, so long as a pope or an emperor
converse with him. And I dare affirm that he cannot be a great man who
tries to satisfy idle persons rather than the men of his own craft, nor
can one who is in nowise singular and reserved or whatever you may be
pleased to call it, be better than the ordinary and vulgar talents which
are to be found without a lantern in the market-places of the world...."

Here Michael ceased speaking, and a little while afterwards the
Marchioness said:

"If those friends of whom you are speaking had the discretion of the
friends of old, the evil would be smaller; when Arcesilaus went one day to
see Apelles, who was ill and in need, this good friend raised his artist’s
head so as to arrange the pillow and put underneath a sum of money for his
cure, which sum, having been found by the old woman attending him, who was
frightened at the amount, Apelles, smiling, said: ’This money was stolen
from Arcesilaus; do not be astonished.’"

Then Lactancio added, in this manner, his opinion: "Skilful artists would
not exchange places with any other kind of men however great they may be,
so satisfied are they with some special joyousness which they get from
their art; but I would counsel them to exchange at least with the happy
ones, if it seemed to me that they wished to do so, and were it not that
they consider themselves the most happy of mortals. The mind which is
capable of the very highest painting knows where the lives and pleasures
of the pre-sumptuous lead them and what they are, and how they die
nameless and without knowledge of the things which in the world are most
worthy of being known and esteemed, and how we cannot even remember that
such a man was born however much money he may have kept in his coffers.
And thus he understands that good work and the good name of immortal
virtue is the felicity of this life and all or almost all that is to be
desired; and therefore he esteems himself more because he is on the road
to attain that glory than one who does not know this and never even knew
how to desire it. Many are content with much less power than that of
imitating a work of God as in painting; and if one never attained to the
distinction of governing a great province, it is but human to be satisfied
with things which are more difficult and more uncertain than governing a
country which stretched from the Columns of Hercules to the Indian River
Ganges. Such an one never killed an enemy more difficult to conquer than
is the conforming the work to the desire or idea of the great painter, and
the one was never so satisfied drinking out of a golden cup as the other
drinking out of an earthen pot. Nor was the Emperor Maximilian wrong in
saying that he could indeed make a duke or a count, but as for an
excellent painter God alone could make him when He so pleased, for which
reason he abstained from putting to death a painter who deserved to die."

"What do you advise me to do, Master Lactancio," the Marchioness then
said; "shall I put a question to M. Angelo about painting, as he now, in
order to prove to me that great men are justified in their ways and not
eccentric, may take measures like those he is accustomed to take?"

And Lactancio: "For your Excellency, Madam, M. Michael cannot help
constraining himself and giving out here that which it is well that he
keeps close elsewhere."

M. Angelo said: "I beg of your Excellency to tell me what I can give to
her and it shall be given."

And she, smiling: "I very much wish to know, as we are dealing with this
subject, what you think of the painting of Flanders and whom it will
satisfy, because it appears to me more devout than the Italian style."

"The painting of Flanders, Madam," answered the artist slowly, "will
generally satisfy any devout person more than the painting of Italy, which
will never cause him to drop a single tear, but that of Flanders will
cause him to shed many; this is not owing to the vigour and goodness of
that painting, but to the goodness of such devout person; women will like
it, especially very old ones, or very young ones. It will please likewise
friars and nuns, and also some noble persons who have no ear for true
harmony. They paint in Flanders, only to deceive the external eye, things
that gladden you and of which you cannot speak ill, and saints and
prophets. Their painting is of stuffs, bricks and mortar, the grass of the
fields, the shadows of trees, and bridges and rivers, which they call
landscapes, and little figures here and there; and all this, although it
may appear good to some eyes, is in truth done without reasonableness or
art, without symmetry or proportion, without care in selecting or
rejecting, and finally without any substance or verve, and in spite of all
this, painting in some other parts is worse than it is in Flanders.
Neither do I speak so badly of Flemish painting because it is all bad, but
because it tries to do so many things at once (each of which alone would
suffice for a great work) so that it does not do anything really well.

"Only works which are done in Italy can be called true painting, and
therefore we call good painting Italian, for if it were done so well in
another country, we should give it the name of that country or province.
As for the good painting of this country, there is nothing more noble or
devout, for with wise persons nothing causes devotion to be remembered, or
to arise, more than the difficulty of the perfection which unites itself
with and joins God; because good painting is nothing else but a copy of
the perfections of God and a reminder of His painting. Finally, good
painting is a music and a melody which intellect only can appreciate, and
with great difficulty. This painting is so rare that few are capable of
doing or attaining to it. And I further say (which whoever notes it will
consider important) that of all the climates or countries lighted by the
sun and the moon, in no other can one paint well but in the kingdom of
Italy; and it is a thing which is nearly impossible to do well except
here, even though there were more talented men in the other provinces, if
there could be such, and this for reasons which we will give you. Take a
great man from another kingdom, and tell him to paint whatever he likes
and can do best, and let him do it; and take a bad Italian apprentice and
order him to make a drawing, or to paint whatever you like, and let him do
it; you will find, if you understand it well, that the drawing of that
apprentice, as regards art, has more substance than that of the other
master, and what he attempted to do is worth more than everything that the
other ever did. Order a great master, who is not an Italian, even though
it be Alberto,(188) a man delicate in his manner, in order to deceive me,
or Francisco d’Ollanda there, to counterfeit a work which shall be like an
Italian work, and if it cannot be a very good one let it be an ordinary or
a bad painting, and I assure you that it will be immediately recognised
that the work was not done in Italy, nor by the hand of an Italian. I
likewise affirm that no nation or people (I except one or two Spaniards)
can perfectly satisfy or imitate the Italian manner of painting (which is
the old Greek manner) without his being immediately recognised as a
foreigner, whatever efforts he may make, and however hard he may work to
do so. And if by some great miracle such a foreigner should succeed in
painting well, then, although he may not have done it in order to imitate
Italian work, it will be said that he painted like an Italian. Thus it is
that all painting done in Italy is not called Italian painting, but all
that is good and direct is, for in this country works of illustrious
painting are done in a more masterly and more serious manner than in any
other place. We call good painting _Italian_, which painting, even though
it be done in Flanders or in Spain (which approaches us most) if it be
good, will be Italian painting, for this most noble science does not
belong to any country, _as it came from heaven_; but even from ancient
times it remained in our Italy more than in any other kingdom in the
world, and I think that it will end in it."

So he spoke. Seeing that Michael was now silent, I urged him on in this
manner. "So, Master Michael Angelo, you assert that out of all the nations
of the world it is only Italians who can paint? (Ollanda continues.)

"But what wonder in that? You must know that in Italy painting is done
well for many reasons, and outside Italy painting is done badly for many
reasons. Firstly, the nature of the Italians is studious in the extreme,
and the talented already bring with them, when they are born, power of
work, taste and love of that to which they are inclined, and of that which
demands their genius; and if any one determines to make a profession, and
to pursue some art or liberal science, he does not content himself with
what is sufficient for him to become rich thereby, and one of the number
of the craftsmen, but in order to be unique and distinguished he watches
and works continuously, and keeps before his eyes the great hope of being
a paragon of perfection (I speak where I know I am believed) and not a
mere mediocrity in that art or science. This is because Italy does not
esteem mediocrity, deeming it an exceedingly poor thing; and speaks only
of those, and even praises them to the skies, who, like _eagles_, surpass
all others, and penetrating the clouds approach the light of the sun.
Then, again, you are born in a province (is not this an advantage?) which
is the mother and protectress of all sciences and disciplines, amongst so
many relics of your ancestors, which do not exist anywhere else, that
already as children you find before your eyes in the streets a great part
of whatever your inclination or genius may be inclined to; and from youth
upwards you are accustomed to see those things which old men never saw in
other kingdoms. Then, growing up, although you may have been rude and
rough, by nature you are already so accustomed to have your eyes full of
the forms of the many old things of renown, that you cannot fail to
imitate them; and to all this are joined (as I say) distinguished talent
and indefatigable study and taste. You have remarkable masters to imitate,
and their works, and as regards new works the cities are full of the
curious things and novelties which are discovered and found every day. And
if all these things do not suffice, although I should consider them quite
sufficient for the perfection of any science, at least this is quite
enough; namely, that we, Portuguese, although some of us may be born with
nice talent and minds—as many are born—have a contempt for and consider it
fine to take little account of the arts, and we almost feel it a disgrace
to know much about them, wherefore we always leave them imperfect and
unfinished. You Italians alone, (I cannot even say Germans or Frenchmen),
give the greatest honour, the greatest nobility and the power to be more,
to a man who is a splendid painter or splendid in some faculty; and of all
your noblemen, captains, wise men, satirists, cardinals and Popes, that
man only who may attain the reputation of being perfect and rare in his
profession is ever exalted or thought much of by you. And as great princes
are not esteemed nor have any name in Italy, so it is a painter alone that
they call the _divine_—Michael Angelo, as you will find in letters which
Aretino, satirist of all Christian gentlemen, wrote you. Now, the payments
and prices that in Italy are given for paintings also appear to me to have
a great deal to do with the fact that painting cannot be done anywhere but
here, because frequently for a head or face from nature one thousand
’cruzados’ are paid, and many other works are paid for as you, gentlemen,
know better than I, very differently from the way they are paid for in
other kingdoms, seeing that mine is among the magnificent and wide. Now,
your Excellency, please to judge whether these be hindrances or helps."

"It seems to me," answered the Marchioness, "that before these hindrances
you must place talent and knowledge, which are not transalpine but belong
to the good Italian; however, everywhere virtue is the same, good is the
same, and evil is the same, although they may have a different
civilisation from ours."

"If that," I answered, "were heard in my country, well, Madam, they would
be astonished both at your Excellency praising me and in that manner, and
by your making that difference between Italians and other men whom you
call ’transalpine,’ or from beyond the mountains:

  ’Non adeo obtusa gestamos pectora Poeni,
  Nec tam auersus equos, Lysia, sol iungit ab urbe.’

"We have, Madam, in Portugal, good and ancient cities, and principally my
birthplace, Lisbon; we have good manners, and good courtiers and valiant
cavaliers and courageous princes, both in war and in peace, and above all
we have a very powerful and splendid king, who with great calmness tempers
and governs us, and commands very distant provinces of barbarians, whom he
has converted to the Faith; and he is feared by the whole East and by the
whole of Mauritania and is a patron of the Fine Arts, so much so that,
through making a mistake as to my talent, which in my youth promised some
fruit, he sent me to see Italy and its civilisation, and Master Michael
Angelo, whom I see here. It is quite true that we have not such buildings
and pictures as you have, but they are already being made, and little by
little they are losing that barbarian superfluity that the Goths and Moors
sowed throughout Spain. I also hope that, on arriving in Portugal after
leaving here, I may assist either in the elegance of building or in the
nobility of painting, so that we may be able to compete with you. Our
science is almost entirely lost, and without honour or renown in those
kingdoms, and not through the fault of others, but through the fault of
the place and disusage, to such extent that very few esteem it or
understand it unless it be our most serene king, by supporting all virtue
and patronising it; and likewise the most serene infante D. Luiz, his
brother, a very valorous and wise prince, who has a very nice knowledge
and discretion in every liberal art. All the others neither understand nor
esteem painting."

"They do well," said M. Angelo.

But Master Lactancio Tolomei, who had not spoken for some time, proceeded
in this manner:

"We Italians have this very great advantage over all other nations in this
great world, in the knowledge and honour of all the illustrious and most
worthy arts and sciences. But I would have you to know, M. Francisco
d’Ollanda, that whoever does not understand and esteem the most noble art
of painting does so because of his own defects and not because of the art,
which is very noble and clear; and because he is a barbarian and without
judgment, and has no honourable part in being a man. And this is proved by
the example of the most powerful old and modern emperors and kings, and of
the philosophers and wise persons who attained everything, and who so
greatly esteemed and appreciated the knowledge of painting, and spoke of
it with such high praises and examples, and in making use of it and paying
for it so liberally and magnificently and, finally, by the great honour
that the Mother Church does it, with the holy Pontiffs, cardinals, and
great princes and prelates. And so you will find in all the past
centuries, all the past valorous peoples and nations held this art in so
much honour, that they admired nothing more nor considered anything as a
greater wonder. And then we see Alexander the Great, Demetrius, and
Ptolomy, famous kings, together with many other princes, who readily boast
of understanding it; and amongst the Cæsars, Augustus the divine Cæsar,
Octavian Augustus, M. Agrippa, Claudius, and Caligula and Nero, in this
alone virtuous, likewise Vespasian and Titus, as was shown in the famous
retable of the Temple of Peace, which he built after having vanquished the
Jews and their Jerusalem. What shall I say of the great Emperor Trajan?
What of Helius Adrianus, who with his own hand painted singularly well, as
the Greek Dion writes in his life, and Spartianus? Then the divine Marcus
Aurelius Antoninus, Julius Capitolinus, says how he learned to paint,
Diognetus being his teacher; and even Ælius Lampridius relates that the
Emperor Severus Alexander, who was an exceedingly powerful prince, himself
painted his genealogy to show that he descended from the lineage of the
Metelos. Of the great Pompey, Plutarch says that in the city of Mitylene
he drew with a style the plan and shape of the theatre, in order to have
it afterwards built in Rome, which he did.

"And although, owing to its great effects and beauties, noble painting
merits all veneration without seeking praise from other virtues, beside
those proper to it, I still wished to show here, before one who knows it,
by what sort of men it was esteemed. And if by chance, at any time or in
any place, there should be found any one who, because of being highly
placed and great, refuses to esteem this art, let him know that others
still greater appreciated it greatly. Who can compare himself with
Alexander the Greek? Who will exceed the prowess of Cæsar the Roman? Who
is of greater glory than Pompey? Who more a prince than Trajan? For these
Alexanders and Cæsars not only dearly loved the divine painting, and paid
great prices for it, but with their own hands they occupied themselves
with it and touched it. Or who, out of bravery and presumption, will
despise it and be not rather very humble and very unworthy before
painting, before her severe and grave face?"

Thus it seemed that Lactancio was finishing, when the Marchioness
proceeded, saying:

"Or who will be the virtuous and serene man (if he despises it for its
sanctity) who will not show great reverence and adore the spiritual
contemplation and devotion of holy painting? I think that time would
sooner be lacking than material for the praises of this virtue. It
produces joy in the melancholy, it brings both the contented and the angry
man to the knowledge of human misery; it moves the obstinate to
compunction, the mundane to penitence, the contemplative to contemplation,
and the fearful to shame. It shows us death and what we are, more gently
than in any other way; the torments and dangers of hell; so far as is
possible, it represents to us the glory and peace of the blessed, and the
incomprehensible image of our Lord God. It represents to us the modesty of
His saints, the constancy of the martyrs, the purity of the virgins, the
beauty of the angels, and the love and ardour with which the seraphim
burn, better than in any other way, and lifts up our spirit and plunges
our mind into the depths beyond the stars, to imagine the empirean that
there exists. What shall I say of how it brings before us the worthies who
passed away so long ago, and whose bones even are not now upon this earth,
to enable us to imitate them in their bright deeds? Or how it shows us
their councils and battles by examples and delightful histories? Their
great deeds, their piety and their manners? To captains it shows the
manoeuvres of the old armies, the cohorts and their disposition, their
discipline and their military order. It animates and creates daring, by
emulation and an honest envy of the famous ones, as Scipio the African

"It leaves a memorial of the present times for those who come after.
Painting shows us the garb of the pilgrim or of antiquity, the variety of
foreign peoples and nations, buildings, animals, and monsters, which in
writing it would be prolix to hear about, and even then it would be but
badly understood. And not only these things does this noble art, but it
places before our eyes the image of any great man who should be seen and
known because of his deeds, and likewise the beauty of a woman who is
separated from us by many leagues, a thing on which Pliny reflects much.
To one who dies it gives many years of life, his own face remaining behind
painted, and his wife is consoled, seeing daily before her the image of
her deceased husband, and the sons who were left little children rejoice
when men to know the presence and the aspect of their dear father, and
fear to shame him."

As the Marchioness, almost weeping, made a pause here, M. Lactancio, in
order to draw her out of her sorrowful imagination and memories, said:

"Besides all these things, which are great, what is there that more
ennobles or makes other things more beautiful than painting, whether on
arms, in temples, in palaces, or fortresses, or anywhere else where beauty
and order may have a place? And so great minds assert that there is
nothing a man can find to fight against his mortality or against the
flight of time but painting only. Nor did Pithagoras depart from this view
when he said that only in three things were men similar to the immortal
God: in science, in painting, and in music."

Here Master Michael said:

"I am sure that if in your Portugal, M. Francisco, they were to see the
beauty of the painting that is in some houses in Italy, they could not be
so uncultured as not to esteem it greatly, and wish to attain to it; but
it is not surprising that they do not know or appreciate what they have
never seen and what they do not possess." Here M. Angelo rose, showing
that it was already time for him to retire and go; and likewise the
Marchioness rose; I asked her as a favour to invite all that distinguished
company for the following day in that same place, and that M. Angelo
should not fail to appear. She did so, and he promised that he would come.
And the Marchioness going with the rest, M. Lactancio left with Michael,
and I and Diogo Zapata, a Spaniard, went with the Marchioness from the
monastery of St. Silvester at Monte Cavallo to the other monastery where
there is the head of St. John the Baptist, and where the Marchioness
resides, and we left her with the mothers and nuns, and I went to my


All that night I thought of the past day, and was preparing myself for the
one to come; but it frequently happens that our arrangements prove
uncertain and vain, and very contrary to what we expect, as I then learnt.
On the following day M. Lactancio sent me word that we could not meet as
we had arranged, owing to certain business matters which had cropped up
both for the Lady Marchioness and likewise for Michael Angelo himself, but
he asked me to be at St. Silvester’s in eight days’ time, as that day had
been agreed upon.

I found those eight days long, but finally, when Sunday came, the time
appeared to me to have been but short, for I should have liked to have
been better armed with knowledge for such a noble company. When I arrived
at St. Silvester the lesson from the Epistles which Friar Ambrose read was
finished and he was gone, and they were beginning to complain of my being
late and about me.

After they had pardoned me, I having confessed to being a laggard, and
after the Marchioness had bantered me a little, and I Messer Angelo in my
turn, I obtained permission to proceed with the former conversation about
painting; I commenced saying:

"I think, Senhor Michael Angelo, that last Sunday, when we were about to
part, you told me that if in the kingdom of Portugal, which you here call
Spain, they were to see the noble pictures of Italy, they would esteem
them greatly, for which reason I beg as a favour (for I have come here for
nothing else) that you will not disdain to inform me what famous works in
painting there are in Italy, so that I may know how many I have already
seen, and how many I still have to see."

"You ask me a question which would take long to answer, M. Francisco,"
said M. Angelo, "wide and difficult to put together, for we know that
there is no prince or private person or nobleman in Italy, or any one of
any pretension, however little curious he may be about painting (to say
nothing of those excellent ones who adore it), who does not take steps to
have some relic of divine painting, or who at least, in so far as he can,
does not order many works to be executed. So that a good portion of the
beauty of our art is spread over many noble cities, castles,
country-seats, palaces and temples, and other private and public
buildings; but as I have not seen them all in an orderly manner, I can
only speak of some which are the principal ones.

"In Siena there is some singular painting in the Municipal Chamber and in
other places; in Florence, my native place, in the Palaces of the Medici,
there is a grotesque by Giovanni da Udine, and so throughout Tuscany. In
Urbino, the Palace of the Duke, who was himself half a painter, has a
great deal of praiseworthy work, and also in his country-seat called
’Imperial,’ near Pesaro, erected by his wife, there is some very
magnificent painting. So, too, the Palace of the Duke of Mantua, where
Andrea painted the Triumph of Caius Cæsar, is noble; but more so still is
the work of the Stable, painted by Julius, a pupil of Raphael, who now
flourishes in Mantua. In Ferrara we have the painting of Dosso in the
Palace of Castello, and in Padua they also praise the loggia of M. Luis,
and the Fortress of Lenhago. Now in Venice there are admirable works by
Chevalier Titian, a valiant man in painting and in drawing from nature, in
the Library of St. Mark, some in the House of the Germans, and others in
churches and in other good hands; and the whole of that city is a good

"So in Pisa, in Lucca, in Bologna, in Piacenza, in Parma, where there is
the Parmesano,(189) in Milan, and in Naples. So in Genoa there is the
house of Prince Doria, painted by Master Perino, with great judgment,
especially the Storm of the Vessels of Æneas, in oils, and the ferocity of
Neptune and his sea-horses; and likewise in another room there is a
fresco, Jupiter fighting against the giants in Phlegra, overthrowing them
with thunderbolts; and nearly the whole city is painted inside and out.
And in many other castles and cities of Italy, such as Orvieto, Esi,(190)
Ascoli, and Como, there are pictures nobly painted, and all of great
price, for I only speak of such; and if we were to speak of the private
paintings and pictures that every one holds dearer than life, it would be
to speak of the innumerable, and there are to be found in Italy some
cities which are nearly all painted with tolerable painting, inside and

It seemed that Michael was coming to a conclusion, when the Lady
Marchioness, looking at me, said:

"Do you not remark, M. Francisco, that M. Michael abstained from speaking
of Rome, the mother of painting, so as not to talk of his own works? Now
what he would not do, let us not fail to do for the purpose of ensnaring
him the more, for when one deals with famous paintings, no other has such
value as the fount from which they are derived and proceed. And this work
is in the head and fount of the Church, I mean in St. Peter’s in Rome; a
great vault, in fresco, with its circuit and curvatures of arches, and a
façade, in which M. Angelo divinely made us understand and divided into
histories how God first created the world, with many images of Sibyls and
figures of exceedingly great artistic beauty and artifice. And what is
singular is, that doing nothing more than this work, which as yet he has
not completed, and having commenced it when a youth, there is therein
comprised the work of twenty painters united in that vault alone. Raphael
of Urbino painted in this city a second work of such art that it would
have been the first if the other had not existed. It is a hall and two
chambers and a loggia in fresco, in the palaces of the said St. Peter, a
magnificent thing of many elegant stories of a very decorous description.
And the story of Apollo playing his harp amongst the nine muses in the
Parnasus is singular. In the house(191) of Augustimguis (Chigi) Raphael
has painted very preciously a poetry, the story of Psyche, and very
gracefully he surrounded Galatea by mermen in the middle of the waves and
by cupids in the air. The picture in S. Pietro in Montorio of the
Transfiguration of our Lord,(192) in oils, is very good, and another in
Aracœli, and in the Temple of Peace, in fresco.(193) The picture in S.
Pietro in Montorio by the hand of Bastiäo Veneziano(194) is famous; he did
it in competition with Raphael. There are many facades of palaces in this
city, in white and black,(195) by Baltesar(196) di Siena, architect, and
by Marturino and by Polidoro, a man who in that manner of working
magnificently enriched Rome. Further, there are here many palaces of
Cardinals and other men painted in grotesque and in stucco and with many
other varieties of art, for the city is more painted than any other in the
whole world, apart from the private pictures that every one holds dearer
than life itself. But of the things outside the city, the Vigna, begun by
Pope Clement VII., at the foot of Monte Mario, is most worth seeing; it is
ornamented by the fine painting and sculpture of Raphael and Julius, where
the giant lies sleeping, whose feet the satyrs are measuring with
shepherds’ crooks. You now see whether these are works which would lead us
to be silent about our city."

And she was already ceasing to speak, when I remembered me, and said:

"No doubt your Excellency also forgot the famous tomb or chapel of the
Medici in San Lorenzo, at Florence, painted in marble by M. Angelo, with
such a generous number of statues in full relief that it can certainly
compete with any of the great works of antiquity; where the goddess or
image of Night, sleeping above the nocturnal bird, and the melancholy
Death in Life pleased me the most, although there are there many noble
sculptures around the Dawn. But I cannot omit the mention of a painting
which I saw, even though it was outside Italy, in France or Provence, in
the City of Avignon, in a Franciscan monastery: it is that of a dead woman
who had been very beautiful, she was called the Beautiful Anna; a king of
France who liked painting and who painted (if I am not mistaken) called
Reynel, came to Avignon and inquired whether the Beautiful Anna was there
because he greatly desired to see her to paint her from life, and having
been told that she had died shortly before, the king caused her to be
disinterred to see whether still in her bones there were some traces of
her beauty. He found her clothed, in the old style, as if she were alive,
with her golden hair dressed on her head, but all the gay beauty of the
face, which alone was uncovered, had changed into a skull; notwithstanding
this, the painter king considered it so beautiful that he painted her from
nature, surrounding his work with verses which mourn and are still
mourning for her. Which work I saw in that place and I thought it very

All were pleased with my picture, and M. Angelo added that in Narbonne I
would have also seen the picture St. Sebastian in the Cathedral, and he

"In France there is some good painting, and the King of France has many
palaces and pleasure houses with innumerable paintings, both in
Fontainebleau, where the king kept together two hundred painters, well
paid, for a certain time; and in Madrid, the pleasure house which he
built, where he voluntarily imprisons himself at times, in memory of
Madrid in Spain where he was a prisoner."

"I think," said M. Lactancio, "that I heard a while ago Francisco
d’Ollanda name amongst paintings the tomb that you, Senhor Michael,
sculptured in marble; but I do not understand how sculpture can be called

Then I began to laugh heartily, and begging permission of the Master,

"To save Senhor Michael trouble I will reply to Senhor Lactancio
concerning this doubt of his, which has followed me here from my own

"As you will find that all the employments which have most art and
reasonableness and grace are those which most nearly approach the drawing
or painting, so those which most nearly approach it proceed from it and
are a part or member of it, such as sculpture or statuary, which is
nothing else but painting itself, although it may well appear to some to
be a separate art; it is, however, condemned to serve painting, its

"And this I will give as a sufficient proof (as your Excellencies well
know), that in the books we find Phidias and Praxiteles called painters,
whilst it is certain that they were sculptors in marble, seeing that the
statues from their hands in stone are here near us, on this hill, the
horses which they made, which King Teridade sent to Nero as a present, for
which reason in recent times this place is called Monte Cavallo. And
should this not be enough, I will add how Donatello (who, with the
permission of Master Michael, was one of the first modern ones who in
sculpture merited fame and name in Italy) never said anything else to his
pupils, when teaching them, but draw, telling them in a single word of
doctrine: ’Pupils, I give you the whole art of sculpture when I tell
you—_draw!_’ And so Pomponio Gaurico, sculptor, also affirms in the book
he wrote ’De Re Statuaria.’ But why do I seek examples and proofs afar,
when perchance they are near me? And so as not to speak of myself, I say
the great draughtsman, M. Angelo, who is here, also sculptures in marble,
which is not his art, and better even (if one may say it) than he paints
with the brush on a panel, and he himself has told me sometimes that he
finds the sculpture of stone less difficult than the using of colours, and
that he deems it to be a very much greater thing to make a masterly stroke
with the brush than with the chisel. And even a famous draughtsman, if he
so desires, will by himself sculpture and carve in hard marble, in bronze
and in silver, exceedingly large statues in full relief (which is a great
thing), without ever having taken a chisel in his hand; and this is owing
to the great virtue and power of drawing. It does not, therefore, follow
that a sculptor will know how to paint or how to hold a brush, nor will he
know how to paint and make a stroke like a master, as I learnt a few days
ago on going to see Baccio Blandino,(197) the sculptor, whom I found
trying to paint in oils and unable to do so. The draughtsman will be a
master in building palaces or temples, and will carve statues and will
paint pictures; for the said Master Michael and Raphael and Baltesar di
Siena,(198) famous painters, taught architecture and sculpture, and
Baltesar di Siena, after briefly studying that art, equalled Bramante, a
most eminent architect, who passed all his life in its discipline, and yet
he used to say that it gave him an advantage, for he appreciated the
invention, fancy and freedom of drawing. I am speaking of true painters."

"But I say, Senhor Lactancio," said Michael, assisting M. Francisco, "that
the painter of whom he speaks not only will be instructed in liberal arts
and other sciences such as architecture and sculpture, which are his own
province, but also in all other manual crafts which are practised
throughout the world; should he wish, he will do them with more art than
the actual masters of them. However that may be, I sometimes set myself
thinking and imagining that I find amongst men but one single art or
science, and that is drawing or painting, all others being members
proceeding therefrom; for if you carefully consider all that is being done
in this life you will find that each person is, without knowing it,
painting this world, creating and producing new forms and figures here, in
dress and the various garbs, in building and occupying spaces with painted
buildings and houses, in cultivating the fields and ploughing the land
into pictures and sketches, in navigating the seas with sails, in fighting
and dividing the spoil, and finally in the ’firmamentos’ and burials and
in all other operations, movements and actions. I leave out all the
handicrafts and arts, of which painting is the principal fount, of which
some are rivers which spring from it, such as sculpture and architecture;
some are brooks, such as mechanical trades; and some are stagnant ponds,
which do not flow (such as useless handicrafts like cutting out with
scissors and such like), formed from the waters of the flood when drawing
overflowed its banks in old time and inundated everything under its
dominion and empire, as one sees in the works of the Romans, all done in
the manner of painting. In all their painted buildings and fabrics, in all
works in gold, silver, or in metals, in all their vases and ornaments, and
even in the elegance of their coins, and in their dress and armour, in
their triumphs as well as in all their other operations and works, one
easily recognises how, in the time when they held sway over all the earth,
my lady painting was the universal sovereign and mistress of all their
deeds and trades and sciences, extending herself even to writing, and
composing or writing histories. So that whosoever well considers and
understands human works, will find without doubt that they are all either
painting itself or some part of painting; and although the painter be
capable of inventing what has not as yet been found, and of doing all the
handicrafts of the others with much more grace and elegance than their own
professors, yet no one but he can be a true painter or draughtsman."

"I am satisfied," answered Lactancio, "and understand better the great
power of painting, which, as you stated, is seen in all things of the
ancients and even in writing and composing. And perhaps notwithstanding
your great imagination you will not have been as much struck as I have
been with the conformity which letters have with painting (for you will
certainly hold letters to be a part of painting); nor by how these two
sciences are such legitimate sisters that, if one be separated from the
other, neither is perfect, although it seems that these present times keep
them in some way separated. But yet every learned and consummate man will
find that in all his works he is always exercising to a great extent the
office of a good painter, painting and colouring some intention of his
with much care and devotion. Now in opening the old books, the famous ones
are few which are not like painting; and it is certain that those which
are the heaviest and most confused are so for no other reason but because
the writers are not good draughtsmen and are not very skilful in drawing
and dividing up their work; and the most facile and terse are those of the
best draughtsman. And even Quintilian in the perfection of his _Rhetoric_
lays it down that not only in the division of the words his orator should
draw, but that with his own hand he should know how to sketch and draw;
and hence it is, Senhor M. Angelo, that you may at times call a great man
of letters or a great preacher a good painter; and a great draughtsman you
may call a man of letters, and whosoever most penetrates into real
antiquity will find that painting and sculpture were both called painting,
and that in the time of Demosthenes they called _writing_ ’antigraphia,’
which means _drawing_, and it was a word common to both these sciences,
and that the writings of Agatharco can be called the painting of
Agatharco. And I think that the Egyptians also—all of them who had to
write or express anything—were accustomed to know how to paint, and even
their hieroglyphic signs were painted animals and birds, as is shown by
some obelisks in this city which came from Egypt. But if I speak of
poetry, it seems to me that it will not be very difficult for me to show
how true a sister she is to painting. But so that Senhor Francisco may
know how much necessity he has for poetry, and how much he may gain from
the best of it, I will show him here how much care the poets take
(although this is matter for a young man rather than for me) of their
profession and intelligence, and how much they praise and celebrate their
art as being free from penalties and blots; and it does not seem that the
poets worked for anything except to teach the beauties of painting, and
what ought to be avoided or done in it, with all their suavity and music
of verses, and with so many just and fluent words that I do not know how I
can repay them. Now one of the things in which they put the most study and
work (I speak of the famous poets) is in painting well or in imitating a
good painting; and this is due to the accuracy which, with the greatest
promptness and care, they desire to express and attain. And the one who
can attain this is the one who is the most excellent and clear. I remember
that the prince of them, Virgil, threw himself down to sleep at the foot
of a beech-tree, and how he has painted in words the forms of two vases
that Alcimedon had made in a cavern covered with a wild vine, with some
goats chewing willows, and some blue hills smoking in the distance; then
he remains resting on one hand the whole day, to study how many winds and
clouds he will put into the Tempest of Æolus, and how he will paint the
Port of Carthage in a bay, with an island standing apart, and with how
many rocks and woods he will surround it. Afterwards he paints Troy
burning; then some feasts in Sicily, and beyond near Cumas the gate of
hell with a thousand monsters, and chimeras, and many souls passing
Acheron; then the Elysian Fields, the host of the Blest, the pains and
torments of the Impious, and afterwards the Arms of Vulcan, a fine piece
of work; shortly afterwards a painted Amazon, and the ferocity of capless
Turnus. He paints the routs in battle, the many dead, the fates of noble
men, the many spoils and trophies. Read the whole of Virgil and you will
not find in it anything but the handicraft of a Michael Angelo. Lucan
employs a hundred pages in painting an enchantress and the breaking up of
a fine battle. Ovid is nothing else but a ’retavolo’ (copyist). Statius
paints the house of sleep and the walls of great Thebes. The poet
Lucretius likewise paints, and Tibullus and Catullus and Propertius. One
paints a fountain, and a wood close by, with Pan, the shepherd, playing a
flute amongst the ewes. Another paints a shrine with nymphs around
dancing. Another draws the drunken Bacchus, surrounded by wild women, with
old Silenus, half falling from an ass, who would have fallen were he not
held up by a satyr who carries a leathern bottle. Even the satirical poet
paints the picture of the labyrinth. Now what do the lyric poets do, or
the wits of Martial, or the tragic or comic ones? What do they do but
paint reasonably? And what I say I do not invent, for each one of them
himself confesses that he paints: they called painting dumb poetry."

At this point I said: "Senhor Lactancio, in calling painting _dumb_ poetry
it seems to me that the poets did not know how to paint well, because, if
they understood how much more painting declares and speaks than poetry,
her sister, they would not say it was dumb, and I will maintain rather
that poetry is the more dumb."

The Marchioness said: "How will you prove, Spaniard, what you say? how
will you prove that painting is not dumb and that poetry is? Let us hear,
for in no more worthy discourse could this day be spent, hearing what you
maintain on that subject; afterwards it may be possible to bring this
company together again, in another place."

"How can your Excellency wish," I answered, "that I should dare to do so
at once, and how should I be able to interest this company with my little
knowledge, especially as I am a pupil of the lady who is dumb and has no
tongue? Particularly, too, as it is already late, if the light through
these windows does not deceive me; how can you order me to praise my
innamorata before her own husband and in such an honourable court of those
who know her worth? If there were some powerful adversaries here I might
attempt it, although in this I am wrong, for it would be much easier to
vanquish enemies than to please these friends. But if your Excellency
desires so much to see me put to silence I will speak, not as an enemy of
poetry, for I am much indebted to her, and I owe her much in the virtue of
my profession, and in the perfection which I so much desire, but to defend
the other lady, who is still more mine, for whose sake only I rejoice to
live, and for whom I confess I have a voice and speak, she being dumb,
solely because I one day saw her move her eyes; and as she teaches one to
speak by her eyes, what would she do if she were to move her wise lips?
Good poets (as Senhor Lactancio said) do not do more with words than even
mediocre painters do with their works, for the former recount what the
latter express and declare. They with fastidious meanings do not always
engage one’s ears, whilst the latter satisfy one’s eyes, as with some
beautiful spectacle they hold all men prisoners and entranced; and the
passage over which good poets most trouble themselves, and which they hold
as the greatest finesse, is to show you in words (perchance too many and
too long), as if painting a storm on the sea, or the burning of a city,
which storm, if they were able, they would rather paint, for when you
finish the work of reading, you have already forgotten the commencement,
and you have only present the short verse on which your eyes were last
fixed; and the one who shows you this best is the best poet.

"Now, how much more does painting say which shows you that storm
altogether with the thunder, lightning, waves, vessels, and reefs, and you
see: _omniaque viris ostentant praesentem mortem_, and in the same place:
_ex-templo Aeneas tendens ad sidera palmas_ and _tres Eurus abreptas in
saxa latentia torquet emissamque hyemem sensit Neptunus et imis_, and
likewise it shows very present and visibly all the burning of the city, in
every part, represented and seen as if it were really true; on one side
those who run through the streets and squares, on the other those who jump
from the walls and towers; here the temples half demolished and the
reflection of the flames in the rivers, and the surrounded shores
illuminated; how Pantheus as he runs away limping with his idols, leading
his grandchild by the hand; how the Trojan horse gives birth in the centre
of a great square to armed men; how Neptune, very wrath, throws down the
walls; how Pyrrhus beheads Priam; Æneas with his father on his shoulders,
and Ascanius and Creusa who follow him in the darkness of night, full of
fear; and all this so present and so connected and natural that very often
you are moved to think that you are not safe before it, and you are glad
to know they are only colours and that they cannot inspire or do harm. It
does not show you this spread out in words, whilst you remember only the
part which is before your eyes having already forgotten the past and not
knowing the future, and which verses only the ears of a grammarian can
understand with difficulty, but one’s eyes visibly enjoy that spectacle as
being true, and one’s ears seem to hear the actual cries and clamour of
the painted figures; it seems as if you smell the smoke, you fly from the
flames, you fear the fall of the buildings; you are ready to give a hand
to those who are falling, you defend those who are fighting against
numbers; you run away with those who run away and stand firm with the
courageous. Not only the learned are satisfied, but also the simple, the
countryman, the old woman; not only these, but also the Sarmatian
stranger, the Indian, and the Persian (who never understood the verses of
Virgil, or Homer, which are dumb to them), delight themselves with and
understand that work with great pleasure and quickness; the barbarian
ceases to be barbarian, and understands, by virtue of the eloquent
painting, that which no poetry or numbered feet could teach him. And the
law of painting says: _in ipsa legunt qui literas nesciunt_, and further
on says: _pro lectione pictura est_. When Cebes, a Theban, wished to write
an opinion of his for a law of human life, he simulated and painted it on
a ’panel,’ as he thought that he would express it better thus, and that it
would be more noble and more easily understood by all men; he then desired
more to know how to paint, in order to speak, than how to write. But even,
if after all this, poetry still affirms that a Venus painted at the feet
of a Jupiter does not speak, nor Turnus painted, showing his valour before
King Latinus, even this reason cannot render learned painting dumb so that
she does not speak, and show in all things that she is in this also the
first, or perhaps the companion, of my lady poetry. For the great painter
will paint Venus weeping at the feet of Jupiter, with all the following
advantages, which the poet will not have: the first one is that he paints
heaven where it is supposed to be, and the person, dress, and action or
movement of Jupiter and his eagle with the thunderbolt; and he will paint
fully the luxurious beauty of Venus, and her robe of gauzy raiment with
all her graceful movements, so elegant and light and with such skill that,
although she may not speak with her mouth, yet it appears from her eyes,
hands, and mouth that she is really speaking (nor do you hear the soft and
sweet speech of Venus, when a croaking school-master reads the words and
sayings of Venus). She appears to be uttering all those pious sayings and
complaints which Virgil Maro writes concerning her. And also the great
painter will make even King Latinus more copious in his work and the
Councillors of the Laurentes more defined, clearer, some with perturbed
face, and others more collected and quiet, different in appearance and
physiognomy and age, different in movements, which the poet cannot do
without too much prolixity and confusion. And even then he will not do it;
and the painter will do it so that it may be seen with greater pleasure
and move the spectator more, and likewise he will place before your eyes
the brave image of Turnus, boastful and furious with the coward Drances,
that it seems as if you fear him yourself and that he is saying: _Larga
quidem semper, Drance, tibi copia fandi_. Therefore I with my small
talent, as a pupil of a mistress without a tongue, still deem the power of
painting to be greater than that of poetry in making greater effects and
in having more force and vehemence whether to move mind and soul to joy
and laughter, or to sorrow and tears, with more effective eloquence. But
let the muse Calliope be the judge in this matter, for I will be content
with her judgment."

And having said that I ceased. The Marchioness honoured me in bantering
terms thus:

"You, Senhor Francisco, have done so well for your innamorata, painting,
that, if Master Michael does not show just as great a sign of love for
her, we may perhaps get her to divorce him and go with you to Portugal."

And, smiling, Michael said: "He knows, Madam, that I have already done so,
and that I have already released her entirely to him; for as I do not
possess such powers as such great love demands, he has said what he has
said, as of one who belongs to him."

"I confess," said I, "Madam, that he has released her to me, but she does
not wish to go with me, so that she still remains at home with him;
neither would I, although she is so worthy, like to see her come to my
country, for there are but few there who know how to esteem her, and my
most serene king, unless it were in his unoccupied moments, would not
favour her, especially if there happened to be any unrest through war, in
which she is of no use; and so she would become angry and perhaps in a fit
of temper she would one day throw herself into the ocean, which is hard
by, and cause me to sing many times the verse:

  Audieras: et fama fuit; sed opera tantum
  nostra valent, Lycida, tela inter maria, quantum
  chaonias dicunt aquila veniente columbas.

But if she were of use in time of war, I would desire her to come at

"I quite understand," said the Marchioness, "but as now the day is far
spent, let your question be for next Sunday." And as she said this she
rose, and all of us with her, and we went away.


Not only were we unable to meet together on the following Sunday with the
Marchioness and M. Angelo, but even on the next one, eight days later, we
were almost prevented, and indeed did not wish to meet, because at that
time was being celebrated in the city of Rome the feast of the twelve
triumphal cars in the Camp Nagao(199) in the ancient manner. Starting from
the Capitol with such magnificence and ancient pomp that it seemed as if
one were back in the old times of the Emperors and the triumphs of the
Romans. This feast was celebrated on the occasion of the marriage(200) of
Senhor Ottavio,(201) son of Pedro Luiz, and grand-nephew of our Lord Pope
Paul III., to Senhora Margarida,(202) adopted daughter of the Emperor. She
had been a short time previously the wife of Alessandro de Medici, Duke of
Florence, who was killed through treason in Florence. And now, she being a
widow and very young and beautiful, his Holiness and his Majesty married
her to Senhor Ottavio, a very young and estimable man, consequently the
city and the Court feasted them as much as could be at night with
serenades and banquets, and the whole of Rome ablaze with lights and
illuminations, especially the Castle of St. Angelo, and every day feasts
and great expenditure. Such as the feast of Monte Trestacho, with its
twenty bulls attached to twenty carts, killed as a public spectacle in the
square of St. Peter’s; and the race which was run between buffaloes and
horses along the entire Via di Nostra Signora Transpontina to the square
of the said palace. And also those festivals which I have mentioned of the
twelve triumphal cars, gilded and ornamented with many fine figures and
very noble devices; there were Romans and the heads of the districts of
Rome, dressed in the old style, with all the pomp and pride that could be
desired; one hundred sons of citizens on horseback, so brave and so
bizarre in their gallantry of painted antiquity, that in comparison with
them the velvet mantles and plumes and the infinity of novelties and
costumes in which Italy exceeds every other province of Europe, appeared
very ordinary. But when I had seen this noble phalanx and company
descending from the Capitol with many infantry, and had viewed all the
bravery of the cars and the ediles, dressed in the old fashion, and had
seen Senhor Giulio Cesarino pass with the standard of the city of Rome, on
a horse with trappings covered with a white coat of arms and black
brocade, I at once turned my horse towards Monte Cavallo, and thus went
riding along the Thermae road pondering over many things of the olden
times, in which I then felt myself to be more than in the present.

Then I ordered my servant to go without fail to St. Silvester and learn
whether perchance the Marchioness or Senhor M. Angelo happened to be
there. The servant was not long in returning, telling me that Senhor M.
Angelo and Senhor Lactancio and Brother Ambrose were all together in the
friar’s cell, which was itself in St. Silvester, but that no mention
whatever had been made of the Marchioness. I went on towards St.
Silvester, but the truth is that I intended to pass before it and to
return to the city, when I saw coming a certain Çapata, a great servitor
of the Marchioness, and a very honourable person and my friend. I being on
horseback and he on foot, I was obliged to dismount; and he having told me
that he had been sent by the Marchioness, we went into St. Silvester. As
we were entering Senhores, M. Angelo and M. Lactancio were coming out by
way of the garden or court, in order to take their siesta under the trees
by the running water.

"Oh! welcome," said Senhor Lactancio, "both of you; you could not arrive
at a better moment; you have been very wise to fly from the confusion in
the city and take shelter in this quiet haven."

"That is all very well," we said, "but this flattery does not console us,
nor is it sufficient to compensate us for the loss of the absent one."

"He said that for the Marchioness," said Senhor Michael, "and you are so
far right, that if you had not come this instant I might have gone."

Conversing thus we sat down on a stone bench in the garden at the foot of
some laurels, on which there was room for all of us, and we were very
comfortable, leaning back against the green ivy which covered the wall,
and from there we could see a good part of the city, very graceful and
full of ancient majesty.

"Let us not lose everything," said Senhor Çapata, after making excuses for
the Marchioness; "let us get some profit out of such a goodly assembly as
we have here; please continue the same noble discussion which you held a
few days ago, on the most noble art of painting, seeing that the
Marchioness very reluctantly commissioned me to that end, for she herself
would have liked to be present. But you must know that she sent me here to
report to her everything stored in my memory, to relate to her everything
treated of, without losing a single point. And therefore we are bound,
gentlemen, I to hear and to be silent about what I do not understand, and
you to give me something to remember and report."

"Senhor Michael," I answered, "must fulfil the wishes of the Marchioness
when she heard me in the last discussion, and practically promised to show
me whether painting would be entirely useless in time of war, for I
remember that her Excellency named last Sunday, in which we did not meet,
for that purpose."

Here M. Angelo laughed, and added:

"So you, M. Francisco, expect the Marchioness to have as much power when
absent as when present. Well, as you have so much faith in her, I do not
wish you to lose it through me."

All said that it would be well, and then M. Angelo began to say:

"And what is there more profitable in the business and undertaking of war,
or what is of more use in the operations of sieges and assaults than
painting? Do you not know that when Pope Clement and the Spaniards
besieged Florence, it was only by the work and virtue of the painter M.
Angelo that the besieged were defended a good while, not to say, the city
released, and the captains and soldiers outside were for a good while
astonished and oppressed and killed through the defences and strongholds
which I made on the tower, lining them in one night on the outside with
bags of wool and other materials, emptying them of earth and filling them
with fine powder, with which I burnt a little the blood of the
Castillians, whom I sent through the air torn in pieces? So that I
consider great painting as not only profitable in war, but exceedingly
necessary; for the engines and instruments of war and for catapults, rams,
mantlets, testudines, and iron-shod towers and bridges, and (as this bad
and iron time does not make any use of these arms now, but rejects them)
mortars; for the shaping of the mortars, battering-rams, strengthened
cannons, and arquebuses, and especially for the shape and proportions of
all fortresses and rocks, bastions, strongholds, fences, mines,
countermines, trenches, loop-holes, casemates; for the entrenchments for
horsemen, ravelins, gabions, battlements, for the invention of bridges and
ladders, for the emplacement of camps, for the order of the lines,
measurement of the squadrons, for the difference and design of arms, for
the designs of the banners and standards, for the devices on the shields
and helmets, and also for new coats of arms, crests and medals which are
given on the field to those who show great prowess, for the painting of
trappings (I mean, the giving of instruction to other lesser painters as
to how they ought to be painted, and seeing that the excellent painters
can paint the trappings of the horses and the shields and even the tents
for valorous princes); for the manner of dividing and selecting
everything; for the description and assortment of the colours and
liveries, which but few can determine. Moreover, drawing is of exceedingly
great use in war to show in sketches the position of distant places and
the shape of the mountains and the harbours, as well as that of the ranges
of mountains and of the bays and seaports, for the shape of the cities and
fortresses, high and low, the walls and the gates and their position, to
show the roads and the rivers, the beaches and the lagoons and marshes
which have to be avoided or passed; for the course and spaces of the
deserts and sandy pits of the bad roads and of the woods and forests; all
this done in any other way is badly understood, but by drawing and
sketching all is very clear and intelligible; all of these are great
things in warlike undertakings, and the drawings of the painter greatly
aid and assist the intentions and plans of the captain. What better thing
can any brave cavalier do than show before the eyes of the raw and
inexperienced soldiers the shape of the city that they have to attack
before they approach it, what river, what mountains and what towns have to
be passed on the morrow? And the Italians, at least, say that, if the
Emperor when he entered Provence had first ordered the course of the river
Rodano to be drawn, he would not have sustained such great losses, nor
retired his army in disorder, nor would he have been painted afterwards in
Rome as a crab, which crawls sideways, with the words borne by the columns
of Hercules, _Plus ultra_, for, wishing to go forward, he went back. And I
well believe that Alexander the Great in his great undertakings frequently
made use of the skill of Apelles, even if he himself did not know how to
draw. And in the works and commentaries, written by the monarch Julius
Cæsar, we may see how much he availed himself of drawing, through some
capable man whom he had in his army. And I even think that the said Cæsar
was extremely intelligent in painting, that the great Captain Pompey drew
very well and with style, he being vanquished by Cæsar, as Cæsar was a
better draughtsman. And I assert that a modern captain who commands a
great army and who is not capable and intelligent in painting and cannot
draw, cannot do any great feats or deeds of arms; and that he who
understands and esteems it will do deeds of renown which will be long
remembered, and will know his ways and how he stands, and how and where he
will break through, and how he will order his retreat, and he will know
how to make his victory appear much greater. For painting in war is not
only advantageous but very necessary. What country warmed by the sun is
more bellicose and better armed than our Italy, or where are there more
continuous wars and greater routs and sieges? and in what country warmed
by the sun is painting more esteemed and celebrated than in Italy?"

M. Angelo was already reposing when João Çapata said:

"It indeed seems to me, Master Michael, that in arming excellently
Francisco d’Ollanda’s lady you disarmed the Emperor Charles, not
remembering that we here are more Colonna than Orsino. I do not wish to
revenge myself for that except by asking you, since you have shown the
worth of painting in war, to now say what it can do in peace, because it
appears to me that you have said so many profitable things of it in the
time of arms that I doubt whether you will find as many in the time of the

He laughed and answered:

"Your Excellency will please not to count me as an Orsino. You will
remember how I at once became one of those columns that the crab was going
to seek;" and afterwards he added:

"If it was a trouble for me to show the advantage of this our art in time
of war, I hope it will not be so to show its worth in the time of the toga
and of peace; then princes are in the habit of availing themselves with
pleasure and cost of things of very little importance and almost of no
value at all; and we see that some men are so clever in idle things that
by works of no nobility or profit, and without any learning or substance,
they are able to acquire a name, honour, profit and substance for
themselves and loss to whomsoever may give them their profit. We see that
in the domains and states which are governed by a senate and republic they
make much use of painting in public places, in the cathedrals, in the
temples, in halls of justice, in courts, porticos, basilicas and palaces,
in libraries, and generally for public ornament; and every noble citizen
has privately in his palaces or chapels, country seats or ’vignas,’ a good
portion of painting. But as it is not lawful in such a country for any one
to make more show than his neighbour, by giving commissions to painters so
as to make themselves out rich and well-to-do, with how much more reason
ought this profitable art and science to be made use of in the obedient
and peaceful kingdoms where God permits one man to incur all these
magnificent expenses and carry out all the sumptuous works that his taste
and honour may desire and demand, particularly as it is such a generous
art that one person can do alone and without any adviser what many men
together cannot do? And a prince would be doing a great wrong to
himself—to say nothing of the fine arts—if, when he obtains quietness and
saintly peace, he does not undertake great enterprises in painting both
for the ornamentation and glory of his estate and for his private
contentment and the recreation of his mind. And then in times of peace
there are so many things in which painting may be of use, that it seems to
me that peace is obtained with so much labour of arms, for nothing else
but in order to do her work, and carry out enterprises with the quiet
which she merits and demands, after the great services she has rendered in
war. For what name will remain alive in consequence of a great victory or
a great feat of arms, if afterwards, when quiet comes, it be not kept in
perpetual memory (a thing so important and necessary amongst men), by
virtue of painting and architecture, in arches, triumphs and tombs, and in
many other ways. And Augustus Cæsar departed not from my saying when,
during the universal peace in all lands, he closed the doors of the Temple
of Janus, because in closing those doors of iron he opened the doors of
gold of the treasures of the Empire, in order to spend more largely in
peace than he had done even in war; and perhaps amongst such ambitious and
magnificent works as those with which he ornamented Mount Palatine and the
Forum, he paid as much for a figure in painting as he would have paid to a
regiment of soldiers in a month. So that the peace of great princes should
be desired in order that they may give their country great works in
painting for the ornamentation of their estate and their glory, and
receive from them spiritual and special contentments and beautiful things
to behold."

"I do not know, Senhor Michael," said I, "how you will prove to me that
Augustus paid as much for a painted figure as he would pay to a regiment
of soldiers for a month; if you were to say that in Spain it would be more
difficult to believe you, than if you said that there were such bad
painters in Italy that they painted the Emperor with the legs of a crab
and with the label, _Plus ultra_!"

Senhor Michael laughed once more, without the Marchioness, and afterwards

"I well know that in Spain people do not pay so well for painting as in
Italy, and therefore you will be surprised at the great sums paid for it,
as you are only accustomed to small sums; and I have been well informed of
this by a Portuguese servant that I had, and therefore painters live and
exist here, and not in the Spains. Of the Spaniards, the finest nobility
in the whole world, you will find some who applaud and praise and like
painting to a certain extent, but on pressing them further, they have no
mind to order even a small work, nor to pay for it; and, what I consider
baser still they are astonished when they are told that there are persons
in Italy who give good prices for paintings; indeed, in my judgment they
do not act in this like such noble people as they say they are, even
though it were for nothing else but not to undervalue that which they have
no experience of and cannot do; it recoils on their own head, however,
they demean themselves and disgrace the nobility of which they boast; and
not indeed that virtue, which will always be esteemed so long as there are
men here in Italy and in this city. And for this reason a painter ought
not to desire to be away from this land in which we are; and you, M.
Francisco d’Ollanda, if you hope to be appreciated through the art of
painting in Spain or in Portugal, I tell you at once that you are living
in a vain and false hope, and that in my judgment you ought rather to live
in France or in Italy, where talent is recognised and great painting is
much esteemed, because you will find here private persons and gentlemen,
even those who at present do not take much pleasure in painting, as for
instance Andrea Doria, who nevertheless had his palace painted
magnificently, and magnificently paid Master Perino his painter; and like
Cardinal Fernes, who does not know what painting is, but who made a very
nice allowance to the said Master Perino, merely to call him his painter,
giving him twenty ’cruzados’ per month and rations for him and for a horse
and servant, besides paying him very well for his works. See what Cardinal
Della Valla or Cardinal de Cesis did. Likewise Pope Paul, who, although
not very musical nor interested in painting, yet treats me well, and at
least better than I ask; and then there is Urbino, my servant, to whom he
gives solely for grinding my colour ten ’cruzados’ a month besides rations
in the palace. I say nothing of his vain favours and kindnesses, of which
I sometimes feel ashamed. Now, what shall I say of the diverting Sebastian
Veneziano? to whom (although he did not come at a favourable time) the
Pope gave the Leaden Seal, with the honour and profit which appertain to
that office, without the lazy painter having painted more than two things
in Rome, which will not astonish Senhor Francisco much. So that in this
our country, even those who do not esteem painting greatly, pay for it
much better than those who are greatly delighted with it in Spain or
Portugal; and therefore I advise you as a son that you ought not to depart
from Italy, because I fear that if you do you will repent it."

"I thank, you, Senhor Michael Angelo, for your advice," I said to him,
"but still I am serving the King of Portugal, and in Portugal I was born
and hope to die, and not in Italy. But as you make such a difference in
the value of painting in Italy and in Spain, do me the favour of teaching
me how painting ought to be valued, because I am in this matter so
scandalised that I do not trust myself to value any work."

"What do you call valuing?" he replied. "Do you wish the painting which we
are discussing to be paid for according to a valuation, or do you think
that any one knows how to value it? for I consider that work to be worth a
great price which has been done by the hand of a very capable man, even
though in a short time; if it were done in a very long time who will know
how to value it? And I hold that to be of very little value which has been
painted in many years by a person who does not know how to paint, although
he be called a painter; for works ought not to be esteemed because of the
amount of time employed and lost in the labour, but because of the merit
of the knowledge and of the hand which did them; for if it were not so,
they would not pay more to a lawyer for an hour’s examination of an
important case, than to a weaver for as much cloth as he may weave during
the course of his whole life, or to a navvy who is bathed in sweat the
whole day by his work. By such variation nature is beautiful, and that
valuation is very foolish which is made by one who does not understand the
good or the bad in the work: some paintings worth little are valued
highly, and others, which are worth more, do not even pay for the care
with which they are done or for the discomfort that the painter himself
experiences when he knows that such persons have to value his work, or for
the exceeding disgust he feels asking for payment from an unappreciative

"It does not seem to me that the ancient painters were content with your
Spanish payments and valuations; and I certainly think they were not, for
we find that some were so magnificently liberal that, knowing that there
was not sufficient money in the country to pay for their works, they
presented them liberally for nothing, having spent on such work, labour of
their mind, time and money. Such were Zeuxis, Heracleotes and Polygnotus
Thasius and others. And there were others of a more impatient nature who
used to waste and break up the works that they had done with so much
trouble and study, on seeing that they were not paid for as they deserved;
like the painter who was commanded by Cæsar to paint a picture, and having
asked a sum of money for it that Cæsar would not give, perhaps in order to
effect his intention the better, the painter took the picture and was
about to break it up, his wife and children around him bemoaning such
great loss; but Cæsar then delighted him, in a manner proper to a Cæsar,
giving him double the sum which he had previously asked, telling him that
he was a fool if he expected to vanquish Cæsar."

"Now, Senhor Michael," said João Çapata, a Spaniard, "one thing I cannot
understand in the art of painting: it is customary at times to paint, as
one sees in many places in this city, a thousand monsters and animals,
some of them with faces of women and with legs and with tails of fishes,
and others with arms like tigers’ legs, and others with men’s faces; in
short, painting that which most delights the painter and which was never
seen in the world."

"I am pleased," said Michael, "to tell you why it is usual to paint that
which was never seen in the world, and how right such licence is, and how
true it is, for some who do not understand him are accustomed to say that
Horace, a lyric poet, wrote this verse in abuse of painters:

          Pictoribus adque poetis
  Quidlibet audendi semper fuit acqua potestas.
  Scimus et hanc veniam petimusque damusque vicissim.

This verse does not in any way insult painters, but rather praises and
honours them; for it says that poets and painters have power to dare, I
mean to dare to do whatever they may approve of; and this good insight and
this power they have always had, for whenever a great painter (which very
seldom happens) does a work which appears to be false and lying, that
falsity is very true, and if he were to put more truth into it it would be
a lie, as he will never do a thing which cannot be in itself, nor make a
man’s hand with ten fingers, nor paint on a horse the ears of a bull or
the hump of a camel, nor will he paint the foot of an elephant with the
same feeling as for that of a horse, nor in the arm or face of a child
will he put the senses of an old man, nor an ear nor an eye out of its
place by as much as the thickness of a finger, nor is he even permitted to
place a hidden vein in an arm anywhere he likes; for such things as these
are very false. But should he, in order better to retain the decorum of
the place and time, alter some of the limbs (as in grotesque work, which
without that would indeed be without grace and therefore false) or a part
of one thing into another species such as to change a griffin or a deer
from the middle downwards into a dolphin, or from thence upwards into any
figure he may wish, putting wings instead of arms, putting off arms if
wings suit it better, that limb which he changes, whether of a lion, horse
or bird, will be quite perfect of the species to which it belongs; and
this although it may appear false can only be called well imagined and
monstrous. The reason is it is better decoration when, in painting, some
monstrosity is introduced for variety and a relaxation of the senses and
to attract the attention of mortal eyes, which at times desire to see that
which they have never yet seen, nor does it appear to them that it can be
more unreasonable (although very admirable) than the usual figures of men
or animals. And so it is that insatiable human desire took licence and
neglected at times buildings with columns and windows and doors for others
imitated in false grotesque, the columns of which are made of children
springing from the leaves of flowers, with the architraves and summit of
branches of myrtle and gates of canes and other things, which appear to be
very impossible and out of reason, and yet all this is very grand if done
by one who understands it."

He ended, and I said:

"Does it not seem to you, Senhor, that this feigned work is much more
suitable for ornament in its proper place (such as a country seat or a
pleasure house) rather than, for instance, a procession of friars, which
is a very natural thing, or a King David doing penance, is it not a great
insult to drag him from his oratory? And does not the god Pan playing on
the pipes, or a woman with the tail of a fish and wings (which is seldom
seen), appear to you to be a more suitable painting for a garden or for a
fountain? And it is a much greater falsity to put an imagination in a
place where the real is demanded, and this reasoning explains all the
things which some call ’impossibilities’ in painting. Still the obstinate
will say: ’How can a woman with a beautiful face have the tail of a fish
and the legs of the swift deer or panther, with wings on her back like an
angel?’ To such one may however reply that if such nonconformity is in
just proportion in all its parts it is quite in harmony and is very
natural; and that much praise is due to the painter who painted a thing
which was never seen and is so impossible, with such wit and judgment that
it seems to be alive and possible, so that men wish that such things did
exist in the world, and say that they could pluck feathers from those
wings and that it is moving hands and eyes. And so one who paints (as a
book said) a hare which, in order to be distinguished from the dog
following it, required a label indicating it, such a person, painting a
thing so little deceitful, may be said to paint a great falsehood, more
difficult to find amongst the perfect works of nature than a beautiful
woman with the tail of a fish and wings."

They agreed with what I said, even João Çapata himself, who was not well
instructed in the beauties of painting. And Master Michael, seeing that
his conversation was not badly employed on us, said:

"Now what a high thing is decorum in painting! and how little the painters
who are no painters try to observe it! and what attention the great man
pays to this!"

"And are there painters who are not painters?" asked João Çapata."

"In many places," answered the painter, "but as the majority of people are
without sense and always love that which they ought to abhor, and blame
that which deserves most praise, it is not very surprising that they are
so constantly mistaken about painting, an art worthy only of great
understandings, because without any discretion or reason, and without
making any difference, they call a painter both the person who has nothing
more than the oils and brushes of painting and the illustrious painter who
is not born in the course of many years (which I consider to be a very
great thing); and as there are some who are called painters and are not
painters, so there is also painting which is not painting, for they did
it. And what is marvellous is that a bad painter neither can nor knows how
to imagine, nor does he even desire to do good painting, his work mostly
differs but little from his imagination, which is generally somewhat
worse; for if he knew how to imagine well or in a masterly manner in his
fantasy, he could not have a hand so corrupt as not to show some part or
indication of his good will. But no one has ever known how to aspire well
in this science, except the mind which understands what good work is, and
what he can make of it. It is a serious thing, this distance and
difference which exist between the high and the low understanding in

At this point M. Lactancio, who had not spoken for some time, said:

"I cannot suffer at all one indiscretion of bad painters, the images which
they paint without consideration or devotion in the churches. And I should
like to direct our discussion to this end, being sure that the
carelessness with which some paint the holy images cannot be good. Work
which a very incapable painter or man dares to do, without any fear, so
ignorantly that instead of moving mortals to devotion and tears, he
sometimes provokes them to laughter."

"This sort of painting is a great undertaking," proceeded M. Angelo; "in
order to imitate to some extent the venerable image of our Lord it is not
sufficient merely to be a great master in painting and very wise, but I
think that it is necessary for the painter to be very good in his mode of
life, or even, if such were possible, a saint, so that the Holy Spirit may
inspire his intellect. And we read that Alexander the Great put a heavy
penalty upon any painter other than Apelles who should paint him, for he
considered that man alone able to paint his appearance with that severity
and liberal mind which could not be seen without being praised by the
Greeks and feared and adored by the barbarians. And therefore if a poor
man of this earth so commanded by edict concerning his image, how much
more reason have the ecclesiastical or secular princes to take care to
order that no one shall paint the benignity and meekness of our Redeemer
or the purity of Our Lady and the Saints but the most illustrious painters
to be found in their domains and provinces? And this would be a very
famous and much praised work in any lord. And even in the Old Testament
God the Father wished that those who only had to ornament and paint the
_arca foederis_ should be masters not merely excellent and great, but also
touched by His grace and wisdom, God saying to Moses that He would imbue
them with the knowledge and intelligence of His Spirit so that they might
invent and do everything that He could invent and do. And therefore if God
the Father willed that the ark of His Covenant should be well ornamented
and painted, how much more study and consideration must He wish applied to
the imitation of His Serene Face and that of His Son our Lord, and of the
composure, chastity and beauty of the glorious Virgin Mary, who was
painted by St. Luke the Evangelist, the work is in the Sancto Sanctorum,
and the head of our Saviour which is in San Giovanni in Laterano, as we
all know, and especially Messer Francisco. Frequently the images badly
painted distract and cause devotion to be lost, at least in those who
possess little; and, on the contrary, those that are divinely painted
provoke and lead even those who are little devout and but little inclined
to worship to contemplation and tears, and by their grave aspect imbue
them with reverence and fear."

M. Lactancio then said, having turned towards me:

"Why did M. Angelo say of the picture of the Saviour, ’as we all know and
especially Messer Francisco’?"

I answered: "Because, Senhor, he has already met me two or three times on
the road to San Giovanni Laterano, going to obtain His grace for my

And I thereupon wished to cease speaking, but he desiring me to continue,
I recommenced thus:

"Senhor, the Most Serene Queen of Portugal, being desirous of seeing the
precious face of Our Saviour, ordered our ambassador to have it drawn from
the original, but I, not trusting this to anybody, wished, with the desire
that I have to serve her, to dare to undertake this enterprise myself, for
it is very fine as regards execution and no less as regards accuracy. And
thus I have sent it to her, done under such difficulties as Your
Excellencies can suspect."

"You cannot be a friend of the Lady Marchioness," said João Çapata," for
you did not show her a thing which is so much to her liking; but tell me,
Messer Francisco, did you do it with that severe simplicity which the old
painting has and with that fear in those divine eyes which in the original
seem to belong to the very Saviour?"

"I did it that way," I said to him, "and in it I desired to put all the
truth, neither to increase nor diminish anything of that grave severity.
But I fear that this, which was my greatest work, will be the one the
least known."

"No it will not," answered M. Lactancio Tolomei, "as in that they will
trust to your knowledge, and it will be an image which will lead them to
build a noble temple for it. I am astonished at your being able to
reproduce and send it, for neither the Popes nor the Brothers of San
Giovanni Laterano ever allowed the King of France or other devout
princesses to do so."

Then M. Angelo said:

"It is astonishing how M. Francisco worked, and how he robbed Rome of this
precious relic, and how he painted it in oils, although in all his life he
had never been a painter in oils, and only made pictures hitherto easily
contained on a small parchment."

"How can it be," said M. Lactancio, "that one who never painted in oils is
capable of doing it, and that one who has always done little things can
also do big ones?"

And as I did not reply, Michael Angelo answered him:

"Do not be surprised, sir, and as regards this I wish now to state my
views about the noble art of painting. Let every man who is here
understand this well: design, which by another name is called drawing, and
consists of it, is the fount and body of painting and sculpture and
architecture and of every other kind of painting, and the root of all
sciences. Let whoever may have attained to so much as to have the power of
drawing know that he holds a great treasure; he will be able to make
figures higher than any tower, either in colours or carved from the block,
and he will not be able to find a wall or enclosure which does not appear
circumscribed and small to his brave imagination. And he will be able to
paint in fresco in the manner of old Italy, with all the mixtures and
varieties of colour usually employed in it. He will be able to paint in
oils very suavely with more knowledge, daring and patience than painters.
And, finally, on a small piece of parchment he will be most perfect and
great, as in all other manners of painting. Because great, very great is
the power of design and drawing. Senhor Francisco d’Ollanda can paint, if
he wishes, everything that he knows how to draw."

"I will not ask again about another doubt," said M. Lactancio, "because I
dare not."

"Please to dare, Your Excellency," said Michael Angelo, "for as we have
already sacrificed the day to painting, let us likewise offer up the night
which is setting in."

He then said: "I wish finally to know what this painting that is so fine
and rare must possess or what it is? Whether there must be tourneys
painted, or battles, or kings and emperors covered with brocade, or
well-dressed damsels, or landscapes and fields and towns? Or whether
perchance it must be some angel or some saint painted and the actual form
of this world? Or what must it be? Whether it must be done with gold or
with silver, whether with very fine tints or with very brilliant ones?"

"Painting," M. Angelo began, "is not such a great work as any of those
which you have mentioned, sir, only the painting which I so much vaunt and
praise will be the imitation of some single thing amongst those which
immortal God made with great care and knowledge and which He invented and
painted, like to a Master: and so downwards, whether animals or birds,
dispensing perfection according as each thing merits it. And in my
judgment that is the excellent and divine painting which is most like and
best imitates any work of immortal God, whether a human figure, or a wild
and strange animal, or a simple and easy fish, or a bird of the air or any
other creature. And this neither with gold nor silver nor with very fine
tints, but drawn only with a pen or a pencil, or with a brush in black and
white. To imitate perfectly each of these things in its species seems to
me to be nothing else but to desire to imitate the work of immortal God.
And yet that thing will be the most noble and perfect in the works of
painting which in itself reproduced the thing which is most noble and of
the greatest delicacy and knowledge. And what barbarous judge is there
that cannot understand that the foot of a man is more noble than his shoe?
His skin than that of the sheep from which his clothes are made? And who
from this will proceed to find the merit and degree in everything? But I
do not mean that, because a cat or a wolf is vile, the man who paints them
skilfully has not as much merit as one who paints a horse, or the body of
a lion, as even (as I have said above) in the simple shape of a fish there
is the same perfection and proportion as in the form of man, and I may say
the same of all the world itself with all its cities. But all must be
ranked according to the work and study which one demands more than
another, and this should be taught to some ignorant persons who have said
that some painters painted faces well but that they could not paint
anything else. Others have said that in Flanders they painted clothes and
trees extremely well, and some have maintained that in Italy they paint
the nude and symmetry or proportions better. And of others they say other
things. But my opinion is that he who knows how to draw well and merely
does a foot or a hand or a neck, can paint everything created in the
world; and yet there are painters who paint everything there is in the
world so imperfectly and so much without worth that it would be better not
to do it at all. One recognises the knowledge of a great man in the fear
with which he does a thing the more he understands it. And on the
contrary, the ignorance of others in the foolhardy daring with which they
fill pictures with what they know nothing about. There may be an excellent
master who has never painted more than a single figure, and without
painting anything more deserves more renown and honour than those who have
painted a thousand pictures: he knows better how to do what he has not
done than the others know what they do.

"And not only is this as I tell you, but there is another wonder which
seems greater, namely, that if a capable man merely makes a simple
outline, like a person about to begin something, he will at once be known
by it—if Apelles, as Apelles; if an ignorant painter, as an ignorant
painter. And there is no necessity for more, neither more time, nor more
experience, nor examination, for eyes which understand it and for those
who know that by a single straight line Apelles was distinguished from
Protogenes, immortal Greek painters."

And Michael Angelo having stopped, I proceeded:

"It is also a great thing that a great master, although he may wish and
work hard to do so, cannot so change or injure his hand as to paint
something appearing to have been done by an apprentice, for whoever
carefully examines such a thing, will find in it some sign by which he
will know that it was done by the hand of a skilful person. And on the
contrary, one who knows little, although he may endeavour to do the
smallest thing so that it may appear to have been done by a great man,
will have his trouble in vain, because immediately, when placed beside the
work of a great man, it will be recognised as having been done by a
prentice hand. But I should like now to know something more from Senhor
Michael Angelo, to see whether he agrees with my opinion, and that is that
he should tell me whether it is better to paint a work quickly or slowly?"

And he answered:

"I will tell you: to do anything quickly and swiftly is very profitable
and good, and it is a gift received from the immortal God to do in a few
hours what another is painting during many days; for if it were not so
Pausias of Sicyon would not work so hard in order to paint in one day the
perfection of a child in a picture. If he who paints quickly does not on
that account paint worse than one who paints slowly, he deserves therefore
much greater praise. But should he through the hurry of his hand pass the
limits which it is not right to pass in art, he ought rather to paint more
slowly and studiously; for an excellent and skilful man is not entitled to
allow his taste to err through his haste when thereby some part is
forgotten or neglected of the great object perfection, which is what must
be always sought; hence it is not a vice to work a little slowly or even
to be very slow, nor to spend much time and care on works, if this be done
for more perfection; only the want of knowledge is a defect.

"And I wish to tell you, Francisco d’Ollanda, of an exceedingly great
beauty in this science of ours, of which perhaps you are aware, and which
I think you consider the highest, namely, that what one has most to work
and struggle for in painting is to do the work with a great amount of
labour and study in such a way that it may afterwards appear, however much
it was laboured, to have been done almost quickly and almost without any
labour, and very easily, although it was not. And this is a very excellent
beauty, at times some things are done with little work in the way I have
said, but very seldom: most are done by dint of hard work and appear to
have been done very quickly.

"But Plutarch says in his book _De Liberis educandis_, that a poor painter
showed Apelles what he was doing, telling him: ’This painting has just
this moment been done by my hand,’ Apelles answered: ’Even if you had not
said so I should have known that it was by your hand and that it was done
quickly, and I am surprised that you do not do many of them every day.’

"However I should prefer (if one had either to err or be correct) to err
or be correct quickly rather than slowly, and that my painter should
rather paint diligently and a little less well than one who is very slow,
painting better, but not much better.

"But now I wish to know this of you, M. Francisco, to see whether you
agree with my opinion, namely, that you should tell me if there are many
different ways of painting almost of equal goodness; which of them will
you consider the worst, or which of them are bad?"

"That is still a greater question," I replied, "Senhor Michael, than the
one I put to you; but just as Mother Nature has produced in one place men
and animals, and in another place men and animals, all made according to
one art and proportion, and yet very different to each other, so it is,
almost miraculously, with the hands of painters, as you will find many
great men each of whom paints in his own manner and style men and women
and animals, their styles greatly differing, and yet they all of them
retain the same proportions and principles; and yet all these different
styles may be good and worthy of being praised in their differences. For
in Rome Polidoro, a painter, had a very different style to that of
Balthazar, of Siena; M. Perino different from that of Julius, of Mantua;
Martorino did not resemble Parmesano; Cavalliere Tiziano in Venice was
softer than Leonardo da Vinci; the sprightliness of Raphael of Urbino and
his softness does not resemble the work of Bastiāo Veneziano; your work
does not resemble any other; nor is my small talent similar to any other.
And although the famous ones whom I have mentioned have the light and
shade, the design and the colours different from each other, they are none
the less all great and famous men, and each distinguished by his
difference and style, and their works very worthy of being valued at
almost the same price, because each of them worked to imitate Nature and
perfection in the manner that he considered to be the most proper, and his
own, and in accordance with his idea and intention."

And this said, we rose and went away as it was already night.


The Rape of Deianira, or the Battle of the Centaurs, a bas-relief, 1490.
Casa Buonarroti, Florence.

The Angel of the Shrine of Saint Dominic, a marble statuette, 1494.
San Domenico, Bologna.

The Bacchus, a marble statue, 1497.
National Museum, Florence.

The Madonna della Pietà, a marble group, 1499.
St. Peter’s, Rome.

The David, a colossal marble statue, 1504.
Accademia della Belle Arti, Florence.

St. Matthew, an unfinished heroic marble statue.
The Court of the Accademia delle Belle Arti, Florence.

The Madonna and Child, marble statue, 1506.
St. Bavon, Bruges.

The Madonna and Child, a tondo, marble bas-relief, unfinished.
National Museum, Florence.

The Madonna and Child, a tondo, marble bas-relief, unfinished.
The Diploma Gallery of the Royal Academy, London.

The Holy Family, a tondo, painted on wood.
No. 1139, The Uffizi, Florence.

The Moses, a heroic marble statue.
San Pietro in Vincoli, Rome.

The Vault of the Sistine Chapel, ceiling frescoes, 1512.
Vatican, Rome.

The Madonna and Infant Christ, St. John the Baptist and Angels, an
unfinished painting on wood by Bugiardini, the Cartoon alone by Michael
No. 809, The National Gallery, London.

The Risen Christ, a marble statue, 1521.
Santa Maria Sopra Minerva, Rome.

The Tombs of Lorenzo dei Medici, Duke of Urbino and Giuliano, Duc de
Nemours, heroic marble statues, the figures of Day and Evening and the
architecture left unfinished by the master in 1534.
New Sacristy, San Lorenzo, Florence.

The Madonna and Child, heroic marble statue.
New Sacristy, San Lorenzo, Florence.

Four Slaves, unfinished heroic marble statues.
The Grotto of the Boboli Gardens, Florence.

The Apollo, an unfinished marble statue.
The National Museum, Florence.

The Leda, a painting, damaged and restored as to the head, arms, and
shoulder, 1529.
Offices of the National Gallery, London.

The Slaves, two heroic marble statues.
Room of Renaissance Sculpture, the Louvre, Paris.

The Brutus, an unfinished marble bust.
The National Museum, Florence.

The Day of Judgment, fresco, 1541.
The Sistine Chapel, Vatican, Rome.

The Entombment of our Lord, an unfinished painting on wood, the figures of
our Lord and the men very much repainted, the three women and the
background by the master.
No. 790, the National Gallery, London.

The Martyrdom of St. Peter, a fresco, 1549.
Cappella Paolina, Vatican, Rome.

The Conversion of St. Paul, a fresco, 1549.
Cappella Paolina, Vatican, Rome.

The Pietà of Santa Maria del Fiore, a marble group.
The Duomo, Florence.


The Florentine Painters of the Renaissance. London and New York, 1896.

Michael Angelo Buonarroti, Sculptor, Painter and Architect. London, 1875.

Vita di, Scritta da lui Medesimo. Firenze, 1885.

Michelangelo. London, 1880.

Vita di Michelangelo Buonarroti, Scritta da A.C. suo discepolo. Pisa,
1746. First edition Roma, 1553.

Vita di Michelangelo Buonarroti. Firenze, 1875.

Saumtliche Gedichte Michelangelo’s. Leipzic, 1875.

Quatro Diologos da Pintura Antigua, La Renascença Portugueza. Porto, 1896.

Les Correspondants de Michel-Ange, i Sebastiano del Piombo. Librairie de
l’Art. Paris, 1890.

Le Lettre di Michelangelo Buonarroti, publicate coi Ricordi ed i Contratti
Artistici. Firenze, 1875.

The Life of Michelangelo Buonarroti. London, 1893.
The Sonnets of Michael Angelo Buonarroti and Tomaso Campanella. London,

Le Vite de’ pin eccellenti Pittori, Scultori et Architetti. Bologna, 1647.
And first edition, Firenze, 1550. Second edition, Firenze, 1558.

Life and Works of Michelangelo Buonarroti. London, 1881.


Page 27, note 1, line 2, _for_ 1831, _read_ 1873


Abel, 44

Academy: Florence, 117, 260

Accursio: a messenger from Julius II., 51

Active Life; The Tomb of Julius II., 68, 225, 226, 227

Adam: Sistine Chapel, 13, note; 43, 163, 165, 171-175

Adonis, 129, 229

Adrian IV.: Pope 54, 190

Aginense: Cardinal, 51, 52, 146

Agnolo: Herald of Florence, 135

Agnolo: _see_ Doni

Agostino: _see_ Duccio

Agostino: San, the Isaiah of Raphael at, 177

Agnolo di Donnino: assistant, 151

Alberigo: Marchese, 52

Alberto: _see_ Dürer

Albertina: Vienna, 193

Albertini: his statement, 164

Albizzi: Anton Francesco degli, portrait by Sebastiano, 197

Alcibiades, 87

Aldobrandini: sword-hilt designed for, 136

Aldovrandi: Gian Francesco, his kindness to the master, 18

Aldovrandi: Ulisse, sees a statue of Apollo, 108

Alessandro da Carnossa, 3, note

Alessandro de’ Medici:
Duke, his ill-will to the master, 59, 60, 62;
flight, 201; 250, 305

Alexander the Great, 285, 286, 309, 320

Alexander VI.: Pope, 29

Alfonso: Duke of Ferrara, 60, 61, 204

Alva: Duke of, 265

Aman, 45

Amanati: _see_ Bartolomeo

Ambrosio: Brother, 272-274; 289, 306

studies at Santo Spirito, 16;
of animals as well as man, 75;
dissection and a treatise upon it, 81

Ancestors of Christ: Sistine Chapel, 166, 169, 177

Andrea del Sarto, 103, note;
studies the Cartoon, 127, 224

Angel: for the Shrine of San Domenico, 19, 104

Angelico: Fra, 219

Angeli: S.M. degli, 251

Anna: the Beautiful, 293

Antonio: a servant, successor to Urbino, 236, 258

Antonio: Maria da Legnia, 145

San, copy, 7, 97;
Cartoon for Mineghella, 264

Antonio: _see_ Mini

Apelles, 278, 309; 320, 325, 326

Apollo: in the Bargello, 204, 228

Arcadelt: Giacomo, sets the master’s madrigals to music, 207

Aretino, 222, 283

Arezzo: fortifications at, 202

Arno, 193;
and _see_ Cartoon

Arrigo Fiamingo: fresco, Sistine Chapel, 167

Ascanio: _see_ Condivi

Assumption: by Daniele, with a portrait of the master, 253

Assunta: oratory of, 260

Athletes: Sistine Chapel, 13, note; 164, 167, 168, 173-178, 211

Athens, 156

Attalante, 146

Avignon, 293

Bacchus: carved in Rome, 24, 107, 108

Baccio d’Agnolo, 116

Baglioni: the traitor, 203

Baldassare: _see_ Peruzzi

Baldassari: del Milanese, buys the god of Love, 21

Bandinelli: Baccio, studies the Cartoon, 126;
Hercules and Cacus, 204, 270, 295

Bandini: Francesco, 236, 246

Baptistry: Florence, 255

Florence, mask of a faun, 11;
Tondo, 121, 129;
Apollo, 205, 228;
Brutus, 249

Bartolomei: Messer, 231

Bartolomeo: Amanati, letter to, 238

Bartolommea: widow of Buonarroto, 201

Bas-relief: Florentine love of, 121

Bassano, 174

Bathers: _see_ Cartoon

Battista Benti: carves details in the Tomb of Julius II., 226

Battista del Cinque: carpenter, 197

Batista Lorenzi, 253, 262

Beatrice: of Mantua, 3

Beaumont: Sir George, presents a tondo to the Royal Academy, 121

Belvedere: works ordered by Julius III., 78

Beinbo, 76

Bene: Benedetto, copies the Leda, 204

law, 18;
return to Bologna, 40, 141

Benvenuto: _see_ Cellini

Bernardo Cencio: Canon of St. Peter’s, 180, 181

Bernardo da Bibbiena, 146

Bernardo della Ciecha, 116

Berlin, 106

Bertoldo: the master of Michael Angelo in Sculpture, 99, 100, 102

Berugetta: Alonso, 126

Biagio da Cesena: objects to nude figures, 222

Bibbiena: Cardinal, rebukes Cardieri, l7

the master’s study, 86;
of Raphael, 173

Bini: Bernardo, trustee for the Tomb, 51, 69

Blois: Chateau, 251

Boboli Gardens: the grotto with four statues, 129, 227

Boccaccio, 19

flight to, 18-20;
with Julius II. at, 39, 40;
conversations at, 90, 132;
the Colossal Bronze destroyed, 141, 171, 195, 291

Giulio, engravings, a Pietà, 230;
portrait of the master, 253

Bonifazio: Count, 3

Bononiensis: Tudius, engraves a Pietà, 230

Boon companions: of the master, 264

Borgerini: Pier Francesco, 182

Borghini: Don Vincenzo, opens the coffin, 261

Borgia: Cesare, _see_ Valentino

Borgo, 178, 238

Sandro, letter addressed to him, 23, 107, 116;
Popes and histories by, 166

destroys S. Petronilla, 25;
Tomb of Julius, 31;
his errors, 32;
rebuilding of S. Peter’s, 34;
suggests the painting of the vault, 41;
and Raphael to finish it, 47;
his shortcomings, 48;
scaffold, 82;
has the Pope’s ear in Rome, 130;
vault painting, 131, 164;
"a brave architect," 238, 240-242, 295

Brancacci Chapel: _see_ Masaccio

Brazen Serpent: Sistine Chapel, 46; 178

British Museum:
drawings, advice to Mini, 192;
for the tombs, 193

Bronze-coloured figures: Sistine Chapel, 169

Brothers of the master: _see_ Buonarroto, Giovan Simone, Sigismondo

Bruciolo: invites the master to Venice, 78

Bruges, 29, 121

the lantern of, 192;
his dome, 208

bust of, Bargello, 249;
nickname of Lorenzino, 250

Giuliano assistant, 150, 155;
paints the master’s portrait, and a Madonna and Child from a cartoon of
the master’s, 157, 158, 252, 264

Buonarroti: _see_ Michael Angelo

Casa, bas-reliefs in, 102; 104;
presented to Florence, 105;
wax models of the David, 118

Buonarroti: Senator Filippo, 203

brother of the master, 4;
established in business, 109, 151, 152;
letters to, 133, 134, 136, 141, 161, 181;
his health, 165;
dies of the plague in the master’s arms, 201

Buoninsegna: Domenico, 183

Cain, 44

Calcagni: _see_ Tiberio

Camerino: Duke of, writes to the master, 217

plans of the master, 248;
his portrait there, 253, 270, 305

Campo Santo: Pisa, 219, 220

Canossa, 3-5

Çapata: João, 306, 307, 310, 316, 318, 321

Capitol: _see_ Campidoglio

Capponi: Niccolo, 201

Caprese: the master born at, 5

Cardiere: improvisatore, his dream, 16, 17

Carlino: chamberlain, 147

Carlo degli Albizzi, 147

Caro: Annibal, 76, 85

Carota: woodcarver, 197

Carpi: Cardinal, 246

Carrara, 30, 52, 53, 183, 185, 190, 192

Cartoon of Pisa, 37, 124, 125;
Vasari’s account, 126;
Cellini’s, 127

Cassandra Ridolfi: marries Leonardo, 254

Caterina: Santa, 31

Catherine de’ Medici: letter from, 251

Cavalcani, 24

Cavalcanti: altar of, 261

Tomaso dei, a friend, 85;
drawings for, 230;
letter from, 231, 246, 248, 258, 259

Benvenuto, 91, 92, 118;
describes the Cartoon, 127, 202, 252, 255

Centaurs: battle of, _see_ Deianira

Cesena: Bishop of, 85

Charles: the Emperor, 309, 310, 312

Charon, 71

Chigi, 292

Chiostro Verde: S.M. Novella, 173

on the Cross, modelled for Mineghella, 264;
taken down from the Cross, Vittoria Colonna, 85;
the Risen, in the Minerva, 74, 180, 181, 187-189;
a statuette, 259

Ciapino: carpenter, 197

Cioli: _see_ Valerio

Clement VII:
Pope, 10;
Medici Library, 54;
clemency, 58;
Medici Tombs, 59;
recalls the master to Rome, 60, 64;
orders the Day of Judgment, 64, 78;
the New Sacristy, 186;
elected Pope, 190-192, 195;
his postscript, 197;
and curious commission, 198;
besieged in St. Angelo, 200;
anger abates, 203, 207, 231, 277, 292, 308

Colombo: Realdo, anatomist, 81

Vittoria, Marchioness of Pescara, poetry, 76;
a Christ made for her, 74;
the master is enamoured of her divine spirit, 85;
visits her death-bed, 85;
drawings and sonnets for her, 230, 234;
conversations at St. Silvester, 271-304, 306-308, 312

Colossus: a proposed, 198, 199

Condivi: Ascanio della Ripa, the Life by, 3-93, 163, 164

Connétable: de Montmorenci, and the Slaves, 227

Consiglio: a mercer, 110, 111

Consiglio: Cartoon for the Sala del, 37

the designs to throw a bridge from Pera to, 37;
is invited to, 78

Contemplative Life: Tomb of Julius II., 28, 225-227

for the Madonna della Pietà of St. Peter’s, 112;
the David, 115;
and the Risen Christ, 180, 181

Conversion of St. Paul, 232

Cornelia: wife of Urbino, 256

Correggio: perfected Melozzo’s method, 131, 172

Cortono: Cardinal, 201

Cosimo: _see_ Medici

Cosmo: St., 194

the, 164, 165, 167, 170;
of Eve, 171, 175, 291;
of man, _see_ Adam

Creator: the, Sistine Chapel, 43, 44, 171

Crispo: Cardinal, 84

Croce: _see_ Santa Croce

Cronaca: Il, 116, 120

in wood for Santo Spirito, 16;
drawings, 234;
by Daniele, 253

Cuio: Capitano, the master sups with, 197

Cupid: _see_ Love

Damino: St., 194

Dandolo: Marco, opinion of Baglioni, 203

Daniele da Volterra, 223, 251-253;
writes for the master and acts as executor, 257-259, 263

Dante, 19, 68, 71;
the master’s special devotion to, 86, 184, 220

Danti: Vincenzio, 229

David and Goliath: Sistine Chapel, 46, 178

the bronze, 28, 119;
sent to France, 120

the colossal statue, 27, 114;
the contract, 115;
contemporary account of the transport, 116;
removed to the Academy, 117

Dawn: marble statue in the New Sacristy, 172, 194, 203, 209, 211, 214,

Day: marble statue in the New Sacristy, 58, 194, 203, 209, 212

Day of Judgment:
Sistine Chapel, 45, 166, 183;
the fresco begun, 216;
shown to the public, 219;
described, 219;
copies in the Corsini Palace, 222,
and in the Naples Museum, 253

Death: the master’s sayings on, 236, 236

Deianira: the rape of, a bas-relief, 14, 103

Deliverances of the Chosen People, 166, 169, 178

Delphic Sibyl, 174

Deluge: _see_ Flood

Demosthenes, 75, 298

Deposition: _see_ Pietà

Design: the power of, 295-298, 308-311, 322.

Desnoyers: orders the destruction of the Leda, 62, 204

Diocletian: the Baths of, a restoration, 251

Diognetus, 286

Diomede Leoni: letter to Leonardo, 257

Dionigi: Cardinal di, orders a Pietà, 25, 112

Diploma Gallery: Burlington House, the tondo, 121

Divina Commedia: the master’s drawings for, 184

Dome of St. Peter’s, 208, 233, 246

Domenico: _see_ Ghirlandaio

Domenico: San, Bologna, The Angel for the Shrine, 19, 104

praised by the master, 28,
who comes under the influence of his foreman, 99, 106;
St. George, and Judith, 117;
his influence, 118, 170, 178, 295

Donati: Federigo, physician, 258

Donato: _see_ Giannoti

Doni: Agnolo, the tondo painted for, 29, 122

Andrea, project for his statue 190;
his portrait by Sebastiano, 191, 291, 313

Dosso, 290

Ghirlandaio’s book, 8;
copies of old masters, 9;
for the tombs of the Medici, 193;
its power, 295-297;
in war, 308,
and in peace, 311, 322

Duccio: Agostino, and the block of marble, 27

Duke of Florence, 246, 248, 250, 259, 260, 262

Duoino of Florence:
the shadow of, 127, 208;
the Pietà, placed under, 236

Dürer: Albert, 29, 81, 281

Ecouen: the slaves at, 227

Enrico II., 3

Epiphany: a cartoon, 260

Ercole: Don, captain of Florence, 61

Esi, 291

Esther: Queen, 46

Euclid, 75

Eve, 43

Evening, 194, 203, 209, 214

Expulsion, 172, 175

Façade of San Lorenzo, 183, 185, 227, 228

Fall of Man: Sistine Chapel, 43, 164, 165, 170

Farnese Palace: the cornice, 233, 237

Farnese: the House of, the master’s love for, 84

Father of the master: _see_ Lodovico

Fattore: Il, 256

Ser Giovan Francesco, letters to, 133, 143, 191, 193, 195, 199, 242;
he rebukes the master for his modesty, 192

a copy in marble, 10;
the Mask in the Bargello, 11, note;
a drawing in the Louvre, 98, note

Febbre: Madonna della, _see_ Madonna

Fernando di Gonzaga: Signer, 205

Femes: Cardinal, 270, 313

Ferrara: the master visits the fortifications, 60, 202

Duke of, disposes of the Colossal Bronze, 141;
the master’s visit to, 202, 290

Festa: Constanza, sets the master’s madrigals to music, 208

Ficino: Masilio, 102

Fidelissimi: Gherardo, physician, 258

Fight for the Standard: Leonardo da Vinci’s cartoon, 124, 127

Figio Vanni: Battista, Pope’s agent, 203

Filippiuo: _see_ Lippi

Flanders: the master’s opinion of the painting of, 279-281, 324

Flood: the, Sistine Chapel, 44, 46, 165, 167, 170-173, 214

Florence, 3-6, 15-20, 22-29, 36, 37, 50, 51;
siege of, 56, 201;
is betrayed, 57, 203; 62;
gossip, 97; 106-114; 130; 158;
the master purchases land for a studio, 184, 208, 253-255, 260, 290, 293,

Fontainebleau: the Leda at, 204, 294

Forli: Bishop of, Pier Giovanni, 83

the master made Commissary-General, 55;
the Borgo, 238

statue of Hercules sent to, 14;
painting in, 294

Francesca: daughter of Buonarroto, 201

Francesca: mother of the master, 109

Francesco d’Ollanda, 269-327

San, a cartoon drawn for a barber, 107;
and another for Mineghella, 264

Francesco: _see_ Bandini and Urbino

Francesco: Urbino, da, schoolmaster, 6

Franciabigio: Il, studies the Cartoon, 127

Francia: Il, 90

Francis I.:
of France buys the Leda, 62;
invites the master to France, 78;
letter to, 232, 294

Frizzi: Frederigo, finishes the Risen Christ, 188

Gaeta: _see_ Pier Luigi

Galatea: by Raphael, 292

Galli: Jacopo, commissions the Bacchus, 24, 107, 112

Galli: owned the Bacchus and the little Cupid, 25

Gallio Subelloni, 247

Gallo: Antonio, 226

Ganymede: a drawing, 231

Gatta: Bartolommeo della, 166

engraved, shown to the master by the Magnificent, 13;
motives from intaglios, Adam, 171;
Judith, 178;
Leda, 202

the master proposes to retire to, 66;
the Senate orders a statue of Doria, 190;
the medallion, Albergo dei Poveri, 237, 291

George: St., by Donatello, 117

Germany, 200, 283, 291

Ghibelline, 4

Ghiberti: Lorenzo, 100, 170

Domenico, the master’s first teacher, 7, 8, 97;
the master leaves him, 10, 99;
histories in the Sistine Chapel, 166

Ridolfo, Vasari’s gossip, 97;
worked from the Cartoon, 126

Giacomo del Duca: carves details on the Tomb of Julius II., 226

Giacomo della Porta, 249

Giangiacomo de’ Medici: his monument at Milan, 250

Giannotti: Donato, a friend of the master’s, 85, 246, 249

Giant: _see_ David

Gié: Maréchal de, 119

Giorgio: _see_ Vasari

Giotto: studies from, 105, 158

Giovanni da Reggio, 187, 188

Giovanni da Udine, 197, 290

Giovanni dall’ Opera, 262

Giovanni de’ Marchesi: stone-carver, 224

Giovanni de’ Medici, 17

Giovanni: a gem-engraver, 231

Giovanni: San, in Laterano, 320, 321

Giovanni: Michi, 150

Giovanni: San, dei Fiorentini, designs for, 248

Giovannino: San, a, 106

Giovan Simone:
joins Buonarroto in the cloth business, 109, 133, 135;
his behaviour troubles the master, 151;
a letter to him, 153;
he begins to do well, 162;
death, 254

Girolamo da Fano: retouches the Day of Judgment, 223

to join Buonarroto, 152;
visits Rome, 161

Giugni: Galeotto, envoy, 202

Giulia: La, the cannon cast from the wreck of the Bronze, 141, 202

Giulia: the Villa, works ordered by Julius III., 78, 292

Giuliano: a marble statue in the New Sacristy, 193, 194, 211, 212

Giuliano de’ Medici: his courtesy, 17

Giulio Romano, 290, 293

Gondi: the bank of, 78

Gondi: Filippo, hides his goods, 201

Gondi: Giambattista, 251

Gonfaloniere: _see_ Soderini

Gottifredo, 3

Francesco, 7, 9, 11, 98, 99;
studies the Cartoon, 126;
helps to provide assistants, his letter, 149, 151

Grand Canal: a design for a bridge, 74

Grotesque, 316-318

Guelph, 4

Guidobaldo: Duke of Urbino own’s the god of Love, 23

Guidoccione, 76

Haarlem: drawings in the Teyler Museum, 253

Hawkwood: Sir John, 124

Henry II.: of France, 251

Hercules: a marble statue, 14, 105

Hercules and Cacus, 204

Hercules strangling Antæus: a wax model, 252

Holkham Hall: Cartoon at, 38, 124, 125

Holy Family with Shepherds, the, 122

Homer, 76, 78, 173

Human form: the master’s love for the beauty of, 87

Imitators of the master, 263

Jacopo L’, assistant, 150, 155;
he grumbles, 157, 264

Inscriptions, 262, 263

Intaglio: _see_ Gems

Ippolito de’ Medici, 201

Isaiah: by Raphael, 177

Italian painting; the master’s opinion of, 280, 281

Jacopo del Conte, 252

Jacopo della Quercia: studied by the master, 136, 170, 171

Jacopo di Sandro: an assistant, 151

Jacopo: _see_ Galli, L’Indaco, Sansovino

Jean: makes a model of the Dome, 247

Jeremiah: the Prophet, 174

Joel, 174

Jonah, 221

Judith, 13, 46, 178;
of Donatello, 117

Julius II.:
Pope, calls the master to Rome and orders his Tomb, 28-30, 128, 129;
offends the master, 35, 38, 130;
the Colossal Bronze for Bologna, 40, 130, 132, 134;
it is placed on San Petronio, but is destroyed by the mob and made into a
cannon, 141;
orders the Vault of the Sistine Chapel to be painted, 48, 50, 164;
the master’s love for him, 62;
and his house, 69, 77;
he is satisfied, 165, 179;
death, 180, 195, 202;
the Tragedy of the Tomb of, 216, 224, 226

Julius III.:
Pope, 63;
a patron of the Arts and of the master, 78, 80, 83, 235, 242;
confirms the master in his office, 244;
death, 245

Julius Cæsar, 310, 315

King of France gives the Slaves to Montmorenci, 227,
and _see_ Francis I.

Lactancio Tolomei, 271-322

Lana: Consuls of the Arte della, 115, 120

Lantern: of the New Sacristy, 192

Lapo Antonio di Lapo:
assistant at Bologna, 133;
is dismissed, 134; 136

Last Judgment: _see_ Day of Judgment

the, motive from a gem, 13, note;
painted for the Duke of Ferrara but sent to France, 61, 202, 204, 214

Leghorn, 184

Leicester: the Earl of, his cartoon at Holkham, 125

Lenoir: M., purchases the Slaves for France, 227

Leo X.:
Pope, 4, 5, 10;
orders the façade of San Lorenzo, 51;
his fervour spent, 54, 78, 182-185;
death, 190

Leone Leoni:
the monument at Milan, 250;
his medal of the master, 252

Catherine de’ Medici, 251;
Duke of Camerino, 217;
Francesco Granacci, 149;
Lodovico, 111;
Pietro Roselli, 130;
Sebastiano, 185, 186, 187, 188, 205;
Tomaso del Cavalieri, 231.
From the master to,
Amanati, 238;
Buonarroto, 133, 134, 136, 137, 138, 139, 140, 141, 161, 162, 181;
Cardinal Carpi, 241;
Fattucci, 133, 143, 191, 193, 195, 199, 242;
Francis I., 232;
Giovansimone, 153;
Lionardo, his nephew, 246, 248, 254, 257;
Lodovico, 110-112, 135, 151, 156, 159, 164;
Lorenzo di’ Pierfrancesco, 23;
nephew of Pope Paul, 242;
Sebastiano, 197;
Spina, 194;
Topolino, 190;
Vasari, 245, 255.
From Diomede Leoni to Lionardo, 257;
from Tiberio Calcagni to Lionardo, 257

Library: Medici, ordered by Clement VII., 54, 197, 250

Libyan Sibyl, 174

Light separated from Darkness, Sistine Chapel, 170, 174, 176

Lignano: Antommaria, banks money for the Colossal Bronze, 40

Lionardo da Vinci, 116;
his cartoon, 124, 209, 327

Lionardo di Compago: saddle-maker, 184

nephew of the master, 104;
letters to, 246, 248, 254, 257;
marries Cassandra, 254;
receives news of the master’s illness, 257;
and death, 260;
orders Vasari to design the Tomb, 262

Lippi: Filippino, 116

Lodovico del Buono: founder, assists the master at Bologna, 133, 134

Lodorico di Leonardo Buonarroti Simoni,
father of the master, 5, 7, 11, 13, 15, 109;
letters to, 110, 111, 112, 135, 137, 151, 156, 159, 162, 164:
letter from, 111

Loggia dei Lanzi, 116, 129, 228

Loggia of the Vatican, 263, 292

Lorenzetto: worked from the cartoon, 127

Lorenzino: nicknamed Brutus, 250

San, the facade, 51, 183, 185;
obsequies of the master at, 262

Lorenzo: San, the pulpits of, 100, 103, 178

Loreto, 265

Lottino: Il, 85, 246

Louis XIII: 204

Louvre: the two Slaves, 116

a god of, in marble, made to imitate the antique, 21, 107;
a little, carved for Galli, 25, 107, 108

Lucan, 299

Lucca, 3

Lucrezia: second wife of Lodovico, 109

Luiz: Infanta D., 169

Madonna and Child: a bas-relief in the Casa Buonarroti, 104

Madonna and Child: marble statue, Bruges, 29

Madonna and Child: marble statue, New Sacristy, San Lorenzo, 59, 194, 215

Madonna and Child with Angela: National Gallery, from a cartoon by the
master, 157

Madonna and Child with St. John: marble tondo, Bargello, 121, 122

Madonna and Child with St. John: marble tondo, Diploma Gallery, 121, 122

Madonna and Child with St. Joseph: painted tondo, Ufflzi, 29, 122

Madonna della Pietà: of St. Peter’s 25, 26, 112, 113, 232, 234

Madonna: medallion at Genoa, 237

Maffei: the Most Reverend, 84

Malaspina: Lionardo, 85

Manfidi: Angelo, second herald, 116

Mantegna: Andrea, 290

Mantua, 3, 290

Mantua: Cardinal of, commends the Moses, 67

Mantua: the Marchesana, 22, 23

Marc Antonio Raimondi: his engraving of the Cartoon, 125

Marcello Venusti: his copy of the Day of Judgment, 253

Marcellus II.:
Pope, Cardinal Marcello Cervini, 244;
Pope, 245

Margarite: of Austria, 305

Mario Scappuci, 180; 181

Martin Schongauer: the master copies his engraving, 7, 97

Masaccio: study of, 105, 172

Maso del Bosco: carves the portrait of Julius II. for the Tomb, 226

Matilda: Countess, 3

Mattea da Lecce: Sistine Chapel, 167

Matthew: St., marble statue in the Court of the Academy, Florence, 74,
118, 228

Maturino: worked from the Cartoon, 127, 292

Maximilian: Emperor, 279

Medal: Leone’s, of the master, 252

Medici: Alessandro de’, 59, 60, 62, 201, 250, 305

Medici: Cardinal de’, _see_ Clement VII.

Medici: Cosimo de’ 51, 208

Medici: Cosimo de’, First Grand Duke of Tuscany, 104, 209

Medici Garden, 9, 99

Medici: House of, driven out of Florence, 18, 55, 201, 290

Lorenzo di Pier Francesco de’, 21, 23, 106;
letter to, 107

Lorenzo de’, the Magnificent, sees the master at work in his garden, 10,
takes him into his household, 12, 13;
death, 14, 105;
his ghost appears to Cardiere, 16, 17, 193, 194, 208, 211, 212

Medici: Pier de’, 15, 17

Medici rule, 215

Medici Tombs: in the New Sacristy of San Lorenzo, 58, 173, 203, 208, 250,

Melozzo da Forli: vault painting of, 131

Menichella: Domenico, 205, 206

Metauro, 193

Metello Vari: dei Porcari, 180, 181, 188

Michael Angelo:
claims descent from the House of Canossa, 3;
his ancestors, 4;
birth and horoscope, 5;
foster-mother and schoolmaster, 6;
first painting, 7, 97;
apprenticed to Ghirlandaio, 8, 97;
drawings, 8, 9, 98;
studies in the Medici Gardens under Bertoldo, 9, 99;
carves the head of a faun, 10, 11;
enters the House of Medici, 12, 102;
halcyon days with Lorenzo who presents him with a violet-coloured mantle,
12, note, 102;
incited by Poliziano, he carves the Rape of Deianira, 14, 103;
grief at the loss of his patron, 14;
the lost Hercules, 14, 105;
makes a snow-statue for Piero, 15;
studies anatomy at Santo Spirito and carves a crucifix in wood for the
Prior, 16;
fears of Cardiere, 17;
and flight to Bologna, 18;
the Angel of the Shrine of San Domenico, 19, 105;
returns to Florence, 21, 106;
the San Giovannino and the god of Love, 21, 22, 23, 106, 107;
first visit to Rome, 22, 107;
carves a Bacchus and a little Cupid, 24, 25, 107, 108;
and the Madonna della Pietà, 25, 112;
returns to Florence, 27, 28, 114-120;
the Madonna of Bruges, 29, 121;
the three Tondi, 29, 121-124;
the Cartoon of Pisa, 37, 38, 124-127;
summoned to Rome by Julius II., 29, 128;
who orders the Tomb, 30-34, 128-130;
marbles brought from Carrara, 30, 34, 128;
flight from Rome, 85, 36, 130;
works in Florence on the Cartoon, 37, 130;
joins Julius at Bologna, 39, 132;
the Colossal Bronze, 40, 133-142, 144, 145;
returns to Florence, 143;
but is summoned to Rome, 143;
to paint the vault of the Sistine Chapel, 41-49, 145-165;
descriptions of the vault, 42-46, 167-179;
death of Julius, 50, 146, 180;
proceeds with the Tomb, 51, 180-182;
but Leo X. orders a facade for San Lorenzo, 51;
quarries at Carrara and Pietra Santa, 52, 183, 185;
the facade abandoned, 54, 185;
the Library, 54;
the New Sacristy, 54, 186;
and the Medici Tombs, 68-60, 192-194, 208-216;
the Siege of Florence, the master made Commissary-General of
Fortifications, 55-58;
visits Ferrara, 60;
flight to Venice, 66;
return to duty, 57;
the fall of Florence, 67, 203;
the master in hiding, but he is allowed to return to work on the Tombs,
68, 203;
the Leda, 61, 62, 202;
the Risen Christ, 74, 180, 187, 188;
new agreement with the executors of Julius, 62-64, 194;
the master is called to Rome by Clement VII. and leaves Florence for the
last time, 62, 208;
the Day of Judgment, 64, 70, 71, 216-224;
Paul III. appoints the master chief architect, sculptor, and painter to
the Vatican, 216;
the Tomb of Julius erected in San Pietro ad Vincula, 67-69, 195, 224-227;
the frescoes in the Cappella Paolino, 73, 232;
the Pietà of S.M. del Fiore, 73, 234-237;
the cornice of the Farnese Palace, 238;
St. Peter’s, 238, 239, 246;
the Brutus, 249;
S.M. degli Angeli, 251;
a grand-nephew born, 265;
death of Urbino, 256, 256;
a visit to the country near Spoleto, 256;
illness, 268;
death, 258;
works left in his house, 259;
his body is deposited in SS. Apostoli, 260;
conveyed to Florence, 260;
and carried to Santa Croce, 261;
his imitators, 263;
character and endowments of the master, 77;
his love of all beautiful things, 87;
his abstemious life, 88;
generosity, 88, 264, 265;
a description of his person, 91;
and the colour of his hair and eyes, 92;
the master visits S. Silvester, 273;
and expresses his opinion of the quiet life of work, 276;
of painting in Flanders, 279;
on drawing, 295-297, 308-322;
on working quickly or slowly, 325;
on the value of paintings, 314;
on grotesque, 316;
and on devotional painting, 319.

Milan, 158, 250

Milliarini: Professor, discovers a statue, 108

Minerva: the church of S.M. Sopra, 74, 180, 181

Mini: Antonio, pupil of the master, 192, 204, 264

Mini: Paolo, 207

Miniato: San, fortifications, 55, 202, 203

Minighella, 264

Monciatto: woodcarver, 115

Montanto: Antonio, 184

Montelupo, 194

Montevarchi: Ser Giovanni di Guasparre, 151

Montevecchio; Cardinal, 63

Montorsoli, 194

Moscheroni: Flemish merchants, 29

Moses: marble statue, the Tomb of Julius, 33, 67, 68, 129, 167, 182, 225

Mother: of the Master, _see_ Francesca

Mould on the Vault, 46, 161

Mozza: Via, 184

Nanni di Baccio Bigio: his intrigues, 242, 244, 247

Naples: copy of the Day of Judgment, 253

National Gallery, 116, 157, 204, 265, 292, 330, 331

Neptune: proposed statue of Andrea Doria as, 190, 191

Nero, 275, 285

New Sacristy of San Lorenzo, 192, 208, 293

Nicholas V.: Pope, 34

Nicolo di Bari: the ark of San Domenico, 105

Nicolo: San, beyond Arno, 203

Night: marble statue, New Sacristy, 58, 194, 203, 204, 209, 213, 214, 293

Noah: the Sacrifice of, Sistine Chapel, 44, 45

Novella: S.M., the first art school of the master, 99

Oil painting; the master’s opinion of 217

Ollanda: _see_ Francesco

Onofrio: San, the master’s workshop at, 124

Operai: of the Duomo, 115, 120

Orcagna, 99

Orvieto, 221

Ottavio Farnese: the marriage of, 306

Ovid, 299

drawings at, anatomy students, 16;
after two destroyed frescoes, 166;
design for alterations at San Lorenzo, 198, 230

Padua, 290

Palla: Giovanni Battista della, 105

Paolina: Cappella, 224

Paolo Galli: owned the Bacchus and the little Cupid, 25

Paris: the Leda goes to, 204

Parma, 3, 291

Parmigiano, 291, 327

Paul: St., conversion of, fresco, 73, 101

Paul III.:
Pope, elected, 66;
visits the master, 67;
orders him to proceed with the Day of Judgment, 70, 73, 78, 80, 84;
appoints the master chief architect, 216;
his answer to Messer Biagio, 223;
orders the frescoes for his chapel, 224, 225, 237, 239;
death, 242, 248, 276, 314

Paul IV.: Pope, 223

Pavia: Cardinal of, 132, 141, 147

Penseroso: Il, 203

Perino del Vaga, 127, 238, 270, 291, 327

Perspective, 82

Perugino, 77, 166, 216

Peruzzi: Baldassari, 238, 240, 242, 292, 295, 327

Pesaro, 290

Pescara: Marchioness of, _see_ Colonna

Pesellino: studies from, 105

Peter: St., a blocked out statue, 259

Peter: St., crucifixion of, alfresco, 73

the church of St., new design for, 25, 33, 83;
plans altered to embrace the project of the Tomb, 129;
the master undertakes the works, 238, 243, 244, 245, 249, 259, 291, 292,

Petrarca, 19;
and Tuscan rhyme, 76

Petronilla: Santa, the Madonna della Pietà placed in the church of, 25,

Petronio: San, a marble statuette finished by the master, 105

Petronio: San, the master hears mass in the church of, 39

Phæton: a drawing, 231

Phidias, 156, 294

Piacenza: the ferry revenue goes to the master, 216

Piecolomini: Cardinal Francesco, orders fifteen statues, 114

Pico della Mirandola, 102

Pier Luigi: Gaeta, 247

Piero di Cosimo, 103, note, 116

Pierre Mariette: the fate of the Leda, 204

Pietà: a drawing, 259

Pietà: of S.M. del Fiore, 73, 233, 236, 262

Pietà: the Palazzo Rondini, 237

Pietà: Viterbo, by Sebastiano, 265

Pietà: _see_ Madonna della Pietà

Pietra: Santa, marble quarries, 52, 53, 183-185

Pietro Matteo d’Amelia, 150

Pietro: San, in Montorio, wall painting by Sebastiano, 101, 265, 292

Pietro: San, in Viticula, the Tomb of Julius II. set up, 67, 129, 182

Pietro: San, Maggiore, Florence, 260

Pietro Urbano: a workman, 133

Pietro Urbino, 187, 264

Pilote: goldsmith, 264

Pinti: Borgo, the master’s house in, 120

Pintoricchio: Bernardino, 166

Piombo: _see_ Sebastiano

fortifications, 202;
picture by Buggiardini, 158; 291

Pisa: _see_ Cartoon

Pisani: pulpits of the, 103

Pisano: Giovanni, 177

Pistoia: San Andrea at, 177; 264

Pitti: Bartolomineo, 121

Pius III.: Pope, _see_ Piccolomini.

Pius IV.:
Pope, elected, 245;
confirms the master in his office, 247, 250

Pius V.: injures the Day of Judgment, 228

Plato, 75, 87

Plutarch, 286, 326

the river, 193;
revenue of a ferry, 216

Poggibonsi, 35

Pole: Cardinal, a friend of the master, 84

Polidoro, 292, 327

Poliziano: recognises the master’s lofty spirit, 13, 102, 103

Pollaiuolo: Salvestro del, nephew of Antonio, 139

Pollaiuolo: Simone il, 131

Polvaccio: Roman quarry, 187

Pompey, 286, 310

Ponte: Maestro Bernardo dal, helps to cast the Colossal Bronze, 136, 139

Ponte Rotto, 245

Pontormo: Il, 127, 264

Porta del Popolo, 251

Porta Pia, 251

Portraits of the master, 252, 263

Praxiteles, 294

Prophets: Sistine Chapel, 42, 45, 164, 166-170, 176-178, 211

Protogenes, 325

Psyche: the Story of, by Raphael, 292

Pulci: Luigi, 102

Raffaellino: offers to come as assistant, 149

Raffaello da Monte Lupo:
his autobiography, 121;
the Madonna for the Tomb of Julius, 224-226

Raising of Lazarus: by Sebastiano, the master’s design for, 265

da Urbino, proposed by the master as painter of the Sistine, 41, 47;
studies the style of the master, 77;
he is praised by the master, 89;
his painting of Doni, 122;
studied the Cartoon, 126;
his manner with his assistants, 155;
the proposition of Bramante, 164;
cartoons for tapestry, 167;
his composition of the Sacrifice of Noah, 173;
Sibyls at S.M. della Pace, 177;
a putto, 178, 197, 221, 238, 240, 242, 256, 263, 271, 292

Ravenna, 184

Realdo: physician, 91

Redemptions of Israel, 166, 169, 178

Reggio, 3

Rembrandt, 172, 224

Reynel: King of France, 293

Riccio: Luigi del, nurses the master when ill, 227

the vault finished, 165;
the facade of San Lorenzo abandoned, 185;
marbles for the sacristy, 187; 192;
Gondi hides goods in the New Sacristy, 201

Ridolfi: Cardinal, 85

Ridolfo Pio of Carpi:
Cardinal, letter to, 241;
the Brutus for, 249

Ridolfo: _see_ Ghirlandaio

Rimini: a post on the Chancery bestowed on the master, 216

Risen Christ: _see_ Christ

Robertet: Florimond, secretary, receives the bronze David, 119, 120

Rocco: a San, drawn for Minighella, 264

Rondini: Palazzo, Pietà in, 237

Rontini: Baccio, cures the master from the effects of his fall, 219

Romans: claim him as a citizen, 260

the master’s first visit, 29, 30 37, 41, 107, 109, 111, 121, 128 130, 184,
the sack of, 200, 205;
the master returns finally, 216, 237, 240, 246, 247, 253, 256, 260, 270,
291, 305, 314

Rosselli: Cosimo, 116, 166

Rosselli: Piero di Jacopo, plasters the vault, 149

Rosselli: Pietro, letter to the master, 130

Rosselmini: Count Guarlandi, 106

Rosso: II, worked from the Cartoon, 127

Rovere: _see_ Julius II.

Rovezzano: Benedetto da, 119

Rovano: Cardinal, _see_ Dionigi

Royal Academy: _see_ Diploma Gallery

Rucellai: recommendation to, 24

Ruffilni: Alessandro, groom of the Chamber, 83

Sacrarium: at San Lorenzo, design, 198

Sacrifice of Noah, 172, 173

Sacristy of San Lorenzo: _see_ Medici Tombs

Sack of Rome, 200, 205

Salt-cellar: design for, 217

Salvestro da Montanto, 226

Salvestro: jeweller, 116

Salviati: Alamano, 30

Salviati: Cardinal, 244

Salviati: Cecchino, rescues fragments of the arm of the David, 117

Salviati: Michael Angelo, father of Cecchino, 117

Salviati: Jacopo, 192

Sanazzaro, 76

Sangallo; Antonio da, 34, 47, 85, 116, 237, 238, 240-242, 259

Sangallo: Aristotele, assistant, 151

Sangallo: Ginliano da, 116, 141

San Gallo: Porta, 200

Sansovino: Andrea del Monte a, 27

Sansovino: Jacopo, 263

Santa Croce: Cardinal, 84

Santa Croce: Florence, 253, 260-262

Santarelli: sculptor, discovers a statue, 108

Santiquattro: Cardinal, 61, 52

Sarto: _see_ Andrea

the master’s affection for, 87;
his sermons, 106

designed by the master, 82;
drawing of, 98;
fall from, 218

Schongauer: _see_ Martin Scipio, 84

Scourging of Christ: drawn for Sebastiano, 101, 265

Sebastiano del Piombo, 101:
a walk in Rome, 121;
letters from, 185, 187, 188, 205;
portrait of Doria, 191;
letter to, 197;
prepares the wall for the Day of Judgment, 217, 231, 238, 253, note;
his genial humour, 264;
designs for, 265, 292, 314, 327

Setta Sangallesca, 237, 242-245

Settignano: the master nursed at, 6

Sibyls, 42, 45, 164, 166-170, 176-178;
by Raphael, 177

Siege of Florence, 201, 205

Siena, 273, 292, 327

Sigismondo: a brother, 109

Luca, pictures in the Uffizi, 123;
and Sistine Chapel, 166;
slight influence of, 123, 124

Silvester: San, at Monte Cavallo, 271-327

Simone da Canossa: ancestor, 4, 6

Sin of Ham, 164, 170, 174, 179

Sistine Chapel, 41-49, 167-180, 210

Sixtus IV.: Pope, 41

Slaves: the two, marble statues, given to Strozzi, 89, 129, 116; 182, 216,
225, 227

Snow: a statue in, 15

Socrates, 87

Soderini: Cardinal, 39

Pier, Gonfaloniere, 28, 36,  37, 96, 97;
his criticism of the David, 118, 132

Solari: Cristoforo, Il Gobbo, 113

Spain, 200, 312, 313

Spanish Chapel, 99

Spedalingo: head of the hospital of S.M. Nuova, 157, 181, 182

Giovanni, to pay a provision to the master, 192;
letter to, 194

Spirito: Santo, a crucifix for, 16

Spoleto, 256

Staccoli: Hieronimo, his letter to the Duke of Camerino, 217

Stairway to the Library, 250

Stanze: of the Vatican, 263, 270, 271, 292

Stefano: di Tomaso, 191, 192

Strozzi: Filippo, a sword hilt given to, 136

Strozzi: Giovan Battista, verses on the Night, 218

Strozzi: Lorenzo, 161

Strozzi Palace: the Hercules there until the siege, 105

Strozzi: Roberto, Slaves given to, 88, 89, 227

Stufa: Luigi della, a colossus to spoil the front of his palace, 198, 199

Sword-hilt: designed for Aldobrandini but given to Strozzi, 186

Tapestry: Raphael’s cartoons for, 167

Tasio: wood-carver, 197

Taro: river, 193

Tè: Palazzo del, 263

Teridade: King, 294

Terribilità: the master’s, 101, 117

Teyler Museum: Haarlem, 253

Tiber, 193

Tiberio Calcagni, 249;
letter to Lionardo, 257, 258

Ticino: river, 193

Titian: his later work, 230, 290, 327

Tityos: drawing, 231

Tolemei: Claudio, 85

Tomaso: _see_ Cavalieri

Tomaso: of Prato, attorney, 62

Tomb of Julius:
first design, 30-33, 128, 129;
description, 67;
moneys received for, 69, 183, 186;
the master’s desire to complete it, 191;
and trouble concerning it, 194, 205, 207

Tondi: _see_ Madonna and Child

Topolino: Domenico Fancelli, letter to, 190; 264

strikes the master, 91;
his history, 92;
a St. Francis by, 114

Tribolo: studied the Cartoon, 127

Trinità de’ Monti, 253

Tromboncini: Bartolomeo, music to the madrigals, 207

Turk: The Grand, invites the master, 37, 78

Florence, the painted tondo, 29, 122;
the dancing Faun, 175;
Signorelli’s pictures 123;
drawings, 193

Urbino: Francesco, 255, 256, 273, 314

Francesco Maria, Duke of, finds fault with the slow progress of the Tomb
of Julius II., 55, 62-64;
Paul III. arranges a new contract, 67, 69, 207;
final contract, 225, 226, 290

Urbino: the master thinks of retiring to, 66

Urbino: the Palace of the Duke, 290

Valdarno, 264

Valori: Baccio, the Apollo presented to, 205, 207

Valentino: Duke, sends the god of Love to Mantua, 22, 23

Valerio Cioli, 262

Valerio de Vincença, 270

Valpaio: Benvenuto, 207

Valuation of works of art, 314

Vansitelli, 251

Lectures and criticisms on the sonnets, 86;
oration, 262

Vari: _see_ Metello

Giorgio, his famous book, 92, 97, 98;
preserves the broken fragments of the arm of the David, 117;
the story of the Gonfaloniere, 118;
the St. Matthew, 120;
the tondi, 121, 122;
the Cartoon, 126;
seventeen statues for the Tomb of Julius completed, 130;
a list of assistants, 150, 151;
his fable of the vault, 158, 163;
the Apollo, 204;
he completes the works at San Lorenzo, 209, 211;
how Sebastiano prepared the wall, 217;
the master’s fall, 218;
the Day of Judgment, 222;
the Cappella Paolino, 232;
he sees the master working at night, 235;
a Pietà, 237;
the cornice, 238;
St. Peter’s, 241;
plots, 243;
the bridge of Nanni, 245;
the church for the Florentines in Rome, 249;
the medal of Leone, 252;
he holds another Buonarroto at the font, 255;
a letter to, referring to the death of Urbino, 255, 256;
the master’s will, 269;
he receives the master’s body in Florence, 260;
and describes the opening of the coffin in Santa Croce, 261;
and the obsequies at San Lorenzo, 262;
he designs the Tomb, 262;
and enumerates the pupils, 263

Vauban: studies the fortifications at San Miniato, 203

of the Sistine Chapel, 41-49;
works begun, 149;
painting begins, 151;
assistants dismissed, 156;
mould on the fresco, 161;
exposed to view, 163;
finished, 165;
a description, 167-179, 291

Palazzo, 116;
cartoon for, 124;
Bandinelli’s Hercules and Cacus, 204

the master invited to, 78;
flees to, 202;
Sebastiano refers to, 206, 290, 327

Venusti: _see_ Marcello

Victory: the, a marble statue in the Bargello, 129, 228

Vincenzo: _see_ Borghini

Vinci: _see_ Lionardo

San Pietro in, Bramante’s work needs support, 32;
the Moses placed in, 33
Virgil, 76, 298, 303

Vitelli: Alessandro, 60

Vittoria Colonna visits, 85, 240;
the Pietà by Sebastiano, 265

Vitruvius, 237

Vittoria: _see_ Colonna

Volterra: Cardinal, letter from Soderini to, 132

Volterra: _see_ Daniele

Windsor: drawings, 230

Works of art in the house of the master when he died, 259

Zanobi: Via San, 184

Zanobi: Mona, land near her estate, 135

Zapata: Diogo, 289

Zeuxis, 315


London & Edinburgh

    1 For convenience of reference the chapters in the two parts are
      divided so as to cover the same periods of time in the life of the

    2 Count Alessandro da Canossa acknowledged relationship to Michael
      Angelo in a letter, dated October 4, 1520 (Gotti, i. 4), addressing
      the master as "honoured kinsman," but the relationship cannot now be
      proved. The ancestors of Michael Angelo have been traced to one
      Bernardo who died before the year 1228, and they played their part
      as citizens of Florence, no mean city, for more than two hundred
      years—a noble pedigree even for Michael Angelo.

    3 A paid magistrate or mayor, generally from a neighbouring town or
      country and not a citizen of the place where he was on duty.

    4 Caprese is made up of scattered hamlets and farmhouses near Arezzo,
      upon the watershed between the Tiber and the Arno.

    5 Upon March 6, 1475, according to our present reckoning, Lodovico
      wrote in his note-book:

      "I record that on this day, March 6, 1474, a male child was born to
      me. I gave him the name of Michael Angelo, and he was born on a
      Monday morning four or five hours before daybreak, and he was born
      while I was Podestà of Caprese, and he was born at Caprese; and the
      godfathers were those I have named below. He was baptized on the
      eighth of the same month in the Church of San Giovanni at Caprese."
      Then follow the godfathers; there are ten of them.

    6 Maestro Francesco only taught Michael Angelo to read and write in
      the vulgar tongue, for his pupil complained in after life that he
      knew no Latin; this was not Francesco’s fault, for his pupil soon
      followed his friend’s—another Francesco—influence and neglected
      literature for the art that made him famous.

    7 Ghirlandaio, born 1449, died 1494.

    8 Martin Schongauer, born at Colmar about 1450, died 1488.

    9 When Michael Angelo was thirteen years old Lodovico gave in to his
      wishes and apprenticed him to Domenico Ghirlandajo (he was called
      Ghirlandajo because as a goldsmith he had made garlands of golden
      leaves for the brows of the Florentine ladies) upon the unusual
      terms set forth in the following minute from Domenico’s ledger under
      the date 1488:

      "I record this first of April how that I, Lodovico di Lionardo di
      Buonarrota, bind my son Michael Angelo to Domenico and Davit di
      Tommaso di Currado for the next three ensuing years, under these
      conditions and contracts: to wit that the said Michael Angelo shall
      stay with the above-named masters during this time, to learn the art
      of painting, and to practise the same, and to be at the order of the
      above-named; and they for their part, shall give him in the course
      of these three years twenty-four florins (fiorini di Sagello, _£_8
      12_s._); to wit, six florins in the first year, eight in the second,
      ten in the third, making in all the sum of ninety-six pounds

      A note of April 16, 1488, records that two florins were paid to
      Michael Angelo upon that day. The total sum is estimated by Gotti
      (p. 6, note) to equal 206.40 lira present value—about _£_8 12_s._ It
      was usual for apprentices to pay a sum to their masters rather than
      to be paid.

   10 Drawings, even by old masters, were of no pecuniary value in those
      days; they were merely kept for use in the workshop. The fashion of
      collecting drawings for their own sake was invented by Giorgio
      Vasari some sixty years later.

   11 There is a mask of a grinning faun to be seen in the Bargello at
      Florence, attributed to Michael Angelo and said to be this his first
      work in sculpture. It does not correspond with either the account of
      Vasari or of Condivi; it is a poor and ugly piece of work, and shows
      no sign whatever of the early style of Michael Angelo, but is more
      likely a work of a later period by some one who had seen the mask
      under the left arm of "The Night" on the tomb of Lorenzo at San

   12 "During this time Michael Angelo received from the Magnifico an
      allowance of five ducats per month, and was furthermore presented
      for his gratification with a violet-coloured mantle. But, indeed,
      all the young men who studied in the gardens received stipends of
      greater or less amount from the liberality of that Magnificent and
      most noble citizen, being constantly encouraged and rewarded by him
      whilst he lived." (Vasari.)

   13 Many motives from antique gems may be traced in the art of Michael
      Angelo, such as the Judith and her maid, some of the athletes the
      Leda, and even the Adam.

   14 Lorenzo died upon the eighth day of April, 1492.

   15 Equal to-day to 20.60 lire—about seventeen shillings.

   16 Nineteen and a quarter inches according to the measurements of Heath
      Wilson ("Michael Angelo and his Works," p. 17, ed. 1881). This
      relief is in the Casa Buonarroti, Florence.

   17 We have no record of this work, and its whereabouts is not known.

   18 The boy, Michael Angelo, probably enjoyed this frolic and its
      attendant festivities as much as Piero, he could not have done much
      other work in the dungeon-like studios of Florence in such cold
      weather. This incident has been regarded as an insult to the artist
      and a sign of Piero’s want of taste. Michael Angelo cannot have felt
      aggrieved as he stayed on at the palace. Condivi relates that he
      remained "some months." Piero should rather be blamed for not
      employing his artist guest upon some more lasting work also.

   19 Nothing is known as to the fate of this work, it is not now in the

   20 Vasari states that Michael Angelo devoted much time to the study of
      anatomy. "For the church of Santo Spirito, in Florence, Michael
      Angelo made a crucifix in wood, which is placed over the lunette of
      the high altar. This he did to please the Prior, who had given him a
      room wherein he dissected many dead bodies, zealously studying
      anatomy." (Vasari.)

      A pen drawing at Oxford shows us two students studying anatomy at
      night; the body of the subject supports the torch; one student holds
      a pair of compasses in his right hand for measuring the proportions.

   21 Michael Angelo left Bologna hastily under fear of personal violence
      from the sculptors and native craftsmen, who said he was taking the
      bread out of their mouths, rather a strong compliment to a boy of

   22 The dealer Baldassari del Milanese paid Michael Angelo thirty ducats
      for this work, and sold it to Raffaello Riario, Cardinal di San
      Giorgio, as an antique for two hundred ducats, an evidence, not of
      the Cardinal’s foolishness, but of Michael Angelo’s careful study of
      the antique.

   23 The Cardinal S. Giorgio made Messer Baldassari refund the two
      hundred ducats and take the Cupid back, so Michael Angelo got
      nothing for his journey. Cesare Borgia presented this Cupid to
      Guidobaldo di Montefeltro, Duke of Urbino. After Cesare Borgia
      sacked the town of Urbino in 1592 he sent the Cupid to the
      Marchioness of Mantua, who wrote on July 22, 1592, describing the
      Cupid as "without a peer among the works of modern times." There is
      a sleeping Cupid at Mantua in the Museo Civico, but it is not by
      Michael Angelo. Signor Fabriczy holds that a Cupid preserved in the
      museum at Turin may be Michael Angelo’s original work, but the
      translator has not seen it.

   24 Michael Angelo arrived in Rome for the first time at the end of June
      1496, and wrote in July to Lorenzo di’ Pier Francesco de’ Medici.
      The letter bears a superscription to Sandro Botticelli; historians
      presume from this that it was not safe to write openly to any of the

                                                   "2nd day of July, 1496.

      "Magnificent Lorenzo,—I only write to inform you that last Saturday
      we arrived safely, and went at once to visit the Cardinal di San
      Giorgio; and I presented your letter to him. It appeared to me that
      he was pleased to see me, and he expressed a wish that I should go
      immediately to inspect his collection of statues. I spent the whole
      day there, and for that reason was unable to deliver all your
      letters. On Sunday the Cardinal came into the new house, and had me
      sent for. I went to him, and he asked me what I thought about the
      things I had seen. I replied by stating my opinion, and certainly I
      can say with sincerity that there are many fine things in the
      collection. Then he asked me if I had the courage to make some
      beautiful work. I answered that I should not be able to achieve
      anything so great, but that he should see what I could do. We have
      bought a piece of marble for a life size statue, and on Monday I
      shall begin to work. On Monday last I presented your other letter of
      recommendation to Rucellai, who offered me what money I might want;
      also those to Cavalcanti. Afterwards I gave your letter to
      Baldassare, and asked him for the child (the sleeping Cupid), saying
      I was ready to refund his money. He answered very roughly, swearing
      he would rather break it in a hundred pieces; he had bought the
      child and it was his property; he possessed writing which proved
      that he had satisfied the person who sent it to him, and was under
      no apprehension that he should have to give it up. Then he
      complained bitterly of you, saying that you had spoken ill of him.
      Certain of our Florentines sought to accommodate matters, but failed
      in their attempt. Now I look to coming to terms through the
      Cardinal; for this is the advice of Baldassare Balducci. What ensues
      I will report to you. No more by this. To you I recommend myself.
      May God keep you from evil.

                                                 "Michael Angelo, in Rome.

                                      "To Sandro Botticelli, at Florence."

                                                          (Gotti, ii. 32.)

   25 This ugly, but marvellously-finished statue is now in the western
      corridor of the Uffizi, in Florence. See p. 107.

   26 See p. 108.

   27 The work is now in the first chapel on the right in the nave of the
      Basilica of Saint Peter’s.

   28 Now in the Accademia delle Belle Arti of Florence, where it was
      placed for its better preservation in 1831.

   29 The Office of Works.

   30 Documents, copies of which are to be found in "Gaye," vol. ii. pp.
      454-464, go to prove that this sculptor was Agostino di Antonio di
      Duccio, who was born in 1418 and died in 1481. He was the author of
      the relief illustrating the life of S. Gemignano upon the façade of
      the Duomo at Modena, and some of the beautiful and delicate marble
      reliefs set in the polychromatic front of the Oratory of S.
      Bernardino at Perugia, and the fairy-like low relief (bassissimi
      rilievi) panels that decorate the interior of the temple of
      Malatesta at Rimini.

   31 The Madonna and Child in the church of Notre Dame at Bruges,
      identified as this work, is in marble. Vasari also states that the
      work for the Moscheroni, Merchants of Bruges, was a bronze, but both
      accounts were written fifty years after the event. Albert Dürer saw
      this work in the church and mentions it as a marble statue in his
      "Netherlands Diary," 1520-21.

   32 Now in the Tribuna of the Uffizi, Florence.

   33 Michael Angelo received payment for the cartoon probably in Florence
      on February the 28th, 1505 ("Gaye," ii., p. 93), and he went to
      Carrara in April of that year, so the delay was only two months, a
      short enough time to prepare his great design.

   34 The right bank of the Tiber below Rome. On the opposite shore is the
      Marmorata, where blocks of marble were unloaded in the times of the
      ancient Romans; some are there to this day.

   35 The covered way from the Vatican to the Castle of Saint Angelo.

   36 Heath Wilson estimates the area it would have covered as 34-1/2 ft.
      by 23 ft. (p. 74).

   37 Michael Angelo fled from Rome during the week after Easter, 1506. He
      relates the circumstances in a letter of October 1542, No. c. d.
      xxxv. "Le Lettere p. 489," which corroborates Condivi’s story word
      for word, and is another proof of the autobiographical nature of
      these memoirs.

   38 No fragments of this cartoon remain; perhaps the best copy is that
      in possession of the Earl of Leicester at Holkham Hall. See also p.

   39 Like the good Catholic he was, he went to hear mass as soon as he
      had completed his journey; he always behaved as a good son of the

   40 This composition is generally known as the "Sacrifice of Noah," see
      p. 172. Condivi evidently did not refer these descriptions to the
      master, they are so full of curious individualities of his own.

   41 That is the picture right.

   42 The picture right, _i.e._, the spectator’s left.

   43 "To bloom," as a painter of to-day would say.

   44 See p. 163.

   45 See pp. 147-165 and 183. The first half may be estimated to have
      taken eight months and a few days, and the second half from January
      1510 to October 1512, with intervals for journeys to Florence, to
      Bologna, and other interruptions.

   46 That is professional assistance by artists or pupils. Workmen were
      employed to plaster each day’s section of work, writers to do the
      lettering, and even decorative workmen for architectural details.

   47 These quarries are in the Alpi Apuane near Viareggio, we are
      informed by a modern Florentine sculptor that this marble is of
      excellent quality.

   48 See pp. 183-185.

   49 This column was still lying in the Piazza of San Lorenzo in 1888; it
      has now been removed.

   50 Michael Angelo’s love for Lorenzo the Magnificent never abated, and
      these tombs may be regarded as a tribute to his early patron’s
      memory. He worked upon them in secret during the siege itself.

   51 Condivi had not seen this sacristy and described it merely from the
      fragmentary recollections of the master.

   52 Possibly in the Duke’s collection there may have been an antique gem
      engraved with the story of Leda which influenced Michael Angelo in
      his choice of this classical subject for the picture he painted for
      the Duke.

   53 The best version of this picture is in one the offices of the
      National Gallery, London; it is probably the much restored original
      which was supposed to have been destroyed by order of M. Desnoyers.
      See p. 204.

   54 Francis I.

   55 Afterwards Cardinal Pole, Papal Legate in the time of King Henry
      VIII. and Queen Mary I., born at Stourton Castle, Staffordshire,
      1500; died November 18, 1558.

   56 The Slaves, now in the Louvre, Paris.

   57 The ox, in Italian banter, appears to have taken the position of the
      ass with us in England, as a dull, heavy beast, a fool. Michael
      Angelo’s answer was, as it were: "It is according to the asses you
      mean; if it be these asses of Bolognese doubtless they are much
      bigger; if ours of Florence they are much smaller. You are bigger
      asses in Bologna than we are in Florence."

   58 Piero Torrigiano gave his version of the affair to Benvenuto Cellini
      long afterwards: "This Buonarroti and I used, when we were boys, to
      go into the Church of the Carmine to learn drawing from the Chapel
      of Masaccio. It was Buonarroti’s habit to banter all who were
      drawing there, and one day, when he was annoying me, I got more
      angry than usual, and, clenching my fist, I gave him such a blow on
      the nose that I felt bone and cartilage go down like biscuit beneath
      my knuckles; and this mark of mine he will carry with him to his
      grave." Cellini adds—"These words begat in me such hatred of the man
      since I was always gazing at the masterpieces of the divine Michael
      Angelo, that, although I felt a wish to go with him to England, I
      now could never bear the sight of him."

      Torrigiano worked for Henry VIII. of England in Henry VII. chapel,
      Westminster, and at Hampton Court. Afterwards he went to Spain and
      came to a bad end there, as Condivi says. He died in the prisons of
      the Inquisition, he had been condemned for destroying a figure of
      the Madonna of his own carving; his patron paid him insufficiently,
      so he went to the house, hammer in hand, and destroyed the statue,
      with this unfortunate result. He starved himself to death in prison
      as a worse fate awaited him. See Vasari.

   59 Can this refer to the Second Edition of "The Lives of the Painters,
      Sculptors, and Architects," by the kindly Giorgio Vasari?

   60 --_The Temptation of Saint Anthony_, from the engraving by Martin

   61 Ghirlandaio.

   62 There is a drawing in the Louvre of a faun’s head, in pen and ink,
      by Michael Angelo, over a red chalk drawing by an inferior hand. It
      does not appear to be this drawing mentioned by Vasari, but a
      caprice possibly of the same period, in which the master has
      undertaken to draw a head with a pen, in which the projections and
      indentations of the profile shall contradict the outline of the
      conventional red chalk drawing below.

   63 Vasari tells us that one of these pulpits had not been placed in its
      position in the church even when Michael Angelo’s funeral service
      was held there in 1564, so it is quite likely that it was still in
      the workshop in 1489.

   64 That is the Hellenic work of the degenerate Greeks in Italy: all
      that was to be seen in his day.

   65 Page 10.

   66 All the works of Michael Angelo, whether sculpture, painting, or
      drawing partake of the nature of bas-relief, that old Tuscan art
      developed to such good purpose by the Florentines. The marks of his
      chisel hatch out the forms and develop the planes just as the
      parallel strokes of his pen cut out the reliefs of his drawings from
      the paper. His method of sculpture in the round was that of a carver
      of bas-reliefs. He gradually cut away the background more and more
      until the relief was actually the highest relief possible, the
      round. Every piece of sculpture Michael Angelo executed is the
      better for a background, whether niche or wall, for they all partake
      of this bas-relief nature; and his paintings and drawings may every
      one of them be thought of as bas-reliefs, and so it is with all the
      works of the Florentines, his contemporaries and predecessors. Space
      and distance never entered into their calculations before the time
      of Piero di Cosimo and his pupil Andrea del Sarto, and even then
      with but indifferent results. They were all content with the flat
      bas-relief effects familiar to them in the gates of the Baptistry
      and the jewel-like decorations of the Campanile. Their favourite
      problem was the expression of force by form, and no art was so
      useful for that purpose as bas-relief, because of its fixed main
      lines of composition and its absolute power of expressing the detail
      of the action of muscle and bone.

   67 Leonardo may have shown it to Vasari also as an early work of the
      master’s; Condivi does not mention it.

   68 The cast of an angel from this shrine at the Victoria and Albert
      Museum, South Kensington, is not from the one carved by Michael
      Angelo, nor is it of his school as the label states; it is probably
      by Nicolo del Arca. Michael Angelo’s figure is the companion angel
      on the other side of the altar.

   69 See p. 21.

   70 Probably because it was dangerous to write to any member of the
      Medici family. It proves to us that Michael Angelo and Sandro
      Botticelli were on confidential terms.

   71 See p. 24.

   72 See p. 25.

   73 Vol. i. p. 22.

   74 The "Monte di Pietà" is a savings-bank and pawn-broker’s,
      established by the state or city.

   75 Le Lettere, ii. p. 4.

   76 Gotti, ii. p. 33 (Archivio Buonarroti).

   77 Nine cubits = 5.31 metres, or 13 feet 6 inches.

   78 Agostino di Duccio.

   79 Gotti estimates six golden florins at 57.60 francs, or about _£2

   80 S.C. 1504. See "Le Lettere," &c., p. 620.

   81 A contemporary account, Gotti, vol. i. p. 29.

   82 Firenze: Le Monnier, 1857, p. 197.

   83 Perkins "Tuscan Sculptors," vol. ii. p. 74.

   84 This reason given by Vasari for the use of various mediums is just
      the sort of reason he would have had himself for using them. Michael
      Angelo merely used different materials because it was the best way
      of getting the different effects he wanted, or, sometimes possibly,
      because they happened to be handy.

   85 We know how difficult it is to get facts about the works done a few
      decades ago, even though the artists be still living; for instance,
      how little we know of the cartoon competition held in Westminster
      Hall in 1843, or the fresco of Justice painted by Mr. G.F. Watts,
      R.A., in the New Hall of Lincoln’s Inn.

   86 Gotti, i. p. 46 (in the Archivio Buonarroti).

   87 Gaye, vol. ii. pp. 83, 84, 85, 91, 93, gives all the correspondence.

   88 Lettere, No. ccclxxxiii.

   89 About fourteen feet, that is to say, at least three times the size
      of life, as it was a sitting figure.

   90 Lettere, No. xlviii. p. 61 (in the British Museum).

   91 Le Lettere, No. 1. p. 65 (in the Archivio Buonarroti).

   92 That is, Dame Zanobia.

   93 Le Lettere, No. iv. p. 8 (in the British Museum).

   94 We should like to see it; we have nothing of Michael Angelo’s which
      can help us to imagine what this work was like.

   95 Le Lettere, No. lx. p. 76 (in the British Museum).

   96 Le Lettere, No. lxii. p. 78 (in the Archivio Buonarroti).

   97 Le Lettere, No. lxiii. p. 79 (in the British Museum).

   98 Le Lettere, No. lxiv. p. 80 (in the Archivio Buonarroto).

   99 Nephew of Antonio del Pollaiuolo.

  100 Le Lettere, No. lxv. p. 81 (in the Archivio Buonarroto).

  101 Le Lettere, No. lxxii. p. 88 (in the British Museum).

  102 Le Lettere, No. lxxv. p. 91 (in the Archivio Buonarroti).

  103 Lettere, No. ccclxxxiii. p. 426 (in the Archivio Buonarroti).

  104 Le Lettere, No. c. (Ricordi) p. 563 (in the British Museum).

  105 In the Buonarroti Archives; quoted by Heath Wilson, p. 123.

  106 ._Ibid._ p. 124.

  107 Le Lettere, No. vii. p. 13 (in the British Museum).

  108 The head of the hospital of Santa Maria Nuova in Florence, where
      Michael Angelo banked his money.

  109 L’Indaco.

  110 Le Lettere, No. x. p. 17 (in the British Museum).

  111 Le Lettere xvii. p. 27 (in the British Museum).

  112 Lorenzo Strozzi, to whose wool-shop Buonarroto went.

  113 Lettere, No. lxxx. p. 97 (in the British Museum).

  114 Lettere, No. lxxxi. p. 98 (in the British Museum).

  115 Albertini, _Mirabilia Urbis_, quoted by Grimm vol. i. p. 523.
      Albertini’s words are _pars testudinea superior_.

  116 Director of the hospital of Santa Maria Nuova, where Michael Angelo
      banked his money.

  117 Le Lettere, No. xxi. p. 31 (in the British Museum).

  118 J.A. Symonds. "The Sonnets of Michael Angelo and Campanella," No.
      lvi. p. 90.

  119 Milanesi Lettere, Contratti, &c., xiv. p. 641.

  120 The director of the hospital where Michael Angelo banked his money.

  121 Milanese, Le Lettere, No. xcvii. p. 115.

  122 Michael Angelo wrote a postscript to letter No. cxvi.: "Oh, cursed a
      thousand times the day and hour when I left Carrara! This is the
      cause of my utter ruin. But I shall go back there soon. Nowadays it
      is a sin to do one’s duty."

  123 Milanese. Ricordi, &c., p. 581.

  124 Milanese. "Les Correspondants de Michel Ange," p. 24.

  125 ._Ibid._ p. 24.

  126 The letters of Vari are in the Buonarroti Archives, Cod. xi., No.
      740-761; Symonds, vol. i. p. 362.

  127 Le Lettere, No. ccclxxx., p. 423 (in the Archivio Buonarroti).

  128 Le Lettere, No. xliv., p. 55 (in the British Museum).

  129 Le Lettere, No. cccxc. p. 437. Milanese dates this letter August 8,
      1524. Michael Angelo to Giovanni Spina; he signs it "at San

  130 Several are by the hand of Michael Angelo, but some are done in the
      mannered style of the architectural draughtsman of the period, and
      suggest a Florentine assistant.

  131 Gotti, i. 158

  132 Lettere, Nos. cd. and cdii. pp. 450, 453.

  133 Le Lettere, No. cccxciv. p. 442 (in the Archivio Buonarroti).

  134 Le Lettere, No. cd. p. 450 (in the Archivio Buonarroti).

  135 Le Lettere, No. cccxcvii. p. 446 (in the Archivio Buonarroti).

  136 Surnamed Dini; he fell in the sack of Rome.

  137 Le Lettere, No. cccxcix. p. 448 (in the Archivio Buonarroti).

  138 The gate called San Gallo, which remained open until daylight.

  139 Vol. i. p. 207.

  140 Gotti, i. 199. San Nicolo is a little church on the way to San
      Miniato; the tower forms the foreground in the view from the top of
      the hill.

  141 See p. 61.

  142 The letter is in Gaye, ii. 229.

  143 Any one who has spent a winter day drawing there will confirm Paolo
      in this statement.

  144 "Correspondants," pp. 108-112.

  145 Vol. ii. pp. 89, 122.

  146 In the Archivio Buonarroti, Codici xi. No. 765; Bottari, Lettere
      Pittoriche, vol. iii. pp. 78-84; and Symonds, vol. ii. p. 25.

  147 See p. 66.

  148 Gotti, ii. p. 123.

  149 Gotti, ii. p. 125.

  150 See Gaye, iv. 289-309, and "Lettere," &c., pp. 709-712.

  151 Lettere, No. cdxxxiii., dated July 20.

  152 Lettere, p. 715.

  153 Lettere, No. cdxlv. p. 505 (in the "Biblioteca Nazionale,"

  154 Bottari, Lett. pitt. iii. 796.

  155 Heath Wilson, p. 449.

  156 Archivio Buonarroti, Cod. vii.

  157 Le Lettere, No. cdlix. p. 519 (in the Archivio Buonarroti).

  158 "The Sonnets of Michael Angelo." By J.A. Symonds. No. lxv.

  159 Le Lettere, No. cdlxxiv. p. 535, written in 1555 (in the Archivio

  160 If the traveller has no luggage, or has sent it on before, he can
      walk from the Trastevere station, past the Ponte Rotto, past the
      Temple of Janus to the Forum, and see Rome for the first time so.

  161 Le Lettere, No. cdxc., under date 1560, p. 554 (in the Archivio

  162 Gotti, i. 309.

  163 Le Lettere, No. ccxxxi. (December 21st), p. 260 (in the British

  164 Le Lettere, No. cdlxvi. (October 1549), p. 527 (in the Archivio

  165 Gotti, i. 311.

  166 Le Lettere, No. cdlxxv. p. 537 (in the Archivio Buonarroti).

  167 Le Lettere, No. cccii., dated February 13, 1557, p. 333 (in the
      Archivio Buonarroti).

  168 Le Lettere, No. cdxciv. p. 558 (in the Archivio Buonarroti).

  169 Le Lettere, No. cccxiv., dated July 15, 1559, p. 345 (in the
      Archivio Buonarroti).

  170 Le Lettere, Nos, cdlxxxv., cdlxxxvi. pp. 548, 550.

  171 Gotti. i. 351.

  172 Florence.

  173 Reproduced in Yriarte’s Florence, p. 280, English edition.

  174 See Frontispiece.

  175 May we not hope that Michael Angelo’s good friend, the Frate
      Sebastiano del Piombo, painted a portrait of him during their long
      friendship, and that it will come to light one of these days?

  176 Le Lettere, cxci.-cxciii. pp. 217, 219, are on this subject (in the
      British Museum).

  177 A hospital in Florence for the benefit of the Poveri Vergognosi,
      poor folk who have come down in the world.

  178 Le Lettere, No. cclxix. p.299 (in the British Museum).

  179 Le Lettere, No. cdlxxv p. 539.

  180 Cellini.

  181 Le Lettere, No. cdlxxix. Dec. 28, 1556, p. 541.

  182 "Carte-Michelesché Inedite," p. 41.

  183 Gotti, i. 354.

  184 A little after 8 P.M.

  185 Four o’clock in the afternoon.

  186 Gotti, i. p. 354.

  187 Clement VII. used to say, "When Buonarroti comes to see me I always
      take a seat and bid him be seated at once, feeling sure that he will
      do so without leave or licence otherwise."—TRANSLATOR.

  188 Albert Dürer.

  189 Parmigiano.

  190 Assisi (?).

  191 The Farnesina.

  192 Now in the Vatican Gallery.

  193 The church of Santa Maria della Pace.

  194 Sebastiano del Piombo; the picture was the Raising of Lazarus, No. 1
      in the National Gallery.

  195 Chiaroscuro, monochrome.

  196 Baldassare Peruzzi.

  197 Bandinelli(?).

  198 Baldassare Peruzzi.

  199 Piazza Navona?

  200 In 1538.

  201 Ottavio Farnese.

  202 Margarite of Austria, natural daughter of Charles V.

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