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Title: Lives of the Most Eminent Painters, Sculptors and Architects - Vol. 09 (of 10) Michelagnolo to the Flemings
Author: Vasari, Giorgio, 1511-1574
Language: English
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Volume IX. Michelagnolo to the Flemings 1915

Newly Translated by GASTON Du C. DE VERE.

With Five Hundred Illustrations: In Ten Volumes

[Illustration: 1511-1574]

Philip Lee Warner, Publisher to the Medici Society, Limited
7 Grafton St. London, W. 1912-15



    MICHELAGNOLO BUONARROTI                                            1

    FRANCESCO PRIMATICCIO                                            143

    TIZIANO DA CADORE                                                157

    JACOPO SANSOVINO                                                 185

    LEONE LIONI OF AREZZO                                            227

    DON GIULIO CLOVIO                                                243

    DIVERS ITALIAN CRAFTSMEN STILL LIVING                            255

    DIVERS FLEMINGS                                                  263

    INDEX OF NAMES                                                   273



                                                             FACING PAGE

        The Holy Family
            Florence: Uffizi, 1,239                                    4

        The Madonna of the Cherries
            Vienna: Imperial Gallery, 180                            158

        Sacred and Profane Love
            Rome: Borghese Gallery, 147                              164

        The Duke of Norfolk
            Florence: Pitti, 92                                      168

        The Education of Cupid
            Rome: Borghese Gallery, 170                              176

        The Venetian Lovers
            Milan: Brera, 105                                        178


        The Battle of the Centaurs
            Florence: Museo Buonarroti                                 8

        The Angel with the Candlestick
            Bologna: S. Domenico                                      10

            Florence: Museo Nazionale                                 12

            Rome: S. Peter's                                          14

        Wax Models for the David
            Florence: Museo Buonarroti                                16

        Madonna, Child, and S. John
            Florence: Museo Nazionale                                 18

        Young Captive
            Paris: Louvre                                             20

            Florence: Museo Nazionale                                 22

            Rome: S. Pietro in Vincoli                                24

        Tomb of Pope Julius II
            Rome: S. Pietro in Vincoli                                24

        God Dividing the Waters from the Earth
            Rome: Sistine Chapel                                      28

        The Creation of Eve
            Rome: Sistine Chapel                                      28

        The Creation of Adam
            Rome: Sistine Chapel                                      32

        The Fall and the Expulsion
            Rome: Sistine Chapel                                      32

        The Lybian Sibyl
            Rome: Sistine Chapel                                      36

        Decorative Figure
            Rome: Sistine Chapel                                      38

        The New Sacristy
            Florence: S. Lorenzo                                      40

        Madonna and Child
            Florence: S. Lorenzo                                      42

        Giuliano de' Medici
            Florence: S. Lorenzo                                      44

        Tomb of Giuliano de' Medici
            Florence: S. Lorenzo                                      44

            Florence: Museo Nazionale                                 50

        The Last Judgment
            Rome: Sistine Chapel                                      56

        Charon's Boat
            Rome: Sistine Chapel                                      58

        S. Sebastian
            Rome: Sistine Chapel                                      60

            Florence: Duomo                                           62

        Stairs of the Palace of the Senators
            Rome: The Capitol                                         64

        Court of the Palazzo Farnese
            Rome                                                      66

        Biblioteca Laurenziana
            Florence                                                  78

            Rome: Palazzo Rondanini                                   84

        S. Peter's
            Rome                                                      86

        S. Peter's
            Rome                                                      88

        Porta Pia
            Rome                                                      96

        S. Maria degli Angeli
            Rome                                                      98

            Florence: Museo Nazionale                                100

        Unfinished Figure
            Florence: Museo Nazionale                                106

        Galerie Henry IV
            Fontainebleau                                            146

        Escalier du Roi
            Fontainebleau                                            148

        The Adoration of the Shepherds
            Vienna: Collection of Prince Liechtenstein               152

            London: National Gallery, 1,944                          160

            Madrid: The Prado, 450                                   162

        Madonna With Saints and Donor
            Ancona: S. Domenico                                      162

        Charles V with Dog
            Madrid: The Prado, 453                                   166

        Pope Paul III
            Naples: Museo Nazionale                                  168

            Naples: Museo Nazionale                                  170

        Perseus and Andromeda
            London: Wallace Collection, 11                           172

        Philip II
            Naples: Museo Nazionale                                  172

        Mary Magdalene
            Naples: Museo Nazionale                                  174

        The Entombment
            Madrid: The Prado, 464                                   176

        The Fisherman and the Doge Gradenigo
            Venice: Accademia, 320                                   180

        Portrait of a Woman
            London: National Gallery, 674                            180

        Vision of the Apocalypse
            Venice: S. Marco                                         182

        S. James
            Florence: Duomo                                          190

            Florence: Museo Nazionale                                192

        Mars and Neptune
            Venice: Ducal Palace                                     196

        Library of S. Marco
            Venice                                                   198

            Venice                                                   200

        Miracle of S. Anthony
            Padua: S. Antonio                                        202

        Palazzo della Comunità
            Vicenza                                                  210

        Tomb of Gian Jacopo Medici
            Milan: Duomo                                             230

            Milan: Duomo                                             234

        Tomb of Pope Paul III
            Rome: S. Peter's                                         236

        Palazzo Grimaldi
            Genoa                                                    240

            Florence: Pitti, 241                                     246

        Martyrdom of S. Catherine
            Rome: S. Maria Maggiore                                  258

        Portrait of a Man
            Paris: Louvre, 1,185                                     266




While the most noble and industrious spirits were striving, by the
light of the famous Giotto and of his followers, to give to the world
a proof of the ability that the benign influence of the stars and the
proportionate admixture of humours had given to their intellects, and
while, desirous to imitate with the excellence of their art the
grandeur of Nature in order to approach as near as possible to that
supreme knowledge that many call understanding, they were universally
toiling, although in vain, the most benign Ruler of Heaven in His
clemency turned His eyes to the earth, and, having perceived the
infinite vanity of all those labours, the ardent studies without any
fruit, and the presumptuous self-sufficiency of men, which is even
further removed from truth than is darkness from light, and desiring
to deliver us from such great errors, became minded to send down to
earth a spirit with universal ability in every art and every
profession, who might be able, working by himself alone, to show what
manner of thing is the perfection of the art of design in executing
the lines, contours, shadows, and high lights, so as to give relief to
works of painting, and what it is to work with correct judgment in
sculpture, and how in architecture it is possible to render
habitations secure and commodious, healthy and cheerful,
well-proportioned, and rich with varied ornaments. He was pleased, in
addition, to endow him with the true moral philosophy and with the
ornament of sweet poesy, to the end that the world might choose him
and admire him as its highest exemplar in the life, works, saintliness
of character, and every action of human creatures, and that he might
be acclaimed by us as a being rather divine than human. And since He
saw that in the practice of these rare exercises and arts--namely, in
painting, in sculpture, and in architecture--the Tuscan intellects
have always been exalted and raised high above all others, from their
being diligent in the labours and studies of every faculty beyond no
matter what other people of Italy, He chose to give him Florence, as
worthy beyond all other cities, for his country, in order to bring all
the talents to their highest perfection in her, as was her due, in the
person of one of her citizens.


(_Florence: Uffizi, 1239. Panel_)]

There was born a son, then, in the Casentino, in the year 1474, under
a fateful and happy star, from an excellent and noble mother, to
Lodovico di Leonardo Buonarroti Simoni, a descendant, so it is said,
of the most noble and most ancient family of the Counts of Canossa. To
that Lodovico, I say, who was in that year Podestà of the township of
Chiusi and Caprese, near the Sasso della Vernia, where S. Francis
received the Stigmata, in the Diocese of Arezzo, a son was born on the
6th of March, a Sunday, about the eighth hour of the night, to which
son he gave the name Michelagnolo, because, inspired by some influence
from above, and giving it no more thought, he wished to suggest that
he was something celestial and divine beyond the use of mortals, as
was afterwards seen from the figures of his horoscope, he having had
Mercury and Venus in the second house of Jupiter, with happy augury,
which showed that from the art of his brain and of his hand there
would be seen to issue forth works marvellous and stupendous. Having
finished his office as Podestà, Lodovico returned to Florence and
settled in the village of Settignano, at a distance of three miles
from the city, where he had a farm that had belonged to his
forefathers; which place abounds with stone and is all full of
quarries of grey-stone, which is constantly being worked by
stone-cutters and sculptors, who for the most part are born in the
place. Michelagnolo was put out to nurse by Lodovico in that village
with the wife of a stone-cutter: wherefore the same Michelagnolo,
discoursing once with Vasari, said to him jestingly, "Giorgio, if I
have anything of the good in my brain, it has come from my being born
in the pure air of your country of Arezzo, even as I also sucked in
with my nurse's milk the chisels and hammer with which I make my
figures." In time Lodovico's family increased, and, being in poor
circumstances, with slender revenues, he set about apprenticing his
sons to the Guilds of Silk and Wool. Michelagnolo, who by that time
was well grown, was placed to be schooled in grammar with Maestro
Francesco da Urbino; but, since his genius drew him to delight in
design, all the time that he could snatch he would spend in drawing in
secret, being scolded for this by his father and his other elders, and
at times beaten, they perchance considering that to give attention to
that art, which was not known by them, was a mean thing and not worthy
of their ancient house.

At this time Michelagnolo had formed a friendship with Francesco
Granacci, who, likewise a lad, had placed himself with Domenico
Ghirlandajo in order to learn the art of painting; wherefore Granacci,
loving Michelagnolo, and perceiving that he was much inclined to
design, supplied him daily with drawings by Ghirlandajo, who at that
time was reputed to be one of the best masters that there were not
only in Florence, but throughout all Italy. Whereupon, the desire to
work at art growing greater every day in Michelagnolo, Lodovico,
perceiving that he could not divert the boy from giving his attention
to design, and that there was no help for it, and wishing to derive
some advantage from it and to enable him to learn that art, resolved
on the advice of friends to apprentice him with Domenico Ghirlandajo.
Michelagnolo, when he was placed with Domenico Ghirlandajo, was
fourteen years of age. Now he who wrote his life after the year 1550,
when I wrote these Lives the first time, has said that some persons,
through not having associated with him, have related things that never
happened, and have left out many that are worthy to be recorded, and
has touched on this circumstance in particular, taxing Domenico with
jealousy and saying that he never offered any assistance to
Michelagnolo; which is clearly false, as may be seen from an entry by
the hand of Lodovico, the father of Michelagnolo, written in one of
Domenico's books, which book is now in the possession of his heirs.
That entry runs thus: "1488, I record, this first day of April, that
I, Lodovico di Leonardo di Buonarrota, placed Michelagnolo my son with
Domenico and David di Tommaso di Currado for the three years next to
come, on these terms and conditions, that the said Michelagnolo shall
remain with the above-named persons for the said period of time, in
order to learn to paint and to exercise that vocation; that the said
persons shall have command over him; and that the same Domenico and
David shall be bound to give him in those three years twenty-four
florins of full weight, the first year six florins, the second year
eight florins, and the third ten florins; in all, the sum of
ninety-six lire." And next, below this, is another record, or rather,
entry, also written in the hand of Lodovico: "The aforesaid
Michelagnolo has received of that sum, this sixteenth day of April,
two gold florins in gold. I, Lodovico di Leonardo, his father, have
received twelve lire and twelve soldi as cash due to him." These
entries I have copied from the book itself, in order to prove that all
that was written at that time, as well as all that is about to be
written, is the truth; nor do I know that anyone has been more
associated with him than I have been, or has been a more faithful
friend and servant to him, as can be proved even to one who knows not
the facts, neither do I believe that there is anyone who can show a
greater number of letters written by his own hand, or any written with
greater affection than he has expressed to me. I have made this
digression for the sake of truth, and it must suffice for all the rest
of his Life. Let us now return to our story.

When the ability as well as the person of Michelagnolo had grown in
such a manner, that Domenico, seeing him execute some works beyond the
scope of a boy, was astonished, since it seemed to him that he not
only surpassed the other disciples, of whom he had a great number, but
very often equalled the things done by himself as master, it happened
that one of the young men who were learning under Domenico copied with
the pen some draped figures of women from works by Ghirlandajo;
whereupon Michelagnolo took that drawing and with a thicker pen
outlined one of those women with new lineaments, in the manner that it
should have been in order to be perfect. And it is a marvellous thing
to see the difference between the two manners, and the judgment and
excellence of a mere lad who was so spirited and bold, that he had the
courage to correct the work of his master. That sheet is now in my
possession, treasured as a relic; and I received it from Granacci to
put in my book of drawings together with others by the same hand,
which I received from Michelagnolo. In the year 1550, when Giorgio was
in Rome, he showed it to Michelagnolo, who recognized it and was
pleased to see it again, saying modestly that he knew more of the art
when he was a boy than he did at that time, when he was an old man.

Now it happened that when Domenico was at work on the great chapel of
S. Maria Novella, one day that he was out Michelagnolo set himself to
draw the staging from the reality, with some desks and all the
appliances of art, and some of the young men who were working there.
Whereupon, when Domenico had returned and seen Michelagnolo's drawing,
he said, "This boy knows more about it than I do;" and he was struck
with amazement at the novel manner and the novel method of imitation
that a mere boy of such tender age displayed by reason of the judgment
bestowed upon him by Heaven, for these, in truth, were as marvellous
as could have been looked for in the workmanship of a craftsman who
had laboured for many years. And this was because all the power and
knowledge of the gracious gifts of his nature were exercised by study
and by the practice of art, wherefore these gifts produced every day
fruits more divine in Michelagnolo, as began to be made clearly
manifest in the copy that he executed of a printed sheet by the German
Martino, which gave him a very great name. For there had come to
Florence at that time a scene by the above-named Martino, of the
Devils beating S. Anthony, engraved on copper, and Michelagnolo copied
it with the pen in such a manner that it could not be detected, and
then painted that same sheet in colours, going at times, in order to
counterfeit certain strange forms of devils, to buy fishes that had
scales bizarre in colouring; and in that work he showed so much
ability, that he acquired thereby credit and fame. He also
counterfeited sheets by the hands of various old masters, making them
so similar that they could not be detected, for, tinting them and
giving them the appearance of age with smoke and various other
materials, he made them so dark that they looked old, and, when
compared with the originals, one could not be distinguished from the
other. Nor did he do this with any other purpose but to obtain the
originals from the hands of their owners by giving them the copies,
for he admired them for the excellence of their art and sought to
surpass them in his own practice; on which account he acquired a very
great name.


(_After the relief by =Michelangelo=. Florence: Museo Buonarroti_)


At that time the Magnificent Lorenzo de' Medici kept the sculptor
Bertoldo in his garden on the Piazza di S. Marco, not so much as
custodian or guardian of the many beautiful antiques that he had
collected and gathered together at great expense in that place, as
because, desiring very earnestly to create a school of excellent
painters and sculptors, he wished that these should have as their
chief and guide the above-named Bertoldo, who was a disciple of
Donato. Bertoldo, although he was so old that he was not able to work,
was nevertheless a well-practised master and in much repute, not only
because he had polished with great diligence the pulpits cast by his
master Donato, but also on account of many castings in bronze that he
had executed himself, of battles and certain other small works, in the
execution of which there was no one to be found in Florence at that
time who surpassed him. Now Lorenzo, who bore a very great love to
painting and to sculpture, was grieved that there were not to be found
in his time sculptors noble and famous enough to equal the many
painters of the highest merit and reputation, and he determined, as I
have said, to found a school. To this end he besought Domenico
Ghirlandajo that, if he had among the young men in his workshop any
that were inclined to sculpture, he might send them to his garden,
where he wished to train and form them in such a manner as might do
honour to himself, to Domenico, and to the whole city. Whereupon there
were given to him by Domenico as the best of his young men, among
others, Michelagnolo and Francesco Granacci; and they, going to the
garden, found there that Torrigiano, a young man of the Torrigiani
family, was executing in clay some figures in the round that had been
given to him by Bertoldo. Michelagnolo, seeing this, made some out of
emulation; wherefore Lorenzo, seeing his fine spirit, always regarded
him with much expectation. And he, thus encouraged, after some days
set himself to counterfeit from a piece of marble an antique head of a
Faun that was there, old and wrinkled, which had the nose injured and
the mouth laughing. Michelagnolo, who had never yet touched marble
or chisels, succeeded so well in counterfeiting it, that the
Magnificent Lorenzo was astonished; and then, perceiving that,
departing from the form of the antique head, he had opened out the
mouth after his own fancy and had made a tongue, with all the teeth
showing, that lord, jesting pleasantly, as was his wont, said to him,
"Surely you should have known that old folks never have all their
teeth, and that some are always wanting." It appeared to Michelagnolo,
in his simplicity, both fearing and loving that lord, that he had
spoken the truth; and no sooner had Lorenzo departed than he
straightway broke one of the teeth and hollowed out the gum, in such a
manner, that it seemed as if the tooth had dropped out. And then he
awaited with eagerness the return of the Magnificent Lorenzo, who,
when he had come and had seen the simplicity and excellence of
Michelagnolo, laughed at it more than once, relating it as a miracle
to his friends. Moreover, having made a resolve to assist and favour
Michelagnolo, he sent for his father Lodovico and asked for the boy
from him, saying that he wished to maintain him as one of his own
children; and Lodovico gave him up willingly. Thereupon the
Magnificent Lorenzo granted him a chamber in his own house and had him
attended, and he ate always at his table with his own children and
with other persons of quality and of noble blood who lived with that
lord, by whom he was much honoured. This was in the year after he had
been placed with Domenico, when Michelagnolo was about fifteen or
sixteen years of age; and he lived in that house four years, which was
until the death of the Magnificent Lorenzo in 1492. During that time,
then, Michelagnolo had five ducats a month from that lord as an
allowance and also to help his father; and for his particular
gratification Lorenzo gave him a violet cloak, and to his father an
office in the Customs. Truth to tell, all the young men in the garden
were salaried, some little and some much, by the liberality of that
magnificent and most noble citizen, and rewarded by him as long as he

At this time, at the advice of Poliziano, a man eminent in letters,
Michelagnolo executed from a piece of marble given to him by that lord
the Battle of Hercules with the Centaurs, which was so beautiful that
now, to those who study it from time to time, it appears as if by the
hand not of a youth but of a master of repute, perfected by study and
well practised in that art. It is now in his house, treasured in
memory of him by his nephew Leonardo as a rare thing, which indeed it
is. That Leonardo, not many years since, had in his house in memory of
his uncle a Madonna of marble in low-relief by the hand of
Michelagnolo, little more than one braccio in height, in which when a
lad, at this same time, wishing to counterfeit the manner of
Donatello, he acquitted himself so well that it seems as if by
Donatello's hand, save that there may be seen in it more grace and
more design. That work Leonardo afterwards gave to Duke Cosimo de'
Medici, who treasures it as a unique thing, for we have no other
low-relief in sculpture by his hand save that one.

Now, returning to the garden of the Magnificent Lorenzo; that garden
was full of antiques and richly adorned with excellent pictures, all
gathered together in that place for their beauty, for study, and for
pleasure. Michelagnolo always had the keys, and he was much more
earnest than the others in his every action, and showed himself always
alert, bold, and resolute. He drew for many months from the pictures
of Masaccio in the Carmine, where he copied those works with so much
judgment, that the craftsmen and all other men were astonished, in
such sort that envy grew against him together with his fame. It is
said that Torrigiano, after contracting a friendship with him, mocked
him, being moved by envy at seeing him more honoured than himself and
more able in art, and struck him a blow of the fist on the nose with
such force, that he broke and crushed it very grievously and marked
him for life; on which account Torrigiano was banished from Florence,
as has been related in another place.


(_After =Michelagnolo=. Bologna: S. Domenico_)


When the Magnificent Lorenzo died, Michelagnolo returned to his
father's house in infinite sorrow at the death of so great a man, the
friend of every talent. There he bought a great piece of marble, and
from it carved a Hercules of four braccia, which stood for many years
in the Palace of the Strozzi; this was esteemed an admirable work, and
afterwards, in the year of the siege, it was sent into France to King
Francis by Giovan Battista della Palla. It is said that Piero de'
Medici, who had been left heir to his father Lorenzo, having long
been intimate with Michelagnolo, used often to send for him when he
wished to buy antiques, such as cameos and other carved stones. One
winter, when much snow fell in Florence, he caused him to make in his
courtyard a statue of snow, which was very beautiful; and he honoured
Michelagnolo on account of his talents in such a manner, that his
father, beginning to see that he was esteemed among the great, clothed
him much more honourably than he had been wont to do.

For the Church of S. Spirito in the city of Florence Michelagnolo made
a Crucifix of wood, which was placed, as it still is, above the
lunette of the high-altar; doing this to please the Prior, who placed
rooms at his disposal, in which he was constantly flaying dead bodies,
in order to study the secrets of anatomy, thus beginning to give
perfection to the great knowledge of design that he afterwards
acquired. It came about that the Medici were driven out of Florence,
and a few weeks before that Michelagnolo had gone to Bologna, and then
to Venice, fearing, as he saw the insolence and bad government of
Piero de' Medici, lest some evil thing might befall him from his being
the servant of that family; but, not having found any means of living
in Venice, he returned to Bologna. There he had the misfortune to
neglect, through lack of thought, when entering by the gate, to learn
the countersign for going out again, a command having been issued at
that time, as a precaution, at the desire of Messer Giovanni
Bentivogli, that all strangers who had not the countersign should be
fined fifty Bolognese lire; and having fallen into such a predicament,
nor having the means to pay, Michelagnolo by chance was seen by Messer
Giovan Francesco Aldovrandi, one of the Sixteen of the Government, who
had compassion on him, and, having made him tell his story, liberated
him, and then kept him in his house for more than a year. One day
Aldovrandi took him to see the tomb of S. Dominic, made, as has been
related, by Giovanni Pisano and then by Maestro Niccolò dell'Arca,
sculptors of olden days. In that work there were wanting a S. Petronio
and an Angel holding a candelabrum, figures of about one braccio, and
Aldovrandi asked him if he felt himself able to make them; and he
answered Yes. Whereupon he had the marble given to him, and
Michelagnolo executed them in such a manner, that they are the best
figures that are there; and Messer Francesco Aldovrandi caused thirty
ducats to be given to him for the two. Michelagnolo stayed a little
more than a year in Bologna, and he would have stayed there even
longer, in order to repay the courtesy of Aldovrandi, who loved him
both for his design and because, liking Michelagnolo's Tuscan
pronunciation in reading, he was pleased to hear from his lips the
works of Dante, Petrarca, Boccaccio, and other Tuscan poets. But,
since he knew that he was wasting his time, he was glad to return to

[Illustration: BACCHUS

(_After =Michelagnolo=. Florence: Museo Nazionale_)


There he made for Lorenzo di Pier Francesco de' Medici a S. Giovannino
of marble, and then set himself to make from another piece of marble a
Cupid that was sleeping, of the size of life. This, when finished, was
shown by means of Baldassarre del Milanese to Lorenzo di Pier
Francesco as a beautiful thing, and he, having pronounced the same
judgment, said to Michelagnolo: "If you were to bury it under ground
and then sent it to Rome treated in such a manner as to make it look
old, I am certain that it would pass for an antique, and you would
thus obtain much more for it than by selling it here." It is said that
Michelagnolo handled it in such a manner as to make it appear an
antique; nor is there any reason to marvel at that, seeing that he had
genius enough to do it, and even more. Others maintain that Milanese
took it to Rome and buried it in a vineyard that he had there, and
then sold it as an antique to Cardinal San Giorgio for two hundred
ducats. Others, again, say that Milanese sold to the Cardinal one that
Michelagnolo had made for him, and that he wrote to Lorenzo di Pier
Francesco that he should cause thirty crowns to be given to
Michelagnolo, saying that he had not received more for the Cupid, and
thus deceiving the Cardinal, Lorenzo di Pier Francesco, and
Michelagnolo; but afterwards, having received information from one who
had seen that the boy was fashioned in Florence, the Cardinal
contrived to learn the truth by means of a messenger, and so went to
work that Milanese's agent had to restore the money and take back the
Cupid. That work, having come into the possession of Duke Valentino,
was presented by him to the Marchioness of Mantua, who took it to
her own country, where it is still to be seen at the present day.
This affair did not happen without some censure attaching to Cardinal
San Giorgio, in that he did not recognize the value of the work, which
consisted in its perfection; for modern works, if only they be
excellent, are as good as the ancient. What greater vanity is there
than that of those who concern themselves more with the name than the
fact? But of that kind of men, who pay more attention to the
appearance than to the reality, there are some to be found at any

Now this event brought so much reputation to Michelagnolo, that he was
straightway summoned to Rome and engaged by Cardinal San Giorgio, with
whom he stayed nearly a year, although, as one little conversant with
our arts, he did not commission Michelagnolo to do anything. At that
time a barber of the Cardinal, who had been a painter, and could paint
with great diligence in distemper-colours, but knew nothing of design,
formed a friendship with Michelagnolo, who made for him a cartoon of
S. Francis receiving the Stigmata. That cartoon was painted very
carefully in colours by the barber on a little panel; and the picture
is now to be seen in S. Pietro a Montorio in the first chapel on the
left hand as one enters the church. The talent of Michelagnolo was
then clearly recognized by a Roman gentleman named Messer Jacopo
Galli, an ingenious person, who caused him to make a Cupid of marble
as large as life, and then a figure of a Bacchus ten palms high, who
has a cup in the right hand, and in the left hand the skin of a tiger,
with a bunch of grapes at which a little satyr is trying to nibble. In
that figure it may be seen that he sought to achieve a certain fusion
in the members that is marvellous, and in particular that he gave it
both the youthful slenderness of the male and the fullness and
roundness of the female--a thing so admirable, that he proved himself
excellent in statuary beyond any other modern that had worked up to
that time. On which account, during his stay in Rome, he made so much
proficience in the studies of art, that it was a thing incredible to
see his exalted thoughts and the difficulties of the manner exercised
by him with such supreme facility; to the amazement not only of those
who were not accustomed to see such things, but also of those familiar
with good work, for the reason that all the works executed up to that
time appeared as nothing in comparison with his. These things awakened
in Cardinal di San Dionigi, called Cardinal de Rohan, a Frenchman, a
desire to leave in a city so famous some worthy memorial of himself by
the hand of so rare a craftsman; and he caused him to make a Pietà of
marble in the round, which, when finished, was placed in the Chapel of
the Vergine Maria della Febbre in S. Pietro, where the Temple of Mars
used to be. To this work let no sculptor, however rare a craftsman,
ever think to be able to approach in design or in grace, or ever to be
able with all the pains in the world to attain to such delicacy and
smoothness or to perforate the marble with such art as Michelagnolo
did therein, for in it may be seen all the power and worth of art.
Among the lovely things to be seen in the work, to say nothing of the
divinely beautiful draperies, is the body of Christ; nor let anyone
think to see greater beauty of members or more mastery of art in any
body, or a nude with more detail in the muscles, veins, and nerves
over the framework of the bones, nor yet a corpse more similar than
this to a real corpse. Here is perfect sweetness in the expression of
the head, harmony in the joints and attachments of the arms, legs, and
trunk, and the pulses and veins so wrought, that in truth Wonder
herself must marvel that the hand of a craftsman should have been able
to execute so divinely and so perfectly, in so short a time, a work so
admirable; and it is certainly a miracle that a stone without any
shape at the beginning should ever have been reduced to such
perfection as Nature is scarcely able to create in the flesh. Such
were Michelagnolo's love and zeal together in this work, that he left
his name--a thing that he never did again in any other work--written
across a girdle that encircles the bosom of Our Lady. And the reason
was that one day Michelagnolo, entering the place where it was set up,
found there a great number of strangers from Lombardy, who were
praising it highly, and one of them asked one of the others who had
done it, and he answered, "Our Gobbo from Milan." Michelagnolo stood
silent, but thought it something strange that his labours should be
attributed to another; and one night he shut himself in there, and,
having brought a little light and his chisels, carved his name upon
it. And truly the work is such, that an exalted spirit has said, as
to a real and living figure--

  Bellezza ed Onestate
  E Doglia e Pietà in vivo marmo morte,
  Deh, come voi pur fate,
  Non piangete si forte,
  Che anzi tempo risveglisi da morte;
  E pur mal grado suo
  Nostro Signore, e tuo
  Sposo, Figliuolo, e Padre,
  Unica Sposa sua, Figliuola, e Madre.

From this work he acquired very great fame, and although certain
persons, rather fools than otherwise, say that he has made Our Lady
too young, are these so ignorant as not to know that unspotted virgins
maintain and preserve their freshness of countenance a long time
without any mark, and that persons afflicted as Christ was do the
contrary? That circumstance, therefore, won an even greater increase
of glory and fame for his genius than all his previous works.

[Illustration: PIETÀ

(_After =Michelagnolo=. Rome: S. Peter's_)


Letters were written to him from Florence by some of his friends,
saying that he should return, because it was not unlikely that he
might obtain the spoiled block of marble lying in the Office of Works,
which Piero Soderini, who at that time had been made Gonfalonier of
the city for life, had very often talked of having executed by
Leonardo da Vinci, and was then arranging to give to Maestro Andrea
Contucci of Monte Sansovino, an excellent sculptor, who was seeking to
obtain it. Now, however difficult it might be to carve a complete
figure out of it without adding pieces (for which work of finishing it
without adding pieces none of the others, save Buonarroti alone, had
courage enough), Michelagnolo had felt a desire for it for many years
back; and, having come to Florence, he sought to obtain it. This block
of marble was nine braccia high, and from it, unluckily, one Maestro
Simone da Fiesole had begun a giant, and he had managed to work so
ill, that he had hacked a hole between the legs, and it was altogether
misshapen and reduced to ruin, insomuch that the Wardens of Works of
S. Maria del Fiore, who had the charge of the undertaking, had placed
it on one side without troubling to have it finished; and so it had
remained for many years past, and was likely to remain. Michelagnolo
measured it all anew, considering whether he might be able to carve a
reasonable figure from that block by accommodating himself as to the
attitude to the marble as it had been left all misshapen by Maestro
Simone; and he resolved to ask for it from Soderini and the Wardens,
by whom it was granted to him as a thing of no value, they thinking
that whatever he might make of it would be better than the state in
which it was at that time, seeing that neither in pieces nor in that
condition could it be of any use to their building. Whereupon
Michelagnolo made a model of wax, fashioning in it, as a device for
the Palace, a young David with a sling in his hand, to the end that,
even as he had defended his people and governed them with justice, so
those governing that city might defend her valiantly and govern her
justly. And he began it in the Office of Works of S. Maria del Fiore,
in which he made an enclosure of planks and masonry, thus surrounding
the marble; and, working at it continuously without anyone seeing it,
he carried it to perfect completion. The marble had already been
spoilt and distorted by Maestro Simone, and in some places it was not
enough to satisfy the wishes of Michelagnolo for what he would have
liked to do with it; and he therefore suffered certain of the first
marks of Maestro Simone's chisel to remain on the extremity of the
marble, some of which are still to be seen. And truly it was a miracle
on the part of Michelagnolo to restore to life a thing that was dead.

This statue, when finished, was of such a kind that many disputes took
place as to how to transport it to the Piazza della Signoria.
Whereupon Giuliano da San Gallo and his brother Antonio made a very
strong framework of wood and suspended the figure from it with ropes,
to the end that it might not hit against the wood and break to pieces,
but might rather keep rocking gently; and they drew it with windlasses
over flat beams laid upon the ground, and then set it in place. On the
rope which held the figure suspended he made a slip-knot which was
very easy to undo but tightened as the weight increased, which is a
most beautiful and ingenious thing; and I have in my book a drawing of
it by his own hand--an admirable, secure, and strong contrivance for
suspending weights.


(_After =Michelagnolo=. Florence: Museo Buonarroti_)


It happened at this time that Piero Soderini, having seen it in
place, was well pleased with it, but said to Michelagnolo, at a
moment when he was retouching it in certain parts, that it seemed to
him that the nose of the figure was too thick. Michelagnolo noticed
that the Gonfalonier was beneath the Giant, and that his point of view
prevented him from seeing it properly; but in order to satisfy him he
climbed upon the staging, which was against the shoulders, and quickly
took up a chisel in his left hand, with a little of the marble-dust
that lay upon the planks of the staging, and then, beginning to strike
lightly with the chisel, let fall the dust little by little, nor
changed the nose a whit from what it was before. Then, looking down at
the Gonfalonier, who stood watching him, he said, "Look at it now." "I
like it better," said the Gonfalonier, "you have given it life." And
so Michelagnolo came down, laughing to himself at having satisfied
that lord, for he had compassion on those who, in order to appear full
of knowledge, talk about things of which they know nothing.

When it was built up, and all was finished, he uncovered it, and it
cannot be denied that this work has carried off the palm from all
other statues, modern or ancient, Greek or Latin; and it may be said
that neither the Marforio at Rome, nor the Tiber and the Nile of the
Belvedere, nor the Giants of Monte Cavallo, are equal to it in any
respect, with such just proportion, beauty and excellence did
Michelagnolo finish it. For in it may be seen most beautiful contours
of legs, with attachments of limbs and slender outlines of flanks that
are divine; nor has there ever been seen a pose so easy, or any grace
to equal that in this work, or feet, hands and head so well in accord,
one member with another, in harmony, design, and excellence of
artistry. And, of a truth, whoever has seen this work need not trouble
to see any other work executed in sculpture, either in our own or in
other times, by no matter what craftsman. Michelagnolo received from
Piero Soderini in payment for it four hundred crowns; and it was set
in place in the year 1504. In consequence of the fame that he thereby
won as a sculptor, he made for the above-named Gonfalonier a most
beautiful David of bronze, which Soderini sent to France; and at this
time, also, he began, but did not finish, two medallions of
marble--one for Taddeo Taddei, which is now in his house, and another
that he began for Bartolommeo Pitti, which was presented by Fra
Miniato Pitti of Monte Oliveto, a man with a rare knowledge in
cosmography and many other sciences, and particularly in painting, to
Luigi Guicciardini, who was much his friend. These works were held to
be admirable in their excellence; and at this same time, also, he
blocked out a statue of S. Matthew in marble in the Office of Works of
S. Maria del Fiore, which statue, rough as it is, reveals its full
perfection and teaches sculptors in what manner figures can be carved
out of marble without their coming out misshapen, so that it may be
possible to go on ever improving them by removing more of the marble
with judgment, and also to draw back and change some part, according
as the necessity may arise. He also made a medallion in bronze of a
Madonna, which he cast in bronze at the request of certain Flemish
merchants of the Moscheroni family, persons of high nobility in their
own country, who paid him a hundred crowns for it, and intended to
send it to Flanders.

[Illustration: MADONNA, CHILD, AND S. JOHN

(_After the relief by =Michelagnolo=. Florence: Museo Nazionale_)


There came to Agnolo Doni, a Florentine citizen and a friend of
Michelagnolo, who much delighted to have beautiful things both by
ancient and by modern craftsmen, a desire to possess some work by
Michelagnolo; wherefore that master began for him a round picture
containing a Madonna, who, kneeling on both knees, has an Infant in
her arms and presents Him to Joseph, who receives Him. Here
Michelagnolo expresses in the turn of the head of the Mother of Christ
and in the gaze of her eyes, which she keeps fixed on the supreme
beauty of her Son, her marvellous contentment and her lovingness in
sharing it with that saintly old man, who receives Him with equal
affection, tenderness, and reverence, as may be seen very readily in
his countenance, without considering it long. Nor was this enough for
Michelagnolo, who, the better to show how great was his art, made in
the background of his work a number of nudes, some leaning, some
standing, and some seated; and with such diligence and finish he
executed this work, that without a doubt, of his pictures on panel,
which indeed are but few, it is held to be the most finished and the
most beautiful work that there is to be found. When it was
completed, he sent it covered up to Agnolo's house by a messenger,
with a note demanding seventy ducats in payment. It seemed strange to
Agnolo, who was a careful person, to spend so much on a picture,
although he knew that it was worth more, and he said to the messenger
that forty was enough, which he gave to him. Thereupon Michelagnolo
sent them back to him, with a message to say that he should send back
either one hundred ducats or the picture. Then Agnolo, who liked the
work, said, "I will give him these seventy," but he was not content;
indeed, angered by Agnolo's breach of faith, he demanded the double of
what he had asked the first time, so that, if Agnolo wanted the
picture, he was forced to send him a hundred and forty.

It happened that while Leonardo da Vinci, that rare painter, was
painting in the Great Council Hall, as has been related in his Life,
Piero Soderini, who was then Gonfalonier, moved by the great ability
that he saw in Michelagnolo, caused a part of that Hall to be allotted
to him; which was the reason that he executed the other façade in
competition with Leonardo, taking as his subject the War of Pisa. To
this end Michelagnolo was given a room in the Hospital of the Dyers at
S. Onofrio, and there he began a vast cartoon, but would never consent
that anyone should see it. And this he filled with naked men that were
bathing in the River Arno on account of the heat, when suddenly the
alarm sounded in the camp, announcing that the enemy were attacking;
and, as the soldiers were springing out of the water to dress
themselves, there could be seen, depicted by the divine hands of
Michelagnolo, some hastening to arm themselves in order to give
assistance to their companions, others buckling on their cuirasses,
many fastening other armour on their bodies, and a vast number
beginning the fray and fighting on horseback. There was, among other
figures, an old man who had a garland of ivy on his head to shade it,
and he, having sat down in order to put on his hose, into which his
legs would not go because they were wet with water, and hearing the
cries and tumult of the soldiers and the uproar of the drummers, was
struggling to draw on one stocking by force; and, besides that all the
muscles and nerves of his figure could be perceived, his mouth was so
distorted as to show clearly how he was straining and struggling even
to the very tips of his toes. There were also drummers, and figures
with their clothes in their arms running to the combat; and there were
to be seen the most extravagant attitudes, some standing, some
kneeling or bent double, others stretched horizontally and struggling
in mid-air, and all with masterly foreshortenings. There were also
many figures in groups, all sketched in various manners, some outlined
with charcoal, some drawn with strokes, others stumped in and
heightened with lead-white, Michelagnolo desiring to show how much he
knew in his profession. Wherefore the craftsmen were seized with
admiration and astonishment, seeing the perfection of art revealed to
them in that drawing by Michelagnolo; and some who saw them, after
beholding figures so divine, declare that there has never been seen
any work, either by his hand or by the hands of others, no matter how
great their genius, that can equal it in divine beauty of art. And, in
truth, it is likely enough, for the reason that since the time when it
was finished and carried to the Sala del Papa with great acclamation
from the world of art and extraordinary glory for Michelagnolo, all
those who studied from that cartoon and drew those figures--as was
afterwards the custom in Florence for many years both for strangers
and for natives--became persons eminent in art, as we have since seen.
For among those who studied the cartoon were Aristotile da San Gallo,
the friend of Michelagnolo, Ridolfo Ghirlandajo, Raffaello Sanzio of
Urbino, Francesco Granacci, Baccio Bandinelli, and the Spaniard Alonzo
Berughetta, and then there followed Andrea del Sarto, Franciabigio,
Jacopo Sansovino, Rosso, Maturino, Lorenzetto, Tribolo, who was then a
boy, Jacopo da Pontormo, and Perino del Vaga; and all these became
excellent Florentine masters. The cartoon having thus become a school
for craftsmen, it was taken into the Great Upper Hall in the house of
the Medici; and this was the reason that it was left with too little
caution in the hands of the craftsmen, insomuch that during the
illness of Duke Giuliano, while no one was expecting such a thing, it
was torn up and divided into many pieces, as has been related
elsewhere, and scattered over various places, to which some pieces
bear witness that are still to be seen in Mantua, in the house of M.
Uberto Strozzi, a gentleman of that city, where they are treasured
with great reverence; and, indeed, they seem to the eye things rather
divine than human.

[Illustration: YOUNG CAPTIVE

(_After =Michelagnolo=. Paris: Louvre_)


The name of Michelagnolo, by reason of the Pietà that he had made, the
Giant in Florence, and the cartoon, had become so famous, that in the
year 1503, Pope Alexander VI having died and Julius II having been
elected, at which time Michelagnolo was about twenty-nine years of
age, he was summoned with much graciousness by Julius II, who wished
to set him to make his tomb; and for the expenses of the journey a
hundred crowns were paid to him by the Pope's representatives. Having
made his way to Rome, he spent many months there before he was made to
set his hand to any work. But finally the Pope's choice fell on a
design that he had made for that tomb, an excellent testimony to the
genius of Michelagnolo, which in beauty and magnificence, abundance of
ornamentation and richness of statuary, surpassed every ancient or
imperial tomb. Whereupon Pope Julius took courage, and thus resolved
to set his hand to make anew the Church of S. Pietro in Rome, in order
to erect the tomb in it, as has been related in another place. And so
Michelagnolo set to work with high hopes; and, in order to make a
beginning, he went to Carrara to excavate all the marble, with two
assistants, receiving a thousand crowns on that account from Alamanno
Salviati in Florence. There, in those mountains, he spent eight months
without other moneys or supplies; and he had many fantastic ideas of
carving great statues in those quarries, in order to leave memorials
of himself, as the ancients had done before him, being invited by
those masses of stone. Then, having picked out the due quantity of
marbles, he caused them to be loaded on board ship at the coast and
then conveyed to Rome, where they filled half the Piazza di S. Pietro,
round about S. Caterina, and between the church and the corridor that
goes to the Castello. In that place Michelagnolo had prepared his room
for executing the figures and the rest of the tomb; and, to the end
that the Pope might be able to come at his convenience to see him at
work, he had caused a drawbridge to be constructed between the
corridor and that room, which led to a great intimacy between them.
But in time these favours brought much annoyance and even persecution
upon him, and stirred up much envy against him among his

[Illustration: VICTORY

(_After =Michelagnolo=. Florence: Museo Nazionale_)


Of this work Michelagnolo executed during the lifetime and after the
death of Julius four statues completely finished and eight only
blocked out, as will be related in the proper place; and since the
work was designed with extraordinary invention, we will describe here
below the plan that he adopted. In order to produce an effect of
supreme grandeur, he decided that it should be wholly isolated, so as
to be seen from all four sides, each side in one direction being
twelve braccia and each in the other eighteen, so that the proportions
were a square and a half. It had a range of niches running right round
the outer side, which were divided one from another by terminal
figures clothed from the middle upwards, which with their heads
supported the first cornice, and each terminal figure had bound to it,
in a strange and bizarre attitude, a naked captive, whose feet rested
on a projection of the base. These captives were all provinces
subjugated by that Pontiff and rendered obedient to the Apostolic
Church; and there were various other statues, likewise bound, of all
the noble arts and sciences, which were thus shown to be subject to
death no less than was that Pontiff, who made such honourable use of
them. On the corners of the first cornice were to go four large
figures, the Active and the Contemplative Life, S. Paul, and Moses.
The structure rose above the cornice in steps gradually diminishing,
with a frieze of scenes in bronze, and with other figures, children
and ornaments all around, and at the summit, as a crown to the work,
were two figures, one of which was Heaven, who, smiling, was
supporting a bier on her shoulder, together with Cybele, the Goddess
of Earth, who appeared to be grieving that she was left in a world
robbed of all virtue by the death of such a man; and Heaven appeared
to be smiling with gladness that his soul had passed to celestial
glory. The work was so arranged that one might enter and come out
again by the ends of the quadrangular structure, between the niches,
and the interior curved in the form of an oval after the manner of a
temple, in the centre of which was the sarcophagus wherein was to be
laid the dead body of that Pope. And, finally, there were to be in
this whole work forty statues of marble, without counting the other
scenes, children, and ornaments, the carvings covering the cornices,
and the other architectural members of the work. Michelagnolo
ordained, to expedite the labour, that a part of the marbles should
be conveyed to Florence, where he intended at times to spend the
summer months in order to avoid the malaria of Rome; and there he
executed one side of the work in many pieces, complete in every
detail. In Rome he finished entirely with his own hand two of the
captives, figures divinely beautiful, and other statues, than which
none better have ever been seen; but in the end they were never placed
in position, and those captives were presented by him to S. Ruberto
Strozzi, when Michelagnolo happened to be lying ill in his house;
which captives were afterwards sent as presents to King Francis, and
they are now at Ecouen in France. Eight statues, likewise, he blocked
out in Rome, and in Florence he blocked out five and finished a
Victory with a captive beneath, which are now in the possession of
Duke Cosimo, having been presented by Michelagnolo's nephew, Leonardo,
to his Excellency, who has placed the Victory in the Great Hall of his
Palace, which was painted by Vasari.

He finished the Moses, a statue in marble of five braccia, which no
modern work will ever equal in beauty; and of the ancient statues,
also, the same may be said. For, seated in an attitude of great
dignity, he rests one arm on the Tables, which he holds with one hand,
and with the other he holds his beard, which is long and waving, and
carved in the marble in such sort, that the hairs--in which the
sculptor finds such difficulty--are wrought with the greatest
delicacy, soft, feathery, and detailed in such a manner, that one
cannot but believe that his chisel was changed into a pencil. To say
nothing of the beauty of the face, which has all the air of a true
Saint and most dread Prince, you seem, while you gaze upon it, to wish
to demand from him the veil wherewith to cover that face, so
resplendent and so dazzling it appears to you, and so well has
Michelagnolo expressed the divinity that God infused in that most holy
countenance. In addition, there are draperies carved out and finished
with most beautiful curves of the borders; while the arms with their
muscles, and the hands with their bones and nerves, are carried to
such a pitch of beauty and perfection, and the legs, knees, and feet
are covered with buskins so beautifully fashioned, and every part of
the work is so finished, that Moses may be called now more than ever
the friend of God, seeing that He has deigned to assemble together and
prepare his body for the Resurrection before that of any other, by the
hands of Michelagnolo. Well may the Hebrews continue to go there, as
they do every Sabbath, both men and women, like flocks of starlings,
to visit and adore that statue; for they will be adoring a thing not
human but divine.

[Illustration: MOSES

(_After =Michelagnolo=. Rome: S. Pietro in Vincoli_)


Finally all the agreements for this work were made, and the end came
into view; and of the four sides one of the smaller ones was
afterwards erected in S. Pietro in Vincola. It is said that while
Michelagnolo was executing the work, there came to the Ripa all the
rest of the marbles for the tomb that had remained at Carrara, which
were conveyed to the Piazza di S. Pietro, where the others were; and,
since it was necessary to pay those who had conveyed them,
Michelagnolo went, as was his custom, to the Pope. But, his Holiness
having on his hands that day some important business concerning
Bologna, he returned to his house and paid for those marbles out of
his own purse, thinking to have the order for them straightway from
his Holiness. He returned another day to speak of them to the Pope,
but found difficulty in entering, for one of the grooms told him that
he had orders not to admit him, and that he must have patience. A
Bishop then said to the groom, "Perhaps you do not know this man?"
"Only too well do I know him," answered the groom; "but I am here to
do as I am commanded by my superiors and by the Pope." This action
displeased Michelagnolo, and, considering that it was contrary to what
he had experienced before, he said to the Pope's groom that he should
tell his Holiness that from that time forward, when he should want
him, it would be found that he had gone elsewhere; and then, having
returned to his house, at the second hour of the night he set out on
post-horses, leaving two servants to sell all the furniture of his
house to the Jews and to follow him to Florence, whither he was bound.
Having arrived at Poggibonzi, a place in the Florentine territory, and
therefore safe, he stopped; and almost immediately five couriers
arrived with letters from the Pope to bring him back. Despite their
entreaties and also the letters, which ordered him to return to Rome
under threat of punishment, he would not listen to a word; but
finally the prayers of the couriers induced him to write a few
words in reply to his Holiness, asking for pardon, but saying that he
would never again return to his presence, since he had caused him to
be driven away like a criminal, that his faithful service had not
deserved such treatment, and that his Holiness should look elsewhere
for someone to serve him.


(_After =Michelagnolo=. Rome: S. Pietro in Vincoli_)


After arriving at Florence, Michelagnolo devoted himself during the
three months that he stayed there to finishing the cartoon for the
Great Hall, which Piero Soderini, the Gonfalonier, desired that he
should carry into execution. During that time there came to the
Signoria three Briefs commanding them to send Michelagnolo back to
Rome: wherefore he, perceiving this vehemence on the part of the Pope,
and not trusting him, conceived the idea, so it is said, of going to
Constantinople to serve the Grand Turk, who desired to secure him, by
means of certain Friars of S. Francis, to build a bridge crossing from
Constantinople to Pera. However, he was persuaded by Piero Soderini,
although very unwilling, to go to meet the Pope as a person of public
importance with the title of Ambassador of the city, to reassure him;
and finally the Gonfalonier recommended him to his brother Cardinal
Soderini for presentation to the Pope, and sent him off to Bologna,
where his Holiness had already arrived from Rome. His departure from
Rome is also explained in another way--namely, that the Pope became
angered against Michelagnolo, who would not allow any of his works to
be seen; that Michelagnolo suspected his own men, doubting (as
happened more than once) that the Pope disguised himself and saw what
he was doing on certain occasions when he himself was not at home or
at work; and that on one occasion, when the Pope had bribed his
assistants to admit him to see the chapel of his uncle Sixtus, which,
as was related a little time back, he caused Buonarroti to paint,
Michelagnolo, having waited in hiding because he suspected the
treachery of his assistants, threw planks down at the Pope when he
entered the chapel, not considering who it might be, and drove him
forth in a fury. It is enough for us to know that in the one way or
the other he fell out with the Pope and then became afraid, so that he
had to fly from his presence.

Now, having arrived in Bologna, he had scarcely drawn off his
riding-boots when he was conducted by the Pope's servants to his
Holiness, who was in the Palazzo de' Sedici; and he was accompanied by
a Bishop sent by Cardinal Soderini, because the Cardinal, being ill,
was not able to go himself. Having come into the presence of the Pope,
Michelagnolo knelt down, but his Holiness looked askance at him, as if
in anger, and said to him, "Instead of coming yourself to meet us, you
have waited for us to come to meet you!" meaning to infer that Bologna
is nearer to Florence than Rome. Michelagnolo, with a courtly gesture
of the hands, but in a firm voice, humbly begged for pardon, saying in
excuse that he had acted as he had done in anger, not being able to
endure to be driven away so abruptly, but that, if he had erred, his
Holiness should once more forgive him. The Bishop who had presented
Michelagnolo to his Holiness, making excuse for him, said to the Pope
that such men were ignorant creatures, that they were worth nothing
save in their own art, and that he should freely pardon him. The Pope,
seized with anger, belaboured the Bishop with a staff that he had in
his hand, saying to him, "It is you that are ignorant, who level
insults at him that we ourselves do not think of uttering;" and then
the Bishop was driven out by the groom with fisticuffs. When he had
gone, the Pope, having discharged his anger upon him, gave
Michelagnolo his benediction; and the master was detained in Bologna
with gifts and promises, until finally his Holiness commanded him that
he should make a statue of bronze in the likeness of Pope Julius, five
braccia in height. In this work he showed most beautiful art in the
attitude, which had an effect of much majesty and grandeur, and
displayed richness and magnificence in the draperies, and in the
countenance, spirit, force, resolution, and stern dignity; and it was
placed in a niche over the door of S. Petronio. It is said that while
Michelagnolo was working at it, he received a visit from Francia, a
most excellent goldsmith and painter, who wished to see it, having
heard so much praise and fame of him and of his works, and not having
seen any of them, so that agents had been set to work to enable him to
see it, and he had obtained permission. Whereupon, seeing the artistry
of Michelagnolo, he was amazed: and then, being asked by Michelagnolo
what he thought of that figure, Francia answered that it was a most
beautiful casting and a fine material. Wherefore Michelagnolo,
considering that he had praised the bronze rather than the
workmanship, said to him, "I owe the same obligation to Pope Julius,
who has given it to me, that you owe to the apothecaries who give you
your colours for painting;" and in his anger, in the presence of all
the gentlemen there, he declared that Francia was a fool. In the same
connection, when a son of Francia's came before him and was announced
as a very beautiful youth, Michelagnolo said to him, "Your father's
living figures are finer than those that he paints." Among the same
gentlemen was one, whose name I know not, who asked Michelagnolo which
he thought was the larger, the statue of the Pope or a pair of oxen;
and he answered, "That depends on the oxen. If they are these
Bolognese oxen, then without a doubt our Florentine oxen are not so

Michelagnolo had the statue finished in clay before the Pope departed
from Bologna for Rome, and his Holiness, having gone to see it, but
not knowing what was to be placed in the left hand, and seeing the
right hand raised in a proud gesture, asked whether it was pronouncing
a benediction or a curse. Michelagnolo answered that it was
admonishing the people of Bologna to mind their behaviour, and asked
his Holiness to decide whether he should place a book in the left
hand; and he said, "Put a sword there, for I know nothing of letters."
The Pope left a thousand crowns in the bank of M. Anton Maria da
Lignano for the completion of the statue, and at the end of the
sixteen months that Michelagnolo toiled over the work it was placed on
the frontispiece in the façade of the Church of S. Petronio, as has
been related; and we have also spoken of its size. This statue was
destroyed by the Bentivogli, and the bronze was sold to Duke Alfonso
of Ferrara, who made with it a piece of artillery called La Giulia;
saving only the head, which is to be found in his guardaroba.


(_After the fresco by =Michelagnolo=. Rome: The Vatican, Sistine


When the Pope had returned to Rome and Michelagnolo was at work on the
statue, Bramante, the friend and relative of Raffaello da Urbino, and
for that reason little the friend of Michelagnolo, perceiving that the
Pope held in great favour and estimation the works that he executed in
sculpture, was constantly planning with Raffaello in Michelagnolo's
absence to remove from the mind of his Holiness the idea of causing
Michelagnolo, after his return, to devote himself to finishing his
tomb; saying that for a man to prepare himself a tomb during his own
lifetime was an evil augury and a hurrying on of his death. And they
persuaded his Holiness that on the return of Michelagnolo, he should
cause him to paint in memory of his uncle Sixtus the vaulting of the
chapel that he had built in the Palace. In this manner it seemed
possible to Bramante and other rivals of Michelagnolo to draw him away
from sculpture, in which they saw him to be perfect, and to plunge him
into despair, they thinking that if they compelled him to paint, he
would do work less worthy of praise, since he had no experience of
colours in fresco, and that he would prove inferior to Raffaello, and,
even if he did succeed in the work, in any case it would make him
angry against the Pope; so that in either event they would achieve
their object of getting rid of him. And so, when Michelagnolo returned
to Rome, the Pope was not disposed at that time to finish his tomb,
and requested him to paint the vaulting of the chapel. Michelagnolo,
who desired to finish the tomb, believing the vaulting of that chapel
to be a great and difficult labour, and considering his own want of
practice in colours, sought by every means to shake such a burden from
his shoulders, and proposed Raffaello for the work. But the more he
refused, the greater grew the desire of the Pope, who was headstrong
in his undertakings, and, in addition, was being spurred on anew by
the rivals of Michelagnolo, and especially by Bramante; so that his
Holiness, who was quick-tempered, was on the point of becoming enraged
with Michelagnolo. Whereupon Michelagnolo, perceiving that his
Holiness was determined in the matter, resolved to do it; and the Pope
commanded Bramante to erect the scaffolding from which the vaulting
might be painted. Bramante made it all supported by ropes, piercing
the vaulting; which having perceived, Michelagnolo inquired of
Bramante how he was to proceed to fill up the holes when he had
finished painting it, and he replied that he would think of that
afterwards, and that it could not be done otherwise. Michelagnolo
recognized that Bramante was either not very competent for such a work
or else little his friend, and he went to the Pope and said to him
that the scaffolding was not satisfactory, and that Bramante had not
known how to make it; and the Pope answered, in the presence of
Bramante, that he should make it after his own fashion. And so he
commanded that it should be erected upon props so as not to touch the
walls, a method of making scaffoldings for vaults that he taught
afterwards to Bramante and others, whereby many fine works have been
executed. Thus he enabled a poor creature of a carpenter, who rebuilt
the scaffolding, to dispense with so many of the ropes, that, after
selling them (for Michelagnolo gave them to him), he made up a dowry
for his daughter.

[Illustration: THE CREATION OF EVE

(_After the fresco by =Michelagnolo=. Rome: The Vatican, Sistine


He then set his hand to making the cartoons for that vaulting; and the
Pope decided, also, that the walls which the masters before him in the
time of Sixtus had painted should be scraped clean, and decreed that
he should have fifteen thousand ducats for the whole cost of the work;
which price was fixed through Giuliano da San Gallo. Thereupon, forced
by the magnitude of the undertaking to resign himself to obtaining
assistance, Michelagnolo sent for men to Florence; and he determined
to demonstrate in such a work that those who had painted there before
him were destined to be vanquished by his labours, and also resolved
to show to the modern craftsmen how to draw and paint. Having begun
the cartoons, he finished them; and the circumstances of the work
spurred him to soar to great heights, both for his own fame and for
the welfare of art. And then, desiring to paint it in fresco-colours,
and not having any experience of them, there came from Florence to
Rome certain of his friends who were painters, to the end that they
might give him assistance in such a work, and also that he might learn
from them the method of working in fresco, in which some of them were
well-practised; and among these were Granaccio, Giuliano Bugiardini,
Jacopo di Sandro, the elder Indaco, Agnolo di Donnino, and Aristotile.
Having made a commencement with the work, he caused them to begin some
things as specimens; but, perceiving that their efforts were very far
from what he desired, and not being satisfied with them, he resolved
one morning to throw to the ground everything that they had done.
Then, shutting himself up in the chapel, he would never open to them,
nor even allowed himself to be seen by them when he was at home. And
so, when the jest appeared to them to be going too far, they resigned
themselves to it and returned in shame to Florence. Thereupon
Michelagnolo, having made arrangements to paint the whole work by
himself, carried it well on the way to completion with the utmost
solicitude, labour, and study; nor would he ever let himself be seen,
lest he should give any occasion to compel him to show it, so that the
desire in the minds of everyone to see it grew greater every day.

Pope Julius was always very desirous to see any undertakings that he
was having carried out, and therefore became more eager than ever to
see this one, which was hidden from him. And so one day he resolved to
go to see it, but was not admitted, for Michelagnolo would never have
consented to show it to him; out of which affair arose the quarrel
that has been described, when he had to depart from Rome because he
would not show his work to the Pope. Now, when a third of the work was
finished (as I ascertained from him in order to clear up all doubts),
it began to throw out certain spots of mould, one winter that the
north wind was blowing. The reason of this was that the Roman lime,
which is made of travertine and white in colour, does not dry very
readily, and, when mixed with pozzolana, which is of a tawny colour,
makes a dark mixture which, when soft, is very watery; and when the
wall has been well soaked, it often breaks out into an efflorescence
in the drying; and thus this salt efflorescence of moisture came out
in many places, but in time the air consumed it. Michelagnolo was in
despair over this, and was unwilling to continue the work, asking the
Pope to excuse him, since he was not succeeding; but his Holiness sent
Giuliano da San Gallo to see him, and he, having told him whence the
defect arose and taught him how to remove the spots of mould,
encouraged him to persevere.

Now, when he had finished half of it, the Pope, who had subsequently
gone to see it several times (mounting certain ladders with the
assistance of Michelagnolo), insisted that it should be thrown open,
for he was hasty and impatient by nature, and could not wait for it to
be completely finished and to receive, as the saying is, the final
touch. No sooner was it thrown open than all Rome was drawn to see it,
and the Pope was the first, not having the patience to wait until the
dust caused by the dismantling of the scaffolding had settled.
Thereupon Raffaello da Urbino, who was very excellent in imitation,
after seeing it straightway changed his manner, and without losing any
time, in order to display his ability, painted the Prophets and Sibyls
in the work of the Pace; and at the same time Bramante sought to have
the other half of the chapel entrusted by the Pope to Raffaello. Which
hearing, Michelagnolo complained of Bramante, and revealed to the Pope
without any reserve many faults both in his life and in his
architectural works; of which last, in the building of S. Pietro, as
was seen afterwards, Michelagnolo became the corrector. But the Pope,
recognizing more clearly every day the ability of Michelagnolo,
desired that he should continue the work, judging, after he had seen
it uncovered, that he could make the second half considerably better;
and so in twenty months he carried that work to perfect completion by
himself alone, without the assistance even of anyone to grind his
colours. Michelagnolo complained at times that on account of the haste
that the Pope imposed on him he was not able to finish it in his own
fashion, as he would have liked; for his Holiness was always asking
him importunately when he would finish it. On one occasion, among
others, he replied, "It will be finished when I shall have satisfied
myself in the matter of art." "But it is our pleasure," answered the
Pope, "that you should satisfy us in our desire to have it done
quickly;" and he added, finally, that if Michelagnolo did not finish
the work quickly he would have him thrown down from the scaffolding.
Whereupon Michelagnolo, who feared and had good reason to fear the
anger of the Pope, straightway finished all that was wanting, without
losing any time, and, after taking down the rest of the scaffolding,
threw it open to view on the morning of All Saints' Day, when the Pope
went into the chapel to sing Mass, to the great satisfaction of the
whole city. Michelagnolo desired to retouch some parts "a secco," as
the old masters had done on the scenes below, painting backgrounds,
draperies, and skies in ultramarine, and ornaments in gold in certain
places, to the end that this might produce greater richness and a more
striking effect; and the Pope, having learned that this ornamentation
was wanting, and hearing the work praised so much by all who had seen
it, wished him to finish it; but, since it would have been too long a
labour for Michelagnolo to rebuild the scaffolding, it was left as it
was. His Holiness, often seeing Michelagnolo, would say to him that
the chapel should be enriched with colours and gold, since it looked
poor. And Michelagnolo would answer familiarly, "Holy Father, in those
times men did not bedeck themselves with gold, and those that are
painted there were never very rich, but rather holy men, on which
account they despised riches."

For this work Michelagnolo was paid by the Pope three thousand crowns
on several occasions, of which he had to spend twenty-five on colours.
The work was executed with very great discomfort to himself, from his
having to labour with his face upwards, which so impaired his sight
that for a time, which was not less than several months, he was not
able to read letters or look at drawings save with his head backwards.
And to this I can bear witness, having painted five vaulted chambers
in the great apartments in the Palace of Duke Cosimo, when, if I had
not made a chair on which I could rest my head and lie down at my
work, I would never have finished it; even so, it has so ruined my
sight and injured my head, that I still feel the effects, and I am
astonished that Michelagnolo endured all that discomfort so well. But
in truth, becoming more and more kindled every day by his fervour in
the work, and encouraged by the proficience and improvement that he
made, he felt no fatigue and cared nothing for discomfort.


(_After the fresco by =Michelagnolo=. Rome: The Vatican, Sistine


The distribution of this work is contrived with six pendentives on
either side, with one in the centre of the walls at the foot and at
the head, and on these he painted Sibyls and Prophets, six braccia in
height; in the centre of the vault the history of the world from the
Creation down to the Deluge and the Drunkenness of Noah, and in the
lunettes all the Genealogy of Christ. In these compartments he used no
rule of perspectives in foreshortening, nor is there any fixed point
of view, but he accommodated the compartments to the figures rather
than the figures to the compartments, being satisfied to execute those
figures, both the nude and the draped, with the perfection of design,
so that another such work has never been and never can be done, and it
is scarcely possible even to imitate his achievement. This work, in
truth, has been and still is the lamp of our art, and has bestowed
such benefits and shed so much light on the art of painting, that
it has served to illuminate a world that had lain in darkness for so
many hundreds of years. And it is certain that no man who is a painter
need think any more to see new inventions, attitudes, and draperies
for the clothing of figures, novel manners of expression, and things
painted with greater variety and force, because he gave to this work
all the perfection that can be given to any work executed in such a
field of art. And at the present day everyone is amazed who is able to
perceive in it the excellence of the figures, the perfection of the
foreshortenings, and the extraordinary roundness of the contours,
which have in them slenderness and grace, being drawn with the beauty
of proportion that is seen in beautiful nudes; and these, in order to
display the supreme perfection of art, he made of all ages, different
in expression and in form, in countenance and in outline, some more
slender and some fuller in the members; as may also be seen in the
beautiful attitudes, which are all different, some seated, some
moving, and others upholding certain festoons of oak-leaves and
acorns, placed there as the arms and device of Pope Julius, and
signifying that at that time and under his government was the age of
gold; for Italy was not then in the travail and misery that she has
since suffered. Between them, also, they hold some medallions
containing stories in relief in imitation of bronze and gold, taken
from the Book of Kings.


(_After the fresco by =Michelagnolo=. Rome: The Vatican, Sistine


Besides this, in order to display the perfection of art and also the
greatness of God, he painted in a scene God dividing Light from
Darkness, wherein may be seen His Majesty as He rests self-sustained
with the arms outstretched, and reveals both love and power. In the
second scene he depicted with most beautiful judgment and genius God
creating the Sun and Moon, in which He is supported by many little
Angels, in an attitude sublime and terrible by reason of the
foreshortenings in the arms and legs. In the same scene Michelagnolo
depicted Him after the Blessing of the Earth and the Creation of the
Animals, when He is seen on that vaulting as a figure flying in
foreshortening; and wherever you go throughout the chapel, it turns
constantly and faces in every direction. So, also, in the next scene,
where He is dividing the Water from the Earth; and both these are
very beautiful figures and refinements of genius such as could be
produced only by the divine hands of Michelagnolo. He then went on,
beyond that scene, to the Creation of Adam, wherein he figured God as
borne by a group of nude Angels of tender age, which appear to be
supporting not one figure only, but the whole weight of the world;
this effect being produced by the venerable majesty of His form and by
the manner of the movement with which He embraces some of the little
Angels with one arm, as if to support Himself, and with the other
extends the right hand towards Adam, a figure of such a kind in its
beauty, in the attitude, and in the outlines, that it appears as if
newly fashioned by the first and supreme Creator rather than by the
brush and design of a mortal man. Beyond this, in another scene, he
made God taking our mother Eve from Adam's side, in which may be seen
those two nude figures, one as it were dead from his being the thrall
of sleep, and the other become alive and filled with animation by the
blessing of God. Very clearly do we see from the brush of this most
gifted craftsman the difference that there is between sleep and
wakefulness, and how firm and stable, speaking humanly, the Divine
Majesty may appear.

Next to this there follows the scene when Adam, at the persuasion of a
figure half woman and half serpent, brings death upon himself and upon
us by the Forbidden Fruit; and there, also, are seen Adam and Eve
driven from Paradise. In the figure of the Angel is shown with
nobility and grandeur the execution of the mandate of a wrathful Lord,
and in the attitude of Adam the sorrow for his sin together with the
fear of death, as likewise in the woman may be seen shame, abasement,
and the desire to implore pardon, as she presses the arms to the
breast, clasps the hands palm to palm, and sinks the neck into the
bosom, and also turns the head towards the Angel, having more fear of
the justice of God than hope in His mercy. Nor is there less beauty in
the story of the sacrifice of Cain and Abel; wherein are some who are
bringing up the wood, some who are bent down and blowing at the fire,
and others who are cutting the throat of the victim; which certainly
is all executed with not less consideration and attention than the
others. He showed the same art and the same judgment in the story of
the Deluge, wherein are seen various deaths of men, who, terrified by
the horror of those days, are striving their utmost in different ways
to save their lives. For in the faces of those figures may be seen
life a prey to death, not less than fear, terror, and disregard of
everything; and compassion is visible in many that are assisting one
another to climb to the summit of a rock in search of safety, among
them one who, having embraced one half dead, is striving his utmost to
save him, than which Nature herself could show nothing better. Nor can
I tell how well expressed is the story of Noah, who, drunk with wine,
is sleeping naked, and has before him one son who is laughing at him
and two who are covering him up--a scene incomparable in the beauty of
the artistry, and not to be surpassed save by himself alone.

[Illustration: THE LYBIAN SIBYL

(_After the fresco by =Michelagnolo=. Rome: The Vatican, Sistine


Then, as if his genius had taken courage from what it had achieved up
to that time, it soared upwards and proved itself even greater in the
five Sibyls and seven Prophets that are painted there, each five
braccia or more in height. In all these are well-varied attitudes,
beautiful draperies, and different vestments; and all, in a word, are
wrought with marvellous invention and judgment, and to him who can
distinguish their expressions they appear divine. Jeremiah is seen
with the legs crossed, holding one hand to the beard, and resting that
elbow on the knee; the other hand rests in his lap, and he has the
head bowed in a manner that clearly demonstrates the melancholy,
cogitation, anxious thought and bitterness of soul that his people
cause him. Equally fine, also, are two little children that are behind
him, and likewise the first Sibyl, beyond him in the direction of the
door, in which figure, wishing to depict old age, in addition to
enveloping her in draperies, he sought to show that her blood is
already frozen by time; besides which, since her sight has become
feeble, he has made her as she reads bring the book very close to her
eyes. Beyond this figure follows the Prophet Ezekiel, an old man, who
has a grace and a movement that are most beautiful, and is much
enveloped in draperies, while with one hand he holds a roll of
prophecies, and with the other uplifted, turning his head, he appears
to be about to utter great and lofty words; and behind him he has two
boys who hold his books. Next to him follows a Sibyl, who is doing the
contrary to the Erythræan Sibyl that we described above, for, holding
her book away from her, she seeks to turn a page, while with one knee
over the other she sits sunk within herself, pondering gravely over
what she is to write; and then a boy who is behind her, blowing on a
burning brand, lights her lamp. This figure is of extraordinary beauty
in the expression of the face, in the head-dress, and in the
arrangement of the draperies; besides which she has the arms nude,
which are equal to the other parts. Beyond this Sibyl he painted the
Prophet Joel, who, sunk within himself, has taken a scroll and reads
it with great attention and appreciation: and from his aspect it is so
clearly evident that he is satisfied with that which he finds written
there, that he looks like a living person who has applied his thoughts
intently to some matter. Over the door of the chapel, likewise, he
placed the aged Zaccharias, who, seeking through his written book for
something that he cannot find, stands with one leg on high and the
other low; and, while the ardour of the search after something that he
cannot find causes him to stand thus, he takes no notice of the
discomfort that he suffers in such a posture. This figure is very
beautiful in its aspect of old age, and somewhat full in form, and has
draperies with few folds, which are most beautiful. In addition, there
is another Sibyl, who is next in the direction of the altar on the
other side, displaying certain writings, and, with her boys in
attendance, is no less worthy of praise than are the others. Beyond
her is the Prophet Isaiah, who, wholly absorbed in his own thoughts,
has the legs crossed over one another, and, holding one hand in his
book to mark the place where he was reading, has placed the elbow of
the other arm upon the book, with the cheek pressed against the hand;
and, being called by one of the boys that he has behind him, he turns
only the head, without disturbing himself otherwise. Whoever shall
consider his countenance, shall see touches truly taken from Nature
herself, the true mother of art, and a figure which, when well studied
in every part, can teach in liberal measure all the precepts of the
good painter. Beyond this Prophet is an aged Sibyl of great beauty,
who, as she sits, studies from a book in an attitude of extraordinary
grace, not to speak of the beautiful attitudes of the two boys that
are about her. Nor may any man think with all his imaginings to be
able to attain to the excellence of the figure of a youth representing
Daniel, who, writing in a great book, is taking certain things from
other writings and copying them with extraordinary attention; and as
a support for the weight of the book Michelagnolo painted a boy
between his legs, who is upholding it while he writes, all which no
brush held by a human hand, however skilful, will ever be able to
equal. And so, also, with the beautiful figure of the Libyan Sibyl,
who, having written a great volume drawn from many books, is in an
attitude of womanly grace, as if about to rise to her feet; and in one
and the same movement she makes as if to rise and to close the book--a
thing most difficult, not to say impossible, for any other but the
master of the work.

And what can be said of the four scenes at the corners, on the
spandrels of that vaulting; in one of which David, with all the boyish
strength that he can exert in the conquest of a giant, is cutting off
his head, bringing marvel to the faces of some soldiers who are about
the camp. And so, also, do men marvel at the beautiful attitudes that
Michelagnolo depicted in the story of Judith, at the opposite corner,
in which may be seen the trunk of Holofernes, robbed of life but still
quivering, while Judith is placing the lifeless head in a basket on
the head of her old serving-woman, who, being tall in stature, is
stooping to the end that Judith may be able to reach up to her and
adjust the weight well; and the servant, while upholding the burden
with her hands, seeks to conceal it, and, turning her head towards the
trunk, which, although dead, draws up an arm and a leg and makes a
noise in the tent, she shows in her expression fear of the camp and
terror of the dead body--a picture truly full of thought. But more
beautiful and more divine than this or any of the others is the story
of the Serpents of Moses, which is above the left-hand corner of the
altar; for the reason that in it is seen the havoc wrought by death,
the rain of serpents, their stings and their bites, and there may also
be perceived the serpent of brass that Moses placed upon a pole. In
this scene are shown vividly the various deaths that those die who are
robbed of all hope by the bite of the serpents, and one sees the
deadly venom causing vast numbers to die in terror and convulsions, to
say nothing of the rigid legs and twisted arms of those who remain in
the attitudes in which they were struck down, unable to move, and the
marvellous heads that are shrieking and thrown backwards in despair.
Not less beautiful than all these are those who, having looked upon
the serpent, and feeling their pains alleviated by the sight of it,
are gazing on it with profound emotion; and among them is a woman who
is supported by another figure in such a manner that the assistance
rendered to her by him who upholds her is no less manifest than her
pressing need in such sudden alarm and hurt. In the next scene,
likewise, in which Ahasuerus, reclining in a bed, is reading his
chronicles, are figures of great beauty, and among them three figures
eating at a table, which represent the council that was held for the
deliverance of the Jewish people and the hanging of Haman. The figure
of Haman was executed by Michelagnolo in an extraordinary manner of
foreshortening, for he counterfeited the trunk that supports his
person, and that arm which comes forward, not as painted things but as
real and natural, standing out in relief, and so also that leg which
he stretches outwards and other parts that bend inwards: which figure,
among all that are beautiful and difficult, is certainly the most
beautiful and the most difficult.


(_After the fresco by =Michelagnolo Buonarroti=. Rome: Sistine


It would take too long to describe all the beautiful fantasies in the
different actions in the part where there is all the Genealogy of the
Fathers, beginning with the sons of Noah, to demonstrate the Genealogy
of Jesus Christ, in which figures is a variety of things that it is
not possible to enumerate, such as draperies, expressions of heads,
and an infinite number of novel and extraordinary fancies, all most
beautifully considered. Nothing there but is carried into execution
with genius: all the figures there are masterly and most beautifully
foreshortened, and everything that you look at is divine and beyond
praise. And who will not be struck dumb with admiration at the sight
of the sublime force of Jonas, the last figure in the chapel, wherein
by the power of art the vaulting, which in fact springs forward in
accord with the curve of the masonry, yet, being in appearance pushed
back by that figure, which bends inwards, seems as if straight, and,
vanquished by the art of design with its lights and shades, even
appears in truth to recede inwards? Oh, truly happy age of ours, and
truly blessed craftsmen! Well may you be called so, seeing that in our
time you have been able to illumine anew in such a fount of light
the darkened sight of your eyes, and to see all that was difficult
made smooth by a master so marvellous and so unrivalled! Certainly the
glory of his labours makes you known and honoured, in that he has
stripped from you that veil which you had over the eyes of your minds,
which were so full of darkness, and has delivered the truth from the
falsehood that overshadowed your intellects. Thank Heaven, therefore,
for this, and strive to imitate Michelagnolo in everything.

When the work was thrown open, the whole world could be heard running
up to see it, and, indeed, it was such as to make everyone astonished
and dumb. Wherefore the Pope, having been magnified by such a result
and encouraged in his heart to undertake even greater enterprises,
rewarded Michelagnolo liberally with money and rich gifts: and
Michelagnolo would say at times of the extraordinary favours that the
Pope conferred upon him, that they showed that he fully recognized his
worth, and that, if by way of proving his friendliness he sometimes
played him strange tricks, he would heal the wound with signal gifts
and favours. As when, Michelagnolo once demanding from him leave to go
to Florence for the festival of S. John, and asking money for that
purpose, the Pope said, "Well, but when will you have this chapel
finished?" "As soon as I can, Holy Father." The Pope, who had a staff
in his hand, struck Michelagnolo, saying, "As soon as I can! As soon
as I can! I will soon make you finish it!" Whereupon Michelagnolo went
back to his house to get ready to go to Florence; but the Pope
straightway sent Cursio, his Chamberlain, to Michelagnolo with five
hundred crowns to pacify him, fearing lest he might commit one of his
caprices, and Cursio made excuse for the Pope, saying that such things
were favours and marks of affection. And Michelagnolo, who knew the
Pope's nature and, after all, loved him, laughed over it all, for he
saw that in the end everything turned to his profit and advantage, and
that the Pontiff would do anything to keep a man such as himself as
his friend.

When the chapel was finished, before the Pope was overtaken by death,
his Holiness commanded Cardinal Santiquattro and Cardinal Aginense,
his nephew, in the event of his death, that they should cause his
tomb to be finished, but on a smaller scale than before. To this work
Michelagnolo set himself once again, and so made a beginning gladly
with the tomb, hoping to carry it once and for all to completion
without so many impediments; but he had from it ever afterwards
vexations, annoyances, and travails, more than from any other work
that he did in all his life, and it brought upon him for a long time,
in a certain sense, the accusation of being ungrateful to that Pope,
who had so loved and favoured him. Thus, when he had returned to the
tomb, and was working at it continually, and also at times preparing
designs from which he might be able to execute the façades of the
chapel, envious Fortune decreed that that memorial, which had been
begun with such perfection, should be left unfinished. For at that
time there took place the death of Pope Julius, and the work was
abandoned on account of the election of Pope Leo X, who, being no less
splendid than Julius in mind and spirit, had a desire to leave in his
native city (of which he was the first Pope), in memory of himself and
of a divine craftsman who was his fellow-citizen, such marvels as only
a mighty Prince like himself could undertake. Wherefore he gave orders
that the façade of S. Lorenzo, a church built by the Medici family in
Florence, should be erected for him, which was the reason that the
work of the tomb of Julius was left unfinished; and he demanded advice
and designs from Michelagnolo, and desired that he should be the head
of that work. Michelagnolo made all the resistance that he could,
pleading that he was pledged in the matter of the tomb to Santiquattro
and Aginense, but the Pope answered him that he was not to think of
that, and that he himself had already seen to it and contrived that
Michelagnolo should be released by them; promising, also, that he
should be able to work in Florence, as he had already begun to do, at
the figures for that tomb. All this was displeasing to the Cardinals,
and also to Michelagnolo, who went off in tears.

[Illustration: THE NEW SACRISTY

(_After =Michelangelo=. Florence: S. Lorenzo_)


Many and various were the discussions that arose on this subject, on
the ground that such a work as that façade should have been
distributed among several persons, and in the matter of the
architecture many craftsmen flocked to Rome to see the Pope, and made
designs; Baccio d'Agnolo, Antonio da San Gallo, Andrea Sansovino and
Jacopo Sansovino, and the gracious Raffaello da Urbino, who was
afterwards summoned to Florence for that purpose at the time of the
Pope's visit. Thereupon Michelagnolo resolved to make a model and not
to accept anyone beyond himself as his guide or superior in the
architecture of such a work; but this refusal of assistance was the
reason that neither he nor any other executed the work, and that those
masters returned in despair to their customary pursuits. Michelagnolo,
going to Carrara, had an order authorizing that a thousand crowns
should be paid to him by Jacopo Salviati; but on his arrival Jacopo
was shut up in his room on business with some citizens, and
Michelagnolo, refusing to wait for an audience, departed without
saying a word and went straightway to Carrara. Jacopo heard of
Michelagnolo's arrival, and, not finding him in Florence, sent him a
thousand crowns to Carrara. The messenger demanded that Michelagnolo
should write him a receipt, to which he answered that the money was
for the expenses of the Pope and not for his own interest, and that
the messenger might take it back, but that he was not accustomed to
write out quittances or receipts for others; whereupon the other
returned in alarm to Jacopo without a receipt.

While Michelagnolo was at Carrara and was having marble quarried for
the tomb of Julius, thinking at length to finish it, no less than for
the façade, a letter was written to him saying that Pope Leo had heard
that in the mountains of Pietrasanta near Seravezza, in the Florentine
dominion, at the summit of the highest mountain, which is called Monte
Altissimo, there were marbles of the same excellence and beauty as
those of Carrara. This Michelagnolo already knew, but it seems that he
would not take advantage of it because of his friendship with the
Marchese Alberigo, Lord of Carrara, and, in order to do him a good
service, chose to quarry those of Carrara rather than those of
Seravezza; or it may have been that he judged it to be a long
undertaking and likely to waste much time, as indeed it did. However,
he was forced to go to Seravezza, although he pleaded in protest that
it would be more difficult and costly, as in truth it was, especially
at the beginning, and, moreover, that the report about the marble was
perhaps not true; but for all that the Pope would not hear a word of
objection. Thereupon it was decided to make a road for several miles
through the mountains, breaking down rocks with hammers and pickaxes
to obtain a level, and sinking piles in the marshy places; and there
Michelagnolo spent many years in executing the wishes of the Pope.
Finally five columns of the proper size were excavated, one of which
is on the Piazza di S. Lorenzo in Florence, and the others are on the
sea-shore. And for this reason the Marchese Alberigo, who saw his
business ruined, became the bitter enemy of Michelagnolo, who was not
to blame. Michelagnolo, in addition to these columns, excavated many
other marbles there, which are still in the quarries, abandoned there
for more than thirty years. But at the present day Duke Cosimo has
given orders for the road to be finished, of which there are still two
miles to make over very difficult ground, for the transportation of
these marbles, and also a road from another quarry of excellent marble
that was discovered at that time by Michelagnolo, in order to be able
to finish many beautiful undertakings. In the same district of
Seravezza he discovered a mountain of variegated marble that is very
hard and very beautiful, below Stazema, a village in those mountains;
where the same Duke Cosimo has caused a paved road of more than four
miles to be made, for conveying the marble to the sea.

But to return to Michelagnolo: having gone back to Florence, he lost
much time now in one thing and now in another. And he made at that
time for the Palace of the Medici a model for the knee-shaped windows
of those rooms that are at the corner, where Giovanni da Udine adorned
the chamber in stucco and painting, which is a much extolled work; and
he caused to be made for them by the goldsmith Piloto, but under his
own direction, those jalousies of perforated copper, which are
certainly admirable things. Michelagnolo consumed many years in
quarrying marbles, although it is true that while they were being
excavated he made models of wax and other things for the work. But
this undertaking was delayed so long, that the money assigned by the
Pope for the purpose was spent on the war in Lombardy; and at the
death of Leo the work was left unfinished, nothing being accomplished
save the laying of a foundation in front to support it, and the
transportation of a large column of marble from Carrara to the Piazza
di S. Lorenzo.

[Illustration: MADONNA AND CHILD

(_After =Michelagnolo=. Florence: New Sacristy of S. Lorenzo_)


The death of Leo completely dismayed the craftsmen and the arts
both in Rome and in Florence; and while Adrian VI was alive
Michelagnolo gave his attention in Florence to the tomb of Julius. But
after the death of Adrian Clement VII was elected, who was no less
desirous than Leo and his other predecessors to leave his fame
established by the arts of architecture, sculpture, and painting. At
this time, which was the year 1525, Giorgio Vasari was taken as a
little boy to Florence by the Cardinal of Cortona, and placed with
Michelagnolo to learn art. But Michelagnolo was then summoned to Rome
by Pope Clement VII, who had made a beginning with the library of S.
Lorenzo and also the new sacristy, in which he proposed to place the
marble tombs that he was having made for his forefathers; and he
resolved that Vasari should go to work with Andrea del Sarto until he
should himself be free again, and went in person to Andrea's workshop
to present him.

Michelagnolo departed for Rome in haste, harassed once again by
Francesco Maria, Duke of Urbino, the nephew of Pope Julius, who
complained of him, saying that he had received sixteen thousand crowns
for the above-named tomb, yet was living a life of pleasure in
Florence; and he threatened in his anger that, if Michelagnolo did not
give his attention to the work, he would make him rue it. Having
arrived in Rome, Pope Clement, who wished to make use of him, advised
him to draw up his accounts with the agents of the Duke, believing
that after all that he had done he must be their creditor rather than
their debtor; and so the matter rested. After discussing many things
together, they resolved to finish completely the library and new
sacristy of S. Lorenzo in Florence. Michelagnolo therefore departed
from Rome, and raised the cupola that is now to be seen, causing it to
be wrought in various orders of composition; and he had a ball with
seventy-two faces made by the goldsmith Piloto, which is very
beautiful. It happened, while Michelagnolo was raising the cupola,
that he was asked by some friends, "Should you not make your lantern
very different from that of Filippo Brunelleschi?" And he answered
them, "Different it can be made with ease, but better, no." He made
four tombs in that sacristy, to adorn the walls and to contain the
bodies of the fathers of the two Popes, the elder Lorenzo and his
brother Giuliano, and those of Giuliano, the brother of Leo, and of
Duke Lorenzo, his nephew. And since he wished to execute the work in
imitation of the old sacristy that Filippo Brunelleschi had built, but
with another manner of ornamentation, he made in it an ornamentation
in a composite order, in a more varied and more original manner than
any other master at any time, whether ancient or modern, had been able
to achieve, for in the novelty of the beautiful cornices, capitals,
bases, doors, tabernacles, and tombs, he departed not a little from
the work regulated by measure, order, and rule, which other men did
according to a common use and after Vitruvius and the antiquities, to
which he would not conform. That licence has done much to give courage
to those who have seen his methods to set themselves to imitate him,
and new fantasies have since been seen which have more of the
grotesque than of reason or rule in their ornamentation. Wherefore the
craftsmen owe him an infinite and everlasting obligation, he having
broken the bonds and chains by reason of which they had always
followed a beaten path in the execution of their works. And even more
did he demonstrate and seek to make known such a method afterwards in
the library of S. Lorenzo, at the same place; in the beautiful
distribution of the windows, in the pattern of the ceiling, and in the
marvellous entrance of the vestibule. Nor was there ever seen a more
resolute grace, both in the whole and in the parts, as in the
consoles, tabernacles, and cornices, nor any staircase more
commodious; in which last he made such bizarre breaks in the outlines
of the steps, and departed so much from the common use of others, that
everyone was amazed.

[Illustration: GIULIANO DE' MEDICI

(_After =Michelagnolo=. Florence: New Sacristy of S. Lorenzo_)


At this time he sent his disciple Pietro Urbano of Pistoia to Rome to
carry to completion a nude Christ holding the Cross, a most admirable
figure, which was placed beside the principal chapel of the Minerva,
at the commission of Messer Antonio Metelli. About the same time there
took place the sack of Rome and the expulsion of the Medici from
Florence; by reason of which upheaval those who governed the city of
Florence resolved to rebuild the fortifications, and therefore made
Michelagnolo Commissary General over all that work. Whereupon he made
designs and caused fortifications to be built for several parts of the
city, and finally encircled the hill of San Miniato with bastions,
which he made not with sods of earth, wood, and bundles of
brushwood, as is generally done, but with a stout base of chestnut,
oak, and other good materials interwoven, and in place of sods he took
unbaked bricks made with tow and the dung of cattle, squared with very
great diligence. And for this reason he was sent by the Signoria of
Florence to Ferrara, to inspect the fortifications of Duke Alfonso I,
and so also his artillery and munitions; where he received many
courtesies from that lord, who besought him that he should do
something for him with his own hand at his leisure, and Michelagnolo
promised that he would. After his return, he was continually engaged
in fortifying the city, but, although he was thus occupied,
nevertheless he kept working at a picture of a Leda for that Duke,
painted with his own hand in distemper-colours, which was a divine
thing, as will be related in the proper place; also continuing the
statues for the tombs of S. Lorenzo, but in secret. At this time
Michelagnolo spent some six months on the hill of San Miniato in order
to press on the fortification of that hill, because if the enemy
became master of it, the city was lost; and so he pursued these
undertakings with the utmost diligence.


(_After =Michelagnolo=. Florence: New Sacristy of S. Lorenzo_)


At this same time he continued the work in the above-mentioned
sacristy, in which were seven statues that were left partly finished
and partly not. With these, and with the architectural inventions of
the tombs, it must be confessed that he surpassed every man in these
three professions; to which testimony is borne by the statues of
marble, blocked out and finished by him, which are to be seen in that
place. One is Our Lady, who is in a sitting attitude, with the right
leg crossed over the left and one knee placed upon the other, and the
Child, with the thighs astride the leg that is uppermost, turns in a
most beautiful attitude towards His Mother, hungry for her milk, and
she, while holding Him with one hand and supporting herself with the
other, bends forward to give it to Him; and although the figure is not
equal in every part, and it was left rough and showing the marks of
the gradine, yet with all its imperfections there may be recognized in
it the full perfection of the work. Even more did he cause everyone to
marvel by the circumstance that in making the tombs of Duke Giuliano
and Duke Lorenzo de' Medici he considered that earth alone was not
enough to give them honourable burial in their greatness, and desired
that all the phases of the world should be there, and that their
sepulchres should be surrounded and covered by four statues; wherefore
he gave to one Night and Day, and to the other Dawn and Twilight;
which statues, most beautifully wrought in form, in attitude, and in
the masterly treatment of the muscles, would suffice, if that art were
lost, to restore her to her pristine lustre. There, among the other
statues, are the two Captains, armed; one the pensive Duke Lorenzo,
the very presentment of wisdom, with legs so beautiful and so well
wrought, that there is nothing better to be seen by mortal eye; and
the other is Duke Giuliano, so proud a figure, with the head, the
throat, the setting of the eyes, the profile of the nose, the opening
of the mouth, and the hair all so divine, to say nothing of the hands,
arms, knees, feet, and, in short, every other thing that he carved
therein, that the eye can never be weary or have its fill of gazing at
them; and, of a truth, whoever studies the beauty of the buskins and
the cuirass, believes it to be celestial rather than mortal. But what
shall I say of the Dawn, a nude woman, who is such as to awaken
melancholy in the soul and to render impotent the style of sculpture?
In her attitude may be seen her effort, as she rises, heavy with
sleep, and raises herself from her downy bed; and it seems that in
awakening she has found the eyes of that great Duke closed in death,
so that she is agonized with bitter grief, weeping in her own
unchangeable beauty in token of her great sorrow. And what can I say
of the Night, a statue not rare only, but unique? Who is there who has
ever seen in that art in any age, ancient or modern, statues of such a
kind? For in her may be seen not only the stillness of one sleeping,
but the grief and melancholy of one who has lost a great and honoured
possession; and we must believe that this is that night of darkness
that obscures all those who thought for some time, I will not say to
surpass, but to equal Michelagnolo in sculpture and design. In that
statue is infused all the somnolence that is seen in sleeping forms;
wherefore many verses in Latin and rhymes in the vulgar tongue were
written in her praise by persons of great learning, such as these, of
which the author is not known--

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

To which Michelagnolo, speaking in the person of Night, answered

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

Truly, if the enmity that there is between Fortune and Genius, between
the envy of the one and the excellence of the other, had not prevented
such a work from being carried to completion, Art was like to prove to
Nature that she surpassed her by a great measure in every conception.

While Michelagnolo was labouring with the greatest solicitude and love
at these works, there came in 1529 the siege of Florence, which
hindered their completion only too effectually, and was the reason
that he did little or no more work upon them, the citizens having laid
upon him the charge of fortifying not only the hill of S. Miniato, but
also the city, as we have related. And thus, having lent a thousand
crowns to that Republic, and being elected one of the Nine, a military
Council appointed for the war, he turned all his mind and soul to
perfecting those fortifications. But in the end, when the enemy had
closed round the city, and all hope of assistance was failing little
by little, and the difficulties of maintaining the defence were
increasing, and it appeared to Michelagnolo that he was in a sorry
pass with regard to his personal safety, he determined to leave
Florence and make his way to Venice, without making himself known to
anyone on the road. He set out secretly, therefore, by way of the hill
of S. Miniato, without anyone knowing of it, taking with him Antonio
Mini, his disciple, and the goldsmith Piloto, his faithful friend; and
each of them carried a number of crowns on his person, sewn into his
quilted doublet. Having arrived in Ferrara, they rested there; and it
happened that on account of the alarm caused by the war and the league
of the Emperor and the Pope, who were besieging Florence, Duke Alfonso
d'Este was keeping strict watch in Ferrara, and required to be
secretly informed by the hosts who gave lodging to travellers of the
names of all those who lodged with them from one day to another; and
he caused a list of all foreigners, with their nationality, to be
brought to him every day. It came to pass, then, that when
Michelagnolo had dismounted with his companions, intending to stay
there without revealing himself, this became known in that way to the
Duke, who was very glad, because he had already become his friend.
That Prince was a man of lofty mind, delighting constantly in persons
of ability all his life long, and he straightway sent some of the
first men of his Court with orders to conduct him in the name of his
Excellency to the Palace, where the Duke was, to remove thither his
horses and all his baggage, and to give him a handsome lodging in that
Palace. Michelagnolo, finding himself in the power of another, was
constrained to obey and to make the best of a bad business, and he
went with those courtiers to the Duke, but without removing his
baggage from the inn. Thereupon the Duke, after first complaining of
his reserve, gave him a great reception; and then, making him rich and
honourable presents, he sought to detain him in Ferrara with the
promise of a fine salary. He, having his mind set on something else,
would not consent to remain; but the Duke again made him a free offer
of all that was in his power, praying him that he should at least not
depart as long as the war continued. Whereupon Michelagnolo, not
wishing to be outdone in courtesy, thanked him warmly, and, turning
towards his two companions, said that he had brought twelve thousand
crowns to Ferrara, and that, if the Duke had need of them, they were
at his disposal, together with himself. The Duke then took him through
the Palace to divert him, as he had done on another occasion, and
showed him all the beautiful things that he had there, including a
portrait of himself by Tiziano, which was much commended by
Michelagnolo. However, his Excellency was not able to keep him in the
Palace, for he insisted on returning to the inn; wherefore the host
who was lodging him received from the Duke a great abundance of
things wherewith to do him honour, and also orders that at his
departure he should not accept anything for his lodging. From Ferrara
he made his way to Venice, where many gentlemen sought to become known
to him; but he, who always had a very poor opinion of their knowledge
of his profession, departed from the Giudecca, where he had his
lodging. There, so it is said, he made for that city at that time, at
the request of the Doge Gritti, a design for the bridge of the Rialto,
which was very rare in invention and in ornamentation.

Michelagnolo was invited with great insistence to go back to his
native country, being urgently requested not to abandon his
undertaking there, and receiving a safe-conduct; and finally,
vanquished by love of her, he returned, but not without danger to his
life. At this time he finished the Leda that he was painting, as has
been related, at the request of Duke Alfonso; and it was afterwards
taken to France by Antonio Mini, his disciple. And at this same time
he saved the campanile of S. Miniato, a tower which sorely harassed
the enemy's forces with its two pieces of artillery, so that their
artillerists, having set to work to batter it with heavy cannon, had
half ruined it, and were like to destroy it completely, when
Michelagnolo protected it so well with bales of wool and stout
mattresses suspended by cords, that it is still standing. It is said,
also, that at the time of the siege there came to him an opportunity
to acquire, according to a desire that he had long had, a block of
marble of nine braccia which had come from Carrara, and which Pope
Clement, after much rivalry and contention between him and Baccio
Bandinelli, had given to Baccio. But Michelagnolo, now that such a
matter was in the hands of the Commonwealth, asked for it from the
Gonfalonier, who gave it to him that he might likewise try his hand
upon it, although Baccio had already made a model and hacked away much
of the stone in blocking it out. Thereupon Michelagnolo made a model,
which was held to be a marvellous and very beautiful thing; but on the
return of the Medici the marble was restored to Baccio.

When peace had been made, Baccio Valori, the Pope's Commissioner,
received orders to have some of the most partisan citizens arrested
and imprisoned in the Bargello, and the same tribunal sought out
Michelagnolo at his house; but he, fearing that, had fled secretly to
the house of one who was much his friend, where he remained hidden
many days. Finally, when the first fury had abated, Pope Clement,
remembering the ability of Michelagnolo, caused a diligent search to
be made for him, with orders that nothing should be said to him, but
rather that his former appointments should be restored to him, and
that he should attend to the work of S. Lorenzo, over which he placed
as proveditor M. Giovan Battista Figiovanni, the old servant of the
Medici family and Prior of S. Lorenzo. Thus reassured, Michelagnolo,
in order to make Baccio Valori his friend, began a figure of three
braccia in marble, which was an Apollo drawing an arrow from his
quiver, and carried it almost to completion. It is now in the
apartment of the Prince of Florence, and is a very rare work, although
it is not completely finished.

At this time a certain gentleman was sent to Michelagnolo by Duke
Alfonso of Ferrara, who, having heard that the master had made some
rare work for him with his own hand, did not wish to lose such a
jewel. Having arrived in Florence and found Michelagnolo, the envoy
presented to him letters of recommendation from that lord; whereupon
Michelagnolo, receiving him courteously, showed him the Leda embracing
the Swan that he had painted, with Castor and Pollux issuing from the
Egg, in a large picture executed in distemper, as it were with the
breath. The Duke's envoy, thinking from the praise that he heard
everywhere of Michelagnolo that he should have done something great,
and not recognizing the excellence and artistry of that figure, said
to Michelagnolo: "Oh, this is but a trifle." Michelagnolo, knowing
that no one is better able to pronounce judgment on works than those
who have had long practise in them, asked him what was his vocation.
And he answered, with a sneer, "I am a merchant"; believing that he
had not been recognized by Michelagnolo as a gentleman, and as it were
making fun of such a question, and at the same time affecting to
despise the industry of the Florentines. Michelagnolo, who had
understood perfectly the meaning of his words, at once replied: "You
will find you have made a bad bargain this time for your master. Get
you gone out of my sight."

[Illustration: APOLLO

(_After =Michelagnolo=. Florence: Museo Nazionale_)


Now in those days Antonio Mini, his disciple, who had two sisters
waiting to be married, asked him for the Leda, and he gave it to him
willingly, with the greater part of the designs and cartoons that he
had made, which were divine things, and also two chests full of
models, with a great number of finished cartoons for making pictures,
and some of works that had been painted. When Antonio took it into his
head to go to France, he carried all these with him; the Leda he sold
to King Francis by means of some merchants, and it is now at
Fontainebleau, but the cartoons and designs were lost, for he died
there in a short time, and some were stolen; and so our country was
deprived of all these valuable labours, which was an incalculable
loss. The cartoon of the Leda has since come back to Florence, and
Bernardo Vecchietti has it; and so also four pieces of the cartoons
for the chapel, with nudes and Prophets, brought back by the sculptor
Benvenuto Cellini, and now in the possession of the heirs of Girolamo
degli Albizzi.

It became necessary for Michelagnolo to go to Rome to see Pope
Clement, who, although angry with him, yet, as the friend of every
talent, forgave him everything, and gave him orders that he should
return to Florence and have the library and sacristy of S. Lorenzo
completely finished; and, in order to shorten that work, a vast number
of statues that were to be included in it were distributed among other
masters. Two he allotted to Tribolo, one to Raffaello da Montelupo,
and one to Fra Giovanni Agnolo, the Servite friar, all sculptors; and
he gave them assistance in these, making rough models in clay for each
of them. Whereupon they all worked valiantly, and he, also, caused
work to be pursued on the library, and thus the ceiling was finished
in carved woodwork, which was executed after his models by the hands
of the Florentines Carota and Tasso, excellent carvers and also
masters of carpentry; and likewise the shelves for the books, which
were executed at that time by Battista del Cinque and his friend
Ciappino, good masters in that profession. And in order to give the
work its final perfection there was summoned to Florence the divine
Giovanni da Udine, who, together with others his assistants and also
some Florentine masters, decorated the tribune with stucco; and they
all sought with great solicitude to give completion to that vast

Now, just as Michelagnolo was about to have the statues carried into
execution, at that very time the Pope took it into his head to have
him near his person, being desirous to have the walls of the Chapel of
Sixtus painted, where Michelagnolo had painted the vaulting for Julius
II, his nephew. On the principal wall, where the altar is, Clement
wished him to paint the Universal Judgment, to the end that he might
display in that scene all that the art of design could achieve, and
opposite to it, on the other wall, over the principal door, he had
commanded that he should depict the scene when Lucifer was expelled
for his pride from Heaven, and all those Angels who sinned with him
were hurled after him into the centre of Hell: of which inventions it
was found that Michelagnolo many years before had made various
sketches and designs, one of which was afterwards carried into
execution in the Church of the Trinità at Rome by a Sicilian painter,
who stayed many months with Michelagnolo, to serve him and to grind
his colours. This work, painted in fresco, is in the Chapel of S.
Gregorio, in the cross of the church, and, although it is executed
badly, there is a certain variety and terrible force in the attitudes
and groups of those nudes that are raining down from Heaven, and of
the others who, having fallen into the centre of the earth, are
changed into various forms of Devils, very horrible and bizarre; and
it is certainly an extraordinary fantasy. While Michelagnolo was
directing the preparation of the designs and cartoons of the Last
Judgment on the first wall, he never ceased for a single day to be at
strife with the agents of the Duke of Urbino, by whom he was accused
of having received sixteen thousand crowns from Julius II for the
tomb. This accusation was more than he could bear, and he desired to
finish the work some day, although he was already an old man, and he
would have willingly stayed in Rome to finish it, now that he had
found, without seeking it, such a pretext for not returning any more
to Florence, since he had a great fear of Duke Alessandro de' Medici,
whom he regarded as little his friend; for, when the Duke had given
him to understand through Signor Alessandro Vitelli that he should
select the best site for the building of the castle and citadel of
Florence, he answered that he would not go save at the command of Pope

Finally an agreement was formed in the matter of the tomb, that it
should be finished in the following manner: there was no longer to be
an isolated tomb in a rectangular shape, but only one of the original
façades, in the manner that best pleased Michelagnolo, and he was to
be obliged to place in it six statues by his own hand. In this
contract that was made with the Duke of Urbino, his Excellency
consented that Michelagnolo should be at the disposal of Pope Clement
for four months in the year, either in Florence or wherever he might
think fit to employ him. But, although it seemed to Michelagnolo that
at last he had obtained some peace, he was not to be quit of it so
easily, for Pope Clement, desiring to see the final proof of the force
of his art, kept him occupied with the cartoon of the Judgment.
However, contriving to convince the Pope that he was thus engaged, at
the same time he kept working in secret, never relaxing his efforts,
at the statues that were going into the above-named tomb.

In the year 1533[1] came the death of Pope Clement, whereupon the work
of the library and sacristy in Florence, which had remained unfinished
in spite of all the efforts made to finish it, was stopped. Then, at
length, Michelagnolo thought to be truly free and able to give his
attention to finishing the tomb of Julius II. But Paul III, not long
after his election, had him summoned to his presence, and, besides
paying him compliments and making him offers, requested him to enter
his service and remain near his person. Michelagnolo refused, saying
that he was not able to do it, being bound by contract to the Duke of
Urbino until the tomb of Julius should be finished. The Pope flew into
a rage and said: "I have had this desire for thirty years, and now
that I am Pope do you think I shall not satisfy it? I shall tear up
the contract, for I am determined to have you serve me, come what
may." Michelagnolo, hearing this resolution, was tempted to leave Rome
and in some way find means to give completion to the tomb; however,
fearing, like a wise man, the power of the Pope, he resolved to try to
keep him pacified with words, seeing that he was so old, until
something should happen. The Pope, who wished to have some
extraordinary work executed by Michelagnolo, went one day with ten
Cardinals to visit him at his house, where he demanded to see all the
statues for the tomb of Julius, which appeared to him marvellous, and
particularly the Moses, which figure alone was said by the Cardinal of
Mantua to be enough to do honour to Pope Julius. And after seeing the
designs and cartoons that he was preparing for the wall of the chapel,
which appeared to the Pope to be stupendous, he again besought
Michelagnolo with great insistence that he should enter his service,
promising that he would persuade the Duke of Urbino to content himself
with three statues, and that the others should be given to other
excellent masters to execute after his models. Whereupon, his Holiness
having arranged this with the agents of the Duke, a new contract was
made, which was confirmed by the Duke; and Michelagnolo of his own
free will bound himself to pay for the other three statues and to have
the tomb erected, depositing for this purpose in the bank of the
Strozzi one thousand five hundred and eighty ducats. This he might
have avoided, and it seemed to him that he had truly done enough to be
free of such a long and troublesome undertaking; and afterwards he
caused the tomb to be erected in S. Pietro in Vincola in the following
manner. He erected the lower base, which was all carved, with four
pedestals which projected outwards as much as was necessary to give
space for the captive that was originally intended to stand on each of
them, instead of which there was left a terminal figure; and since the
lower part had thus a poor effect, he placed at the feet of each
terminal figure a reversed console resting on the pedestal. Those four
terminal figures had between them three niches, two of which (those at
the sides) were round, and were to have contained the Victories.
Instead of the Victories, he placed in one Leah, the daughter of
Laban, to represent the Active Life, with a mirror in her hand to
signify the consideration that we should give to our actions, and in
the other hand a garland of flowers, to denote the virtues that adorn
our life during its duration, and make it glorious after death; and
the other figure was her sister Rachel, representing the Contemplative
Life, with the hands clasped and one knee bent, and on the countenance
a look as of ecstasy of spirit. These statues Michelagnolo executed
with his own hand in less than a year. In the centre is the other
niche, rectangular in shape, which in the original design was to have
been one of the doors that were to lead into the little oval temple of
the rectangular tomb; this having become a niche, there is placed in
it, upon a dado of marble, the gigantic and most beautiful statue of
Moses, of which we have already said enough. Above the heads of the
terminal figures, which form capitals, are architrave, frieze, and
cornice, which project beyond those figures and are carved with rich
ornaments, foliage, ovoli, dentils, and other rich members,
distributed over the whole work. Over that cornice rises another
course, smooth and without carvings, but with different terminal
figures standing directly above those below, after the manner of
pilasters, with a variety of cornice-members; and since this course
accompanies that below and resembles it in every part, there is in it
a space similar to the other, forming a niche like that in which there
is now the Moses, and in the niche, resting on projections of the
cornice, is a sarcophagus of marble with the recumbent statue of Pope
Julius, executed by the sculptor Maso dal Bosco, while in that niche,
also, there stands a Madonna who is holding her Son in her arms,
wrought by the sculptor Scherano da Settignano from a model by
Michelagnolo; which statues are passing good. In two other rectangular
niches, above the Active and the Contemplative Life, are two larger
statues, a Prophet and a Sibyl seated, which were both executed by
Raffaello da Montelupo, as has been related in the Life of his father
Baccio, but little to the satisfaction of Michelagnolo. For its
crowning completion this work had a different cornice, which, like
those below, projected over the whole work; and above the terminal
figures, as a finish, were candelabra of marble, with the arms of Pope
Julius in the centre. Above the Prophet and the Sibyl, in the recess
of each niche, he made a window for the convenience of the friars who
officiate in that church, the choir having been made behind; which
windows serve to send their voices into the church when they say the
divine office, and permit the celebration to be seen. Truly this whole
work has turned out very well, but not by a great measure as it had
been planned in the original design.

         [Footnote 1: 1534.]

[Illustration: THE LAST JUDGMENT

(_After the fresco by =Michelagnolo=. Rome: The Vatican, Sistine


Michelagnolo resolved, since he could not do otherwise, to serve Pope
Paul, who allowed him to continue the work as ordered by Clement,
without changing anything in the inventions and the general conception
that had been laid before him, thus showing respect for the genius of
that great man, for whom he felt such reverence and love that he
sought to do nothing but what pleased him; of which a proof was soon
seen. His Holiness desired to place his own arms beneath the Jonas in
the chapel, where those of Pope Julius II had previously been put; but
Michelagnolo, being asked to do this, and not wishing to do a wrong to
Julius and Clement, would not place them there, saying that they would
not look well; and the Pope, in order not to displease him, was
content to have it so, having recognized very well the excellence of
such a man, and how he always followed what was just and honourable
without any adulation or respect of persons--a thing that the great
are wont to experience very seldom. Michelagnolo, then, caused a
projection of well baked and chosen bricks to be carefully built on
the wall of the above-named chapel (a thing which was not there
before), and contrived that it should overhang half a braccio from
above, so that neither dust nor any other dirt might be able to settle
upon it. But I will not go into the particulars of the invention and
composition of this scene, because so many copies of it, both large
and small, have been printed, that it does not seem necessary to lose
time in describing it. It is enough for us to perceive that the
intention of this extraordinary man has been to refuse to paint
anything but the human body in its best proportioned and most perfect
forms and in the greatest variety of attitudes, and not this only, but
likewise the play of the passions and contentments of the soul, being
satisfied with justifying himself in that field in which he was
superior to all his fellow-craftsmen, and to lay open the way of the
grand manner in the painting of nudes, and his great knowledge in the
difficulties of design; and, finally, he opened out the way to
facility in this art in its principal province, which is the human
body, and, attending to this single object, he left on one side the
charms of colouring and the caprices and new fantasies of certain
minute and delicate refinements which many other painters, perhaps not
without some show of reason, have not entirely neglected. For some,
not so well grounded in design, have sought with variety of tints and
shades of colouring, with various new and bizarre inventions, and,
in short, with the other method, to win themselves a place among the
first masters; but Michelagnolo, standing always firmly rooted in his
profound knowledge of art, has shown to those who know enough how they
should attain to perfection.

But to return to the story: Michelagnolo had already carried to
completion more than three-fourths of the work, when Pope Paul went to
see it. And Messer Biagio da Cesena, the master of ceremonies, a
person of great propriety, who was in the chapel with the Pope, being
asked what he thought of it, said that it was a very disgraceful thing
to have made in so honourable a place all those nude figures showing
their nakedness so shamelessly, and that it was a work not for the
chapel of a Pope, but for a bagnio or tavern. Michelagnolo was
displeased at this, and, wishing to revenge himself, as soon as Biagio
had departed he portrayed him from life, without having him before his
eyes at all, in the figure of Minos with a great serpent twisted round
the legs, among a heap of Devils in Hell; nor was Messer Biagio's
pleading with the Pope and with Michelagnolo to have it removed of any
avail, for it was left there in memory of the occasion, and it is
still to be seen at the present day.

It happened at this time that Michelagnolo fell no small distance from
the staging of this work, and hurt his leg; and in his pain and anger
he would not be treated by anyone. Now there was living at this same
time the Florentine Maestro Baccio Rontini, his friend, an ingenious
physician, who had a great affection for his genius; and he, taking
compassion on him, went one day to knock at his door. Receiving no
answer either from the neighbours or from him, he so contrived to
climb by certain secret ways from one room to another, that he came to
Michelagnolo, who was in a desperate state. And then Maestro Biagio
would never abandon him or take himself off until he was cured.

Having recovered from this injury, he returned to his labour, and,
working at it continually, he carried it to perfect completion in a
few months, giving such force to the paintings in the work, that he
justified the words of Dante--

  Morti li morti, i vivi parean vivi.

And here, also, may be seen the misery of the damned and the joy of
the blessed. Wherefore, when this Judgment was thrown open to view, it
proved that he had not only vanquished all the earlier masters who had
worked there, but had sought to surpass the vaulting that he himself
had made so famous, excelling it by a great measure and outstripping
his own self. For he imagined to himself the terror of those days, and
depicted, for the greater pain of all who have not lived well, the
whole Passion of Christ, causing various naked figures in the air to
carry the Cross, the Column, the Lance, the Sponge, the Nails, and the
Crown of Thorns, all in different attitudes, executed to perfection in
a triumph of facility over their difficulties. In that scene is Christ
seated, with a countenance proud and terrible, turning towards the
damned and cursing them; not without great fear in Our Lady, who,
hearing and beholding that vast havoc, draws her mantle close around
her. There are innumerable figures, Prophets and Apostles, that form a
circle about Him, and in particular Adam and S. Peter, who are
believed to have been placed there, one as the first parent of those
thus brought to judgment, and the other as having been the first
foundation of the Christian Church; and at His feet is a most
beautiful S. Bartholomew, who is displaying his flayed skin. There is
likewise a nude figure of S. Laurence; besides which, there are
multitudes of Saints without number, both male and female, and other
figures, men and women, around Him, near or distant, who embrace one
another and make rejoicing, having received eternal blessedness by the
grace of God and as the reward of their works. Beneath the feet of
Christ are the Seven Angels with the Seven Trumpets described by S.
John the Evangelist, who, as they sound the call to judgment, cause
the hair of all who behold them to stand on end at the terrible wrath
that their countenances reveal. Among others are two Angels that have
each the Book of Life in the hands: and near them, on one side, not
without beautiful consideration, are seen the Seven Mortal Sins in the
forms of Devils, assailing and striving to drag down to Hell the souls
that are flying towards Heaven, all with very beautiful attitudes and
most admirable foreshortenings. Nor did he hesitate to show to the
world, in the resurrection of the dead, how they take to themselves
flesh and bones once more from the same earth, and how, assisted by
others already alive, they go soaring towards Heaven, whence succour
is brought to them by certain souls already blessed; not without
evidence of all those marks of consideration that could be thought to
be required in so great a work. For studies and labours of every kind
were executed by him, which may be recognized throughout the whole
work without exception; and this is manifested with particular
clearness in the barque of Charon, who, in an attitude of fury,
strikes with his oars at the souls dragged down by the Devils into the
barque, after the likeness of the picture that the master's
best-beloved poet, Dante, described when he said--

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


(_After the fresco by =Michelangelo=. Rome: The Vatican, Sistine


Nor would it be possible to imagine how much variety there is in the
heads of those Devils, which are truly monsters from Hell. In the
sinners may be seen sin and the fear of eternal damnation; and, to say
nothing of the beauty of every detail, it is extraordinary to see so
great a work executed with such harmony of painting, that it appears
as if done in one day, and with such finish as was never achieved in
any miniature. And, of a truth, the terrible force and grandeur of the
work, with the multitude of figures, are such that it is not possible
to describe it, for it is filled with all the passions known to human
creatures, and all expressed in the most marvellous manner. For the
proud, the envious, the avaricious, the wanton, and all the other
suchlike sinners can be distinguished with ease by any man of fine
perception, because in figuring them Michelagnolo observed every rule
of Nature in the expressions, in the attitudes, and in every other
natural circumstance; a thing which, although great and marvellous,
was not impossible to such a man, for the reason that he was always
observant and shrewd and had seen men in plenty, and had acquired by
commerce with the world that knowledge that philosophers gain from
cogitation and from writings. Wherefore he who has judgment and
understanding in painting perceives there the most terrible force of
art, and sees in those figures such thoughts and passions as were
never painted by any other but Michelagnolo. So, also, he may see
there how the variety of innumerable attitudes is accomplished, in the
strange and diverse gestures of young and old, male and female; and
who is there who does not recognize in these the terrible power of his
art, together with the grace that he had from Nature, since they move
the hearts not only of those who have knowledge in that profession,
but even of those who have none? There are foreshortenings that appear
as if in relief, a harmony of painting that gives great softness, and
fineness in the parts painted by him with delicacy, all showing in
truth how pictures executed by good and true painters should be; and
in the outlines of the forms turned by him in such a way as could not
have been achieved by any other but Michelagnolo, may be seen the true
Judgment and the true Damnation and Resurrection. This is for our art
the exemplar and the grand manner of painting sent down to men on
earth by God, to the end that they may see how Destiny works when
intellects descend from the heights of Heaven to earth, and have
infused in them divine grace and knowledge. This work leads after it
bound in chains those who persuade themselves that they have mastered
art; and at the sight of the strokes drawn by him in the outlines of
no matter what figure, every sublime spirit, however mighty in design,
trembles and is afraid. And while the eyes gaze at his labours in this
work, the senses are numbed at the mere thought of what manner of
things all other pictures, those painted and those still unpainted,
would appear if placed in comparison with such perfection. Truly
blessed may he be called, and blessed his memories, who has seen this
truly stupendous marvel of our age! Most happy and most fortunate Paul
III, in that God granted that under thy protection should be acquired
the renown that the pens of writers shall give to his memory and
thine! How highly are thy merits enhanced by his genius! And what good
fortune have the craftsmen had in this age from his birth, in that
they have seen the veil of every difficulty torn away, and have beheld
in the pictures, sculptures, and architectural works executed by him
all that can be imagined and achieved!

[Illustration: S. SEBASTIAN

(_After the fresco by =Michelagnolo=. Rome: The Vatican, Sistine


He toiled eight years over executing this work, and threw it open to
view in the year 1541, I believe, on Christmas day, to the marvel
and amazement of all Rome, nay, of the whole world; and I, who was
that year in Venice, and went to Rome to see it, was struck dumb by
its beauty.

Pope Paul, as has been related, had caused a chapel called the Pauline
to be erected on the same floor by Antonio da San Gallo, in imitation
of that of Nicholas V; and in this he resolved that Michelagnolo
should paint two great pictures with two large scenes. In one he
painted the Conversion of S. Paul, with Jesus Christ in the air and a
multitude of nude Angels making most beautiful movements, and below,
all dazed and terrified, Paul fallen from his horse to the level of
the ground, with his soldiers about him, some striving to raise him
up, and others, struck with awe by the voice and splendour of Christ,
are flying in beautiful attitudes and marvellous movements of panic,
while the horse, taking to flight, appears to be carrying away in its
headlong course him who seeks to hold it back; and this whole scene is
executed with extraordinary design and art. In the other picture is
the Crucifixion of S. Peter, who is fixed, a nude figure of rare
beauty, upon the cross; showing the ministers of the crucifixion,
after they have made a hole in the ground, seeking to raise the cross
on high, to the end that he may remain crucified with his feet in the
air; and there are many remarkable and beautiful considerations.
Michelagnolo, as has been said elsewhere, gave his attention only to
the perfection of art, and therefore there are no landscapes to be
seen there, nor trees, nor buildings, nor any other distracting graces
of art, for to these he never applied himself, as one, perchance, who
would not abase his great genius to such things. These, executed by
him at the age of seventy-five, were his last pictures, and, as he
used himself to tell me, they cost him much fatigue, for the reason
that painting, and particularly working in fresco, is no art for men
who have passed a certain age. Michelagnolo arranged that Perino del
Vaga, a very excellent painter, should decorate the vaulting with
stucco and with many things in painting, after his designs, and such,
also, was the wish of Pope Paul III; but the work was afterwards
delayed, and nothing more was done, even as many undertakings are left
unfinished, partly by the fault of want of resolution in the
craftsmen, and partly by that of Princes little zealous in urging
them on.

Pope Paul had made a beginning with the fortifying of the Borgo, and
had summoned many gentlemen, together with Antonio da San Gallo, to a
conference; but he wished that Michelagnolo also should have a part in
this, knowing that the fortifications about the hill of S. Miniato in
Florence had been constructed under his direction. After much
discussion, Michelagnolo was asked what he thought; and he, having
opinions contrary to San Gallo and many others, declared them freely.
Whereupon San Gallo said to him that his arts were sculpture and
painting, and not fortification. Michelagnolo replied that of
sculpture and painting he knew little, but of fortification, what with
the thought that he had devoted to it for a long time, and his
experience in what he had done, it appeared to him that he knew more
than either Antonio or any of his family; showing him in the presence
of the company that he had made many errors in that art. Words rising
high on either side, the Pope had to command silence; but no long time
passed before Michelagnolo brought a design for all the fortifications
of the Borgo, which laid open the way for all that has since been
ordained and executed; and this was the reason that the great gate of
S. Spirito, which was approaching completion under the direction of
San Gallo, was left unfinished.

[Illustration: PIETÀ

(_After =Michelagnolo=. Florence: Duomo_)


The spirit and genius of Michelagnolo could not rest without doing
something; and, since he was not able to paint, he set to work on a
piece of marble, intending to carve from it four figures in the round
and larger than life, including a Dead Christ, for his own delight and
to pass the time, and because, as he used to say, the exercise of the
hammer kept him healthy in body. This Christ, taken down from the
Cross, is supported by Our Lady, by Nicodemus, who bends down and
assists her, planted firmly on his feet in a forceful attitude, and by
one of the Maries, who also gives her aid, perceiving that the Mother,
overcome by grief, is failing in strength and not able to uphold Him.
Nor is there anywhere to be seen a dead form equal to that of Christ,
who, sinking with the limbs hanging limp, lies in an attitude wholly
different, not only from that of any other work by Michelagnolo, but
from that of any other figure that was ever made. A laborious work is
this, a rare achievement in a single stone, and truly divine; but,
as will be related hereafter, it remained unfinished, and suffered
many misfortunes, although Michelagnolo had intended that it should
serve to adorn his own tomb, at the foot of that altar where he
thought to place it.

It happened in the year 1546 that Antonio da San Gallo died;
whereupon, there being now no one to direct the building of S. Pietro,
many suggestions were made by the superintendents to the Pope as to
who should have it. Finally his Holiness, inspired, I believe, by God,
resolved to send for Michelagnolo. But he, when asked to take
Antonio's place, refused it, saying, in order to avoid such a burden,
that architecture was not his proper art; and in the end, entreaties
not availing, the Pope commanded that he should accept it, whereupon,
to his great displeasure and against his wish, he was forced to
undertake that enterprise. And one day among others that he went to S.
Pietro to see the wooden model that San Gallo had made, and to examine
the building, he found there the whole San Gallo faction, who,
crowding before Michelagnolo, said to him in the best terms at their
command that they rejoiced that the charge of the building was to be
his, and that the model was a field where there would never be any
want of pasture. "You speak the truth," answered Michelagnolo, meaning
to infer, as he declared to a friend, that it was good for sheep and
oxen, who knew nothing of art. And afterwards he used to say publicly
that San Gallo had made it wanting in lights, that it had on the
exterior too many ranges of columns one above another, and that, with
its innumerable projections, pinnacles, and subdivisions of members,
it was more akin to the German manner than to the good method of the
ancients or to the gladsome and beautiful modern manner; and, in
addition to this, that it was possible to save fifty years of time and
more than three hundred thousand crowns of money in finishing the
building, and to execute it with more majesty, grandeur, and facility,
greater beauty and convenience, and better ordered design. This he
afterwards proved by a model that he made, in order to bring it to the
form in which the work is now seen constructed; and thus he
demonstrated that what he said was nothing but the truth. This model
cost him twenty-five crowns, and was made in a fortnight; that of San
Gallo, as has been related, cost four thousand, and took many years to
finish. From this and other circumstances it became evident that that
fabric was but a shop and a business for making money, and that it
would be continually delayed, with the intention of never finishing
it, by those who had undertaken it as a means of profit.


(_After =Michelagnolo=. Rome: The Capitol_)


Such methods did not please our upright Michelagnolo, and in order to
get rid of all these people, while the Pope was forcing him to accept
the office of architect to the work, he said to them openly one day
that they should use all the assistance of their friends and do all
that they could to prevent him from entering on that office, because,
if he were to undertake such a charge, he would not have one of them
about the building. Which words, spoken in public, were taken very
ill, as may be believed, and were the reason that they conceived a
great hatred against him, which increased every day as they saw the
whole design being changed, both within and without, so that they
would scarcely let him live, seeking out daily new and various devices
to harass him, as will be related in the proper place. Finally the
Pope issued a Motu-proprio creating him head of that fabric, with full
authority, and giving him power to do or undo whatever he chose, and
to add, take away, or vary anything at his pleasure; and he decreed
that all the officials employed in the work should be subservient to
his will. Whereupon Michelagnolo, seeing the great confidence and
trust that the Pope placed in him, desired, in order to prove his
generosity, that it should be declared in the Motu-proprio that he was
serving in the fabric for the love of God and without any reward. It
is true that the Pope had formerly granted to him the ferry over the
river at Parma,[2] which yielded him about six hundred crowns; but he
lost it at the death of Duke Pier Luigi Farnese, and in exchange for
it he was given a Chancellery at Rimini, a post of less value. About
that he showed no concern; and, although the Pope sent him money
several times by way of salary, he would never accept it, to which
witness is borne by Messer Alessandro Ruffini, Chamberlain to the Pope
at that time, and by M. Pier Giovanni Aliotti, Bishop of Forlì.
Finally the model that had been made by Michelagnolo was approved by
the Pope; which model diminished S. Pietro in size, but gave it
greater grandeur, to the satisfaction of all those who have judgment,
although some who profess to be good judges, which in fact they are
not, do not approve of it. He found that the four principal piers
built by Bramante, and left by Antonio da San Gallo, which had to
support the weight of the tribune, were weak; and these he partly
filled up, and beside them he made two winding or spiral staircases,
in which is an ascent so easy that the beasts of burden can climb
them, carrying all the materials to the very top, and men on
horseback, likewise, can go up to the uppermost level of the arches.
The first cornice above the arches he constructed of travertine,
curving in a round, which is an admirable and graceful thing, and very
different from any other; nor could anything better of that kind be
done. He also made a beginning with the two great recesses of the
transepts; and whereas formerly, under the direction of Bramante,
Baldassarre, and Raffaello, as has been related, eight tabernacles
were being made on the side towards the Camposanto, and that plan was
afterwards followed by San Gallo, Michelagnolo reduced these to three,
with three chapels in the interior, and above them a vaulting of
travertine, and a range of windows giving a brilliant light, which are
varied in form and of a sublime grandeur. But, since these things are
in existence, and are also to be seen in engraving, not only those of
Michelagnolo, but those of San Gallo as well, I will not set myself to
describe them, for it is in no way necessary. Let it suffice to say
that he set himself, with all possible diligence, to cause the work to
be carried on in those parts where the fabric was to be changed in
design, to the end that it might remain so solid and stable that it
might never be changed by another; which was the wise provision of a
shrewd and prudent intellect, because it is not enough to do good
work, if further precautions be not taken, seeing that the boldness
and presumption of those who might be supposed to have knowledge if
credit were placed rather in their words than in their deeds, and at
times the favour of such as know nothing, may give rise to many

         [Footnote 2: Piacenza.]

The Roman people, with the sanction of that Pope, had a desire to give
some useful, commodious, and beautiful form to the Campidoglio, and
to furnish it with colonnades, ascents, and inclined approaches with
and without steps, and also with the further adornment of the ancient
statues that were already there, in order to embellish that place. For
this purpose they sought the advice of Michelagnolo, who made them a
most beautiful and very rich design, in which, on the side where the
Senatore stands, towards the east, he arranged a façade of travertine,
and a flight of steps that ascends from two sides to meet on a level
space, from which one enters into the centre of the hall of that
Palace, with rich curving wings adorned with balusters that serve as
supports and parapets. And there, to enrich that part, he caused to be
placed on certain bases the two ancient figures in marble of recumbent
River Gods, each of nine braccia, and of rare workmanship, one of
which is the Tiber and the other the Nile; and between them, in a
niche, is to go a Jove. On the southern side, where there is the
Palace of the Conservatori, in order that it might be made
rectangular, there followed a rich and well varied façade, with a
loggia at the foot full of columns and niches, where many ancient
statues are to go; and all around are various ornaments, doors,
windows, and the like, of which some are already in place. On the
other side from this, towards the north, below the Araceli, there is
to follow another similar façade; and before it, towards the west, is
to be an ascent of baston-like steps, which will be almost level, with
a border and parapet of balusters; here will be the principal
entrance, with a colonnade, and bases on which will be placed all that
wealth of noble statues in which the Campidoglio is now so rich. In
the middle of the Piazza, on a base in the form of an oval, is placed
the famous bronze horse on which is the statue of Marcus Aurelius,
which the same Pope Paul caused to be removed from the Piazza di
Laterano, where Sixtus IV had placed it. This edifice is now being
made so beautiful that it is worthy to be numbered among the finest
works that Michelagnolo has executed, and it is being carried to
completion at the present day under the direction of M. Tommaso de'
Cavalieri, a Roman gentleman who was, and still is, one of the
greatest friends that Michelagnolo ever had, as will be related


(_After =Michelagnolo=. Rome_)


Pope Paul III had caused San Gallo, while he was alive, to carry
forward the Palace of the Farnese family, but the great upper
cornice, to finish the roof on the outer side, had still to be
constructed, and his Holiness desired that Michelagnolo should execute
it from his own designs and directions. Michelagnolo, not being able
to refuse the Pope, who so esteemed and favoured him, caused a model
of wood to be made, six braccia in length, and of the size that it was
to be; and this he placed on one of the corners of the Palace, so that
it might show what effect the finished work would have. It pleased his
Holiness and all Rome, and that part of it has since been carried to
completion which is now to be seen, proving to be the most varied and
the most beautiful of all that have ever been known, whether ancient
or modern. On this account, after San Gallo was dead, the Pope desired
that Michelagnolo should have charge of the whole fabric as well; and
there he made the great marble window with the beautiful columns of
variegated marble, which is over the principal door of the Palace,
with a large escutcheon of great beauty and variety, in marble, of
Pope Paul III, the founder of that Palace. Within the Palace he
continued, above the first range of the court, the two other ranges,
with the most varied, graceful, and beautiful windows, ornaments and
upper cornice that have ever been seen, so that, through the labours
and the genius of that man that court has now become the most handsome
in Europe. He widened and enlarged the Great Hall, and set in order
the front vestibule, and caused the vaulting of that vestibule to be
constructed in a new variety of curve, in the form of a half oval.

Now in that year there was found at the Baths of Antoninus a mass of
marble seven braccia in every direction, in which there had been
carved by the ancients a Hercules standing upon a mound, who was
holding the Bull by the horns, with another figure assisting him, and
around that mound various figures of Shepherds, Nymphs, and different
animals--a work of truly extraordinary beauty, showing figures so
perfect in one single block without any added pieces, which was judged
to have been intended for a fountain. Michelagnolo advised that it
should be conveyed into the second court, and there restored so as to
make it spout water in the original manner; all which advice was
approved, and the work is still being restored at the present day
with great diligence, by order of the Farnese family, for that
purpose. At that time, also, Michelagnolo made a design for the
building of a bridge across the River Tiber in a straight line with
the Farnese Palace, to the end that it might be possible to go from
that palace to another palace and gardens that they possessed in the
Trastevere, and also to see at one glance in a straight line from the
principal door which faces the Campo di Fiore, the court, the
fountain, the Strada Giulia, the bridge, and the beauties of the other
garden, even to the other door which opened on the Strada di
Trastevere--a rare work, worthy of that Pontiff and of the judgment,
design, and art of Michelagnolo.

In the year 1547 died Sebastiano Viniziano, the Friar of the Piombo;
and, Pope Paul proposing that the ancient statues of his Palace should
be restored, Michelagnolo willingly favoured the Milanese sculptor
Guglielmo della Porta, a young man of promise, who had been
recommended by the above-named Fra Sebastiano to Michelagnolo, who,
liking his work, presented him to Pope Paul for the restoration of
those statues. And the matter went so far forward that Michelagnolo
obtained for him the office of the Piombo, and he then set to work on
restoring the statues, some of which are to be seen in that Palace at
the present day. But Guglielmo, forgetting the benefits that he had
received from Michelagnolo, afterwards became one of his opponents.

In the year 1549 there took place the death of Pope Paul III;
whereupon, after the election of Pope Julius III, Cardinal Farnese
gave orders for a grand tomb to be made for his kinsman Pope Paul by
the hand of Fra Guglielmo, who arranged to erect it in S. Pietro,
below the first arch of the new church, beneath the tribune, which
obstructed the floor of the church, and was, in truth, not the proper
place. Michelagnolo advised, most judiciously, that it could not and
should not stand there, and the Frate, believing that he was doing
this out of envy, became filled with hatred against him; but
afterwards he recognized that Michelagnolo had spoken the truth, and
that the fault was his, in that he had had the opportunity and had not
finished the work, as will be related in another place. And to this I
can bear witness, for the reason that in the year 1550 I had gone by
order of Pope Julius III to Rome to serve him (and very willingly, for
love of Michelagnolo), and I took part in that discussion.
Michelagnolo desired that the tomb should be erected in one of the
niches, where there is now the Column of the Possessed, which was the
proper place, and I had so gone to work that Julius III was resolving
to have his own tomb made in the other niche with the same design as
that of Pope Paul, in order to balance that work; but the Frate, who
set himself against this, brought it about that his own was never
finished after all, and that the tomb of the other Pontiff was also
not made; which had all been predicted by Michelagnolo.

In the same year Pope Julius turned his attention to having a chapel
of marble with two tombs constructed in the Church of S. Pietro a
Montorio for Cardinal Antonio di Monte, his uncle, and Messer Fabiano,
his grandfather, the first founder of the greatness of that
illustrious house. For this work Vasari having made designs and
models, Pope Julius, who always esteemed the genius of Michelagnolo
and loved Vasari, desired that Michelagnolo should fix the price
between them; and Vasari besought the Pope that he should prevail upon
him to take it under his protection. Now Vasari had proposed Simone
Mosca for the carvings of this work, and Raffaello da Montelupo for
the statues; but Michelagnolo advised that no carvings of foliage
should be made in it, not even in the architectural parts of the work,
saying that where there are to be figures of marble there must not be
any other thing. On which account Vasari feared that the work should
be abandoned, because it would look poor; but in fact, when he saw it
finished, he confessed that Michelagnolo had shown great judgment.
Michelagnolo would not have Montelupo make the statues, remembering
how badly he had acquitted himself in those of his own tomb of Julius
II, and he was content, rather, that they should be entrusted to
Bartolommeo Ammanati, whom Vasari had proposed, although Buonarroti
had something of a private grievance against him, as also against
Nanni di Baccio Bigio, caused by a reason which, if one considers it
well, seems slight enough; for when they were very young, moved rather
by love of art than by a desire to do wrong, they had entered with
great pains into his house, and had taken from Antonio Mini, the
disciple of Michelagnolo, many sheets with drawings; but these were
afterwards all restored to him by order of the Tribunal of Eight, and,
at the intercession of his friend Messer Giovanni Norchiati, Canon of
S. Lorenzo, he would not have any other punishment inflicted on them.
Vasari, when Michelagnolo spoke to him of this matter, said to him,
laughing, that it did not seem to him that they deserved any blame,
and that he himself, if he had ever been able, would have not taken a
few drawings only, but robbed him of everything by his hand that he
might have been able to seize, merely for the sake of learning art.
One must look kindly, he said, on those who seek after excellence, and
also reward them, and therefore such men must not be treated like
those who go about stealing money, household property, and other
things of value; and so the matter was turned into a jest. This was
the reason that a beginning was made with the work of the Montorio,
and that in the same year Vasari and Ammanati went to have the marble
conveyed from Carrara to Rome for the execution of that work.

At that time Vasari was with Michelagnolo every day; and one morning
the Pope in his kindness gave them both leave that they might visit
the Seven Churches on horseback (for it was Holy Year), and receive
the Pardon in company. Whereupon, while going from one church to
another, they had many useful and beautiful conversations on art and
every industry, and out of these Vasari composed a dialogue, which
will be published at some more favourable opportunity, together with
other things concerning art. In that year Pope Julius III confirmed
the Motu-proprio of Pope Paul III with regard to the building of S.
Pietro; and although much evil was spoken to him of Michelagnolo by
the friends of the San Gallo faction, in the matter of that fabric of
S. Pietro, at that time the Pope would not listen to a word, for
Vasari had demonstrated to him (as was the truth) that Michelagnolo
had given life to the building, and also persuaded his Holiness that
he should do nothing concerned with design without the advice of
Michelagnolo. This promise the Pope kept ever afterwards, for neither
at the Vigna Julia did he do anything without his counsel, nor at the
Belvedere, where there was built the staircase that is there now, in
place of the semicircular staircase that came forward, ascending in
eight steps, and turned inwards in eight more steps, erected in former
times by Bramante in the great recess in the centre of the Belvedere.
And Michelagnolo designed and caused to be built the very beautiful
quadrangular staircase, with balusters of peperino-stone, which is
there at the present day.

Vasari had finished in that year the printing of his work, the Lives
of the Painters, Sculptors, and Architects, in Florence. Now he had
not written the Life of any living master, although some who were old
were still alive, save only of Michelagnolo; and in the book were many
records of circumstances that Vasari had received from his lips, his
age and his judgment being the greatest among all the craftsmen.
Giorgio therefore presented the work to him, and he received it very
gladly; and not long afterwards, having read it, Michelagnolo sent to
him the following sonnet, written by himself, which I am pleased to
include in this place in memory of his loving-kindness:

  Se con lo stile o co' colori havete
      Alla Natura pareggiato l'Arte,
      Anzi a quella scemato il pregio in parte,
      Che 'l bel di lei più bello a noi rendete,
  Poichè con dotta man posto vi siete
      A più degno lavoro, a vergar carte,
      Quel che vi manca a lei di pregio in parte,
      Nel dar vita ad altrui tutto togliete.
  Che se secolo alcuno omai contese
      In far bell'opre, almen cedale, poi
      Che convien', ch'al prescritto fine arrive.
  Or le memorie altrui già spente accese
      Tornando fate, or che sien quelle, e voi,
      Mal grado d'esse, eternalmente vive.

Vasari departed for Florence, and left to Michelagnolo the charge of
having the work founded in the Montorio. Now Messer Bindo Altoviti,
the Consul of the Florentine colony at that time, was much the friend
of Vasari, and on this occasion Giorgio said to him that it would be
well to have this work erected in the Church of S. Giovanni de'
Fiorentini, and that he had already spoken of it with Michelagnolo,
who would favour the enterprise; and that this would be a means of
giving completion to that church. This proposal pleased Messer Bindo,
and, being very intimate with the Pope, he urged it warmly upon him,
demonstrating that it would be well that the chapel and the tombs
which his Holiness was having executed for the Montorio should be
placed in the Church of S. Giovanni de' Fiorentini; adding that the
result would be that with this occasion and this spur the Florentine
colony would undertake such expenditure that the church would receive
its completion, and, if his Holiness were to build the principal
chapel, the other merchants would build six chapels, and then little
by little all the rest. Whereupon the Pope changed his mind, and,
although the model for the work was already made and the price
arranged, went to the Montorio and sent for Michelagnolo, to whom
Vasari was writing every day, receiving answers from him according to
the opportunities presented in the course of affairs. Michelagnolo
then wrote to Vasari, on the first day of August in 1550, of the
change that the Pope had made; and these are his words, written in his
own hand:



"With regard to the founding of the work at S. Pietro a Montorio, and
how the Pope would not listen to a word, I wrote you nothing, knowing
that you are kept informed by your man here. Now I must tell you what
has happened, which is as follows. Yesterday morning the Pope, having
gone to the said Montorio, sent for me. I met him on the bridge, on
his way back, and had a long conversation with him about the tombs
allotted to you; and in the end he told me that he was resolved that
he would not place those tombs on that mount, but in the Church of the
Florentines. He sought from me my opinion and also designs, and I
encouraged him not a little, considering that by this means the said
church would be finished. Respecting your three letters received, I
have no pen wherewith to answer to such exalted matters, but if I
should rejoice to be in some sort what you make me, I should rejoice
for no other reason save that you might have a servant who might be
worth something. But I do not marvel that you, who restore dead men to
life, should lengthen the life of the living, or rather, that you
should steal from death for an unlimited period those barely alive. To
cut this short, such as I am, I am wholly yours,

                                       "MICHELAGNOLO BUONARROTI."

While these matters were being discussed, and the Florentine colony
was seeking to raise money, certain difficulties arose, on account of
which they came to no decision, and the affair grew cold. Meanwhile,
Vasari and Ammanati having by this time had all the marbles quarried
at Carrara, a great part of them were sent to Rome, and with them
Ammanati, through whom Vasari wrote to Buonarroti that he should
ascertain from the Pope where he wanted the tomb, and, after receiving
his orders, should have the work begun. The moment that Michelagnolo
received the letter, he spoke to his Holiness; and with his own hand
he wrote the following resolution to Vasari:

                                        "_13th of October_, 1550.


"The instant that Bartolommeo arrived here, I went to speak to the
Pope, and, having perceived that he wished to begin the work once more
at the Montorio, in the matter of the tombs, I looked for a mason from
S. Pietro. 'Tantecose'[3] heard this and insisted on sending one of
his choosing, and I, to avoid contending with a man who commands the
winds, have retired from the matter, because, he being a light-minded
person, I would not care to be drawn into any entanglement. Enough
that in my opinion there is no more thought to be given to the Church
of the Florentines. Fare you well, and come back soon. Nothing else
occurs to me."

         [Footnote 3: Busybody, or Jack-of-all-Trades.]

Michelagnolo used to call Monsignor di Forlì "Tantecose," because he
insisted on doing everything himself. Being Chamberlain to the Pope,
he had charge of the medals, jewels, cameos, little figures in bronze,
pictures, and drawings, and desired that everything should depend on
him. Michelagnolo was always anxious to avoid the man, because he had
been constantly working against the master's interests, and therefore
Buonarroti feared lest he might be drawn into some entanglement by the
intrigues of such a man. In short, the Florentine colony lost a very
fine opportunity for that church, and God knows when they will have
such another; and to me it was an indescribable grief. I have desired
not to omit to make this brief record, to the end that it may be seen
that our Michelagnolo always sought to help his fellow-countrymen and
his friends, and also art.

Vasari had scarcely returned to Rome, when, before the beginning of
the year 1551, the San Gallo faction arranged a conspiracy against
Michelagnolo, whereby the Pope was to hold an assembly in S. Pietro,
and to summon together the superintendents and all those who had the
charge of the work, in order to show to the Pope, by means of false
calumnies, that Michelagnolo had ruined that fabric, because, he
having already built the apse of the King, where there are the three
chapels, and having executed these with the three windows above, they,
not knowing what was to be done with the vaulting, with feeble
judgment had given the elder Cardinal Salviati and Marcello Cervini,
who afterwards became Pope, to understand that S. Pietro was being
left with little light. Whereupon, all being assembled, the Pope said
to Michelagnolo that the deputies declared that the apse would give
little light, and he answered: "I would like to hear these deputies
speak in person." Cardinal Marcello replied: "We are here." Then
Michelagnolo said to him: "Monsignore, above these windows, in the
vaulting, which is to be made of travertine, there are to be three
others." "You have never told us that," said the Cardinal. And
Michelagnolo answered: "I am not obliged, nor do I intend to be
obliged, to say either to your Highness or to any other person what I
am bound or desirous to do. Your office is to obtain the money and to
guard it from thieves, and the charge of the design for the building
you must leave to me." And then, turning to the Pope, he said: "Holy
Father, you see what my gains are, and that if these fatigues that I
endure do not profit me in my mind, I am wasting my time and my work."
The Pope, who loved him, laid his hands on his shoulders, and said:
"You shall profit both in mind and in body; do not doubt it."
Michelagnolo having thus been able to get rid of those persons, the
Pope came to love him even more; and he commanded him and Vasari that
on the day following they should both present themselves at the Vigna
Julia, in which place his Holiness had many discussions with him, and
they carried that work almost to the condition of perfect beauty in
which it now is; nor did the Pope discuss or do anything in the matter
of design without Michelagnolo's advice and judgment. And, among other
things, since Michelagnolo went often with Vasari to visit him, the
Pope insisted, once when he was at the fountain of the Acqua Vergine
with twelve Cardinals, after Buonarroti had come up; the Pope, I say,
insisted very strongly that he should sit beside him, although he
sought most humbly to excuse himself; thus always honouring his genius
as much as lay in his power.

The Pope caused him to make the model of a façade for a palace that
his Holiness desired to build beside S. Rocco, intending to avail
himself of the Mausoleum of Augustus for the rest of the masonry; and,
as a design for a façade, there is nothing to be seen that is more
varied, more ornate, or more novel in manner and arrangement, for the
reason that, as has been seen in all his works, he never consented to
be bound by any law, whether ancient or modern, in matters of
architecture, as one who had a brain always able to discover things
new and well-varied, and in no way less beautiful. That model is now
in the possession of Duke Cosimo de' Medici, who had it as a present
from Pope Pius IV when he went to Rome; and he holds it among his
dearest treasures. That Pope had such respect for Michelagnolo, that
he was constantly taking up his defence against Cardinals and others
who sought to calumniate him, and he desired that other craftsmen,
however able and renowned they might be, should always go to seek him
at his house; such, indeed, were the regard and reverence that he felt
for him, that his Holiness did not venture, lest he might annoy him,
to call upon Michelagnolo for many works which, although he was old,
he could have executed.

As far back as the time of Paul III Michelagnolo had made a beginning
with the work of refounding, under his own direction, the Ponte S.
Maria at Rome, which had been weakened by the constant flow of water
and by age, and was falling into ruin. The refounding was contrived by
Michelagnolo by means of caissons, and by making stout reinforcements
against the piers; and already he had carried a great part of it to
completion, and had spent large sums on wood and travertine on behalf
of the work, when, in the time of Julius III, an assembly was held by
the Clerks of the Chamber with a view to making an end of it, and a
proposal was made among them by the architect Nanni di Baccio Bigio,
saying that if it were allotted by contract to him it would be
finished in a short time and without much expense; and this they
suggested on the pretext, as it were, of doing a favour to
Michelagnolo and relieving him of a burden, because he was old,
alleging that he gave no thought to it, and that if matters remained
as they were the end would never be seen. The Pope, who little liked
being troubled, not thinking what the result might be, gave authority
to the Clerks of the Chamber that they should have charge of the work,
as a thing pertaining to them; and then, without Michelagnolo hearing
another word about it, they gave it with all those materials, without
any conditions, to Nanni, who gave no attention to the reinforcements,
which were necessary for the refounding, but relieved the bridge of
some weight, in consequence of having seen a great quantity of
travertine wherewith it had been flanked and faced in ancient times,
the result of which was to give weight to the bridge and to make it
stouter, stronger, and more secure. In place of that he used gravel
and other materials cast with cement, in such a manner that no defect
could be seen in the inner part of the work, and on the outer side he
made parapets and other things, insomuch that to the eye it appeared
as if made altogether new; but it was made lighter all over and
weakened throughout. Five years afterwards, when the flood of the year
1557 came down, it happened that the bridge collapsed in such a manner
as to make known the little judgment of the Clerks of the Chamber and
the loss that Rome suffered by departing from the counsel of
Michelagnolo, who predicted the ruin of the bridge many times to me
and to his other friends. Thus I remember that he said to me, when we
were passing there together on horseback, "Giorgio, this bridge is
shaking under us; let us spur our horses, or it may fall while we are
upon it."

But to return to the narrative interrupted above; when the work of the
Montorio was finished, and that much to my satisfaction, I returned to
Florence to re-enter the service of Duke Cosimo, which was in the year
1554. The departure of Vasari grieved Michelagnolo, and likewise
Giorgio, for the reason that Michelagnolo's adversaries kept harassing
him every day, now in one way and now in another; wherefore they did
not fail to write to one another daily. And in April of the same year,
Vasari giving him the news that Leonardo, the nephew of Michelagnolo,
had had a male child, that they had accompanied him to baptism with an
honourable company of most noble ladies, and that they had revived the
name of Buonarroto, Michelagnolo answered in a letter to Vasari in
these words:


"I have had the greatest pleasure from your letter, seeing that you
still remember the poor old man, and even more because you were
present at the triumph which, as you write, you witnessed in the birth
of another Buonarroto; for which intelligence I thank you with all my
heart and soul. But so much pomp does not please me, for man should
not be laughing when all the world is weeping. It seems to me that
Leonardo should not make so much rejoicing over a new birth, with all
that gladness which should be reserved for the death of one who has
lived well. Do not marvel if I delay to answer; I do it so as not to
appear a merchant. As for the many praises that you send me in your
letter, I tell you that if I deserved a single one of them, it would
appear to me that in giving myself to you body and soul, I had truly
given you something, and had discharged some infinitesimal part of the
debt that I owe you; whereas I recognize you every hour as my creditor
for more than I can repay, and, since I am an old man, I can now never
hope to be able to square the account in this life, but perhaps in the
next. Wherefore I pray you have patience, and remain wholly yours.
Things here are much as usual."

Already, in the time of Paul III, Duke Cosimo had sent Tribolo to
Rome to see if he might be able to persuade Michelagnolo to return to
Florence, in order to give completion to the Sacristy of S. Lorenzo.
But Michelagnolo excused himself because, having grown old, he could
not support the burden of such fatigues, and demonstrated to him with
many reasons that he could not leave Rome. Whereupon Tribolo finally
asked him about the staircase of the library of S. Lorenzo, for which
Michelagnolo had caused many stones to be prepared, but there was no
model of it nor any certainty as to the exact form, and, although
there were some marks on a pavement and some other sketches in clay,
the true and final design could not be found. However, no matter how
much Tribolo might beseech him and invoke the name of the Duke,
Michelagnolo would never answer a word save that he remembered nothing
of it. Orders were given to Vasari by Duke Cosimo that he should write
to Michelagnolo, requesting him to write saying what final form that
staircase was to have; in the hope that through the friendship and
love that he bore to Vasari, he would say something that might lead to
some solution and to the completion of the work. Vasari wrote to
Michelagnolo the mind of the Duke, saying that the execution of all
that was to be done would fall to him; which he would do with that
fidelity and care with which, as Michelagnolo knew, he was wont to
treat such of his works as he had in charge. Wherefore Michelagnolo
sent the directions for making the above-named staircase in a letter
by his own hand on the 28th of September, 1555.


(_After =Michelagnolo=. Florence_)



"Concerning the staircase for the library, of which so much has been
said to me, you may believe that if I could remember how I had
designed it, I would not need to be entreated. There does, indeed,
come back to my mind, like a dream, a certain staircase; but I do not
believe that it is exactly the one which I conceived at that time,
because it comes out so stupid. However, I will describe it here. Take
a quantity of oval boxes, each one palm in depth, but not of equal
length and breadth. The first and largest place on the pavement at
such a distance from the wall of the door as may make the staircase
easy or steep, according to your pleasure. Upon this place another,
which must be so much smaller in every direction as to leave on the
first one below as much space as the foot requires in ascending;
diminishing and drawing back the steps one after another towards the
door, in accord with the ascent. And the diminution of the last step
must reduce it to the proportion of the space of the door. The said
part of the staircase with the oval steps must have two wings, one on
one side and one on the other, with corresponding steps but not oval.
Of these the central flight shall serve as the principal staircase,
and from the centre of the staircase to the top the curves of the said
wings shall meet the wall; but from the centre down to the pavement
they shall stand, together with the whole staircase, at a distance of
about three palms from the wall, in such a manner that the basement of
the vestibule shall not be obstructed in any part, and every face
shall be left free. I am writing nonsense; but I know well that you
will find something to your purpose."

Michelagnolo also wrote to Vasari in those days that Julius III being
dead, and Marcellus elected, the faction that was against him, in
consequence of the election of the new Pontiff, had again begun to
harass him. Which hearing, and not liking these ways, the Duke caused
Giorgio to write and tell him that he should leave Rome and come to
live in Florence, where the Duke did not desire more than his advice
and designs at times for his buildings, and that he would receive from
that lord all that he might desire, without doing anything with his
own hand. Again, there were carried to him by M. Leonardo Marinozzi,
the private Chamberlain of Duke Cosimo, letters written by his
Excellency; and so also by Vasari. But then, Marcellus being dead, and
Paul IV having been elected, by whom once again numerous offers had
been made to him from the very beginning, when he went to kiss his
feet, the desire to finish the fabric of S. Pietro, and the obligation
by which he thought himself bound to that task, kept him back; and,
employing certain excuses, he wrote to the Duke that for the time
being he was not able to serve him, and to Vasari a letter in these
very words:


"I call God to witness how it was against my will and under the
strongest compulsion that I was set to the building of S. Pietro in
Rome by Pope Paul III, ten years ago. Had they continued to work at
that fabric up to the present day, as they were doing then, I would
now have reached such a point in the undertaking that I might be
thinking of returning home; but for want of money it has been much
retarded, and is still being retarded at the time when it has reached
the most laborious and difficult stage, insomuch that to abandon it
now would be nothing short of the greatest possible disgrace and sin,
losing the reward of the labours that I have endured in those ten
years for the love of God. I have made you this discourse in answer to
your letter, and also because I have a letter from the Duke that has
made me marvel much that his Excellency should have deigned to write
so graciously; for which I thank God and his Excellency to the best of
my power and knowledge. I wander from the subject, because I have lost
my memory and my wits, and writing is a great affliction to me, for it
is not my art. The conclusion is this: to make you understand what
would be the result if I were to abandon the fabric and depart from
Rome; firstly, I would please a number of thieves, and secondly, I
would be the cause of its ruin, and perhaps, also, of its being
suspended for ever."

Continuing to write to Giorgio, Michelagnolo said to him, to excuse
himself with the Duke, that he had a house and many convenient things
at his disposal in Rome, which were worth thousands of crowns, in
addition to being in danger of his life from disease of the kidneys,
colic, and the stone, as happens to every old person, and as could be
proved by Maestro Realdo, his physician, from whom he congratulated
himself on having his life, after God; that for these reasons he was
not able to leave Rome, and, finally, that he had no heart for
anything but death. He besought Vasari, as he did in several other
letters that Giorgio has by his hand, that he should recommend him to
the Duke for pardon, in addition to what he wrote to the Duke, as I
have said, to excuse himself. If Michelagnolo had been able to ride,
he would have gone straightway to Florence, whence, I believe, he
would never have consented to depart in order to return to Rome, so
much was he influenced by the tenderness and love that he felt for the
Duke; but meanwhile he gave his attention to working at many parts of
the above-named fabric, in order so to fix the form that it might
never again be changed. During this time certain persons had informed
him that Pope Paul IV was minded to make him alter the façade of the
chapel where the Last Judgment is, because, he said, those figures
showed their nakedness too shamelessly. When, therefore, the mind of
the Pope was made known to Michelagnolo, he answered: "Tell the Pope
that it is no great affair, and that it can be altered with ease. Let
him put the world right, and every picture will be put right in a
moment." The office of the Chancellery of Rimini was taken away from
Michelagnolo, but he would never speak of this to the Pope, who did
not know it; and it was taken away from him by the Pope's Cup-bearer,
who sought to have a hundred crowns a month given to him in respect of
the fabric of S. Pietro, and caused a month's payment to be taken to
his house, but Michelagnolo would not accept it. In the same year took
place the death of Urbino, his servant, or rather, as he may be
called, and as he had been, his companion. This man came to live with
Michelagnolo in Florence in the year 1530, after the siege was
finished, when his disciple Antonio Mini went to France; and he
rendered very faithful service to Michelagnolo, insomuch that in
twenty-six years that faithful and intimate service brought it about
that Michelagnolo made him rich and so loved him, that in this,
Urbino's last illness, old as he was, he nursed him and slept in his
clothes at night to watch over him. Wherefore, after he was dead,
Vasari wrote to Michelagnolo to console him, and he answered in these


"I am scarce able to write, but, in reply to your letter, I shall say
something. You know how Urbino died, wherein God has shown me very
great grace, although it is also a grave loss and an infinite grief to
me. This grace is that whereas when living he kept me alive, dying he
has taught me to die not with regret, but with a desire for death. I
have had him twenty-six years, and have found him a very rare and
faithful servant; and now, when I had made him rich and was looking to
him as the staff and repose of my old age, he has flown from me, nor
is any hope left to me but to see him again in Paradise. And of this
God has granted a sign in the happy death that he died, in that dying
grieved him much less than leaving me in this traitorous world with so
many afflictions; although the greater part of me is gone with him,
and nothing is left me but infinite misery. I commend myself to you."

Michelagnolo was employed in the time of Pope Paul IV on many parts of
the fortifications of Rome, and also by Salustio Peruzzi, to whom that
Pope, as has been related elsewhere, had given the charge of executing
the great portal of the Castello di S. Angelo, which is now half
ruined; and he occupied himself in distributing the statues of that
work, examining the models of the sculptors, and correcting them. At
that time the French army approached near to Rome, and Michelagnolo
thought that he was like to come to an evil end together with that
city; whereupon he resolved to fly from Rome with Antonio Franzese of
Castel Durante, whom Urbino at his death had left in his house as his
servant, and went secretly to the mountains of Spoleto, where he
visited certain seats of hermits. Meanwhile Vasari wrote to him,
sending him a little work that Carlo Lenzoni, a citizen of Florence,
had left at his death to Messer Cosimo Bartoli, who was to have it
printed and dedicated to Michelagnolo; which, when it was finished,
Vasari sent in those days to Michelagnolo, and he, having received it,
answered thus:

                                           "_September_ 18, 1556.


"I have received Messer Cosimo's little book, which you send to me,
and this shall be a letter of thanks. I pray you to give them to him,
and send him my compliments.

"I have had in these days great discomfort and expense, but also great
pleasure, in visiting the hermits in the mountains of Spoleto,
insomuch that less than half of me has returned to Rome, seeing that
in truth there is no peace to be found save in the woods. I have
nothing more to tell you. I am glad that you are well and happy, and I
commend myself to you."

Michelagnolo used to work almost every day, as a pastime, at that
block with the four figures of which we have already spoken; which
block he broke into pieces at this time for these reasons, either
because it was hard and full of emery, and the chisel often struck
sparks from it, or it may have been that the judgment of the man was
so great that he was never content with anything that he did. A proof
that this is true is that there are few finished statues to be seen
out of all that he executed in the prime of his manhood, and that
those completely finished were executed by him in his youth, such as
the Bacchus, the Pietà in S. Maria della Febbre, the Giant of
Florence, and the Christ of the Minerva, which it would not be
possible to increase or diminish by as little as a grain of millet
without spoiling them; and the others, with the exception of the Dukes
Giuliano and Lorenzo, Night, Dawn, and Moses, with the other two, the
whole number of these statues not amounting in all to eleven, the
others, I say, were all left unfinished, and, moreover, they are many,
Michelagnolo having been wont to say that if he had had to satisfy
himself in what he did, he would have sent out few, nay, not one. For
he had gone so far with his art and judgment, that, when he had laid
bare a figure and had perceived in it the slightest degree of error,
he would set it aside and run to lay his hand on another block of
marble, trusting that the same would not happen to the new block; and
he often said that this was the reason that he gave for having
executed so few statues and pictures. This Pietà, when it was broken,
he presented to Francesco Bandini. Now at this time Tiberio Calcagni,
a Florentine sculptor, had become much the friend of Michelagnolo by
means of Francesco Bandini and Messer Donato Giannotti; and being one
day in Michelagnolo's house, where there was the Pietà, all broken,
after a long conversation he asked him for what reason he had broken
it up and destroyed labours so marvellous, and he answered that the
reason was the importunity of his servant Urbino, who kept urging him
every day to finish it, besides which, among other things, a piece of
one of the elbows of the Madonna had been broken off, and even before
that he had taken an aversion to it, and had had many misfortunes with
it by reason of a flaw that was in the marble, so that he lost his
patience and began to break it up; and he would have broken it
altogether into pieces if his servant Antonio had not besought him
that he should present it to him as it was. Whereupon Tiberio, having
heard this, spoke to Bandini, who desired to have something by the
hand of Michelagnolo, and Bandini contrived that Tiberio should
promise to Antonio two hundred crowns of gold, and prayed Michelagnolo
to consent that Tiberio should finish it for Bandini with the
assistance of models by his hand, urging that thus his labour would
not be thrown away. Michelagnolo was satisfied, and then made them a
present of it. The work was carried away immediately, and then put
together again and reconstructed with I know not what new pieces by
Tiberio; but it was left unfinished by reason of the death of Bandini,
Michelagnolo, and Tiberio. At the present day it is in the possession
of Pier Antonio Bandini, the son of Francesco, at his villa on Monte
Cavallo. But to return to Michelagnolo; it became necessary to find
some work in marble on which he might be able to pass some time every
day with the chisel, and another piece of marble was put before him,
from which another Pietà had been already blocked out, different from
the first and much smaller.

[Illustration: PIETÀ

(_After =Michelagnolo=. Rome: Palazzo Rondanini_)


There had entered into the service of Paul IV, and also into the
charge of the fabric of S. Pietro, the architect Pirro Ligorio, and he
was now once more harassing Michelagnolo, going about saying that he
had sunk into his second childhood. Wherefore, angered by such
treatment, he would willingly have returned to Florence, and, having
delayed to return, he was again urged in letters by Giorgio, but he
knew that he was too old, having now reached the age of eighty-one.
Writing at that time to Vasari by his courier, and sending him various
spiritual sonnets, he said that he was come to the end of his life,
that he must be careful where he directed his thoughts, that by
reading he would see that he was at his last hour, and that there
arose in his mind no thought upon which was not graved the image of
death; and in one letter he said:

"It is God's will, Vasari, that I should continue to live in misery
for some years. I know that you will tell me that I am an old fool to
wish to write sonnets, but since many say that I am in my second
childhood, I have sought to act accordingly. By your letter I see the
love that you bear me, and you may take it as certain that I would
be glad to lay these feeble bones of mine beside those of my father,
as you beg me to do; but by departing from here I would be the cause
of the utter ruin of the fabric of S. Pietro, which would be a great
disgrace and a very grievous sin. However, when it is so firmly
established that it can never be changed, I hope to do all that you
ask me, if it be not a sin to keep in anxious expectation certain
gluttons that await my immediate departure."

With this letter was the following sonnet, also written in his own

  Giunto è già 'l corso della vita mia
      Con tempestoso mar' per fragil barca
      Al comun porto, ov'a render' si varca
      Conto e ragion' d'ogni opra trista e pia.
  Onde l'affetuosa fantasia,
      Che l'arte mi fece idolo e monarca,
      Conosco or' ben' quant'era d'error' carca,
      E quel ch'a mal suo grado ognun' desia.
  Gli amorosi pensier' già vani e lieti
      Che sien'or', s'a due morti mi avvicino?
      D'una so certo, e l'altra mi minaccia.
  Nè pinger' nè scolpir' sia più che quieti
      L'anima volta a quello Amor Divino
      Ch'aperse a prender' noi in Croce le braccia.

Whereby it was evident that he was drawing towards God, abandoning the
cares of art on account of the persecution of his malignant
fellow-craftsmen, and also through the fault of certain overseers of
the fabric, who would have liked, as he used to say, to dip their
hands in the chest. By order of Duke Cosimo, a reply was written to
Michelagnolo by Vasari in a letter of few words, exhorting him to
repatriate himself, with a sonnet corresponding in the rhymes.
Michelagnolo would willingly have left Rome, but he was so weary and
aged, that although, as will be told below, he was determined to go
back, while the spirit was willing the flesh was weak, and that kept
him in Rome. It happened in June of the year 1557, he having made a
model for the vault that was to cover the apse, which was being built
of travertine in the Chapel of the King, that, from his not being
able to go there as he had been wont, an error arose, in that the
capomaestro took the measurements over the whole body of the vault
with one single centre, whereas there should have been a great number;
and Michelagnolo, as the friend and confidant of Vasari, sent him
designs by his own hand, with these words written at the foot of two
of them:

"The centre marked with red was used by the capomaestro over the body
of the whole vault; then, when he began to pass to the half-circle,
which is at the summit of the vault, he became aware of the error
which that centre was producing, as may be seen here in the design,
marked in black. With this error the vault has gone so far forward,
that we have to displace a great number of stones, for in that vault
there is being placed no brick-work, but all travertine, and the
diameter of the circle, without the cornice that borders it, is
twenty-two palms. This error, after I had made an exact model, as I do
of everything, has been caused by my not being able, on account of my
old age, to go there often; so that, whereas I believed that the vault
was now finished, it will not be finished all this winter, and, if it
were possible to die of shame and grief, I should not be alive now. I
pray you account to the Duke for my not being at this moment in

[Illustration: S. PETER'S

(_After =Michelagnolo=. Rome_)


And continuing in the other design, where he had drawn the plan, he
said this:


"To the end that it may be easier to understand the difficulty of the
vault by observing its rise from the level of the ground, let me
explain that I have been forced to divide it into three vaults,
corresponding to the windows below divided by pilasters; and you see
that they go pyramidally into the centre of the summit of the vault,
as also do the base and sides of the same. It was necessary to
regulate them with an infinite number of centres, and there are in
them so many changes in various directions, from point to point, that
no fixed rule can be maintained. And the circles and squares that come
in the middle of their deepest parts have to diminish and increase in
so many directions, and to go to so many points, that it is a
difficult thing to find the true method. Nevertheless, having the
model, such as I make for everything, they should never have committed
so great an error as to seek to regulate with one single centre all
those three shells; whence it has come about that we have been obliged
with shame and loss to pull down, as we are still doing, a great
number of stones. The vault, with its sections and hewn stone-work, is
all of travertine, like all the rest below; a thing not customary in

Michelagnolo was excused by Duke Cosimo, hearing of these misfortunes,
from coming to Florence; the Duke saying to him that his contentment
and the continuation of S. Pietro were more dear to him than anything
in the world, and that he should rest in peace. Whereupon Michelagnolo
wrote to Vasari, on the same sheet in which he thanked the Duke to the
best of his power and knowledge for such kindness, saying, "God give
me grace that I may be able to serve him with this my poor person, for
my memory and my brain are gone to await him elsewhere." The date of
this letter was August in the year 1557. Thus, then, Michelagnolo
learned that the Duke esteemed his life and his honour more than he
did himself, who so revered him. All these things, and many more that
it is not necessary to mention, we have in our possession, written in
his hand.

Michelagnolo by this time was reduced to a feeble condition, and it
was evident that little was being done in S. Pietro, now that he had
carried on a great part of the frieze of the windows within, and of
the double columns without, which curve above the great round
cornice[4] where the cupola is to be placed, as will be related; and
he was exhorted and urged by his greatest friends, such as the
Cardinal of Carpi, Messer Donato Giannotti, Francesco Bandini, Tommaso
de' Cavalieri, and Lottino that, since he saw the delay in the raising
of the cupola, he should at least make a model of it. He stayed many
months without making up his mind to this, but in the end he made a
beginning, and then little by little constructed a small model in
clay, from which, as an exemplar, and from the plans and profiles
that he had drawn, it might be possible afterwards to make a larger
one of wood. This, having made a beginning with it, he caused to be
constructed in little more than a year by Maestro Giovanni Franzese,
with much study and pains; and he made it on such a scale that the
smaller proportions of the model, measured by the old Roman palm,
corresponded with complete exactness to those of the large work, he
having fashioned with diligence in that model all the members of
columns, bases, capitals, doors, windows, cornices, projections, and
likewise every least thing, knowing that in such a work no less should
be done, for in all Christendom, nay, in all the world, there is not
to be found or seen any fabric more ornate or more grand. And I cannot
but think that, if we have given up time to noting smaller things, it
is even more useful, and also our duty, to describe this manner of
design for building the structure of this tribune with the form,
order, and method that Michelagnolo thought to give it; wherefore with
such brevity as we may we will give a simple description of it, to the
end that, if it should ever be the fate of this work, which God
forbid, to be disturbed by the envy and malice of presumptuous persons
after the death of Michelagnolo, even as we have seen it disturbed up
to the present during his lifetime, these my writings, such as they
may be, may be able to assist the faithful who are to be the executors
of the mind of that rare man, and also to restrain the malignant
desires of those who may seek to alter it, and so at one and the same
time assist, delight, and open the minds of those beautiful intellects
that are the friends of this profession and regard it as their joy.

         [Footnote 4: Drum.]

[Illustration: S. PETER'S

(_After =Michelagnolo=. Rome_)


I must begin by saying that according to this model, made under the
direction of Michelagnolo, I find that in the great work the whole
space within the tribune will be one hundred and eighty-six palms,
speaking of its width from wall to wall above the great cornice of
travertine that curves in a round in the interior, resting on the four
great double piers that rise from the ground with their capitals
carved in the Corinthian Order, accompanied by their architrave,
frieze, and cornice, likewise of travertine; which great cornice,
curving right round over the great niches, rests supported upon the
four great arches of the three niches and of the entrance, which
form the cross of the building. Then there begins to spring the first
part of the tribune, the rise of which commences in a basement of
travertine with a platform six palms broad, where one can walk; and
this basement curves in a round in the manner of a well, and its
thickness is thirty-three palms and eleven inches, the height to the
cornice eleven palms and ten inches, the cornice over it about eight
palms, and its projection six and a half palms. Into this basement you
enter, in order to ascend the tribune, by four entrances that are over
the arches of the niches, and the thickness of the basement is divided
into three parts; that on the inner side is fifteen palms, that on the
outer side is eleven palms, and that in the centre is seven palms and
eleven inches, which make up the thickness of thirty-three palms and
eleven inches. The space in the centre is hollow and serves as a
passage, which is two squares in height and curves in a continuous
round, with a barrel-shaped vault; and in line with the four entrances
are eight doors, each of which rises in four steps, one of them
leading to the level platform of the cornice of the first basement,
six palms and a half in breadth, and another leading to the inner
cornice that curves round the tribune, eight palms and three-quarters
broad, on which platforms, by each door, you can walk conveniently
both within and without the edifice, and from one entrance to another
in a curve of two hundred and one palms, so that, the sections being
four, the whole circuit comes to be eight hundred and four palms. We
now have to ascend from the level of this basement, upon which rest
the columns and pilasters, and which forms the frieze of the windows
within all the way round, being fourteen palms and one inch in height,
and around it, on the outer side, there is at the foot a short order
of cornice-work, and so also at the top, which does not project more
than ten inches, and all of travertine; and so in the thickness of the
third part, above that on the inner side, which we have described as
fifteen palms thick, there is made in every quarter-section a
staircase, one half of which ascends in one direction and the second
half in another, the width being four palms and a quarter; and this
staircase leads to the level of the columns. Above this level there
begin to rise, in line with the solid parts of the basement, eighteen
large piers all of travertine, each adorned with two columns on the
outer side and pilasters on the inner, as will be described below, and
between the piers are left the spaces where there are to be all the
windows that are to give light to the tribune. These piers, on the
sides pointing towards the central point of the tribune, are
thirty-six palms in extent, and on the front sides nineteen and a
half. Each of them, on the outer side, has two columns, the lowest
dado of which is eight palms and three-quarters broad and one palm and
a half high, the base five palms and eight inches broad and ... palms
and eleven inches high, the shaft of the column forty-three and a half
palms high, five palms and six inches thick at the foot and four palms
and nine inches at the top, the Corinthian capital six palms and a
half high, with the crown of mouldings nine palms. Of these columns
three quarters are to be seen, and the other quarter is merged into
the corner, with the accompaniment of the half of a pilaster that
makes a salient angle on the inner side, and this is accompanied in
the central inner space by the opening of an arched door, five palms
wide and thirteen palms and five inches high, from the summit of which
to the capitals of the pilasters and columns there is a filling of
solid masonry, serving as a connection with two other pilasters that
are similar to those that form a salient angle beside the columns.
These two pilasters correspond to the others, and adorn the sides of
sixteen windows that go right round the tribune, each with a light
twelve palms and a half wide and about twenty-two palms high. These
windows are to be adorned on the outer side with varied architraves
two palms and three-quarters high, and on the inner side they are to
be adorned with orders likewise varied, with pediments and
quarter-rounds; and they are wide without and more narrow within, and
so, also, they are sloped away at the foot of the inner side, so that
they may give light over the frieze and cornice. Each of them is
bordered by two flat pilasters that correspond in height to the
columns without, so that there come to be thirty-six columns without
and thirty-six pilasters within; over which pilasters is the
architrave, which is four palms and three-quarters in height, the
frieze four and a half, and the cornice four and two-thirds, with a
projection of five palms; and above this is to go a range of
balusters, so that one may be able to walk all the way round there
with safety. And in order that it may be possible to climb
conveniently from the level where the columns begin, another staircase
ascends in the same line within the thickness of the part that is
fifteen palms wide, in the same manner and of the same width, with two
branches or ascents, all the way up to the summit of the columns, with
their capitals, architraves, friezes, and cornices; insomuch that,
without obstructing the light of the windows, these stairs pass at the
top into a spiral staircase of the same breadth, which finally reaches
the level where the turning of the tribune is to begin.

All this order, distribution, and ornamentation is so well varied,
commodious, rich, durable, and strong, and serves so well to support
the two vaults of the cupola that is to be turned upon it, that it is
a very ingenious thing, and it is all so well considered and then
executed in masonry, that there is nothing to be seen by the eyes of
one who has knowledge and understanding that is more pleasing, more
beautiful, or wrought with greater mastery, both on account of the
binding together and mortising of the stones and because it has in it
in every part strength and eternal life, and also because of the great
judgment wherewith he contrived to carry away the rain-water by many
hidden channels, and, finally, because he brought it to such
perfection, that all other fabrics that have been built and seen up to
the present day appear as nothing in comparison with the grandeur of
this one. And it has been a very great loss that those whose duty it
was did not put all their power into the undertaking, for the reason
that, before death took away from us that rare man, we should have
seen that beautiful and terrible structure already raised.

Up to this point has Michelagnolo carried the masonry of the work; and
it only remains to make a beginning with the vaulting of the tribune,
of which, since the model has come down to us, we shall proceed to
describe the design that he has left to the end that it may be carried
out. He turned the curve of this vault on three points that make a
triangle, in this manner:

  A B

The point C, which is the lowest, is the principal one, wherewith he
turned the first half-circle of the tribune, with which he gave the
form, height and breadth of this vault, which he ordered to be built
entirely of bricks well baked and fired, laid herring-bone fashion.
This shell he makes four palms and a half thick, and as thick at the
top as at the foot, and leaving beside it, in the centre, a space four
palms and a half wide at the foot, which is to serve for the ascent of
the stairs that are to lead to the lantern, rising from the platform
of the cornice where there are balusters. The arch of the interior of
the other shell, which is to be wider at the foot and narrower at the
top, is turned on the point marked B, and the thickness of the shell
at the foot is four palms and a half. And the last arch, which is to
be turned in order to make the exterior of the cupola, wider at the
foot and narrowing towards the top, is to be raised on the point
marked A, which arch turned, there remains at the top all the hollow
space of the interior for the ascent of the stairs, which are eight
palms high, so that one may climb them upright; and the thickness of
that shell comes to diminish little by little, insomuch that, being as
before four palms and a half at the foot, it decreases at the top to
three palms and a half. And the outer shell comes to be so well bound
to the inner shell with bonds and with the stairs, that the one
supports the other; while of the eight parts into which the fabric is
divided at the base, the four over the arches are left hollow, in
order to put less weight upon the arches, and the other four are bound
and chained together with bonds upon the piers, so that the structure
may have everlasting life.

The stairs in the centre between one shell and the other are
constructed in this form; from the level where the springing of the
vault begins they rise in each of the four sections, and each ascends
from two entrances, the stairs intersecting one another in the form of
an X, until they have covered the half of the arch marked C, on the
upper side of the shell, when, having ascended straight up the half of
that arch, the remaining space is then easily climbed circle after
circle and step after step in a direct line, until finally one arrives
at the eye of the cupola, where the rise of the lantern begins, around
which, in accord with the diminution of the compartments that spring
above the piers, there is a smaller range of double pilasters and
windows similar to those that are constructed in the interior, as
will be described below.

Over the first great cornice within the tribune there begin at the
foot the compartments for the recesses that are in the vault of the
tribune, which are formed by sixteen projecting ribs. These at the
foot are as broad as the breadth of the two pilasters which at the
lower end border each window below the vault of the tribune, and they
rise, diminishing pyramidally, as far as the eye of the lantern; at
the foot they rest on pedestals of the same breadth and twelve palms
high, and these pedestals rest on the level platform of the cornice
which goes in a circle right round the tribune. Above this, in the
recessed spaces between the ribs, there are eight large ovals, each
twenty-nine palms high, and over them a number of straight-sided
compartments that are wider at the foot and narrower at the top, and
twenty-four palms high, and then, the ribs drawing together, there
comes above each straight-sided compartment a round fourteen palms
high; so that there come to be eight ovals, eight straight-sided
compartments, and eight rounds, each range forming recesses that grow
more shallow in succession. The ground of all these displays
extraordinary richness, for Michelagnolo intended to make the ribs and
the ornaments of the said ovals, straight-sided compartments, and
rounds, all corniced in travertine.

It remains for us to make mention of the surface and adornment of the
arch on that side of the vault where the roofing is to go, which
begins to rise from a base twenty-five palms and a half high, which
has at the foot a basement that has a projection of two palms, as have
the crowning mouldings at the top. The covering or roofing with which
he proposed to cover it is of lead, such as covers the roof of the old
S. Pietro at the present day, and is divided into sixteen sections
from one solid base to another, each base beginning where the two
columns end, which are one on either side of it. In each of these
sections, in the centre, he made two windows to give light to the
inner space where the ascent of the stairs is, between the two shells,
so that in all they are thirty-two. These, by means of brackets that
support a quarter-round, he made projecting from the roof in such a
manner as to protect the lofty and novel view-point from the rain. In
a line with the centre of the solid base between each two columns,
above which was the crowning cornice, sprang a rib, one to each, wider
at the foot and narrowing at the top; in all sixteen ribs, five palms
broad, in the centre of each of which was a quadrangular channel one
palm and a half wide, within which is formed an ascent of steps about
one palm high, by which to ascend or descend between the platform at
the foot and the summit where the lantern begins. These are to be
built of travertine and constructed with mortisings, to the end that
the joins may be protected against water and ice during times of rain.

The design for the lantern is reduced in the same proportion as all
the rest of the work, so that, taking lines round the circumference,
everything comes to diminish in exact accord, and with proportionate
measurements it rises as a simple temple with round columns two by
two, like those on the solid bases below. These have pilasters to
correspond to them, and one can walk all the way round and see from
the central spaces between the pilasters, where the windows are, the
interior of the tribune and the church. Above this, architrave,
frieze, and cornice curve in a round, projecting over each pair of
columns; and over these columns, in a line with them, spring some
caulicoles, which, together with some niches that divide them, rise to
find the end of the lantern, which, beginning to draw together, grows
gradually narrower for a third of its height, in the manner of a round
pyramid, until it reaches the ball, upon which, as the final crown of
the structure, goes the cross. Many particulars and minute details I
might have mentioned, such as air-holes for protection against
earthquakes, water-conduits, the various lights, and other
conveniences, but I omit them because the work is not yet come to
completion, being content to have touched on the principal parts as
well as I have been able. For, since every part is in existence and
can be seen, it is enough to have made this brief sketch, which is a
great light to him who has no knowledge of the structure.

The completion of this model caused the greatest satisfaction not only
to all his friends, but to all Rome, the form of the fabric having
been thus settled and established. It then came to pass that Paul IV
died, and after him was elected Pius IV, who, while causing the
building of the little palace in the wood of the Belvedere to be
continued by Pirro Ligorio, who remained architect to the Palace, made
many gracious offers and advances to Michelagnolo. The Motu-proprio
originally received by Michelagnolo from Paul III, and then from
Julius III and Paul IV, in respect of the fabric of S. Pietro, he
confirmed in his favour, and he restored to him a part of the revenues
and allowances taken away by Paul IV, employing him in many of his
works of building; and in his time he caused the fabric of S. Pietro
to be carried on vigorously. He made use of Michelagnolo, in
particular, in preparing a design for the tomb of the Marchese
Marignano, his brother, which, destined to be erected in the Duomo of
Milan, was allotted by his Holiness to the Chevalier Leone Lioni of
Arezzo, a most excellent sculptor and much the friend of Michelagnolo;
the form of which tomb will be described in the proper place.

At this time the Chevalier Leone made a very lively portrait of
Michelagnolo in a medal, and to please him he fashioned on the reverse
a blind man led by a dog, with these letters around:


And Michelagnolo, since it pleased him much, presented him a model in
wax of Hercules crushing Antæus, by his own hand, with certain of his
designs. Of Michelagnolo we have no other portraits but two in
painting, one by the hand of Bugiardini and the other by Jacopo del
Conte, one in bronze executed in full-relief by Daniello Ricciarelli,
and this one by the Chevalier Leone; from which portraits so many
copies have been made, that I have seen a good number in many places
in Italy and in foreign parts.

The same year Cardinal Giovanni de' Medici, the son of Duke Cosimo,
went to Rome to receive the hat from Pius IV, and it fell to Vasari,
as his servant and familiar friend, to go with him; which Vasari went
there willingly and stayed about a month, in order to enjoy
Michelagnolo, who received him with great affection and was always
with him. Vasari had taken with him, by order of his Excellency, a
model in wood of the whole Ducal Palace of Florence, together with
designs of the new apartments that had been built and painted by him;
which Michelagnolo desired to see both in the model and in the
designs, since, being old, he was not able to see the works
themselves. These works, which were abundant and well varied, with
different inventions and fancies, began with the Castration of Uranus
and continued in stories of Saturn, Ops, Ceres, Jove, Juno, and
Hercules, each room having one of these names, with the stories in
various compartments; even as the other chambers and halls, which were
beneath these, had the names of the heroes of the House of Medici,
beginning with the elder Cosimo, and continuing with Lorenzo, Leo X,
Clement VII, Signor Giovanni, Duke Alessandro, and Duke Cosimo, in
each of which were not only the stories of their actions, but also
portraits of them, of their children, and of all the ancients renowned
in statesmanship, in arms, and in letters, taken from the life. Of
these Vasari had written a Dialogue in which he explained all the
stories, the end of the whole invention, and how the fables above
harmonized with the stories below; which was read to Michelagnolo by
Annibale Caro, and he took the greatest pleasure in it. This Dialogue,
when Vasari shall have more time, will be published.

The result of all this was as follows. Vasari was desirous of setting
his hand to the Great Hall, and since, as has been said elsewhere, the
ceiling was low, making it stunted and wanting in lights, he had a
desire to raise that ceiling. Now the Duke would not make up his mind
to give him leave that it should be raised; not that the Duke feared
the cost, as was seen afterwards, but rather the danger of raising the
beams of the roof thirteen braccia. However, like a man of judgment,
his Excellency consented that the advice of Michelagnolo should be
taken, and Michelagnolo, having seen in that model the Hall as it then
was, and afterwards, all the beams having been removed and replaced by
other beams with a new invention in the ceiling and walls, the same
Hall as it has since been made, with the invention of the stories
likewise designed therein, liked it and straightway became not a judge
but a supporter, and the rather as he saw the facile method of raising
the beams and the roof, and the plan for executing the whole work in a
short time. Wherefore, on Vasari's return, he wrote to the Duke that
he should carry out that undertaking, since it was worthy of his

[Illustration: PORTA PIA

(_After =Michelagnolo=. Rome_)


The same year Duke Cosimo went to Rome with the Lady Duchess
Leonora, his consort, and Michelagnolo, after the Duke's arrival,
went straightway to see him. The Duke, after receiving him with many
endearments, caused him, out of respect for his great genius, to sit
by his side, and with much familiarity talked to him of all that he
had caused to be done in painting and sculpture at Florence, and also
of all that he was minded to have done, and in particular of the Hall;
and Michelagnolo again encouraged and reassured him in that matter,
lamenting, since he loved that Lord, that he was not young enough to
be able to serve him. His Excellency said that he had discovered the
way to work porphyry, a thing which Michelagnolo could not believe,
and the Duke therefore sent him, as has been related in the first
chapter of the Treatise on Theory, the head of Christ wrought by the
sculptor Francesco del Tadda, at which he was astonished; and he
visited the Duke several times the while that he stayed in Rome, to
his vast satisfaction. He did the same a short time afterwards when
the most Illustrious Don Francesco de' Medici, the Duke's son, went
there, in whom Michelagnolo took much delight from the marks of regard
and affection shown to him by his most Illustrious Excellency, who
spoke with him always cap in hand, having infinite reverence for so
rare a man; and Michelagnolo wrote to Vasari that it vexed him to be
old and infirm, for he would have liked to do something for that Lord,
but he was going about trying to buy some beautiful antique to send to
him in Florence.

Being requested at this time by the Pope for a design for the Porta
Pia, Michelagnolo made three, all fantastic and most beautiful, of
which the Pope chose the least costly for putting into execution; and
it is now to be seen erected there, with much credit to him.
Perceiving the inclination of the Pope, and hoping that he would
restore the other gates of Rome, he made many other designs for him;
and he did the like, at the request of the same Pontiff, in the matter
of the new Church of S. Maria degli Angeli in the Baths of Diocletian,
in order to convert them into a temple for the use of Christians. A
design by his hand prevailed over many others made by excellent
architects, being executed with such beautiful considerations for the
convenience of the Carthusian Friars, who have now carried it almost
to completion, that it caused his Holiness and all the prelates and
lords of the Court to marvel at the judgment of the lovely conceptions
that he had drawn, availing himself of all the skeleton of those
baths, out of which was seen formed a most beautiful temple, with an
entrance surpassing the expectations of all the architects; from which
he acquired infinite praise and honour. For that place, also, he
designed for his Holiness a Ciborium of the Sacrament in bronze, cast
for the most part by Maestro Jacopo Ciciliano, an excellent
bronze-caster, who makes his works come out very delicate and fine,
without any roughness, so that they can be polished with little
labour; in which field he is a rare master, and gave much satisfaction
to Michelagnolo.

[Illustration: S. MARIA DEGLI ANGELI

(_After =Michelagnolo=. Rome_)


The Florentine colony had often talked among themselves of giving a
good beginning to the Church of S. Giovanni in the Strada Giulia.
Finally, all the heads of the richest houses having assembled
together, they each promised to contribute in due proportion according
to their means towards that fabric, insomuch that they contrived to
collect a good sum of money; and then it was discussed among them
whether it were better to follow the old lines or to have something
new and finer. It was determined that something new should be erected
upon the old foundations, and finally they elected three men to have
the charge of the fabric, who were Francesco Bandini, Uberto Ubaldini,
and Tommaso de' Bardi; and these requested Michelagnolo for a design,
recommending themselves to him on the ground that it was a disgrace to
their colony to have thrown away so much money without any kind of
profit, and that, if his genius did not avail to finish the work, they
had no other resource. He promised them to do it, with as much
lovingness as he had ever shown in any work in the past, because in
this his old age he readily gave his attention to sacred things, such
as might redound to the honour of God, and also from affection for his
fellow-Florentines, whom he loved always. Michelagnolo had with him at
this conference the Florentine sculptor Tiberio Calcagni, a young man
very ardent to learn art, who, after going to Rome, had turned his
mind to the study of architecture. Loving him, Michelagnolo had given
him to finish, as has been related, the Pietà in marble that he had
broken, and, in addition, a head of Brutus in marble with the
breast, considerably larger than life, to the end that he might
finish it. Of this the head alone was carved, with certain most minute
gradines, and he had taken it from a portrait of Brutus cut in a very
ancient cornelian that was in the possession of Signor Giuliano
Cesarino; which Michelagnolo was doing for Cardinal Ridolfi at the
entreaty of Messer Donato Giannotti, his very dear friend, and it is a
rare work. Michelagnolo, then, in matters of architecture, not being
able by reason of old age to draw any more or to make accurate lines,
was making use of Tiberio, because he was very gentle and discreet;
and thus, desiring to avail himself of him in such an undertaking, he
laid on him the charge of tracing the plan of the site of the
above-named church. That plan having been traced and carried
straightway to Michelagnolo, at a time when it was not thought that he
was doing anything, he gave them to understand through Tiberio that he
had carried out their wishes, and finally showed them five most
beautiful ground-plans of temples; which having seen, they marvelled.
He said to them that they should choose one that pleased them, and
they, not wishing to do it, left the matter to his judgment, but he
insisted that they should decide of their own free will; wherefore
they all with one accord chose the richest. This having been adopted,
Michelagnolo said to them that if they carried such a design to
completion, neither the Greeks nor the Romans ever in their times
executed such a work; words that neither before nor afterwards ever
issued from the mouth of Michelagnolo, for he was very modest. Finally
it was agreed that the direction should be left entirely to
Michelagnolo, and that the labour of executing that work should fall
to Tiberio; with all which they were content, Buonarroti promising
them that Tiberio would serve them excellently well. And so, having
given the ground-plan to Tiberio to be drawn accurately and with
correct measurements, he drew for him the profiles both within and
without, and bade him make a model of clay, teaching him the way to
execute it so that it might stand firm. In ten days Tiberio executed a
model of eight palms, which much pleased the whole Florentine colony,
so that afterwards they caused to be made from it a model of wood,
which is now in the residence of the Consuls of that colony; a thing
as rare in its beauty, richness, and great variety, as any temple
that has ever been seen. A beginning was made with the building, and
five thousand crowns were spent; but the funds for the fabric failed,
and so it was abandoned, at which Michelagnolo felt very great
displeasure. He obtained for Tiberio the commission to finish under
his direction, at S. Maria Maggiore, a chapel begun for Cardinal Santa
Fiore; but it was left unfinished, on account of the death of the
Cardinal, of Michelagnolo, and of Tiberio himself, the death of which
young man was a very great loss.

[Illustration: BRUTUS

(_After =Michelagnolo=. Florence: Museo Nazionale_)


Michelagnolo had been seventeen years in the fabric of S. Pietro, and
several times the deputies had tried to remove him from that position,
but they had not succeeded, and they were seeking to oppose him in
every matter now with one vexatious pretext and now with another,
hoping that out of weariness, being now so old that he could do no
more, he would retire before them. It happened in those days that
Cesare da Castel Durante, who had been the overseer, died, and
Michelagnolo, to the end that the fabric might not suffer, sent there
Luigi Gaeta, who was too young but very competent, until he should
find a man after his desire. The deputies (some of whom had many times
made efforts to place there Nanni di Baccio Bigio, who was always
urging them and promising great things), in order to be able to
disturb the affairs of the fabric at their pleasure, sent Luigi Gaeta
away, which having heard, Michelagnolo, as in anger, would no longer
show himself at the fabric; whereupon they began to give out that he
could do no more, that it was necessary to give him a substitute, and
that he himself had said that he did not wish to be embroiled any
longer with S. Pietro. All this came to the ears of Michelagnolo, who
sent Daniello Ricciarelli of Volterra to Bishop Ferratino, one of the
superintendents, who had said to the Cardinal of Carpi that
Michelagnolo had told one of his servants that he did not wish to be
mixed up with the fabric any longer; and Daniello said that this was
by no means Michelagnolo's desire. Ferratino complained that
Michelagnolo would not make his conception known, adding that it would
be well for him to provide a substitute, and that he would have gladly
accepted Daniello; and with this Michelagnolo appeared to be content.
Thereupon Ferratino, having had the deputies informed in the name of
Michelagnolo that they now had a substitute, presented not Daniello,
but in his place Nanni di Baccio Bigio, who came in and was accepted
by the superintendents. Before very long he gave orders to make a
scaffolding of wood from the side of the Pope's stables, where the
hill is, to rise above the great recess that is turned towards that
side, and caused some stout beams of fir to be cut, saying that too
many ropes were consumed in drawing up the materials, and that it was
better to raise them by his method. Which having heard, Michelagnolo
went straight to the Pope, who was on the Piazza di Campidoglio, and
made so much noise that his Holiness made him go at once into a room,
where he said: "Holy Father, there has been appointed as my substitute
by the deputies a man of whom I know nothing; but if they are
convinced, and also your Holiness, that I am no longer the proper man,
I will return to rest in Florence, where I will enjoy the favours of
that great Duke who has so long desired me, and will finish my life in
my own house; I therefore beg your gracious leave." The Pope was vexed
at this, and, consoling him with kind words, ordained that he should
come to speak with him on the following day at the Araceli. There,
having caused the deputies of the fabric to be assembled together, he
desired to be informed of the reasons of what had happened: whereupon
their answer was that the fabric was going to ruin, and that errors
were being made in it. Which having heard not to be the truth, the
Pope commanded Signor Gabrio Scerbellone that he should go to see the
fabric for himself, and that Nanni, who was making these assertions,
should show it to him. This was carried out, and Signor Gabrio found
that the whole story was a malicious slander, and not the truth;
wherefore Nanni was dismissed from that fabric with no very flattering
words in the presence of many lords, being also reproached that by his
fault the bridge of Santa Maria fell into ruin, and that at Ancona,
seeking to do great things at little cost in the matter of cleaning
out the harbour, he filled it up more in one day than the sea had done
in ten years. Such was the end of Nanni in the fabric of S. Pietro.
For that work Michelagnolo for seventeen years attended constantly to
nothing but to establishing it securely with directions, doubting on
account of those envious persecutions lest it might come to be
changed after his death; so that at the present day it is strong
enough to allow the vaulting to be raised with perfect security. Thus
it has been seen that God, who is the protector of the good, defended
him as long as he lived, and worked for the benefit of the fabric and
for the defence of the master until his death. Moreover, Pius IV,
living after him, commanded the superintendents of the fabric that
nothing of what Michelagnolo had directed should be changed; and with
even greater authority his successor, Pius V, caused it to be carried
out, who, lest disorder should arise, insisted that the designs made
by Michelagnolo should be carried into execution with the utmost
fidelity, so that, when the architects Pirro Ligorio and Jacopo
Vignuola were in charge of it, and Pirro wished presumptuously to
disturb and alter those directions, he was removed with little honour
from that fabric, and only Vignuola remained. Finally, that Pontiff
being full of zeal no less for the honour of the fabric of S. Pietro
than for the Christian religion, in the year 1565, when Vasari went to
kiss the feet of his Holiness, and in the year 1566, when he was again
summoned, nothing was discussed save the means to ensure the observing
of the designs left by Michelagnolo; and his Holiness, in order to
obviate all chance of disorder, commanded Vasari that he should go
with Messer Guglielmo Sangalletti, the private treasurer of his
Holiness, to seek out Bishop Ferratino, the head of the
superintendents of S. Pietro, with orders from the Pontiff that he
should listen to all the suggestions and records of importance that
Vasari might impart to him, to the end that no words of any malignant
and presumptuous person might ever cause to be disturbed any line or
order left by the excellent genius of Michelagnolo of happy memory;
and at that interview was present Messer Giovan Battista Altoviti, who
was much the friend of Vasari and of these arts. And Ferratino, having
heard a discourse that Vasari made to him, readily accepted every
record, and promised to observe and to cause to be observed with the
utmost fidelity in that fabric every order and design that
Michelagnolo had left for that purpose, and, in addition, to be the
protector, defender, and preserver of the labours of that great man.

But to return to Michelagnolo: I must relate that about a year before
his death, Vasari secretly prevailed upon Duke Cosimo de' Medici to
persuade the Pope by means of Messer Averardo Serristori, his
Ambassador, that, since Michelagnolo was much reduced, a diligent
watch should be kept on those who were about him to take care of him,
or who visited him at his house, and that, in the event of some sudden
accident happening to him, such as might well happen to an old man, he
should make arrangements for his property, designs, cartoons, models,
money, and all his other possessions at the time of his death, to be
set down in an inventory and placed in security, for the sake of the
fabric of S. Pietro, so that, if there were things pertaining to that
fabric, and also to the sacristy, library, and façade of S. Lorenzo,
they might not be taken away, as is often wont to happen; and in the
end, all this being duly carried out, such diligence had its reward.
Leonardo, the nephew of Michelagnolo, was desirous to go during the
coming Lent to Rome, as one who guessed that he was now come to the
end of his life; and at this Michelagnolo was content. When,
therefore, he fell sick of a slow fever, he straightway caused
Daniello to write to Leonardo that he should come; but the illness
grew worse, although Messer Federigo Donati, his physician, and his
other attendants were about him, and with perfect consciousness he
made his will in three sentences, leaving his soul in the hands of
God, his body to the earth, and his substance to his nearest
relatives, and enjoining on his friends that, at his passing from this
life, they should recall to him the agony of Jesus Christ. And so at
the twenty-third hour of the seventeenth day of February, in the year
1563 (after the Florentine reckoning, which according to the Roman
would be 1564), he breathed his last, to go to a better life.

Michelagnolo was much inclined to the labours of art, seeing that
everything, however difficult, succeeded with him, he having had from
nature a genius very apt and ardent in these most noble arts of
design. Moreover, in order to be entirely perfect, innumerable times
he made anatomical studies, dissecting men's bodies in order to see
the principles of their construction and the concatenation of the
bones, muscles, veins, and nerves, the various movements and all the
postures of the human body; and not of men only, but also of animals,
and particularly of horses, which last he much delighted to keep. Of
all these he desired to learn the principles and laws in so far as
touched his art, and this knowledge he so demonstrated in the works
that fell to him to handle, that those who attend to no other study
than this do not know more. He so executed his works, whether with the
brush or with the chisel, that they are almost inimitable, and he gave
to his labours, as has been said, such art and grace, and a loveliness
of such a kind, that (be it said without offence to any) he surpassed
and vanquished the ancients; having been able to wrest things out of
the greatest difficulties with such facility, that they do not appear
wrought with effort, although whoever draws his works after him finds
enough in imitating them.

The genius of Michelagnolo was recognized in his lifetime, and not, as
happens to many, after death, for it has been seen that Julius II, Leo
X, Clement VII, Paul III, Julius III, Paul IV, and Pius IV, all
supreme Pontiffs, always wished to have him near them, and also, as is
known, Suleiman, Emperor of the Turks, Francis of Valois, King of
France, the Emperor Charles V, the Signoria of Venice, and finally, as
has been related, Duke Cosimo de' Medici; all offering him honourable
salaries, for no other reason but to avail themselves of his great
genius. This does not happen save to men of great worth, such as he
was; and it is evident and well known that all these three arts were
so perfected in him, that it is not found that among persons ancient
or modern, in all the many years that the sun has been whirling round,
God has granted this to any other but Michelagnolo. He had imagination
of such a kind, and so perfect, and the things conceived by him in
idea were such, that often, through not being able to express with the
hands conceptions so terrible and grand, he abandoned his works--nay,
destroyed many of them; and I know that a little before he died he
burned a great number of designs, sketches, and cartoons made with his
own hand, to the end that no one might see the labours endured by him
and his methods of trying his genius, and that he might not appear
less than perfect. Of such I have some by his hand, found in Florence,
and placed in my book of drawings; from which, although the greatness
of that brain is seen in them, it is evident that when he wished to
bring forth Minerva from the head of Jove, he had to use Vulcan's
hammer. Thus he used to make his figures in the proportion of nine,
ten, and even twelve heads, seeking nought else but that in putting
them all together there should be a certain harmony of grace in the
whole, which nature does not present; saying that it was necessary to
have the compasses in the eyes and not in the hand, because the hands
work and the eye judges; which method he used also in architecture.

No one should think it strange that Michelagnolo delighted in
solitude, he having been one who was enamoured of his art, which
claims a man, with all his thoughts, for herself alone; moreover, it
is necessary that he who wishes to attend to her studies should shun
society, and, while attending to the considerations of art, he is
never alone or without thoughts. And those who attributed it to
caprice and eccentricity are wrong, because he who wishes to work well
must withdraw himself from all cares and vexations, since art demands
contemplation, solitude, and ease of life, and will not suffer the
mind to wander. For all this, he prized the friendship of many great
persons and of learned and ingenious men, at convenient times; and
these he maintained. Thus the great Cardinal Ippolito de' Medici loved
him greatly, and, having heard that a Turkish horse that he possessed
pleased Michelagnolo because of its beauty, it was sent as a present
to him by the liberality of that lord, with ten mules laden with
fodder, and a serving-man to attend to it; and Michelagnolo accepted
it willingly. The illustrious Cardinal Pole was much his friend,
Michelagnolo being enamoured of his goodness and his talents; also
Cardinal Farnese, and Santa Croce, which latter afterwards became Pope
Marcellus, Cardinal Ridolfi, Cardinal Maffeo, Monsignor Bembo, Carpi,
and many other Cardinals, Bishops, and Prelates, whom it is not
necessary to name. Others were Monsignor Claudio Tolomei, the
Magnificent Messer Ottaviano de' Medici, his gossip, whose son he held
at baptism, and Messer Bindo Altoviti, to whom he presented that
cartoon of the Chapel in which Noah, drunk with wine, is derided by
one of his sons, and his nakedness is covered by the two others; M.
Lorenzo Ridolfi, M. Annibale Caro, and M. Giovan Francesco Lottini of
Volterra. But infinitely more than any of the others he loved M.
Tommaso de' Cavalieri, a Roman gentleman, for whom, being a young man
and much inclined to these arts, he made, to the end that he might
learn to draw, many most superb drawings of divinely beautiful heads,
designed in black and red chalk; and then he drew for him a Ganymede
rapt to Heaven by Jove's Eagle, a Tityus with the Vulture devouring
his heart, the Chariot of the Sun falling with Phaëthon into the Po,
and a Bacchanal of children, which are all in themselves most rare
things, and drawings the like of which have never been seen.
Michelagnolo made a life-size portrait of Messer Tommaso in a cartoon,
and neither before nor afterwards did he take the portrait of anyone,
because he abhorred executing a resemblance to the living subject,
unless it were of extraordinary beauty. These drawings, on account of
the great delight that M. Tommaso took in them, were the reason that
he afterwards obtained a good number, miraculous things, which
Michelagnolo once drew for Fra Sebastiano Viniziano, who carried them
into execution; and in truth he rightly treasures them as reliques,
and he has courteously given craftsmen access to them. Of a truth
Michelagnolo always placed his affections with persons noble,
deserving, and worthy of them, for he had true judgment and taste in
all things.


(_After =Michelagnolo=. Florence: Museo Nazionale_)


M. Tommaso afterwards caused Michelagnolo to make many designs for
friends, such as that of the picture for Cardinal di Cesis, wherein is
Our Lady receiving the Annunciation from the Angel, a novel thing,
which was afterwards executed in colours by Marcello Mantovano and
placed in the marble chapel which that Cardinal caused to be built in
the Church of the Pace at Rome. So, also, with another Annunciation
coloured likewise by the hand of Marcello in a picture in the Church
of S. Giovanni Laterano, the design of which belongs to Duke Cosimo
de' Medici, having been presented after Michelagnolo's death by his
nephew Leonardo Buonarroti to his Excellency, who cherishes it as a
jewel, together with a Christ praying in the Garden and many other
designs, sketches, and cartoons by the hand of Michelagnolo, and
likewise the statue of Victory with a captive beneath, five braccia in
height, and four captives in the rough which serve to teach us how to
carve figures from the marble by a method secure from any chance of
spoiling the stone; which method is as follows. You take a figure in
wax or some other solid material, and lay it horizontally in a vessel
of water, which water being by its nature flat and level at the
surface, as you raise the said figure little by little from the level,
so it comes about that the more salient parts are revealed, while the
lower parts--those, namely, on the under side of the figure--remain
hidden, until in the end it all comes into view. In the same manner
must figures be carved out of marble with the chisel, first laying
bare the more salient parts, and then little by little the lower
parts; and this method may be seen to have been followed by
Michelagnolo in the above-mentioned captives, which his Excellency
wishes to be used as exemplars for his Academicians.

Michelagnolo loved his fellow-craftsmen, and held intercourse with
them, as with Jacopo Sansovino, Rosso, Pontormo, Daniello da Volterra,
and Giorgio Vasari of Arezzo, to which last he showed innumerable
kindnesses; and he was the reason that Giorgio gave his attention to
architecture, intending to make use of him some day, and he readily
conferred and discussed matters of art with him. Those who say that he
was not willing to teach are wrong, because he was always willing with
his intimates and with anyone who asked him for counsel; and I have
been present on many such occasions, but of these, out of
consideration, I say nothing, not wishing to reveal the deficiencies
of others. It may be urged that he had bad fortune with those who
lived with him in his house, which was because he hit upon natures
little able to imitate him. Thus, Pietro Urbano of Pistoia, his pupil,
was a man of parts, but would never exert himself. Antonio Mini was
willing, but had no aptitude of brain; and when the wax is hard it
does not readily take an impression. Ascanio dalla Ripa Transone took
great pains, but of this no fruits were ever seen either in designs or
in finished works, and he toiled several years over a picture for
which Michelagnolo had given him a cartoon. In the end, all the good
expectation in which he was held vanished in smoke; and I remember
that Michelagnolo would be seized with compassion for his toil, and
would assist him with his own hand, but this profited him little. If
he had found a nature after his heart, as he told me several times, in
spite of his age he would often have made anatomical studies, and
would have written upon them, for the benefit of his fellow-craftsmen;
for he was disappointed by several. But he did not trust himself,
through not being able to express himself in writing as he would have
liked, because he was not practised in diction, although in the prose
of his letters he explained his conceptions very well in a few words.
He much delighted in readings of the poets in the vulgar tongue, and
particularly of Dante, whom he much admired, imitating him in his
conceptions and inventions; and so with Petrarca, having delighted to
make madrigals and sonnets of great weight, upon which commentaries
have been written. M. Benedetto Varchi gave a lecture in the
Florentine Academy upon that sonnet which begins--

  Non ha l'ottimo artista alcun concetto
  Ch'un marmo solo in se non circonscriva.

Michelagnolo sent a vast number by his own hand--receiving answers in
rhyme and in prose--to the most illustrious Marchioness of Pescara, of
whose virtues he was enamoured, and she likewise of his; and she went
many times to Rome from Viterbo to visit him, and Michelagnolo
designed for her a Dead Christ in the lap of Our Lady, with two little
Angels, all most admirable, and a Christ fixed on the Cross, who, with
the head uplifted, is recommending His Spirit to the Father, a divine
work; and also a Christ with the Woman of Samaria at the well. He much
delighted in the sacred Scriptures, like the excellent Christian that
he was; and he held in great veneration the works written by Fra
Girolamo Savonarola, because he had heard the voice of that friar in
the pulpit. He greatly loved human beauty for the sake of imitation in
art, being able to select from the beautiful the most beautiful, for
without this imitation no perfect work can be done; but not with
lascivious and disgraceful thoughts, as he proved by his way of life,
which was very frugal. Thus, when he was young, all intent on his
work, he contented himself with a little bread and wine, and this he
continued when old until the time when he was painting the Judgment in
the Chapel, taking his refreshment in the evening when he had finished
the day's work, but always very frugally. And, although he was rich,
he lived like a poor man, nor did any friend ever eat at his table,
or rarely; and he would not accept presents from anyone, because it
appeared to him that if anyone gave him something, he would be bound
to him for ever. This sober life kept him very active and in want of
very little sleep, and often during the night, not being able to
sleep, he would rise to labour with the chisel; having made a cap of
thick paper, and over the centre of his head he kept a lighted candle,
which in this way threw light over where he was working without
encumbering his hands. Vasari, who had seen the cap several times,
reflecting that he did not use wax, but candles of pure goat's tallow,
which are excellent, sent him four bundles of these, which weighed
forty libbre. And his servant with all courtesy carried them to him at
the second hour of the evening, and presented them to him; but
Michelagnolo refused them, declaring that he did not want them; and
then the servant said: "They have broken my arms on the way between
the bridge and here, and I shall not carry them back to the house. Now
here in front of your door there is a solid heap of mud; they will
stand in it beautifully, and I will set them all alight." Michelagnolo
said to him: "Put them down here, for I will not have you playing
pranks at my door."

He told me that often in his youth he slept in his clothes, being
weary with labour and not caring to take them off only to have to put
them on again later. There are some who have taxed him with being
avaricious, but they are mistaken, for both with works of art and with
his substance he proved the contrary. Of works of art, as has been
seen and related, he presented to M. Tommaso de' Cavalieri, to Messer
Bindo, and to Fra Sebastiano, designs of considerable value; and to
Antonio Mini, his pupil, all his designs, all his cartoons, and the
picture of the Leda, and all the models in clay and wax that he ever
made, which, as has been related, were all left in France. To Gherardo
Perini, a Florentine gentleman who was very much his friend, he gave
three sheets with some divine heads in black chalk, which since
Perini's death have come into the hands of the most illustrious Don
Francesco, Prince of Florence, who treasures them as jewels, as indeed
they are; for Bartolommeo Bettini he made a cartoon, which he
presented to him, of a Venus with a Cupid that is kissing her, a
divine thing, which is now in the possession of Bettini's heirs in
Florence, and for the Marchese del Vasto he made a cartoon of a "Noli
me Tangere," a rare thing; and these two last were painted excellently
well by Pontormo, as has been related. He presented the two Captives
to Signor Ruberto Strozzi, and the Pietà in marble, which he broke, to
Antonio, his servant, and to Francesco Bandini. I know not, therefore,
how this man can be taxed with avarice, he having given away so many
things for which he could have obtained thousands of crowns. What
better proof can I give than this, that I know from personal
experience that he made many designs and went to see many pictures and
buildings, without demanding any payment? But let us come to the money
earned by him by the sweat of his brow, not from revenues, not from
traffickings, but from his own study and labour. Can he be called
avaricious who succoured many poor persons, as he did, and secretly
married off a good number of girls, and enriched those who served him
and assisted him in his works, as with his servant Urbino, whom he
made a very rich man? This Urbino was his man of all work, and had
served him a long time; and Michelagnolo said to him: "If I die, what
will you do?" And he answered: "I will serve another master." "You
poor creature," said Michelagnolo, "I will save you from such misery";
and presented two thousand crowns to him in one sum, an act such as is
generally left to Cæsars and Pontiffs. To his nephew, moreover, he
gave three and four thousand crowns at a time, and at the end he left
him ten thousand crowns, besides the property in Rome.

Michelagnolo was a man of tenacious and profound memory, so that, on
seeing the works of others only once, he remembered them perfectly,
and could avail himself of them in such a manner, that scarcely anyone
has ever noticed it; nor did he ever do anything that resembled
another thing by his hand, because he remembered everything that he
had done. In his youth, being once with his painter-friends, they
played for a supper for him who should make a figure most completely
wanting in design and clumsy, after the likeness of the puppet-figures
which those make who know nothing, scrawling upon walls; and in this
he availed himself of his memory, for he remembered having seen one
of those absurdities on a wall, and drew it exactly as if he had had
it before him, and thus surpassed all those painters--a thing
difficult for a man so steeped in design, and accustomed to choice
works, to come out of with credit. He was full of disdain, and
rightly, against anyone who did him an injury, but he was never seen
to run to take revenge; nay, rather, he was most patient, modest in
all his ways, very prudent and wise in his speech, with answers full
of weight, and at times sayings most ingenious, amusing, and acute. He
said many things that have been written down by me, of which I shall
include only a few, because it would take too long to give them all. A
friend having spoken to him of death, saying that it must grieve him
much, because he had lived in continual labour in matters of art, and
had never had any repose, he answered that all that was nothing,
because, if life is a pleasure to us, death, being likewise by the
hand of one and the same master, should not displease us. To a citizen
who found him by Orsanmichele in Florence, where he had stopped to
gaze at Donato's statue of S. Mark, and who asked him what he thought
of that figure, Michelagnolo answered that he had never seen a figure
that had more of the air of a good man than that one, and that, if S.
Mark was like that, one could give credence to what he had written.
Being shown the drawing of a boy then beginning to learn to draw, who
was recommended to him, some persons excusing him because it was not
long since he had applied himself to art, he replied: "That is
evident." He said a similar thing to a painter who had painted a
Pietà, and had not acquitted himself well: "It is indeed a pitiful
thing to see." Having heard that Sebastiano Viniziano had to paint a
friar in the chapel of S. Pietro a Montorio, he said that this would
spoil the work for him; and being asked why he said that, he answered:
"Since they have spoiled the world, which is so large, it would not be
surprising if they were to spoil such a small thing as that chapel." A
painter had executed a work with very great pains, toiling over it a
long time; but when it was given to view he had made a considerable
profit. Michelagnolo was asked what he thought of the craftsman, and
he answered: "As long as this man strives to be rich, he will always
remain a poor creature." One of his friends who was a churchman, and
used formerly to say Mass, having arrived in Rome all covered with
points and silk, saluted Michelagnolo; but he pretended not to see
him, so that the friend was forced to declare his name to him.
Michelagnolo expressed marvel that he should be in that habit, and
then added, as it were to congratulate him: "Oh, but you are
magnificent! If you were as fine within as I see you to be without, it
would be well with your soul." The same man had recommended a friend
to Michelagnolo (who had given him a statue to execute), praying him
that he should have something more given to him, which Michelagnolo
graciously did; but the envy of the friend, who had made the request
to Michelagnolo only in the belief that he would not grant it, brought
it about that, perceiving that the master had granted it after all, he
complained of it. This matter was reported to Michelagnolo, and he
answered that he did not like men made like sewers, using a metaphor
from architecture, and meaning that it is difficult to have dealings
with men who have two mouths. Being asked by a friend what he thought
of one who had counterfeited in marble some of the most celebrated
antique figures, and boasted that in his imitations he had surpassed
the antiques by a great measure, Michelagnolo replied: "He who goes
behind others can never go in front of them, and he who is not able to
work well for himself cannot make good use of the works of others." A
certain painter, I know not who, had executed a work wherein was an
ox, which looked better than any other part; and Michelagnolo, being
asked why the painter had made the ox more lifelike than the rest,
said: "Any painter can make a good portrait of himself." Passing by S.
Giovanni in Florence, he was asked his opinion of those doors, and he
answered: "They are so beautiful that they would do well at the gates
of Paradise." While serving a Prince who kept changing plans every
day, and would never stand firm, Michelagnolo said to a friend: "This
lord has a brain like a weather-cock, which turns round with every
wind that blows on it." He went to see a work of sculpture which was
about to be sent out because it was finished, and the sculptor was
taking much trouble to arrange the lights from the windows, to the end
that it might show up well; whereupon Michelagnolo said to him: "Do
not trouble yourself; the important thing will be the light of the
Piazza"; meaning to infer that when works are in public places, the
people must judge whether they are good or bad. There was a great
Prince in Rome who had a notion to play the architect, and he had
caused certain niches to be built in which to place figures, each
three squares high, with a ring at the top; and having tried to place
various statues within these niches, which did not turn out well, he
asked Michelagnolo what he should place in them, and he answered:
"Hang bunches of eels from those rings." There was appointed to the
government of the fabric of S. Pietro a gentleman who professed to
understand Vitruvius, and to be a critic of the work done.
Michelagnolo was told, "You have obtained for the fabric one who has a
great intelligence"; and he answered, "That is true, but he has a bad
judgment." A painter had executed a scene, and had copied many things
from various other works, both drawings and pictures, nor was there
anything in that work that was not copied. It was shown to
Michelagnolo, who, having seen it, was asked by a very dear friend
what he thought of it, and he replied: "He has done well, but I know
not what this scene will do on the day of Judgment, when all bodies
shall recover their members, for there will be nothing left of it"--a
warning to those who practise art, that they should make a habit of
working by themselves. Passing through Modena, he saw many beautiful
figures by the hand of Maestro Antonio Bigarino,[5] a sculptor of
Modena, made of terra-cotta and coloured in imitation of marble, which
appeared to him to be excellent works; and, since that sculptor did
not know how to work marble, Michelagnolo said: "If this clay were to
become marble, woe to the ancient statues." Michelagnolo was told that
he should show resentment against Nanni di Baccio Bigio, who was
seeking every day to compete with him; but he answered: "He who
contends with men of no account never gains a victory." A priest, his
friend, said to him: "It is a pity that you have not taken a wife, so
that you might have had many children and left them all your
honourable labours." And Michelagnolo replied: "I have only too much
of a wife in this art of mine, who has always kept me in tribulation,
and my children shall be the works that I may leave, which, even if
they are naught, will live a while. Woe to Lorenzo di Bartoluccio
Ghiberti, if he had not made the gates of S. Giovanni, for his
children and grandchildren sold or squandered all that he left, but
the gates are still standing." Vasari, sent by Julius III to
Michelagnolo's house for a design at the first hour of the night,
found him working at the Pietà in marble that he broke. Michelagnolo,
recognizing him by the knock at the door, left his work and took a
lamp with his hand by the handle; Vasari explained what he wanted,
whereupon Michelagnolo sent Urbino upstairs for the design, and then
they entered into another conversation. Meanwhile Vasari turned his
eyes to examine a leg of the Christ at which he was working, seeking
to change it; and, in order to prevent Vasari from seeing it, he let
the lamp fall from his hand, and they were left in darkness. He called
to Urbino to bring a light, and meanwhile came forth from the
enclosure where the work was, and said: "I am so old that death often
pulls me by the cloak, that I may go with him, and one day this body
of mine will fall like the lamp, and the light of my life will be

         [Footnote 5: Begarelli.]

For all this, he took pleasure in certain kinds of men after his
taste, such as Menighella, a commonplace and clownish painter of
Valdarno, who was a most diverting person. He would come at times to
Michelagnolo, that he might make for him a design of S. Rocco or S.
Anthony, to be painted for peasants; and Michelagnolo, who was with
difficulty persuaded to work for Kings, would deign to set aside all
his other work and make him simple designs suited to his manner and
his wishes, as Menighella himself used to say. Among other things,
Menighella persuaded him to make a model of a Crucifix, which was very
beautiful; of this he made a mould, from which he formed copies in
pasteboard and other materials, and these he went about selling
throughout the countryside. Michelagnolo would burst out laughing at
him, particularly because he used to meet with fine adventures, as
with a countryman who commissioned him to paint a S. Francis, and was
displeased because Menighella had made the vestment grey, whereas he
would have liked it of a finer colour; whereupon Menighella painted
over the Saint's shoulders a pluvial of brocade, and so contented him.

He loved, likewise, the stone-cutter Topolino, who had a notion of
being an able sculptor, but was in truth very feeble. This man spent
many years in the mountains of Carrara, sending marble to
Michelagnolo; nor would he ever send a boatload without adding to it
three or four little figures blocked out with his own hand, at which
Michelagnolo would die of laughing. Finally Topolino returned, and,
having blocked out a Mercury from a piece of marble, he set himself to
finish it; and one day, when there was little left to do, he desired
that Michelagnolo should see it, and straitly besought him that he
should tell him his opinion. "You are a madman to try to make figures,
Topolino," said Michelagnolo. "Do you not see that your Mercury is
more than a third of a braccio too short between the knees and the
feet, and that you have made him a dwarf and all misshapen?" "Oh, that
is nothing! If there is nothing else wrong, I will put it right; leave
it to me." Michelagnolo laughed once more at his simplicity; and when
he was gone, Topolino took a piece of marble, and, having cut the
Mercury a quarter of a braccio below the knees, he let it into the new
piece of marble and joined it neatly together, making a pair of
buskins for the Mercury, the tops of which were above the joins; and
so he added the length required. Then he invited Michelagnolo to come,
and showed him his work once again; and the master laughed, marvelling
that such simpletons, when driven by necessity, form resolutions of
which able men are not capable.

While Michelagnolo was having the tomb of Julius II finished, he
caused a marble-hewer to execute a terminal figure for placing in the
tomb in S. Pietro in Vincola, saying to him, "Cut away this to-day,"
"Level that," "Polish here"; insomuch that, without the other noticing
it, he enabled him to make a figure. Wherefore, when it was finished,
the man gazed at it marvelling; and Michelagnolo said: "What do you
think of it?" "I think it fine," he answered, "and I am much obliged
to you." "Why so?" asked Michelagnolo. "Because by your means I have
discovered a talent that I did not know I possessed."

Now, to be brief, I must record that the master's constitution was
very sound, for he was lean and well knit together with nerves, and
although as a boy he was delicate, and as a man he had two serious
illnesses, he could always endure any fatigue and had no infirmity,
save that in his old age he suffered from dysuria and from gravel,
which in the end developed into the stone; wherefore for many years he
was syringed by the hand of Maestro Realdo Colombo, his very dear
friend, who treated him with great diligence. He was of middle
stature, broad in the shoulders, but well proportioned in all the rest
of the body. In his latter years he wore buskins of dogskin on the
legs, next to the skin, constantly for whole months together, so that
afterwards, when he sought to take them off, on drawing them off the
skin often came away with them. Over the stockings he wore boots of
cordwain fastened on the inside, as a protection against damp. His
face was round, the brow square and spacious, with seven straight
lines, and the temples projected considerably beyond the ears; which
ears were somewhat on the large side, and stood out from the cheeks.
The body was in proportion to the face, or rather on the large side;
the nose somewhat flattened, as was said in the Life of Torrigiano,
who broke it for him with his fist; the eyes rather on the small side,
of the colour of horn, spotted with blueish and yellowish gleams; the
eyebrows with few hairs, the lips thin, with the lower lip rather
thicker and projecting a little, the chin well shaped and in
proportion with the rest, the hair black, but mingled with white
hairs, like the beard, which was not very long, forked, and not very

Truly his coming was to the world, as I said at the beginning, an
exemplar sent by God to the men of our arts, to the end that they
might learn from his life the nature of noble character, and from his
works what true and excellent craftsmen ought to be. And I, who have
to praise God for infinite blessings, as is seldom wont to happen with
men of our profession, count it among the greatest blessings that I
was born at the time when Michelagnolo was alive, that I was thought
worthy to have him as my master, and that he was so much my friend and
intimate, as everyone knows, and as the letters written by him to me,
now in my possession, bear witness; and out of love for truth, and
also from the obligation that I feel to his loving kindness, I have
contrived to write many things of him, and all true, which many others
have not been able to do. Another blessing he used to point out to me
himself: "You should thank God, Giorgio, who has caused you to serve
Duke Cosimo, who, in his contentment that you should build and paint
and carry into execution his conceptions and designs, has grudged no
expense; and you will remember, if you consider it, that the others
whose Lives you have written did not have such advantages."

With most honourable obsequies, and with a concourse of all the
craftsmen, all his friends, and all the Florentine colony,
Michelagnolo was given burial in a sepulchre at S. Apostolo, in the
sight of all Rome; his Holiness having intended to make him some
particular memorial and tomb in S. Pietro at Rome. Leonardo, his
nephew, arrived when all was over, although he travelled post. When
Duke Cosimo was informed of the event, he confirmed his resolve that
since he had not been able to have him and honour him alive, he would
have him brought to Florence and not hesitate to honour him with all
manner of pomp after death; and the body was sent secretly in a bale,
under the title of merchandise, which method was adopted lest there
might be a tumult in Rome, and lest perchance the body of Michelagnolo
might be detained and prevented from leaving Rome for Florence. But
before the body arrived, the news of the death having been heard, the
principal painters, sculptors, and architects were assembled together
at the summons of the Lieutenant of their Academy, and they were
reminded by that Lieutenant, who at that time was the Reverend Don
Vincenzio Borghini, that they were obliged by virtue of their statutes
to pay due honour to the death of any of their brethren, and that,
they having done this so lovingly and with such universal satisfaction
in the obsequies of Fra Giovanni Agnolo Montorsoli, who had been the
first to die after the creation of the Academy, they should look well
to what it might be proper for them to do in honour of Buonarroti, who
had been elected by an unanimous vote of the whole body of the Company
as the first Academician and the head of them all. To which proposal
they all replied, as men most deeply indebted and affected to the
genius of so great a man, that at all costs pains should be taken to
do him honour in the best and finest ways available to them. This
done, in order not to have to assemble so many persons together every
day, to their great inconvenience, and to the end that matters might
proceed more quietly, four men were elected as heads of the obsequies
and the funeral pomp that were to be held; the painters Agnolo
Bronzino and Giorgio Vasari, and the sculptors Benvenuto Cellini and
Bartolommeo Ammanati, all men of illustrious name and eminent ability
in their arts; to the end, I say, that they might consult and
determine between themselves and the Lieutenant what was to be done in
each particular, and in what way, with authority and power to dispose
of the whole body of the Company and Academy. This charge they
accepted all the more willingly because all the members, young and
old, each in his own profession, offered their services for the
execution of such pictures and statues as had to be done for that
funeral pomp. They then ordained that the Lieutenant, in pursuance of
his office, and the Consuls, in the name of the Company and Academy,
should lay the whole matter before the Lord Duke, and beseech him for
all the aids and favours that might be necessary, and especially for
permission to have those obsequies held in S. Lorenzo, the church of
the most illustrious House of Medici; wherein are the greater part of
the works by the hand of Michelagnolo that there are to be seen in
Florence; and, in addition, that his Excellency should allow Messer
Benedetto Varchi to compose and deliver the funeral oration, to the
end that the excellent genius of Michelagnolo might be extolled by the
rare eloquence of a man so great as was Varchi, who, being in the
particular service of his Excellency, would not have undertaken such a
charge without a word from him, although they were very certain that,
as one most loving by nature and deeply affected to the memory of
Michelagnolo, of himself he would never have refused. This done, and
the Academicians dismissed, the above-named Lieutenant wrote to the
Lord Duke a letter of this precise tenor:

"The Academy and Company of Painters and Sculptors having resolved
among themselves, if it should please your most illustrious
Excellency, to do honour in some sort to the memory of Michelagnolo
Buonarroti, both from the general obligation due from their profession
to the extraordinary genius of one who was perhaps the greatest
craftsman who has ever lived, and from their particular obligation
through their belonging to a common country, and also because of the
great advantage that these professions have received from the
perfection of his works and inventions, insomuch that they hold
themselves obliged to prove their affection to his genius in whatever
way they are able, they have laid this their desire before your
illustrious Excellency in a letter, and have besought you, as their
peculiar refuge, for a certain measure of assistance. I, entreated by
them, and being, as I think, obliged because your most illustrious
Excellency has been content that I should be again this year in their
Company with the title of your Lieutenant, with the added reason that
the proposal is a generous one and worthy of virtuous and grateful
minds, and, above all, knowing how your most illustrious Excellency is
the patron of talent, and as it were a haven and unique protector for
ingenious persons in this age, even surpassing in this respect your
forefathers, who bestowed extraordinary favours on those excellent in
these professions, as, by order of the Magnificent Lorenzo, Giotto,
already so long dead, received a statue in the principal church, and
Fra Filippo a most beautiful tomb of marble at his expense, while many
others obtained the greatest benefits and honours on various
occasions; moved, I say, by all these reasons, I have taken it upon
myself to recommend to your most illustrious Excellency the petition
of this Academy, that they may be able to do honour to the genius of
Michelagnolo, the particular nursling and pupil of the school of the
Magnificent Lorenzo, which will be an extraordinary pleasure to them,
a vast satisfaction to men in general, no small incitement to the
professors of these arts, and to all Italy a proof of the lofty mind
and overflowing goodness of your most illustrious Excellency, whom may
God long preserve in happiness for the benefit of your people and the
support of every talent."

To which letter the above-named Lord Duke answered thus:


"The zeal that this Academy has displayed, and continues to display,
to honour the memory of Michelagnolo Buonarroti, who has passed from
this to a better life, has given us much consolation for the loss of a
man so extraordinary; and we wish not only to satisfy them in all
that they have demanded in their memorial, but also to have his
remains brought to Florence, which, according as we are informed, was
his own desire. All this we are writing to the aforesaid Academy, to
encourage them to celebrate by every possible means the genius of that
great man. May God content you in your desire."

Of the letter, or rather, memorial, of which mention has been made
above, addressed by the Academy to the Lord Duke, the tenor was as


"The Academy and the Men of the Company of Design, created by the
grace and favour of your most illustrious Excellency, knowing with
what solicitude and affection you caused the body of Michelagnolo
Buonarroti to be brought to Florence by means of your representative
in Rome, have assembled together and have unanimously determined that
they shall celebrate his obsequies in the best manner in their power
and knowledge. Wherefore they, knowing that your most illustrious
Excellency was revered by him as much as you yourself loved him,
beseech you that you should deign in your infinite goodness and
liberality to grant to them, first, that they may be allowed to
celebrate the said obsequies in the Church of S. Lorenzo, a church
built by your ancestors, in which are so many beautiful works wrought
by his hand, both in architecture and in sculpture, and near which you
are minded to have erected a place that shall be as it were a nest and
an abiding school of architecture, sculpture, and painting, for the
above-named Academy and Company of Design. Secondly, they pray you
that you should consent to grant a commission to Messer Benedetto
Varchi that he shall not only compose the funeral oration, but also
deliver it with his own mouth, as he has promised most freely that he
would do, when besought by us, in the event of your most illustrious
Excellency consenting. In the third place, they entreat and pray you
that you should deign, in the same goodness and liberality of your
heart, to supply them with all that may be necessary for them in
celebrating the above-mentioned obsequies, over and above their own
resources, which are very small. All these matters, and each singly,
have been discussed and determined in the presence and with the
consent of the most Magnificent and Reverend Monsignor, Messer
Vincenzio Borghini, Prior of the Innocenti and Lieutenant of your most
illustrious Excellency in the aforesaid Academy and Company of Design,
which, etc."

To which letter of the Academy the Duke made this reply:


"We are well content to give full satisfaction to your petitions, so
great is the affection that we have always borne to the rare genius of
Michelagnolo Buonarroti, and that we still bear to all your
profession; do not hesitate, therefore, to carry out all that you have
proposed to do in his obsequies, for we will not fail to supply
whatever you need. Meanwhile, we have written to Messer Benedetto
Varchi in the matter of the oration, and to the Director of the
Hospital with regard to anything more that may be necessary in this
undertaking. Fare you well.


The letter to Varchi was as follows:


"The affection that we bear to the rare genius of Michelagnolo
Buonarroti makes us desire that his memory should be honoured and
celebrated in every possible way. It will be pleasing to us,
therefore, that you for love of us shall undertake the charge of
composing the oration that is to be delivered at his obsequies,
according to the arrangements made by the deputies of the Academy; and
still more pleasing that it should be delivered by your own lips. Fare
you well."

Messer Bernardino Grazzini, also, wrote to the above-named deputies
that they could not have expected in the Duke any desire in that
matter more ardent than that which he had shown, and that they might
be assured of every aid and favour from his most illustrious

While these matters were being discussed in Florence, Leonardo
Buonarroti, Michelagnolo's nephew (who, when informed of his uncle's
illness, had made his way to Rome by post, but had not found him
alive), having heard from Daniello da Volterra, who had been the very
familiar friend of Michelagnolo, and also from others who had been
about the person of that saintly old man, that he had requested and
prayed that his body should be carried to Florence, that most noble
city of his birth, of which he was always a most tender lover;
Leonardo, I say, with prompt and therefore good resolution, removed
the body cautiously from Rome and sent it off to Florence in a bale,
as if it had been a piece of merchandise. And here I must not omit to
say that this final resolution of Michelagnolo's proved a thing
against the opinion of certain persons, but nevertheless very true,
namely, that his absence for so many years from Florence had been
caused by no other thing but the nature of the air, for the reason
that experience had taught him that the air of Florence, being sharp
and subtle, was very injurious to his constitution, while that of
Rome, softer and more temperate, had kept him in perfect health up to
his ninetieth year, with all the senses as lively and sound as they
had ever been, and with such strength, for his age, that up to the
last day he had never ceased to work at something.

Since, then, the coming of the bale was so sudden and so unexpected
that for the time being it was not possible to do what was done
afterwards, the body of Michelagnolo, on arriving in Florence, was
placed with the coffin, at the desire of the deputies, on the same day
that it arrived in the city (namely, on the 11th of March, which was a
Saturday), in the Company of the Assumption, which is under the
high-altar of S. Pietro Maggiore, beneath the steps at the back; but
it was not touched in any way whatever. The next day, which was Sunday
of the second week in Lent, all the painters, sculptors, and
architects assembled as quietly as possible round S. Pietro, whither
they had brought nothing but a pall of velvet, all bordered and
embroidered in gold, which covered the coffin and the whole bier; upon
which coffin was an image of Christ Crucified. Then, about the middle
hour of the night, all having gathered around the body, all at once
the oldest and most eminent craftsmen laid their hands on a great
quantity of torches that had been carried there, and the younger men
took up the bier with such eagerness, that blessed was he who could
approach it and place his shoulders under it, believing as it were
that in the time to come they would be able to claim the glory of
having borne the remains of the greatest man that there had ever been
in their arts. The sight of a certain number of persons assembled
about S. Pietro had caused, as always happens in such cases, many
others to stop there, and the rather as it had been trumpeted abroad
that the body of Michelagnolo had arrived, and was to be carried to S.
Croce. And although, as I have said, every precaution had been taken
that the matter should not become known, lest the report might spread
through the city, and there might flock thither such a multitude that
it would not be possible to avoid a certain degree of tumult and
confusion, and also because they desired that the little which they
wished to do at that time should be done with more quiet than pomp,
reserving the rest for a more convenient time with greater leisure;
nevertheless, both the one thing and the other took a contrary course,
for with regard to the multitude, the news, as has been related,
passing from lip to lip, in the twinkling of an eye the church was so
filled, that in the end it was with the greatest difficulty that the
body was carried from the church to the sacristy, in order to take it
out of the bale and then place it in the sepulchre. With regard to the
question of honour, although it cannot be denied that to see in
funeral pomps a great show of priests, a large quantity of wax tapers,
and a great number of mourners dressed in black, is a thing of grand
and magnificent appearance, it does not follow that it was not also a
great thing to see thus assembled in a small company, without
preparation, all those eminent men who are now in such repute, and who
will be even more in the future, honouring that body with such loving
and affectionate offices. And, in truth, the number of such craftsmen
in Florence--and they were all there--has always been very great, for
the reason that these arts have always flourished in Florence in such
a manner, that I believe that it may be said without prejudice to
other cities that their principal and true nest and domicile is
Florence, not otherwise than Athens once was of the sciences. In
addition to that number of craftsmen, there were so many citizens
following them, and so many at the sides of the streets where the
procession passed, that there was no place for any more; and, what is
an even greater thing, there was nothing heard but praises in every
man's mouth of the merits of Michelagnolo, all saying that true
genius has such force that, after all expectation of such honour and
profit as can be obtained from a gifted man has failed, nevertheless,
by its own nature and peculiar merits, it remains honoured and
beloved. For these reasons that demonstration was more vivid in effect
and more precious than any pomp of gold and trappings that could have
been contrived.

The body having been carried with so beautiful a train into S. Croce,
after the friars had finished the ceremonies that were customary for
the dead, it was borne--not without very great difficulty, as has been
related, by reason of the concourse of people--into the sacristy,
where the above-named Lieutenant, who had been present in virtue of
his office, thinking to do a thing pleasing to many, and also (as he
afterwards confessed) desiring to see in death one whom he had not
seen in life, or had seen at such an early age that he had lost all
memory of him, then resolved to have the coffin opened. This done,
when he and all the rest of us present thought to find the body
already marred and putrefied, because Michelagnolo had been dead
twenty-five days and twenty-two in the coffin, we found it so perfect
in every part, and so free from any noisome odour, that we were ready
to believe that it was rather at rest in a sweet and most peaceful
sleep; and, besides that the features of the face were exactly as in
life (except that there was something of the colour of death), it had
no member that was marred or revealed any corruption, and the head and
cheeks were not otherwise to the touch than as if he had passed away
but a few hours before.

When the tumult of the people had abated, arrangements were made to
place the body in a sepulchre in the church, beside the altar of the
Cavalcanti, by the door that leads into the cloister of the
chapter-house. Meanwhile the news had spread through the city, and
such a multitude of young people flocked thither to see the corpse,
that there was great difficulty in contriving to close the tomb; and
if it had been day, instead of night, we would have been forced to
leave it open many hours in order to satisfy the public. The following
morning, while the painters and sculptors were commencing to make
arrangements for the memorial of honour, many choice spirits, such as
have always abounded in Florence, began to attach above the aforesaid
sepulchre verses both Latin and in the vulgar tongue, and so it was
continued for some time; but those compositions that were printed at
that time were but a small part with respect to the many that were

Now to come to the obsequies, which were not held the day after the
day of S. John, as had been intended, but were postponed until the
14th of July. The three deputies (for Benvenuto Cellini, having felt
somewhat indisposed from the beginning, had never taken any part in
the matter), having appointed the sculptor Zanobi Lastricati as their
proveditor, resolved that they would do something ingenious and worthy
of their arts rather than costly and full of pomp. And, in truth,
since honour was to be paid (said those deputies and their proveditor)
to such a man as Michelagnolo, and by men of the profession that he
had practised, men rich rather in talents than in excess of means,
that must be done not with regal pomp or superfluous vanities, but
with inventions and works abounding in spirit and loveliness, such as
issue from the knowledge and readiness of hand of our craftsmen; thus
honouring art with art. For although, they said, we may expect from
his Excellency the Lord Duke any sum of money that may be necessary,
and we have already received such amounts as we have demanded,
nevertheless we must hold it as certain that from us there is expected
something ingenious and pleasing in invention and art, rather than
rich through vast expense or grand by reason of superb appurtenances.
But, notwithstanding this, it was seen in the end that the work was
equal in magnificence to any that ever issued from the hands of those
Academicians, and that this memorial of honour was no less truly
magnificent than it was ingenious and full of fanciful and
praiseworthy inventions.

Finally, then, it was arranged that in the central nave of S. Lorenzo,
between the two lateral doors, of which one leads out of the church
and the other into the cloister, there should be erected, as was done,
a catafalque of a rectangular form, twenty-eight braccia high, eleven
braccia long, and nine broad, with a figure of Fame on the summit. On
the base of the catafalque, which rose two braccia from the ground, on
the part looking towards the principal door of the church, there were
placed two most beautiful recumbent figures of Rivers, one
representing the Arno and the other the Tiber. Arno had a horn of
plenty, full of flowers and fruits, signifying thereby the fruits that
have come to these professions from the city of Florence, which have
been of such a kind and so many that they have filled the world, and
particularly Rome, with extraordinary beauty. This was demonstrated
excellently well by the other River, representing, as has been said,
the Tiber, in that, extending one arm, it had the hands full of
flowers and fruits received from the horn of plenty of the Arno, which
lay beside it, face to face; and it served also to demonstrate, by
enjoying the fruits of Arno, that Michelagnolo had lived a great part
of his life in Rome, and had executed there those marvels that cause
amazement to the world. Arno had for a sign the Lion, and Tiber the
She-Wolf, with the infants Romulus and Remus; and they were both
colossal figures of extraordinary grandeur and beauty, in the likeness
of marble. One, the Tiber, was by the hand of Giovanni di Benedetto of
Castello, a pupil of Bandinelli, and the other by Battista di
Benedetto, a pupil of Ammanati; both excellent young men of the
highest promise.

From this level rose façades of five braccia and a half, with the
proper cornices above and below, and also at the corners, leaving
space for four pictures, one in the centre of each. In the first of
these, which was on the façade where the two Rivers were, there was
painted in chiaroscuro (as were also all the other pictures of this
structure) the Magnificent Lorenzo de' Medici, the Elder, receiving
Michelagnolo as a boy in his garden, of which there has been an
account in another place, after he had seen certain specimens of his
handiwork, which foreshadowed, as early flowers, the fruits that
afterwards issued in abundance from the living force and grandeur of
his genius. Such, then, was the story contained in that picture, which
was painted by Mirabello and Girolamo del Crocifissaio, so called,
who, as very dear friends and companions, undertook to do the work
together. In it were animated and lively attitudes, and there could be
seen the above-named Magnificent Lorenzo, portrayed from nature,
graciously receiving Michelagnolo, a boy all full of reverence, into
his garden, and, after an examination, handing him over to some
masters who should teach him.

In the second scene, which came, continuing the same order, to face
towards the lateral door that leads out of the church, was figured
Pope Clement, who, contrary to the expectation of the public, which
thought that his Holiness felt disdain against Michelagnolo on account
of his actions in the siege of Florence, not only assures his safety
and shows himself lovingly disposed towards him, but sets him to work
on the new sacristy and the library of S. Lorenzo, in which places how
divinely well he worked has been already told. In this picture, then,
there was painted by the hand of Federigo Fiammingo, called Del
Padovano, with much dexterity and great sweetness of manner,
Michelagnolo showing to the Pope the ground-plan of that sacristy, and
behind him were borne, partly by little Angels and partly by other
figures, the models of the library and sacristy and of the statues
that are there, finished, at the present day; which was all very well
composed and executed with diligence.

In the third picture, which stood on the first level, like the others
described above, and looked towards the high-altar, was a great Latin
epitaph composed by the most learned M. Pier Vettori, the sense of
which was in the Florentine speech as follows:

"The Academy of Painters, Sculptors, and Architects, with the favour
and assistance of Duke Cosimo de' Medici, their head and the supreme
protector of these arts, admiring the extraordinary genius of
Michelagnolo Buonarroti, and seeking to acknowledge in part the
benefits received from his divine works, has dedicated this memorial,
born from their own hands and from all the affection of their hearts,
to the excellence and genius of the greatest painter, sculptor, and
architect that there has ever been."

The Latin words were these:


This epitaph was supported by two little Angels, who, with weeping
faces, and extinguishing each a torch, appeared to be lamenting that a
genius so great and so rare was now spent.

Next, in the picture which came to face towards the door that leads
into the cloister, was Michelagnolo making, on account of the siege of
Florence, the fortifications of the hill of San Miniato, which were
held to be impregnable and a marvellous work. This was by the hand of
Lorenzo Sciorini, a pupil of Bronzino and a young man of excellent

This lowest part, or, so to speak, the base of the whole structure,
had at every corner a pedestal that projected, and upon every pedestal
was a statue larger than life, which had beneath it another, as it
were subjugated and vanquished, of similar size, but each constrained
in a different and extravagant attitude. The first, on the right hand
going towards the high-altar, was a young man, slender and the very
presentment of pure spirit, and of a most lively beauty, representing
Genius, with two little wings over the temples, in the guise wherein
at times Mercury is painted; and beneath this young man, wrought with
incredible diligence, was a marvellous figure with asses' ears,
representing Ignorance, the mortal enemy of Genius. These two statues
were by the hand of Vincenzio Danti of Perugia, of whom and of his
works, which are renowned among the young modern sculptors, we shall
speak at greater length in another place.

Upon the next pedestal, which, being on the right hand of the approach
towards the high-altar, looked towards the new sacristy, was a woman
representing Christian Piety, which, being composed of religion and
every other excellence, is nothing less than an aggregate of all those
virtues that we have called the Theological, and of those that were
named by the Gentiles the Moral; wherefore it was right that, since
the genius of a Christian, adorned by most saintly character, was
being celebrated by Christians, a seemly and honourable place should
be given to this Piety, which is concerned with the law of God and the
salvation of souls, seeing that all other ornaments of body and mind,
where she is lacking, are to be held in little estimation, or rather,
none. This figure, who had beneath her, prostrate and trampled under
foot by her, Vice, or rather, Impiety, was by the hand of Valerio
Cioli, who is a young man of ability and fine spirit, and deserves the
name of a very judicious and diligent sculptor. Opposite to this, on
the side towards the old sacristy, was another similar figure made
with much judgment to represent Minerva, or rather, Art; for the
reason that it may be said with truth that after excellence of
character and life, which must always hold the first place among the
good, it was Art that gave to this man not only honour and profit, but
also so much glory, that he may be said to have enjoyed in his
lifetime such fruits as able and illustrious men have great difficulty
in wresting even after death from the grasp of Fame, by means of their
finest works; and, what is more, that he so vanquished envy, that by
common consent, without any contradiction, he has obtained the rank
and fame of the best and highest excellence. And for this reason this
figure had beneath her feet Envy, who was an old woman lean and
withered, with the eyes of a viper; in short, with features that all
breathed out venom and poison, besides which she was girt with
serpents, and had a viper in her hand. These two statues were by the
hand of a boy of very tender years, called Lazzaro Calamech of
Carrara, who at the present day, although still a mere lad, has given
in some works of painting and sculpture convincing proofs of a
beautiful and most lively genius. By the hand of Andrea Calamech, the
uncle of the above-mentioned Lazzaro, and pupil of Ammanati, were the
two statues placed upon the fourth pedestal, which was opposite to the
organ and looked towards the principal doors of the church. The first
of these was made to represent Study, for the reason that those who
exert themselves little and sluggishly can never acquire repute, as
Michelagnolo did, who from his early boyhood, from fifteen to ninety
years of age, as has been seen above, never ceased to labour. This
statue of Study, which was well in keeping with that great man, was a
bold and vigorous youth, who had at the end of the arms, just above
the joint of the hands, two little wings signifying rapidity and
frequency of working; and he had prostrate beneath him, as a prisoner,
Idleness or Indolence, who was a sluggish and weary woman, heavy and
somnolent in her whole attitude.

These four figures, disposed in the manner that has been described,
made a very handsome and magnificent composition, and had all the
appearance of marble, because a coat of white had been laid over the
clay, which resulted in a very beautiful effect. From this level, upon
which the above-named figures rested, there rose another base,
likewise rectangular and about four braccia high, but smaller in
length and breadth than that below by the extent of the projection and
cornice-work upon which those figures rested; and on every side this
had a painted compartment six braccia and a half in length and three
in height. Above this rose a platform in the same manner as that
below, but smaller; and upon every corner, on the projection of a
socle, sat a figure of the size of life, or rather more. These were
four women, who, from the instruments that they had, were easily
recognized as Painting, Sculpture, Architecture, and Poetry; placed
there for reasons that have been perceived in the narration of
Michelagnolo's Life.

Now, going from the principal door of the church towards the
high-altar, in the first picture of the second range of the
catafalque--namely, above the scene in which, as has been related,
Lorenzo de' Medici is receiving Michelagnolo into his garden--there
was painted in a most beautiful manner, to suggest Architecture,
Michelagnolo in the presence of Pope Pius IV, with a model in his hand
of the stupendous pile of the Cupola of S. Pietro in Rome. This scene,
which was much extolled, was painted by Piero Francia, a Florentine
painter, with beautiful manner and invention; and the statue, or
rather, image of Architecture, which was on the left hand of this
scene, was by the hand of Giovanni di Benedetto of Castello, who with
so much credit to himself, as has been related, executed also the
Tiber, one of the two Rivers that were on the front part of the
catafalque. In the second picture, continuing to go forward on the
right hand towards the lateral door that leads out of the church, was
seen (to suggest Painting) Michelagnolo painting that so much but
never sufficiently extolled Judgment: that Judgment, I mean, which is
an exemplar in foreshortenings and all the other difficulties of art.
This picture, which was executed by Michele di Ridolfo's young men
with much diligence and grace, had likewise, on the left hand (namely,
at the corner looking towards the new sacristy), its appropriate
image, a statue of Painting, wrought by Battista del Cavaliere, a
young man no less excellent in sculpture than remarkable for his
goodness, modesty, and character. In the third picture, facing towards
the high-altar (in that, namely, which was above the epitaph already
mentioned), there was to be seen, to suggest Sculpture, Michelagnolo
speaking with a woman, who by many signs could be recognized as
Sculpture; and it appeared that he was taking counsel with her.
Michelagnolo had about him some of the most excellent works that he
executed in sculpture; and the woman held a little tablet with these
words of Boethius:


Beside that picture, which was the work of Andrea del Minga, and
executed by him with beautiful invention and manner, there was on the
left hand the statue of Sculpture, wrought very well by the sculptor
Antonio di Gino Lorenzi. In the fourth of those four scenes, which
faced towards the organ, there could be seen, to suggest Poetry,
Michelagnolo all intent on writing some composition, and about him the
Nine Muses, marvellous in their grace and beauty and with their
distinctive garments, according as they are described by the poets,
and before them Apollo with the lyre in his hand, his crown of laurel
on his head, and another crown in the hand, which he made as if to
place on the head of Michelagnolo. Near the gladsome and beautiful
composition of this scene, painted in a very lovely manner, with most
vivacious and spirited attitudes, by Giovan Maria Butteri, there was
on the left hand the statue of Poetry, the work of Domenico Poggini, a
man much practised not only in sculpture and in striking impressions
of coins and medals with great beauty, but also in working in bronze
and likewise in poetry.

Of such a kind, then, was the ornamentation of the catafalque, which
so diminished from course to course that it was possible to walk round
each, and it was much after the likeness of the Mausoleum of Augustus
in Rome; although perchance, from being rectangular, it rather
resembled the Septizonium of Severus, not that near the Campidoglio,
which is commonly so called in error, but the true one, which is to
be seen in stamp in the "Nuove Rome," near the Baths of Antoninus. Up
to this point the catafalque had three levels; where the Rivers lay
was the first, the second where the pairs of figures rested, and the
third where the single figures had their feet. From this last level
rose a base, or rather, socle, one braccio high, and much less in
length and breadth than that last level; upon the projections of that
base sat the above-named single figures, and around it could be read
these words:


Upon this base stood a pyramid nine braccia high, on two sides of
which (namely, that which looked towards the principal door, and that
which faced towards the high-altar), at the foot, were two ovals with
the head of Michelagnolo portrayed from nature in relief and executed
very well by Santi Buglioni. At the summit of the pyramid was a ball
in due proportion with the pyramid, such as might have contained the
ashes of him who was being honoured, and upon the ball was a figure of
Fame, larger than life and in the likeness of marble, and in the act,
as it were, of taking flight, and at the same time of causing the
praises and glory of that great craftsman to resound throughout the
world through a trumpet which branched into three mouths. That Fame
was by the hand of Zanobi Lastricati, who, besides the labours that he
had as proveditor for the whole work, desired also not to fail to
show, with much honour to himself, the virtue of his hand and brain.
In all, from the level of the ground to the head of the Fame, the
height, as has been related, was twenty-eight braccia.

Besides the catafalque described above, the whole church was draped
with black baize and serge, hung not on the columns in the centre, as
is usual, but on the chapels that are all around; and there was no
space between the pilasters that enclose those chapels and correspond
to the columns, that had not some adornment in painting, which, making
an ingenious, pleasing, and beautiful display, caused marvel and at
the same time the greatest delight.

Now, to begin with one end: in the space of the first chapel that is
beside the high-altar, as you go towards the old sacristy, was a
picture six braccia in height and eight in length, in which, with
novel and as it were poetical invention, was Michelagnolo in the
centre, already come to the Elysian fields, where, on his right hand,
were figures considerably larger than life of the most famous and most
highly celebrated sculptors and painters of antiquity. Each of these
could be recognized by some notable sign; Praxiteles by the Satyr that
is in the Vigna of Pope Julius III, Apelles by the portrait of
Alexander the Great, Zeuxis by a little panel on which were figured
the grapes that deceived the birds, and Parrhasius with the covering
counterfeited in painting over his picture; and, even as these, so the
others were known by other signs. On the left hand were those who have
been illustrious in these arts in our own centuries, from Cimabue to
the present day. Thus Giotto could be recognized there by a little
panel on which was seen the portrait of Dante as a young man, in the
manner in which he may be seen in S. Croce, painted by Giotto himself;
Masaccio by his portrait from life, Donatello likewise by his
portrait, and also by his Zuccone from the Campanile, which was by his
side, and Filippo Brunelleschi by the representation of his Cupola of
S. Maria del Fiore; and there were portrayed from life, without other
signs, Fra Filippo, Taddeo Gaddi, Paolo Uccello, Fra Giovanni Agnolo,
Jacopo da Pontormo, Francesco Salviati, and others. All these were
about him with the same expressions of welcome as the ancients, full
of love and admiration, in the same manner as Virgil was received by
the other poets on his return, according to the fable of the divine
poet Dante, from whom, in addition to the invention, there was taken
also the verse that could be read in a scroll both above and in the
hand of the River Arno, which lay at the feet of Michelagnolo, most
beautiful in features and in attitude:


This picture, by the hand of Alessandro Allori, the pupil of Bronzino,
an excellent painter and a not unworthy disciple and pupil of so great
a master, was consummately extolled by all those who saw it. In the
space of the Chapel of the most holy Sacrament, at the head of the
transept, there was in a picture, five braccia in length and four in
breadth, Michelagnolo with all the school of the arts about him,
little children, boys, and young men of every age up to twenty-four,
who were offering to him, as to a being sacred and divine, the
firstfruits of their labours, such as pictures, sculptures, and
models; and he was receiving them courteously, and was instructing
them in the matters of art, while they were listening most intently
and gazing upon him with expressions and attitudes truly full of
beauty and grace. And, to tell the truth, the whole composition of
this picture could not have been, in a certain sense, better done, nor
could anything more beautiful have been desired in any of the figures,
wherefore Battista, the pupil of Pontormo, who had done the work,
received infinite praise for it; and the verses that were to be read
at the foot of the scene, ran thus:


Going, then, from the place where was the picture described above,
towards the principal doors of the church, almost at the corner and
just before arriving at the organ, in a picture six braccia long and
four high that was in the space of a chapel, there was depicted the
extraordinary and unexampled favour that was paid to the rare genius
of Michelagnolo by Pope Julius III, who, wishing to avail himself in
certain buildings of the judgment of that great man, had him summoned
to his presence at his villa, where, having invited him to sit by his
side, they talked a good time together, while Cardinals, Bishops, and
other personages of the Court, whom they had about them, remained
constantly standing. This event, I say, was seen to have been depicted
with such fine composition and so much relief, and with such
liveliness and spirit in the figures, that perchance it might not have
turned out better from the hands of an eminent, aged, and
well-practised master; wherefore Jacopo Zucchi, a young man, the pupil
of Giorgio Vasari, who executed the work in a beautiful manner, proved
that a most honourable result could be expected from him. Not far from
this, on the same side (namely, a little below the organ), Giovanni
Strada, an able Flemish painter, had depicted in a picture six
braccia long and four high the story of Michelagnolo's going to Venice
at the time of the siege of Florence; where, living in that quarter of
that most noble city which is called the Giudecca, the Doge Andrea
Gritti and the Signoria sent some gentlemen and others to visit him
and make him very great offers. In representing that event the
above-named painter showed great judgment and much knowledge, which
did him great honour, both in the whole composition and in every part
of it, for in the attitudes, the lively expressions of the faces, and
the movements of every figure, were seen invention, design, and
excellent grace.

Now, returning to the high-altar, and facing towards the new sacristy:
in the first picture found there, which came in the space of the first
chapel, there was depicted by the hand of Santi Titi, a young man of
most beautiful judgment and much practised in painting both in
Florence and in Rome, another signal favour paid to the genius of
Michelagnolo, as I believe I mentioned above, by the most illustrious
Lord, Don Francesco de' Medici, Prince of Florence, who, happening to
be in Rome about three years before Michelagnolo died, and receiving a
visit from him, the moment that Buonarroti entered the Prince rose to
his feet, and then, in order to do honour to that great man and to his
truly venerable age, with the greatest courtesy that ever young Prince
showed, insisted--although Michelagnolo, who was very modest,
protested against it--that he should sit in his own chair, from which
he had risen, standing afterwards on his feet to hear him with the
attention and reverence that children are wont to pay to a
well-beloved father. At the feet of the Prince was a boy, executed
with great diligence, who had in his hands a mazzocchio,[6] or Ducal
cap, and around them were some soldiers dressed in ancient fashion,
and painted with much spirit and a beautiful manner; but beyond all
the rest, most beautifully wrought, most lifelike and most natural
were the Prince and Michelagnolo, insomuch that it appeared as if the
old man were in truth speaking, and the young man most intently
listening to his words.

         [Footnote 6: See note on p. 132, vol. ii.]

In another picture, nine braccia in height and twelve in length, which
was opposite to the Chapel of the Sacrament, Bernardo Timante
Buontalenti, a painter much beloved and favoured by the most
illustrious Prince, had figured with most beautiful invention the
Rivers of the three principal parts of the world, come, as it were,
all grieving and sorrowful, to lament with Arno on their common loss
and to console him; and these Rivers were the Nile, the Ganges, and
the Po. The Nile had as a symbol a crocodile, and, to signify the
fertility of his country, a garland of ears of corn; the Ganges, a
gryphon-bird and a chaplet of gems; the Po, a swan and a crown of
black amber. These Rivers, having been conducted into Tuscany by the
Fame, who was to be seen on high, as it were in flight, were standing
round Arno, who was crowned with cypress and held his vase, drained
empty, uplifted with one hand, and in the other a branch of cypress,
and beneath him was a lion. And, to signify that the soul of
Michelagnolo had flown to the highest felicity in Heaven, the
judicious painter had depicted in the air a Splendour representing the
celestial light, towards which the blessed soul, in the form of a
little Angel, was winging its way; with this lyric verse:


At the sides, upon two bases, were two figures in the act of holding
open a curtain within which, so it appeared, were the above-named
Rivers, the soul of Michelagnolo, and the Fame; and each of those two
figures had another beneath it. That which was on the right hand of
the Rivers, representing Vulcan, had a torch in the hand; and the
figure representing Hatred, which had the neck under Vulcan's feet in
an attitude of great constraint, and as it were struggling to writhe
free, had as symbol a vulture, with this verse:


And that because things superhuman, and almost divine, should in no
way be regarded with envy or hatred. The other, representing Aglaia,
one of the Three Graces and wife of Vulcan, to signify Proportion, had
in her hand a lily, both because flowers are dedicated to the Graces,
and also because the lily is held to be not inappropriate to the rites
of death. The figure which was lying beneath Aglaia, and which was
painted to represent Disproportion, had as symbol a monkey, or rather,
ape, and above her this verse:


And under the Rivers were these two other verses:


This picture was held to be very beautiful in the invention, in the
composition of the whole scene and the loveliness of the figures, and
in the beauty of the verses, and because the painter honoured
Michelagnolo with this his labour, not by commission, but
spontaneously and with such assistance as his own merit enabled him to
obtain from his courteous and honourable friends; and for this reason
he deserved to be even more highly commended.

In another picture, six braccia in length and four in height, near the
lateral door that leads out of the church, Tommaso da San Friano, a
young painter of much ability, had painted Michelagnolo as Ambassador
of his country at the Court of Pope Julius II; as we have related that
he went, and for what reasons, sent by Soderini. Not far distant from
the above-named picture (namely, a little below that lateral door
which leads out of the church), in another picture of the same size,
Stefano Pieri, a pupil of Bronzino and a young man of great diligence
and industry, had painted a scene that had in truth happened several
times in Rome not long before--namely, Michelagnolo seated in a room
by the side of the most illustrious Lord Duke Cosimo, who stood
conversing with him; of all which enough has been said above.

Over the said black draperies with which, as has been told, the whole
church was hung all round, wherever there were no painted scenes or
pictures, there were in each of the spaces of the chapels images of
death, devices, and other suchlike things, all different from those
that are generally made, and very fanciful and beautiful. Some of
these, as it were lamenting that they had been forced to deprive the
world of such a man, had these words in a scroll:


And near them was a globe of the world, from which had sprung a lily,
which had three flowers and was broken in the middle, executed with
most beautiful fantasy and invention by the above-named Alessandro
Allori. There were other Deaths, also, depicted with other inventions,
but that one was most extolled upon whose neck, as she lay prostrate
on the ground, Eternity, with a palm in the hand, had planted one of
her feet, and, regarding her with a look of disdain, appeared to be
saying to her: "Be it necessity or thy will, thou hast done nothing,
for in spite of thee, come what may, Michelagnolo shall live." The
motto ran thus:


And all this was the invention of Vasari.

I will not omit to say that each of these Deaths had on either side
the device of Michelagnolo, which was three crowns, or rather, three
circlets, intertwined together in such a manner, that the
circumference of one passed through the centre of the two others, and
so with each; which sign Michelagnolo used either to suggest that the
three professions of sculpture, painting, and architecture are
interwoven one with another and so bound together, that each of them
receives benefit and adornment from the others, and they neither can
nor should be separated; or, indeed, being a man of lofty genius, he
may have had a more subtle meaning. But the Academicians, considering
him to have been perfect in all these three professions, and that each
of these had assisted and embellished the other, changed his three
circlets into three crowns intertwined together, with the motto:


Which was intended to signify that in those three professions the
crown of human perfection was justly due to him.

On the pulpit from which Varchi delivered the funeral oration, which
was afterwards printed, there was no ornamentation, because, that work
having been executed in bronze, with scenes in half-relief and
low-relief, by the excellent Donatello, any adornment that might have
been added to it would have been by a great measure less beautiful.
But on the other, which is opposite to the first, although it had not
yet been raised on the columns, there was a picture, four braccia in
height and little more than two in width, wherein there was painted
with beautiful invention and excellent design, to represent Fame, or
rather, Honour, a young man in a most beautiful attitude, with a
trumpet in the right hand, and with the feet planted on Time and
Death, in order to show that fame and honour, in spite of death and
time, preserve alive to all eternity those who have laboured valiantly
in this life. This picture was by the hand of Vincenzio Danti, the
sculptor of Perugia, of whom we have spoken, and will speak again

The church having been embellished in such a manner, adorned with
lights, and filled with a countless multitude, for everyone had left
every other care and flocked together to such an honourable spectacle,
there entered behind the above-named Lieutenant of the Academy,
accompanied by the Captain and Halberdiers of the Duke's Guard, the
Consuls and the Academicians, and, in short, all the painters,
sculptors, and architects of Florence. After all these had sat down
between the catafalque and the high-altar, where they had been awaited
for a good while by an infinite number of lords and gentlemen, who had
been accommodated with seats according to the rank of each, there was
begun a most solemn Mass for the dead, with music and ceremonies of
every kind. Which finished, Varchi mounted the above-mentioned pulpit,
who had never performed such an office since he did it for the most
illustrious Lady Duchess of Ferrara, the daughter of Duke Cosimo; and
there, with that elegance, those modes of utterance, and that voice
which were the peculiar attributes of that great man in oratory, he
recounted the praises and merits, life and works of the divine
Michelagnolo Buonarroti.

Of a truth, what great good fortune it was for Michelagnolo that he
did not die before our Academy was created, whereby his funeral rites
were celebrated with so much honour and such magnificent and
honourable pomp! So, also, it must be considered most fortunate for
him that it happened that he passed from this to an eternal and most
blessed life before Varchi, seeing that he could not have been
extolled by any more eloquent and learned man. That funeral oration by
M. Benedetto Varchi was printed a short time afterwards, as was also,
not long after that, another equally beautiful oration, likewise in
praise of Michelagnolo and of painting, composed by the most noble and
most learned M. Leonardo Salviati, at that time a young man of about
twenty-two years of age, and of a rare and happy genius in all manner
of compositions, both Latin and Tuscan, as is known even now, and will
be better known in the future, to all the world. And what shall I say,
what can I say, that would not be too little, of the capacity,
goodness, and wisdom of the very reverend Lord Lieutenant, the
above-named Don Vincenzio Borghini? Save that it was with him as their
chief, their guide, and their counsellor, that the eminent men of the
Academy and Company of Design celebrated those obsequies; for the
reason that, although each of them was competent to do much more in
his art than he did, nevertheless no enterprise is ever carried to a
perfect and praiseworthy end save when one single man, in the manner
of an experienced pilot and captain, has authority and power over all
others. And since it was not possible that the whole city should see
that funeral pomp in one day, by order of the Duke it was all left
standing many weeks, for the satisfaction of his people and of the
strangers who came from neighbouring places to see it.

We shall not give in this place the great multitude of epitaphs and
verses, both Latin and Tuscan, composed by many able men in honour of
Michelagnolo; both because they would require a work to themselves,
and because they have been written down and published by other writers
elsewhere. But I will not omit to say in this last part, that after
all the honours described above the Duke ordained that an honourable
place should be given to Michelagnolo for his tomb in S. Croce, in
which church he had purposed in his lifetime to be buried, because the
sepulchre of his ancestors was there. And to Leonardo, the nephew of
Michelagnolo, his Excellency gave all the marbles, both white and
variegated, for that tomb, which was allotted to Battista Lorenzi, an
able sculptor, to execute after the design of Giorgio Vasari, together
with the head of Michelagnolo. And since there are to be three statues
there, Painting, Sculpture, and Architecture, one of these was
allotted to the above-named Battista, one to Giovanni dell'Opera, and
the last to Valerio Cioli, Florentine sculptors; which statues are in
process of being fashioned together with the tomb, and soon they will
be seen finished and set in their places. The cost, over and above the
marbles received from the Duke, has been borne by the same Leonardo
Buonarroti. But his Excellency, in order not to fail in any respect in
doing honour to that great man, will cause to be placed in the Duomo,
as he has previously thought to do, a memorial with his name, besides
the head, even as there are to be seen there the names and images of
the other eminent Florentines.




Having treated hitherto of such of our craftsmen as are no longer
alive among us--of those, namely, who have lived from 1200 until this
year of 1567--and having set Michelagnolo Buonarroti in the last place
for many reasons, although two or three have died later than he, I
have thought that it cannot be otherwise than a praiseworthy labour to
make mention likewise in this our work of many noble craftsmen who are
alive, and, for their merits, most worthy to be highly extolled and to
be numbered among these last masters. This I do all the more willingly
because they are all very much my friends and brothers, and the three
most eminent are already so far advanced in years, that, having come
to the furthest limit of old age, little more can be expected from
them, although they still continue by a sort of habit to occupy
themselves with some work. After these I will also make brief mention
of those who under their discipline have become such, that they hold
the first places among the craftsmen of our own day; and of others who
in like manner are advancing towards perfection in our arts.

Beginning, then, with Francesco Primaticcio, to go on afterwards to
Tiziano Vecelli and Jacopo Sansovino: I have to record that the said
Francesco, born in Bologna of the noble family of the Primaticci, much
celebrated by Fra Leandro Alberti and by Pontano, was apprenticed in
his early boyhood to commerce. But, that calling pleasing him little,
not long afterwards, being exalted in mind and spirit, he set himself
to practise design, to which he felt himself inclined by nature; and
so, giving his attention to drawing, and at times to painting, no
long time passed before he gave proof that he was likely to achieve an
excellent result. Going afterwards to Mantua, where at that time
Giulio Romano was working at the Palace of the Te for Duke Federigo,
he employed such interest that he was set, in company with many other
young men who were with Giulio, to labour at that work. There,
attending to the studies of art with much industry and diligence for a
period of six years, he learned very well to handle colours and to
work in stucco; wherefore, among all the other young men who were
labouring in the work of that Palace, Francesco came to be held one of
the most excellent, and the best of all at drawing and colouring. This
may be seen in a great chamber, round which he made two friezes of
stucco, one above the other, with a great abundance of figures that
represent the ancient Roman soldiery; and in the same Palace,
likewise, he executed many works in painting that are to be seen
there, after the designs of the above-named Giulio. Through these
works Primaticcio came into such favour with that Duke, that, when
King Francis of France heard with what quantity of ornaments he had
caused the work of the Palace to be executed, and wrote to him that at
all costs he should send him a young man able to work in painting and
stucco, the Duke sent him Francesco Primaticcio, in the year 1531. And
although the year before that the Florentine painter Rosso had gone
into the service of the same King, as has been related, and had
executed many works there, and in particular the pictures of Bacchus
and Venus, Psyche and Cupid, nevertheless the first works in stucco
that were done in France, and the first labours in fresco of any
account, had their origin, it is said, from Primaticcio, who decorated
in this manner many chambers, halls, and loggie for that King.


(_After =Primaticcio=. Fontainebleau: Galerie Henry II_)

_X. Photo_]

Liking the manner of this painter, and his procedure in every matter,
the King sent him in the year 1540 to Rome, to contrive to obtain
certain antique marbles; in which Primaticcio served him with such
diligence, that in a short time, what with heads, torsi, and figures,
he bought one hundred and twenty-five pieces. And at that same time he
caused to be moulded by Jacopo Barozzi of Vignuola, and by others, the
bronze horse that is on the Campidoglio, a great part of the scenes on
the Column, the statue of Commodus, the Venus, the Laocoon, the
Tiber, the Nile, and the statue of Cleopatra, which are in the
Belvedere; to the end that they might all be cast in bronze. Rosso
having meanwhile died in France, and a long gallery therefore
remaining unfinished which had been begun after his designs and in
great part adorned with stucco-work and pictures, Primaticcio was
recalled from Rome; whereupon he took ship with the above-mentioned
marbles and moulds of antique figures, and returned to France. There,
before any other thing, he cast according to those moulds and forms a
great part of those antique figures, which came out so well, that they
might be the originals; as may be seen in the Queen's garden at
Fontainebleau, where they were placed, to the vast satisfaction of
that King, who made in that place, one might say, another Rome. I will
not omit to say that Primaticcio, in executing those statues, employed
masters so excellent in the art of casting, that those works came out
not only light, but with a surface so smooth, that it was hardly
necessary to polish them.

This work done, Primaticcio was commissioned to give completion to the
gallery that Rosso had left unfinished; whereupon he set his hand to
it, and in a short time delivered it finished with as many works in
stucco and painting as have ever been executed in any place. Wherefore
the King, finding that he had been well served in the period of eight
years that this master had worked for him, had him placed among the
number of his chamberlains; and a short time afterwards, which was in
the year 1544, he made him Abbot of S. Martin, considering that
Francesco deserved no less. But for all this Francesco has never
ceased to have many works in stucco and in painting executed in the
service of his King and of the others who have governed that kingdom
after Francis I. Among others who have assisted him in this, he has
been served, to say nothing of many of his fellow-Bolognese, by Giovan
Battista, the son of Bartolommeo Bagnacavallo, who has proved not less
able than his father in many scenes and other works of Primaticcio's
that he has carried into execution. Another who has served him for a
considerable time is one Ruggieri da Bologna, who is still with him.
In like manner, Prospero Fontana, a painter of Bologna, was summoned
to France not long since by Primaticcio, who intended to make use of
him; but, having fallen ill to the danger of his life immediately
after his arrival, he returned to Bologna. To tell the truth, these
two, Bagnacavallo and Fontana, are able men, and I, who have made
considerable use both of the one and of the other, of the first at
Rome, and of the second at Rimini and Florence, can declare this with
certainty. But of all those who have assisted the Abbot Primaticcio,
none has done him more honour than Niccolò da Modena, of whom mention
has been made on another occasion, for by the excellence of his art
this master has surpassed all the others. Thus he executed with his
own hand, after the designs of the Abbot, a hall called the Ball-room,
with such a vast number of figures, that it appears scarcely possible
that they could be counted, and all as large as life and coloured in
so bright a manner, that in the harmony of the fresco-colours they
appear like work in oils. After this work he painted in the Great
Gallery, likewise from the designs of the Abbot, sixty stories of the
life and actions of Ulysses, but with a colouring much darker than the
pictures in the Ball-room. This came about because he used no other
colours but the earths in the pure state in which they are produced by
Nature, without mixing with them, it may be said, any white, and so
heavily loaded with darks in the deep parts, that these have
extraordinary relief and force; besides which, he executed the whole
work with such harmony, that it appears almost as if painted in one
and the same day. Wherefore he merits extraordinary praise,
particularly because he executed it in fresco, without ever retouching
it "a secco," as many at the present day are accustomed to do. The
vaulting of this gallery, likewise, is all wrought in stucco and
painting, executed with much diligence by the men mentioned above and
other young painters, but still after the designs of the Abbot; as is
also the old Hall, and likewise a lower gallery that is over the pond,
which is most beautiful and better adorned with lovely works than any
other part of that place; but to attempt to speak of it at any length
would make too long a story.


(_After the painting by =Primaticcio=. Fontainebleau: Escalier du


At Meudon the same Abbot Primaticcio has made innumerable decorations
for the Cardinal of Lorraine in a vast palace belonging to him, called
the Grotto, a place so extraordinary in size, that, after the likeness
of similar edifices of the ancients, it might be called the Thermæ,
by reason of the vast number and grandeur of the loggie, staircases,
and apartments, both public and private, that are there; and, to say
nothing of other particulars, most beautiful is a room called the
Pavilion, for it is all adorned with compartments and mouldings of
stucco that are wrought with a view to being seen from below, and
filled with a number of figures foreshortened in the same manner,
which are very beautiful. Beneath this, then, is a large room with
some fountains wrought in stucco, and full of figures in the round and
compartments formed of shells and other products of the sea and
natural objects, which are marvellous things and beautiful beyond
measure; and the vaulting, likewise, is all most excellently wrought
in stucco by the hand of Domenico del Barbiere, a Florentine painter,
who is excellent not only in this kind of relief, but also in design,
so that in some works that he has coloured he has given proofs of the
rarest ability. In the same place, also, many figures of stucco in the
round have been executed by a sculptor likewise of our country, called
Ponzio, who has acquitted himself very well. But, since the works that
have been executed in those places in the service of those lords are
innumerable in their variety, I must touch only on the principal works
of the Abbot, in order to show how rare he is in painting, in design,
and in matters of architecture; although, in truth, it would not
appear to me an excessive labour to enlarge on the particular works,
if I had some true and clear information about them, as I have about
works here. With regard to design, Primaticcio has been and still is
most excellent, as may be seen from a drawing by his hand painted with
the signs of the heavens, which is in our book, sent to me by
Francesco himself; and I, both for love of him and because it is a
thing of absolute perfection, hold it very dear.

King Francis being dead, the Abbot remained in the same place and rank
with King Henry, and served him as long as he lived; and afterwards he
was created by King Francis II Commissary-General over all the
buildings of the whole kingdom, in which office, one of great honour
and much repute, there had previously acted the father of Cardinal
della Bordagiera and Monseigneur de Villeroy. Since the death of
Francis II, he has continued in the same office, serving the present
King, by whose order and that of the Queen-Mother Primaticcio has made
a beginning with the tomb of the above-named King Henry, making in the
centre of a six-sided chapel the sepulchre of the King himself, and at
four sides the sepulchres of his four children; while at one of the
other two sides of the chapel is the altar, and at the other the door.
And since there are going into this work innumerable statues in marble
and bronzes and a number of scenes in low-relief, it will prove worthy
of all these great Kings and of the excellence and genius of so rare a
craftsman as is this Abbot of S. Martin, who in his best years has
been most excellent and versatile in all things that pertain to our
arts, seeing that he has occupied himself in the service of his lords
not only in buildings, paintings, and stucco-work, but also in the
preparations for many festivals and masquerades, with most beautiful
and fantastic inventions.

He has been very liberal and most loving towards his friends and
relatives, and likewise towards the craftsmen who have served him. In
Bologna he has conferred many benefits on his relatives, and has
bought honourable dwellings for them and made them commodious and very
ornate, as is that wherein there now lives M. Antonio Anselmi, who has
for wife one of the nieces of our Abbot Primaticcio, who has also
given in marriage another niece, the sister of the first-named, with
honour and a good dowry. Primaticcio has always lived not like a
painter and craftsman, but like a nobleman, and, as I have said, he
has been very loving towards our craftsmen. When, as has been related,
he sent for Prospero Fontana, he despatched to him a good sum of
money, to the end that he might be able to make his way to France.
This sum, having fallen ill, Prospero was not able to pay back or
return by means of his works and labours; wherefore I, passing in the
year 1563 through Bologna, recommended Prospero to him in this matter,
and such was the courtesy of Primaticcio, that before I departed from
Bologna I saw a writing by the hand of the Abbot in which he made a
free gift to Prospero of all that sum of money which he had in hand
for that purpose. For which reasons the affection that he has won
among craftsmen is such, that they address and honour him as a father.

Now, to say something more of Prospero, I must record that he was
once employed with much credit to himself in Rome, by Pope Julius III,
at his Palace, at the Vigna Giulia, and at the Palace of the Campo
Marzio, which at that time belonged to Signor Balduino Monti, and now
belongs to the Lord Cardinal Ernando de' Medici, the son of Duke
Cosimo. In Bologna the same master has executed many works in oils and
in fresco, and in particular an altar-piece in oils in the Madonna del
Baracane, of a S. Catherine who is disputing with philosophers and
doctors in the presence of the Tyrant, which is held to be a very
beautiful work. And the same Prospero has painted many pictures in
fresco in the principal chapel of the Palace where the Governor lives.

Much the friend of Primaticcio, likewise, is Lorenzo Sabatini, an
excellent painter; and if he had not been burdened with a wife and
many children, the Abbot would have taken him to France, knowing that
he has a very good manner and great mastery in all kinds of work, as
may be seen from many things that he has done in Bologna. And in the
year 1566 Vasari made use of him in the festive preparations that were
carried out in Florence for the above-mentioned nuptials of the Prince
and her serene Highness Queen Joanna of Austria, causing him to
execute, in the vestibule that is between the Sala dei Dugento and the
Great Hall, six figures in fresco that are very beautiful and truly
worthy to be praised. But since this able painter is constantly making
progress, I shall say nothing more about him, save that, attending as
he does to the studies of art, a most honourable result is expected
from him.

Now, in connection with the Abbot and the other Bolognese of whom
mention has been made hitherto, I shall say something of Pellegrino
Bolognese, a painter of the highest promise and most beautiful genius.
This Pellegrino, after having attended in his early years to drawing
the works by Vasari that are in the refectory of S. Michele in Bosco
at Bologna, and those by other painters of good name, went in the year
1547 to Rome, where he occupied himself until the year 1550 in drawing
the most noteworthy works; executing during that time and also
afterwards, in the Castello di S. Angelo, some things in connection
with the works that Perino del Vaga carried out. In the centre of the
vaulting of the Chapel of S. Dionigi, in the Church of S. Luigi de'
Franzesi, he painted a battle-scene in fresco, in which he acquitted
himself in such a manner, that, although Jacopo del Conte, a
Florentine painter, and Girolamo Siciolante of Sermoneta had executed
many works in the same chapel, Pellegrino proved to be in no way
inferior to them; nay, it appears to many that he acquitted himself
better than they did in the boldness, grace, colouring, and design of
those his pictures. By reason of this Monsignor Poggio afterwards
availed himself much of Pellegrino, for he had erected a palace on the
Esquiline Hill, where he had a vineyard, without the Porta del Popolo,
and he desired that Pellegrino should execute some figures for him on
the façade, and then that he should paint the interior of a loggia
that faces towards the Tiber, which he executed with such diligence,
that it is held to be a work of much beauty and grace. In the house of
Francesco Formento, between the Strada del Pellegrino and the Parione,
he painted in a courtyard a façade and two figures besides. By order
of the ministers of Pope Julius III, he executed a large escutcheon,
with two figures, in the Belvedere; and without the Porta del Popolo,
in the Church of S. Andrea, which that Pontiff had caused to be built,
he painted a S. Peter and a S. Andrew, which two figures were much
extolled, and the design of the S. Peter is in our book, together with
other sheets drawn with much diligence by the same hand.


(_After the painting by =Pellegrino Tibaldi=. Vienna: Prince


Being then sent to Bologna by Monsignor Poggio, he painted for him in
his palace there many scenes in fresco, among which is one that is
most beautiful, wherein from the many figures, both nude and clothed,
and the lovely composition of the scene, it is evident that he
surpassed himself, insomuch that he has never done any work since
better than this. In S. Jacopo, in the same city, he began to paint a
chapel likewise for Cardinal Poggio, which was afterwards finished by
the above-mentioned Prospero Fontana. Being then taken by the Cardinal
of Augsburg to the Madonna of Loreto, Pellegrino decorated for him a
chapel most beautifully with stucco-work and pictures. On the
vaulting, within a rich pattern of compartments in stucco, are the
Nativity of Christ and His Presentation in the arms of Simeon at the
Temple; and in the centre, in particular, is the Transfiguration of
the Saviour on Mount Tabor, and with Him Moses, Elias, and the
Disciples. In the altar-piece that is above the altar, he painted S.
John the Baptist baptizing Christ; and in this he made a portrait of
the above-named Cardinal, kneeling. On one of the façades at the sides
he painted S. John preaching to the multitude, and on the other the
Beheading of the same Saint. In the forecourt below the church he
painted stories of the Judgment, and some figures in chiaroscuro in
the place where the Theatines now have their Confessional.

Being summoned not long afterwards to Ancona by Giorgio Morato, he
painted for the Church of S. Agostino a large altar-piece in oils of
Christ baptized by S. John, with S. Paul and other Saints on one side,
and in the predella a good number of little figures, which are full of
grace. For the same man he made in the Church of S. Ciriaco sul Monte
a very beautiful ornament in stucco for the altar-piece of the
high-altar, and within it a Christ of five braccia in full-relief,
which was much extolled. In like manner, he has made in the same city
a very large and very beautiful ornament of stucco for the high-altar
of S. Domenico, and he would also have painted the altar-picture, but
he had a difference with the patron of that work, and it was given to
Tiziano Vecelli to execute, as will be related in the proper place.
Finally, having undertaken to decorate in the same city of Ancona the
Loggia de' Mercanti, which faces on one side over the sea-shore and on
the other towards the principal street of the city, Pellegrino has
adorned the vaulting, which is a new structure, with pictures and many
large figures in stucco; in which work since he has exerted all the
effort and study possible to him, it has turned out in truth full of
beauty and grace, for the reason that, besides that all the figures
are beautiful and well executed, there are some most lovely
foreshortenings of nudes, in which it is evident that he has imitated
with much diligence the works of Buonarroti that are in the Chapel in

Now, since there are not in those parts any architects or engineers of
account, or any who know more than he does, Pellegrino has taken it
upon himself to give his attention to architecture and to the
fortifying of places in that province; and, as one who has recognized
that painting is more difficult and perhaps less advantageous than
architecture, setting his painting somewhat on one side, he has
executed many works for the fortification of Ancona and for many other
places in the States of the Church, and particularly at Ravenna.
Finally, he has made a beginning with a palace for the Sapienza, at
Pavia, for Cardinal Borromeo. And at the present day, since he has not
wholly abandoned painting, he is executing a scene in fresco, which
will be very beautiful, in the refectory of S. Giorgio at Ferrara, for
the Monks of Monte Oliveto; and of this Pellegrino himself not long
ago showed me the design, which is very fine. But, seeing that he is a
young man of thirty-five, and is constantly making more and more
progress and advancing towards perfection, this much about him must
suffice for the present. In like manner, I shall be brief in speaking
of Orazio Fumaccini,[7] a painter likewise from Bologna, who has
executed in Rome, as has been related, above one of the doors of the
Hall of Kings, a scene that is very fine, and in Bologna many
much-extolled pictures; for he also is young, and he is acquitting
himself in such a manner, that he will not be inferior to his elders,
of whom we have made mention in these our Lives.

         [Footnote 7: Sammacchini.]

The men of Romagna, also, spurred by the example of the Bolognese,
their neighbours, have executed many noble works in our arts; for,
besides Jacopone da Faenza, who, as has been related, painted the
tribune of S. Vitale in Ravenna, there have been and still are many
others after him who are excellent. Maestro Luca de' Longhi of
Ravenna, a man of good, quiet, and studious nature, has painted in his
native city of Ravenna and in the surrounding country many very
beautiful panel-pictures in oils and portraits from nature; and of
much charm, among others, are two little altar-pieces that he was
commissioned not long since to paint for the Church of the Monks of
Classi by the Reverend Don Antonio da Pisa, then Abbot of that
Monastery; to say nothing of an infinite number of other works that
this painter has executed. And, to tell the truth, if Maestro Luca had
gone forth from Ravenna, where he has always lived and still lives
with his family, being assiduous and very diligent, and of fine
judgment, he would have become a very rare painter, because he has
executed his works, as he still does, with patience and study; and to
this I can bear witness, who know how much proficience he made during
my sojourn of two months in Ravenna, both practising and discussing
the matters of art; nor must I omit to say that a daughter of his,
still but a little girl, called Barbara, draws very well, and has
begun to do some work in colour with no little grace and excellence of

A rival of Luca, for a time, was Livio Agresti of Forlì, who, after he
had executed for Abbot de' Grassi in the Church of the Spirito Santo
some scenes in fresco and certain other works, departed from Ravenna
and made his way to Rome. There, attending with much study to design,
he became a well-practised master, as may be seen from some façades
and other works in fresco that he executed at that time; and his first
works, which are in Narni, have in them not a little of the good. In a
chapel of the Church of the Santo Spirito, in Rome, he has painted a
number of figures and scenes in fresco, which are executed with much
industry and study, so that they are rightly extolled by everyone.
That work was the reason, as has been related, that there was allotted
to him one of the smaller scenes that are over the doors in the Hall
of Kings in the Palace of the Vatican, in which he acquitted himself
so well, that it can bear comparison with the others. The same master
has executed for the Cardinal of Augsburg seven pieces with scenes
painted on cloth of silver, which have been held to be very beautiful
in Spain, where they have been sent by that same Cardinal as presents
to King Philip, to be used as hangings in a chamber. Another picture
on cloth of silver he has painted in the same manner, which is now to
be seen in the Church of the Theatines at Forlì. Finally, having
become a good and bold draughtsman, a well-practised colourist,
fertile in the composition of scenes, and universal in his manner, he
has been invited by the above-named Cardinal with a good salary to
Augsburg, where he is constantly executing works worthy of much

But most rare among the other men of Romagna, in certain respects, is
Marco da Faenza (for only so, and not otherwise, is he called), for
the reason that he has no ordinary mastery in the work of fresco,
being bold, resolute, and of a terrible force, and particularly in the
manner and practice of making grotesques, in which he has no equal at
the present day, nor one who even approaches his perfection. His
works may be found throughout all Rome; and in Florence there is by
his hand the greater part of the ornaments of twenty different rooms
that are in the Ducal Palace, and the friezes of the ceiling in the
Great Hall of that Palace, which was painted by Giorgio Vasari, as
will be fully described in the proper place; not to mention that the
decorations of the principal court of the same Palace, made in a short
time for the coming of Queen Joanna, were executed in great part by
the same man. And this must be enough of Marco, he being still alive
and in the flower of his growth and activity.

In Parma there is at the present day in the service of the Lord Duke
Ottavio Farnese, a painter called Miruolo, a native, I believe, of
Romagna, who, besides some works executed in Rome, has painted many
scenes in fresco in a little palace that the same Lord Duke has caused
to be built in the Castle of Parma. There, also, are some fountains
constructed with fine grace by Giovanni Boscoli, a sculptor of
Montepulciano, who, having worked in stucco for many years under
Vasari in the Palace of the above-named Lord Duke Cosimo of Florence,
has finally entered the service of the above-mentioned Lord Duke of
Parma, with a good salary, and has executed, as he continues
constantly to do, works worthy of his rare and most beautiful genius.
In the same cities and provinces, also, are many other excellent and
noble craftsmen; but, since they are still young, we shall defer to a
more convenient time the making of that honourable mention of them
that their talents and their works may have merited.

And this is the end of the works of Abbot Primaticcio. I will add
that, he having had himself portrayed in a pen-drawing by the
Bolognese painter Bartolommeo Passerotto, who was very much his
friend, that portrait has come into our hands, and we have it in our
book of drawings by the hands of various excellent painters.



(_Vienna: Imperial Gallery, 180. Panel_)]



Tiziano was born at Cadore, a little township situated on the Piave and
five miles distant from the pass of the Alps, in the year 1480, from the
family of the Vecelli, one of the most noble in that place. At the age
of ten, having a fine spirit and a lively intelligence, he was sent to
Venice to the house of an uncle, an honoured citizen, who, perceiving
the boy to be much inclined to painting, placed him with Gian Bellini,
an excellent painter very famous at that time, as has been related.
Under his discipline, attending to design, he soon showed that he was
endowed by nature with all the gifts of intellect and judgment that are
necessary for the art of painting; and since at that time Gian Bellini
and the other painters of that country, from not being able to study
ancient works, were much--nay, altogether--given to copying from the
life whatever work they did, and that with a dry, crude, and laboured
manner, Tiziano also for a time learned that method. But having come to
about the year 1507, Giorgione da Castelfranco, not altogether liking
that mode of working, began to give to his pictures more softness and
greater relief, with a beautiful manner; nevertheless he used to set
himself before living and natural objects and counterfeit them as well
as he was able with colours, and paint them broadly with tints crude or
soft according as the life demanded, without doing any drawing, holding
it as certain that to paint with colours only, without the study of
drawing on paper, was the true and best method of working, and the true
design. For he did not perceive that for him who wishes to distribute
his compositions and accommodate his inventions well, it is necessary
that he should first put them down on paper in several different ways,
in order to see how the whole goes together, for the reason that the
idea is not able to see or imagine the inventions perfectly within
herself, if she does not reveal and demonstrate her conception to the
eyes of the body, that these may assist her to form a good judgment.
Besides which, it is necessary to give much study to the nude, if you
wish to comprehend it well, which you will never do, nor is it possible,
without having recourse to paper; and to keep always before you, while
you paint, persons naked or draped, is no small restraint, whereas, when
you have formed your hand by drawing on paper, you then come little by
little with greater ease to carry your conceptions into execution,
designing and painting together. And so, gaining practice in art, you
make both manner and judgment perfect, doing away with the labour and
effort wherewith those pictures were executed of which we have spoken
above, not to mention that by drawing on paper, you come to fill the
mind with beautiful conceptions, and learn to counterfeit all the
objects of nature by memory, without having to keep them always before
you or being obliged to conceal beneath the glamour of colouring the
painful fruits of your ignorance of design, in the manner that was
followed for many years by the Venetian painters, Giorgione, Palma,
Pordenone, and others, who never saw Rome or any other works of absolute

[Illustration: ARIOSTO

(_After the painting by =Tiziano=. London: National Gallery, No.


Tiziano, then, having seen the method and manner of Giorgione,
abandoned the manner of Gian Bellini, although he had been accustomed
to it for a long time, and attached himself to that of Giorgione;
coming in a short time to imitate his works so well, that his pictures
at times were mistaken for works by Giorgione, as will be related
below. Then, having grown in age, practice, and judgment, Tiziano
executed many works in fresco, which cannot be enumerated in order,
being dispersed over various places; let it suffice that they were
such, that the opinion was formed by many experienced judges that he
would become, as he afterwards did, a most excellent painter. At the
time when he first began to follow the manner of Giorgione, not being
more than eighteen years of age, he made the portrait of a gentleman
of the Barberigo family, his friend, which was held to be very
beautiful, the likeness of the flesh-colouring being true and
natural, and all the hairs so well distinguished one from another,
that they might have been counted, as also might have been the
stitches in a doublet of silvered satin that he painted in that work.
In short, it was held to be so well done, and with such diligence,
that if Tiziano had not written his name on a dark ground, it would
have been taken for the work of Giorgione.

Meanwhile Giorgione himself had executed the principal façade of the
Fondaco de' Tedeschi, and by means of Barberigo there were allotted to
Tiziano certain scenes on the same building, above the Merceria. After
which work he painted a large picture with figures of the size of
life, which is now in the hall of M. Andrea Loredano, who dwells near
S. Marcuola. In that picture is painted Our Lady going into Egypt, in
the midst of a great forest and certain landscapes that are very well
done, because Tiziano had given his attention for many months to such
things, and had kept in his house for that purpose some Germans who
were excellent painters of landscapes and verdure. In the wood in that
picture, likewise, he painted many animals, which he portrayed from
the life; and they are truly natural, and almost alive. Next, in the
house of M. Giovanni D'Anna, a Flemish gentleman and merchant, his
gossip, he made his portrait, which has all the appearance of life,
and also an "Ecce Homo" with many figures, which is held by Tiziano
himself and by others to be a very beautiful work. The same master
painted a picture of Our Lady with other figures the size of life, of
men and children, all portrayed from the life and from persons of that
house. Then in the year 1507, while the Emperor Maximilian was making
war on the Venetians, Tiziano, according to his own account, painted
an Angel Raphael with Tobias and a dog in the Church of S. Marziliano,
with a distant landscape, where, in a little wood, S. John the Baptist
is praying on his knees to Heaven, whence comes a radiance that
illumines him; and this work it is thought that he executed before he
made a beginning with the façade of the Fondaco de' Tedeschi.
Concerning which façade, many gentlemen, not knowing that Giorgione
was not working there any more and that Tiziano was doing it, who had
uncovered one part, meeting with Giorgione, congratulated him in
friendly fashion, saying that he was acquitting himself better in the
façade towards the Merceria than he had done in that which is over the
Grand Canal. At which circumstance Giorgione felt such disdain, that
until Tiziano had completely finished the work and it had become well
known that the same had done that part, he would scarcely let himself
be seen; and from that time onward he would never allow Tiziano to
associate with him or be his friend.

[Illustration: BACCHANAL

(_After the painting by =Tiziano=. Madrid: The Prado_)


In the year after, 1508, Tiziano published in wood-engraving the
Triumph of Faith, with an infinity of figures; our first Parents, the
Patriarchs, the Prophets, the Sibyls, the Innocents, the Martyrs, the
Apostles, and Jesus Christ borne in Triumph by the four Evangelists
and the Four Doctors, with the Holy Confessors behind. In that work
Tiziano displayed boldness, a beautiful manner, and the power to work
with facility of hand; and I remember that Fra Sebastiano del Piombo,
conversing of this, said to me that if Tiziano had been in Rome at
that time, and had seen the works of Michelagnolo, those of Raffaello,
and the ancient statues, and had studied design, he would have done
things absolutely stupendous, considering the beautiful mastery that
he had in colouring, and that he deserved to be celebrated as the
finest and greatest imitator of Nature in the matter of colour in our
times, and with the foundation of the grand method of design he might
have equalled the Urbinate and Buonarroti. Afterwards, having gone to
Vicenza, Tiziano painted the Judgment of Solomon in fresco, which was
a beautiful work, under the little loggia where justice is
administered in public audience. He then returned to Venice, and
painted the façade of the Grimani. At Padua, in the Church of S.
Antonio, he executed likewise in fresco some stories of the actions of
that Saint, and for that of S. Spirito he painted a little altar-piece
with a S. Mark seated in the midst of certain Saints, in whose faces
are some portraits from life done in oils with the greatest diligence;
which picture many have believed to be by the hand of Giorgione. Then,
a scene having been left unfinished in the Hall of the Great Council
through the death of Giovanni Bellini, wherein Frederick Barbarossa is
kneeling at the door of the Church of S. Marco before Pope Alexander
IV, who places his foot on Barbarossa's neck, Tiziano finished it,
changing many things, and making there many portraits from life of
his friends and others; for which he was rewarded by receiving from
the Senate an office in the Fondaco de' Tedeschi, called the Senseria,
which yields three hundred crowns a year. That office those Signori
are accustomed to give to the most excellent painter of their city, on
the condition that he shall be obliged from time to time to paint the
portrait of their Prince or Doge, at his election, for the price of
only eight crowns, which the Prince himself pays to him; which
portrait is afterwards kept, in memory of him, in a public place in
the Palace of S. Marco.


(_After the panel by =Tiziano da Cadore=. Ancona: S. Domenico_)


In the year 1514 Duke Alfonso of Ferrara had caused a little chamber
to be decorated, and had commissioned Dosso, the painter of Ferrara,
to execute in certain compartments stories of Æneas, Mars, and Venus,
and in a grotto Vulcan with two smiths at the forge; and he desired
that there should also be there pictures by the hand of Gian Bellini.
Bellini painted on another wall a vat of red wine with some Bacchanals
around it, and Satyrs, musicians, and other men and women, all drunk
with wine, and near them a nude and very beautiful Silenus, riding on
his ass, with figures about him that have the hands full of fruits and
grapes; which work was in truth executed and coloured with great
diligence, insomuch that it is one of the most beautiful pictures that
Gian Bellini ever painted, although in the manner of the draperies
there is a certain sharpness after the German manner (nothing, indeed,
of any account), because he imitated a picture by the Fleming Albrecht
Dürer, which had been brought in those days to Venice and placed in
the Church of S. Bartolommeo, a rare work and full of most beautiful
figures painted in oils. On that vat Gian Bellini wrote these words:


That work he was not able to finish completely, because he was old,
and Tiziano, as the most excellent of all the others, was sent for to
the end that he might finish it; wherefore, being desirous to acquire
excellence and to make himself known, he executed with much diligence
two scenes that were wanting in that little chamber. In the first is a
river of red wine, about which are singers and musicians, both men
and women, as it were drunk, and a naked woman who is sleeping, so
beautiful that she might be alive, together with other figures; and on
this picture Tiziano wrote his name. In the other, which is next to it
and seen first on entering, he painted many little boys and Loves in
various attitudes, which much pleased that lord, as also did the other
picture; but most beautiful of all is one of those boys who is making
water into a river and is reflected in the water, while the others are
around a pedestal that has the form of an altar, upon which is a
statue of Venus with a sea-conch in the right hand, and Grace and
Beauty about her, which are very lovely figures and executed with
incredible diligence. On the door of a press, likewise, Tiziano
painted an image of Christ from the waist upwards, marvellous, nay,
stupendous, to whom a base Hebrew is showing the coin of Cæsar; which
image, and also other pictures in that little chamber, our best
craftsmen declare to be the finest and best executed that Tiziano has
ever done, and indeed they are most rare. Wherefore he well deserved
to be most liberally recompensed and rewarded by that lord, whom he
portrayed excellently well with one arm resting on a great piece of
artillery; and he also made a portrait of Signora Laura, who
afterwards became the wife of the Duke, which is a stupendous work.
And, in truth, gifts have great potency with those who labour for the
love of art, when they are uplifted by the liberality of Princes. At
that time Tiziano formed a friendship with the divine Messer Lodovico
Ariosto, and was recognized by him as a most excellent painter and
celebrated in his Orlando Furioso:

                 ... E Tizian che onora
  Non men Cador, che quei Vinezia e Urbino.


(_Rome: Borghese Gallery, 147. Canvas_)]

Having then returned to Venice, Tiziano painted on a canvas in oils,
for the father-in-law of Giovanni da Castel Bolognese, a naked
shepherd and a country-girl who is offering him some pipes, that he
may play them, with a most beautiful landscape; which picture is now
at Faenza, in the house of the said Giovanni. He then executed for the
high-altar in the Church of the Friars Minors, called the Cà Grande, a
picture of Our Lady ascending into Heaven, and below her the twelve
Apostles, who are gazing upon her as she ascends; but of this work,
from its having been painted on cloth, and perhaps not well kept,
there is little to be seen. For the Chapel of the Pesari family, in
the same church, he painted in an altar-piece the Madonna with the
Child in her arms, a S. Peter and a S. George, and about them the
patrons of the work, kneeling and portrayed from life; among whom are
the Bishop of Paphos and his brother, then newly returned from the
victory which that Bishop won against the Turks. For the little Church
of S. Niccolò, in the same convent, he painted in an altar-piece S.
Nicholas, S. Francis, S. Catharine, and also a nude S. Sebastian,
portrayed from life and without any artifice that can be seen to have
been used to enhance the beauty of the limbs and trunk, there being
nothing there but what he saw in the work of nature, insomuch that it
all appears as if stamped from the life, so fleshlike it is and
natural; but for all that it is held to be beautiful, as is also very
lovely the Madonna with the Child in her arms at whom all those
figures are gazing. The subject of that picture was drawn on wood by
Tiziano himself, and then engraved by others and printed. For the
Church of S. Rocco, after the works described above, he painted a
picture of Christ with the Cross on His shoulder, and about His neck a
cord that is drawn by a Hebrew; and that figure, which many have
believed to be by the hand of Giorgione, is now the object of the
greatest devotion in Venice, and has received in alms more crowns than
Tiziano and Giorgione ever gained in all their lives. Then he was
invited to Rome by Bembo, whom he had already portrayed, and who was
at that time Secretary to Pope Leo X, to the end that he might see
Rome, Raffaello da Urbino, and others; but Tiziano delayed that visit
so long from one day to another, that Leo died, and Raffaello in 1520,
and after all he never went. For the Church of S. Maria Maggiore he
painted a picture with S. John the Baptist in the Desert among some
rocks, an Angel that appears as if alive, and a little piece of
distant landscape with some trees upon the bank of a river, all full
of grace.

He made portraits from life of the Prince Grimani and Loredano, which
were held to be admirable; and not long afterwards of King Francis,
when he departed from Italy in order to return to France. And in the
year when Andrea Gritti was elected Doge, Tiziano painted his
portrait, which was a very rare thing, in a picture wherein are Our
Lady, S. Mark, and S. Andrew with the countenance of that Doge; which
picture, a most marvellous work, is in the Sala del Collegio. He has
also painted portraits, in addition to those of the Doges named above
(being obliged, as has been related, to do it), of others who have
been Doges in their time; Pietro Lando, Francesco Donato, Marcantonio
Trevisano, and Veniero. But by the two Doges and brothers Paoli[8] he
has been excused recently, because of his great age, from that
obligation. Before the sack of Rome there had gone to live in Venice
Pietro Aretino, a most famous poet of our times, and he became very
much the friend of Tiziano and Sansovino; which brought great honour
and advantage to Tiziano, for the reason that the poet made him known
wherever his pen reached, and especially to Princes of importance, as
will be told in the proper place.

         [Footnote 8: Priuli.]

[Illustration: CHARLES V

(_After the painting by =Tiziano=. Madrid: The Prado_)


Meanwhile, to return to Tiziano's works, he painted the altar-piece
for the altar of S. Piero Martire in the Church of SS. Giovanni e
Polo, depicting therein that holy martyr larger than life, in a forest
of very great trees, fallen to the ground and assailed by the fury of
a soldier, who has wounded him so grievously in the head, that as he
lies but half alive there is seen in his face the horror of death,
while in another friar who runs forward in flight may be perceived the
fear and terror of death. In the air are two nude Angels coming down
from a flash of Heaven's lightning, which gives light to the
landscape, which is most beautiful, and to the whole work besides,
which is the most finished, the most celebrated, the greatest, and the
best conceived and executed that Tiziano has as yet ever done in all
his life. This work being seen by Gritti, who was always very much the
friend of Tiziano, as also of Sansovino, he caused to be allotted to
him a great scene of the rout of Chiaradadda, in the Hall of the Great
Council. In it he painted a battle with soldiers in furious combat,
while a terrible rain falls from Heaven; which work, wholly taken from
life, is held to be the best of all the scenes that are in that Hall,
and the most beautiful. And in the same Palace, at the foot of a
staircase, he painted a Madonna in fresco. Having made not long
afterwards for a gentleman of the Contarini family a picture of a
very beautiful Christ, who is seated at table with Cleophas and Luke,
it appeared to that gentleman that the work was worthy to be in a
public place, as in truth it is. Wherefore having made a present of
it, like a true lover of his country and of the commonwealth, to the
Signoria, it was kept a long time in the apartments of the Doge; but
at the present day it is in a public place, where it may be seen by
everyone, in the Salotta d'Oro in front of the Hall of the Council of
Ten, over the door. About the same time, also, he painted for the
Scuola of S. Maria della Carità Our Lady ascending the steps of the
Temple, with heads of every kind portrayed from nature; and for the
Scuola of S. Fantino, likewise, a little altar-piece of S. Jerome in
Penitence, which was much extolled by the craftsmen, but was consumed
by fire two years ago together with the whole church.

It is said that in the year 1530, the Emperor Charles V being in
Bologna, Tiziano was invited to that city by Cardinal Ippolito de'
Medici, through the agency of Pietro Aretino. There he made a most
beautiful portrait of his Majesty in full armour, which so pleased
him, that he caused a thousand crowns to be given to Tiziano; but of
these he was obliged afterwards to give the half to the sculptor
Alfonso Lombardi, who had made a model to be reproduced in marble, as
was related in his Life.

Having returned to Venice, Tiziano found that a number of gentlemen,
who had taken Pordenone into their favour, praising much the works
executed by him on the ceiling of the Sala de' Pregai and elsewhere,
had caused a little altar-piece to be allotted to him in the Church of
S. Giovanni Elemosinario, to the end that he might paint it in
competition with Tiziano, who for the same place had painted a short
time before the said S. Giovanni Elemosinario in the habit of a
Bishop. But, for all the diligence that Pordenone devoted to that
altar-piece, he was not able to equal or even by a great measure to
approach to the work of Tiziano. Next, Tiziano executed a most
beautiful altar-picture of an Annunciation for the Church of S. Maria
degli Angeli at Murano, but he who had caused it to be painted not
being willing to spend five hundred crowns upon it, which Tiziano was
asking, by the advice of Messer Pietro Aretino he sent it as a gift to
the above-named Emperor Charles V, who, liking that work vastly, made
him a present of two thousand crowns; and where that picture was to
have been placed, there was set in its stead one by the hand of
Pordenone. Nor had any long time passed when Charles V, returning to
Bologna for a conference with Pope Clement, at the time when he came
with his army from Hungary, desired to be portrayed again by Tiziano.
Before departing from Bologna, Tiziano also painted a portrait of the
above-named Cardinal Ippolito de' Medici in Hungarian dress, and in a
smaller picture the same man in full armour; both which portraits are
now in the guardaroba of Duke Cosimo. At that same time he executed a
portrait of Alfonso Davalos, Marchese del Vasto, and one of the
above-named Pietro Aretino, who then contrived that he should become
the friend and servant of Federigo Gonzaga, Duke of Mantua, with whom
Tiziano went to his States and there painted a portrait of him, which
is a living likeness, and then one of the Cardinal, his brother. These
finished, he painted, for the adornment of a room among those of
Giulio Romano, twelve figures from the waist upwards of the twelve
Cæsars, very beautiful, beneath each of which the said Giulio
afterwards painted a story from their lives.


(_Florence: Pitti, 92. Canvas_)]

In Cadore, his native place, Tiziano has painted an altar-picture
wherein are Our Lady, S. Tiziano the Bishop, and a portrait of himself
kneeling. In the year when Pope Paul III went to Bologna, and from
there to Ferrara, Tiziano, having gone to the Court, made a portrait
of that Pope, which was a very beautiful work, and from it another for
Cardinal S. Fiore; and both these portraits, for which he was very
well paid by the Pope, are in Rome, one in the guardaroba of Cardinal
Farnese, and the other in the possession of the heirs of the
above-named Cardinal S. Fiore, and from them have been taken many
copies, which are dispersed throughout Italy. At this same time, also,
he made a portrait of Francesco Maria, Duke of Urbino, which was a
marvellous work; wherefore M. Pietro Aretino on this account
celebrated him in a sonnet that began:

  Se il chiaro Apelle con la man dell'arte
        Rassembrò d'Alessandro il volto e il petto.

There are in the guardaroba of the same Duke, by the hand of Tiziano,
two most lovely heads of women, and a young recumbent Venus with
flowers and certain light draperies about her, very beautiful and well
finished; and, in addition, a figure of S. Mary Magdalene with the
hair all loose, which is a rare work. There, likewise, are the
portraits of Charles V, King Francis as a young man, Duke Guidobaldo
II, Pope Sixtus IV, Pope Julius II, Paul III, the old Cardinal of
Lorraine, and Suleiman Emperor of the Turks; which portraits, I say,
are by the hand of Tiziano, and most beautiful. In the same
guardaroba, besides many other things, is a portrait of Hannibal the
Carthaginian, cut in intaglio in an antique cornelian, and also a very
beautiful head in marble by the hand of Donato.

[Illustration: POPE PAUL III

(_After the painting by =Tiziano=. Naples: Museo Nazionale_)


In the year 1541 Tiziano painted for the Friars of S. Spirito, in
Venice, the altar-piece of their high-altar, figuring in it the
Descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles, with a God depicted as
of fire, and the Spirit as a Dove; which altar-piece becoming spoiled
in no long time, after having many disputes with those friars he had
to paint it again, and it is that which is over the altar at the
present day. For the Church of S. Nazzaro in Brescia he executed the
altar-piece of the high-altar in five pictures; in the central picture
is Jesus Christ returning to life, with some soldiers around, and at
the sides are S. Nazzaro, S. Sebastian, the Angel Gabriel, and the
Virgin receiving the Annunciation. In a picture for the wall at the
entrance of the Duomo of Verona, he painted an Assumption of Our Lady
into Heaven, with the Apostles on the ground, which is held to be the
best of the modern works in that city. In the year 1541 he made the
portrait of Don Diego di Mendoza, at that time Ambassador of Charles V
in Venice, a whole-length figure and standing, which was very
beautiful; and from this Tiziano began what has since come into
fashion, the making of certain portraits of full length. In the same
manner he painted that of the Cardinal of Trento, then a young man,
and for Francesco Marcolini the portrait of Messer Pietro Aretino, but
this last was by no means as beautiful as one of that poet, likewise
by the hand of Tiziano, which Aretino himself sent as a present to
Duke Cosimo de' Medici, to whom he sent also the head of Signor
Giovanni de' Medici, the father of the said Lord Duke. That head was
copied from a cast taken from the face of that lord when he died at
Mantua, which was in the possession of Aretino; and both these
portraits are in the guardaroba of the same Lord Duke, among many
other most noble pictures.

The same year, Vasari having been thirteen months in Venice to
execute, as has been related, a ceiling for Messer Giovanni Cornaro,
and some works for the Company of the Calza, Sansovino, who was
directing the fabric of S. Spirito, had commissioned him to make
designs for three large pictures in oils which were to go into the
ceiling, to the end that he might execute them in painting; but,
Vasari having afterwards departed, those three pictures were allotted
to Tiziano, who executed them most beautifully, from his having
contrived with great art to make the figures foreshortened from below
upwards. In one is Abraham sacrificing Isaac, in another David
severing the neck of Goliath, and in the third Abel slain by his
brother Cain. About the same time Tiziano painted a portrait of
himself, in order to leave that memory of himself to his children.

[Illustration: DANAË

(_After the painting by =Tiziano=. Naples: Museo Nazionale_)


The year 1546 having come, he went at the invitation of Cardinal
Farnese to Rome, where he found Vasari, who, having returned from
Naples, was executing the Hall of the Cancelleria for the above-named
Cardinal; whereupon, Tiziano having been recommended by that lord to
Vasari, Giorgio kept him company lovingly in taking him about to see
the sights of Rome. And then, after Tiziano had rested for some days,
rooms were given to him in the Belvedere, to the end that he might set
his hand to painting once more the portrait of Pope Paul, of full
length, with one of Farnese and one of Duke Ottavio, which he executed
excellently well and much to the satisfaction of those lords. At their
persuasion he painted, for presenting to the Pope, a picture of Christ
from the waist upwards in the form of an "Ecce Homo," which work,
whether it was that the works of Michelagnolo, Raffaello, Polidoro,
and others had made him lose some force, or for some other reason, did
not appear to the painters, although it was a good picture, to be of
the same excellence as many others by his hand, and particularly his
portraits. Michelagnolo and Vasari, going one day to visit Tiziano
in the Belvedere, saw in a picture that he had executed at that time
a nude woman representing Danaë, who had in her lap Jove transformed
into a rain of gold; and they praised it much, as one does in the
painter's presence. After they had left him, discoursing of Tiziano's
method, Buonarroti commended it not a little, saying that his
colouring and his manner much pleased him, but that it was a pity that
in Venice men did not learn to draw well from the beginning, and that
those painters did not pursue a better method in their studies. "For,"
he said, "if this man had been in any way assisted by art and design,
as he is by nature, and above all in counterfeiting the life, no one
could do more or work better, for he has a fine spirit and a very
beautiful and lively manner." And in fact this is true, for the reason
that he who has not drawn much nor studied the choicest ancient and
modern works, cannot work well from memory by himself or improve the
things that he copies from life, giving them the grace and perfection
wherein art goes beyond the scope of nature, which generally produces
some parts that are not beautiful.

Tiziano, finally departing from Rome, with many gifts received from
those lords, and in particular a benefice of good value for his son
Pomponio, set himself on the road to return to Venice, after Orazio,
his other son, had made a portrait of Messer Battista Ceciliano, an
excellent player on the bass-viol, which was a very good work, and he
himself had executed some other portraits for Duke Guidobaldo of
Urbino. Arriving in Florence, and seeing the rare works of that city,
he was amazed by them no less than he had been by those of Rome. And
besides that, he visited Duke Cosimo, who was at Poggio a Caiano,
offering to paint his portrait; to which his Excellency did not give
much heed, perchance in order not to do a wrong to the many noble
craftsmen of his city and dominion.

Then, having arrived in Venice, Tiziano finished for the Marchese del
Vasto an Allocution (for so they called it) made by that lord to his
soldiers; and after that he took the portrait of Charles V, that of
the Catholic King, and many others. These works finished, he painted a
little altar-piece of the Annunciation for the Church of S. Maria
Nuova in Venice; and then, employing the assistance of his young men,
he executed a Last Supper in the refectory of SS. Giovanni e Polo,
and for the high-altar of the Church of S. Salvadore an altar-piece in
which is a Christ Transfigured on Mount Tabor, and for another altar
in the same church a Madonna receiving the Annunciation from the
Angel. But these last works, although there is something of the good
to be seen in them, are not much esteemed by him, and have not the
perfection that his other pictures have. And since the works of
Tiziano are without number, and particularly the portraits, it is
almost impossible to make mention of them all; wherefore I shall speak
only of the most remarkable, but without order of time, it being of
little import to know which was first and which later. Several times,
as has been related, he painted the portrait of Charles V, and in the
end he was summoned for that purpose to the Court, where he portrayed
him as he was in those his later years; and the work of Tiziano so
pleased that all-conquering Emperor, that after he had once seen it he
would not be portrayed by other painters. Each time that he painted
him, he received a thousand crowns of gold as a present, and he was
made by his Majesty a Chevalier, with a revenue of two hundred crowns
on the Chamber of Naples. In like manner, when he portrayed Philip,
King of Spain, the son of Charles, he received from him a fixed
allowance of two hundred crowns more; insomuch that, adding those four
hundred to the three hundred that he has on the Fondaco de' Tedeschi
from the Signori of Venice, he has without exerting himself a fixed
income of seven hundred crowns every year. Of the same Charles V and
King Philip Tiziano sent portraits to the Lord Duke Cosimo, who has
them in his guardaroba. He portrayed Ferdinand, King of the Romans,
who afterwards became Emperor, and both his sons, Maximilian, now
Emperor, and his brother. He also portrayed Queen Maria, and, for the
Emperor Charles V, the Duke of Saxony when he was a prisoner. But what
a waste of time is this? There has been scarce a single lord of great
name, or Prince, or great lady, who has not been portrayed by Tiziano,
a painter of truly extraordinary excellence in this field of art. He
painted portraits of King Francis I of France, as has been related,
Francesco Sforza, Duke of Milan, the Marquis of Pescara, Antonio da
Leva, Massimiano Stampa, Signor Giovan Battista Castaldo, and other
lords without number.


(_After the painting by =Tiziano=. London: Hertford House_)


In like manner, besides the works mentioned above, at various times
he has executed many others. In Venice, by order of Charles V, he
painted in a great altar-piece the Triune God enthroned, Our Lady and
the Infant Christ, with the Dove over Him, and the ground all of fire,
signifying Love; and the Father is surrounded by fiery Cherubim. On
one side is the same Charles V, and on the other the Empress, both
clothed in linen garments, with the hands clasped in the attitude of
prayer, among many Saints; all which was after the command of the
Emperor, who, at that time at the height of his victories, began to
show that he was minded to retire from the things of this world, as he
afterwards did, in order to die like a true Christian, fearing God and
desirous of his own salvation. Which picture the Emperor said to
Tiziano that he wished to place in the monastery wherein afterwards he
finished the course of his life; and since it is a very rare work, it
is expected that it may soon be published in engravings. The same
Tiziano executed for Queen Maria a Prometheus who is bound to Mount
Caucasus and torn by Jove's Eagle, a Sisyphus in Hell who is toiling
under his stone, and Tityus devoured by the Vulture. These her Majesty
received, excepting the Prometheus, and with them a Tantalus of the
same size (namely, that of life), on canvas and in oils. He executed,
also, a Venus and Adonis that are marvellous, she having swooned, and
the boy in the act of rising to leave her, with some dogs about him
that are very natural. On a panel of the same size he represented
Andromeda bound to the rock, and Perseus delivering her from the
Sea-Monster, than which picture none could be more lovely; as is also
another of Diana, who, bathing in a fount with her Nymphs, transforms
Actæon into a stag. He also painted Europa passing over the sea on the
back of the Bull. All these pictures are in the possession of the
Catholic King, held very dear for the vivacity that Tiziano has given
to the figures with his colours, making them natural and as if alive.

[Illustration: PHILIP II

(_After the painting by =Tiziano=. Naples: Museo Nazionale_)


It is true, however, that the method of work which he employed in
these last pictures is no little different from the method of his
youth, for the reason that the early works are executed with a certain
delicacy and a diligence that are incredible, and they can be seen
both from near and from a distance, and these last works are executed
with bold strokes and dashed off with a broad and even coarse sweep of
the brush, insomuch that from near little can be seen, but from a
distance they appear perfect. This method has been the reason that
many, wishing to imitate him therein and to play the practised master,
have painted clumsy pictures; and this happens because, although many
believe that they are done without effort, in truth it is not so, and
they deceive themselves, for it is known that they are painted over
and over again, and that he returned to them with his colours so many
times, that the labour may be perceived. And this method, so used, is
judicious, beautiful, and astonishing, because it makes pictures
appear alive and painted with great art, but conceals the labour.

[Illustration: MARY MAGDALENE

(_After the painting by =Tiziano=. Naples: Museo Nazionale_)


Tiziano painted recently in a picture three braccia high and four
braccia broad, Jesus Christ as an Infant in the lap of Our Lady and
adored by the Magi, with a good number of figures of one braccio each,
which is a very lovely work, as is also another picture that he
himself copied from that one and gave to the old Cardinal of Ferrara.
Another picture, in which he depicted Christ mocked by the Jews, which
is most beautiful, was placed in a chapel of the Church of S. Maria
delle Grazie, in Milan. For the Queen of Portugal he painted a picture
of a Christ scourged by Jews at the Column, a little less than the
size of life, which is very beautiful. For the high-altar of S.
Domenico, at Ancona, he painted an altar-piece with Christ on the
Cross, and at the foot Our Lady, S. John, and S. Dominic, all most
beautiful, and executed in his later manner with broad strokes, as has
just been described above. And by the same hand, in the Church of the
Crocicchieri at Venice, is the picture that is on the altar of S.
Lorenzo, wherein is the martyrdom of that Saint, with a building full
of figures, and S. Laurence lying half upon the gridiron, in
foreshortening, with a great fire beneath him, and about it some who
are kindling it. And since he counterfeited an effect of night, there
are two servants with torches in their hands, which throw light where
the glare of the fire below the gridiron does not reach, which is
piled high and very fierce. Besides this, he depicted a
lightning-flash, which, darting from Heaven and cleaving the clouds,
overcomes the light of the fire and that of the torches, shining
over the Saint and the other principal figures, and, in addition to
those three lights, the figures that he painted in the distance at the
windows of the building have the light of lamps and candles that are
near them; and all, in short, is executed with beautiful art,
judgment, and genius. In the Church of S. Sebastiano, on the altar of
S. Niccolò, there is by the hand of the same Tiziano a little
altar-piece of a S. Nicholas who appears as if alive, seated in a
chair painted in the likeness of stone, with an Angel that is holding
his mitre; which work he executed at the commission of Messer Niccolò
Crasso, the advocate. Tiziano afterwards painted, for sending to the
Catholic King, a figure of S. Mary Magdalene from the middle of the
thighs upwards, all dishevelled; that is, with the hair falling over
the shoulders, about the throat, and over the breast, the while that,
raising the head with the eyes fixed on Heaven, she reveals remorse in
the redness of the eyes, and in her tears repentance for her sins.
Wherefore the picture moves mightily all who behold it; and, what is
more, although she is very beautiful, it moves not to lust but to
compassion. This picture, when it was finished, so pleased ... Silvio,
a Venetian gentleman, that in order to have it, being one who takes
supreme delight in painting, he gave Tiziano a hundred crowns:
wherefore Tiziano was forced to paint another, which was not less
beautiful, for sending to the above-named Catholic King.

There are also to be seen portraits from life by Tiziano of a Venetian
citizen called Sinistri, who was much his friend, and of another named
M. Paolo da Ponte, for whom he likewise portrayed a daughter that he
had at that time, a most beautiful young woman called Signora Giulia
da Ponte, a dear friend of Tiziano; and in like manner Signora Irene,
a very lovely maiden, skilled in letters and music and a student of
design, who, dying about seven years ago, was celebrated by the pens
of almost all the writers of Italy. He portrayed M. Francesco Filetto,
an orator of happy memory, and in the same picture, before him, his
son, who seems as if alive; which portrait is in the house of Messer
Matteo Giustiniani, a lover of these arts, who has also had a picture
painted for himself by the painter Jacopo da Bassano, which is very
beautiful, as also are many other works by that Bassano which are
dispersed throughout Venice, and held in great price, particularly
his little works and animals of every kind. Tiziano portrayed Bembo
another time (namely, after he became a Cardinal), Fracastoro, and
Cardinal Accolti of Ravenna, which last portrait Duke Cosimo has in
his guardaroba; and our Danese, the sculptor, has in his house at
Venice a portrait by the hand of Tiziano of a gentleman of the Delfini
family. There may be seen portraits by the same hand of M. Niccolò
Zono, of Rossa, wife of the Grand Turk, at the age of sixteen, and of
Cameria, her daughter, with most beautiful dresses and adornments. In
the house of M. Francesco Sonica, an advocate and a gossip of Tiziano,
is a portrait by his hand of that M. Francesco, and in a large picture
Our Lady flying to Egypt, who is seen to have dismounted from the ass
and to have seated herself upon a stone on the road, with S. Joseph
beside her, and a little S. John who is offering to the Infant Christ
some flowers picked by the hand of an Angel from the branches of a
tree that is in the middle of a wood full of animals, where in the
distance the ass stands grazing. That picture, which is full of grace,
the said gentleman has placed at the present day in a palace that he
has built for himself at Padua, near S. Giustina. In the house of a
gentleman of the Pisani family, near S. Marco, there is by the hand of
Tiziano the portrait of a gentlewoman, which is a marvellous thing.
And having made for Monsignor Giovanni della Casa, the Florentine, who
has been illustrious in our times both for nobility of blood and as a
man of letters, a very beautiful portrait of a gentlewoman whom that
lord loved while he was in Venice, Tiziano was rewarded by being
honoured by him with the lovely sonnet that begins--

  Ben vegg'io, Tiziano, in forme nuove
        L'idolo mio, che i begli occhi apre e gira (with what follows).

Finally, this excellent painter sent to the above-named Catholic King
a Last Supper of Christ with the Apostles, in a picture seven braccia
long, which was a work of extraordinary beauty.


(_Rome: Borghese Gallery. Canvas_)]

In addition to the works described and many others of less merit
executed by this man, which are omitted for the sake of brevity, he
has in his house, sketched in and begun, the following: the Martyrdom
of S. Laurence, similar to that described above, and destined by him
for sending to the Catholic King; a great canvas wherein is Christ
on the Cross, with the Thieves, and at the foot the ministers of the
crucifixion, which he is painting for Messer Giovanni d'Anna; and a
picture which was begun for the Doge Grimani, father of the Patriarch
of Aquileia. And for the Hall of the Great Palace of Brescia he has
made a beginning with three large pictures that are to go in the
ornamentation of the ceiling, as has been related in speaking of
Cristofano and his brother, painters of Brescia. He also began, many
years ago, for Alfonso I, Duke of Ferrara, a picture of a nude young
woman bowing before Minerva, with another figure at the side, and a
sea in the centre of which, in the distance, is Neptune in his car;
but through the death of that lord, after whose fancy the work was
being executed, it was not finished, and remained with Tiziano. He has
also carried well forward, but not finished, a picture wherein is
Christ appearing to Mary Magdalene in the Garden in the form of a
gardener, with figures the size of life; another, also, of equal size,
in which the Madonna and the other Maries being present, the Dead
Christ is laid in the Sepulchre; likewise a picture of Our Lady, which
is one of the best things that are in that house, and, as has been
told, a portrait of himself that was finished by him four years ago,
very beautiful and natural, and finally a S. Paul who is reading, a
half-length figure, which has all the appearance of the real Saint
filled with the Holy Spirit.

[Illustration: THE ENTOMBMENT

(_After the painting by =Tiziano=. Madrid: The Prado_)


All these works, I say, he has executed, with many others that I omit
in order not to be wearisome, up to his present age of about
seventy-six years. Tiziano has been very sound in health, and as
fortunate as any man of his kind has ever been; and he has not
received from Heaven anything save favours and blessings. In his house
at Venice have been all the Princes, men of letters and persons of
distinction who have gone to that city or lived there in his time,
because, in addition to his excellence in art, he has shown great
gentleness, beautiful breeding, and most courteous ways and manners.
He has had in Venice some competitors, but not of much worth, so that
he has surpassed them easily with the excellence of his art and with
his power of attaching himself and making himself dear to the men of
quality. He has earned much, for he has been very well paid for his
works; but it would have been well for him in these his last years not
to work save as a pastime, so as not to diminish with works of less
excellence the reputation gained in his best years, when his natural
powers were not declining and drawing towards imperfection. When
Vasari, the writer of this history, was at Venice in the year 1566, he
went to visit Tiziano, as one who was much his friend, and found him
at his painting with brushes in his hand, although he was very old;
and he had much pleasure in seeing him and discoursing with him. He
made known to Vasari Messer Gian Maria Verdezotti, a young Venetian
gentleman full of talent, a friend of Tiziano and passing able in
drawing and painting, as he showed in some landscapes of great beauty
drawn by him. This man has by the hand of Tiziano, whom he loves and
cherishes as a father, two figures painted in oils within two niches,
an Apollo and a Diana.

Tiziano, then, having adorned with excellent pictures the city of
Venice, nay, all Italy and other parts of the world, deserves to be
loved and revered by the craftsmen, and in many things to be admired
and imitated, as one who has executed and is still executing works
worthy of infinite praise, which shall endure as long as the memory of
illustrious men may live.


(_Milan: Brera, 105. Canvas_)]

Now, although many have been with Tiziano in order to learn, yet the
number of those who can truly be called his disciples is not great,
for the reason that he has not taught much, and each pupil has gained
more or less knowledge according as he has been able to acquire it
from the works executed by Tiziano. There has been with him, among
others, one Giovanni, a Fleming, who has been a much-extolled master
in figures both small and large, and in portraits marvellous, as may
be seen in Naples, where he lived some time, and finally died. By his
hand--and this must do him honour for all time--were the designs of
the anatomical studies that the most excellent Andrea Vessalio caused
to be engraved and published with his work. But he who has imitated
Tiziano more than any other is Paris Bordone, who, born in Treviso
from a father of Treviso and a Venetian mother, was taken at the age
of eight to the house of some relatives in Venice. There, having
learned his grammar and become an excellent musician, he went to be
with Tiziano, but he did not spend many years with him, for he
perceived that man to be not very ready to teach his young men,
although besought by them most earnestly and invited by their patience
to do his duty by them; and he resolved to leave him. He was much
grieved that Giorgione should have died in those days, whose manner
pleased him vastly, and even more his reputation for having taught
well and willingly, and with lovingness, all that he knew; but, since
there was nothing else to be done, Paris resolved in his mind that he
would follow the manner of Giorgione. And so, setting himself to
labour and to counterfeit the work of that master, he became such that
he acquired very good credit; wherefore at the age of eighteen there
was allotted to him an altar-piece that was to be painted for the
Church of S. Niccolò, of the Friars Minors. Which having heard,
Tiziano so went to work with various means and favours that he took it
out of his hands, either to prevent him from being able to display his
ability so soon, or perhaps drawn by his desire of gain.

Afterwards Paris was summoned to Vicenza, to paint a scene in fresco
in the Loggia of the Piazza where justice is administered, beside that
of the Judgment of Solomon which Tiziano had previously executed; and
he went very willingly, and painted there a story of Noah with his
sons, which was held to be a work passing good in diligence and in
design, and not less beautiful than that of Tiziano, insomuch that by
those who know not the truth they are considered to be both by the
same hand. Having returned to Venice, Paris executed some nudes in
fresco at the foot of the bridge of the Rialto; by reason of which
essay he was commissioned to paint some façades of houses in Venice.
Being then summoned to Treviso, he painted there likewise some façades
and other works, and in particular many portraits, which gave much
satisfaction; that of the Magnificent M. Alberto Unigo, that of M.
Marco Seravalle, and of M. Francesco da Quer, of the Canon Rovere, and
of Monsignor Alberti. For the Duomo of that city, in an altar-piece in
the centre of the church, at the instance of the reverend Vicar, he
painted the Nativity of Jesus Christ, and then a Resurrection. For S.
Francesco he executed another altar-piece at the request of the
Chevalier Rovere, another for S. Girolamo, and one for Ognissanti,
with different heads of Saints both male and female, all beautiful and
varied in the attitudes and in the vestments. He executed another
altar-piece for S. Lorenzo, and in S. Polo he painted three chapels,
in the largest of which he depicted Christ rising from the dead, the
size of life, and accompanied by a great multitude of Angels; in the
second some Saints with many Angels about them, and in the third Jesus
Christ upon a cloud, with Our Lady, who is presenting to Him S.
Dominic. All these works have made him known as an able man and a
lover of his city.

In Venice, where he has dwelt almost always, he has executed many
works at various times. But the most beautiful, the most remarkable
and the most worthy of praise that Paris ever painted, was a scene in
the Scuola of S. Marco, at SS. Giovanni e Polo, wherein is the story
of the fisherman presenting to the Signoria of Venice the ring of S.
Mark, with a very beautiful building in perspective, about which is
seated the Senate with the Doge; among which Senators are many
portraits from nature, lifelike and well painted beyond belief. The
beauty of this work, executed so well and coloured in fresco, was the
reason that he began to be employed by many gentlemen. Thus in the
great house of the Foscari, near S. Barnaba, he executed many
paintings and pictures, and among them a Christ who, having descended
to the Limbo of Hell, is delivering the Holy Fathers; which is held to
be a work out of the ordinary. For the Church of S. Giobbe in Canal
Reio he painted a most beautiful altar-piece, and for S. Giovanni in
Bragola another, and the same for S. Maria della Celeste and for S.


(_After the painting by =Paris Bordone=. Venice: Accademia_)


But, knowing that he who wishes to be employed in Venice is obliged to
endure too much servitude in paying court to one man or another, Paris
resolved, as a man of quiet nature and far removed from certain
methods of procedure, whenever an occasion might present itself, to go
abroad to execute such works as Fortune might set before him, without
having to go about begging. Wherefore, having made his way with a good
opportunity into France in the year 1538, to serve King Francis, he
executed for him many portraits of ladies and other pictures with
various paintings; and at the same time he painted for Monseigneur de
Guise a most beautiful church-picture, and a chamber-picture of
Venus and Cupid. For the Cardinal of Lorraine he painted a Christ
in an "Ecce Homo," a Jove with Io, and many other works. He sent to
the King of Poland a picture wherein was Jove with a Nymph, which was
held to be a very beautiful thing. And to Flanders he sent two other
most beautiful pictures, a S. Mary Magdalene in the Desert accompanied
by some Angels, and a Diana who is bathing with her Nymphs in a fount;
which two pictures the Milanese Candiano caused him to paint, the
physician of Queen Maria, as presents for her Highness. At Augsburg,
in the Palace of the Fugger family, he executed many works of the
greatest importance, to the value of three thousand crowns. And in the
same city he painted for the Prineri, great men in that place, a large
picture wherein he counterfeited in perspective all the five Orders of
architecture, which was a very beautiful work; and another
chamber-picture, which is in the possession of the Cardinal of
Augsburg. At Crema he has executed two altar-pieces for S. Agostino,
in one of which is portrayed Signor Giulio Manfrone, representing a S.
George, in full armour. The same master has painted many works at
Civitale di Belluno, which are extolled, and in particular an
altar-piece in S. Maria and another in S. Giosef, which are very
beautiful. He sent to Signor Ottaviano Grimaldo a portrait of him the
size of life and most beautiful, and with it another picture, equal in
size, of a very lustful woman. Having then gone to Milan, Paris
painted for the Church of S. Celso an altar-piece with some figures in
the air, and beneath them a very beautiful landscape, at the instance,
so it is said, of Signor Carlo da Roma; and for the palace of the same
lord two large pictures in oils, in one Venus and Mars under Vulcan's
net, and in the other King David seeing Bathsheba being bathed by her
serving-women in the fount; and also the portrait of that lord and
that of Signora Paola Visconti, his consort, and some pieces of
landscape not very large, but most beautiful. At this same time he
painted many of Ovid's Fables for the Marchese d'Astorga, who took
them with him to Spain; and for Signor Tommaso Marini, likewise, he
painted many things of which there is no need to make mention.

[Illustration: PORTRAIT OF A LADY

(_After the painting by =Paris Bordone=. London: National Gallery, No.


And this much it must suffice to have said of Paris, who, being
seventy-five years of age, lives quietly at home with his comforts,
and works for pleasure at the request of certain Princes and others
his friends, avoiding rivalries and certain vain ambitions, lest he
should suffer some hurt and have his supreme tranquillity and peace
disturbed by those who walk not, as he says, in truth, but by dubious
ways, malignantly and without charity; whereas he is accustomed to
live simply and by a certain natural goodness, and knows nothing of
subtleties or astuteness in his life. He has executed recently a most
beautiful picture for the Duchess of Savoy, of a Venus and Cupid that
are sleeping, guarded by a servant; all executed so well, that it is
not possible to praise them enough.


(_After the mosaic by =Zuccati=. Venice: S. Marco_)


But here I must not omit to say that a kind of painting which is
almost discontinued in every other place, namely, mosaic, is kept
alive by the most Serene Senate of Venice. Of this the benign and as
it were the principal reason has been Tiziano, who, so far as it has
lain in him, has always taken pains that it should be practised in
Venice, and has caused honourable salaries to be given to those who
have worked at it. Wherefore various works have been executed in the
Church of S. Marco, all the old works have been almost renewed, and
this sort of painting has been carried to such a height of excellence
as is possible, and to a different condition from that in which it was
in Florence and Rome at the time of Giotto, Alesso Baldovinetti, the
Ghirlandajo family, and the miniaturist Gherardo. And all that has
been done in Venice has come from the design of Tiziano and other
excellent painters, who have made drawings and coloured cartoons to
the end that the works might be carried to such perfection as may be
seen in those of the portico of S. Marco, where in a very beautiful
niche there is a Judgment of Solomon so lovely, that in truth it would
not be possible to do more with colours. In the same place is the
genealogical tree of Our Lady by the hand of Lodovico Rosso, all full
of Sibyls and Prophets executed in a delicate manner and put together
very well, with a relief that is passing good. But none have worked
better in this art in our times than Valerio and Vincenzio Zuccheri[9]
of Treviso, by whose hands are stories many and various that may be
seen in S. Marco, and in particular that of the Apocalypse, wherein
around the Throne of God are the Four Evangelists in the form of
animals, the Seven Candlesticks, and many other things executed so
well, that, looking at them from below, they appear as if done in
oil-colours with the brush; besides that there may be seen in their
hands and about them little pictures full of figures executed with the
greatest diligence, insomuch that they have the appearance not of
paintings only, but of miniatures, and yet they are made of stones
joined together. There are also many portraits; the Emperor Charles V,
Ferdinand his brother, who succeeded him in the Empire, and
Maximilian, son of Ferdinand and now Emperor; likewise the head of the
most illustrious Cardinal Bembo, the glory of our age, and that of the
Magnificent ...; all executed with such diligence and unity, and so
well harmonized in the lights, flesh-colours, tints, shadows, and
every other thing, that there is nothing better to be seen, nor any
more beautiful work in a similar material. And it is in truth a great
pity that this most excellent art of working in mosaic, with its
beauty and everlasting life, is not more in use than it is, and that,
by the fault of the Princes who have the power, no attention is given
to it.

         [Footnote 9: Zuccati.]

In addition to those named above, there has worked in mosaic at S.
Marco, in competition with the Zuccheri, one Bartolommeo Bozzato, who
also has acquitted himself in his works in such a manner as to deserve
undying praise. But that which has been of the greatest assistance to
all in this art, is the presence and advice of Tiziano; of whom,
besides the men already named and many more, another disciple, helping
him in many works, has been one Girolamo, whom I know by no other name
than Girolamo di Tiziano.




         [Footnote 10: After the death of Jacopo Sansovino in 1570,
         Vasari published a separate Life of him, containing an
         account of his death and other additional information. Such
         passages as contain information that is new or expressed
         differently from that of the Edition of 1568 will be found in
         the notes at the end of this Life.]

The while that Andrea Contucci, the sculptor of Monte Sansovino,
having already acquired in Italy and Spain the name of the most
excellent sculptor and architect that there was in art after
Buonarroti, was living in Florence in order to execute the two figures
of marble that were to be placed over that door of the Temple of S.
Giovanni which faces towards the Misericordia, a young man was
entrusted to him to be taught the art of sculpture, the son of Antonio
di Jacopo Tatti, whom Nature had endowed with a great genius, so that
he gave much grace to the things that he did in relief. Whereupon
Andrea, having recognized how excellent in sculpture the young man was
destined to become, did not fail to teach him with all possible care
all those things which might make him known as his disciple. And so,
loving him very dearly, and doing his best for him with much
affection, and being loved by the young man with equal tenderness,
people judged that the pupil would not only become as excellent as his
master, but would by a great measure surpass him. And such were the
reciprocal friendliness and love between these two, as it were between
father and son, that Jacopo in those early years began to be called no
longer Tatti, but Sansovino, and so he has always been, and always
will be.

Now, Jacopo beginning to exercise his hand, he was so assisted by
Nature in the things that he did, that, although at times he did not
use much study and diligence in his work, nevertheless in what he did
there could be seen facility, sweetness, grace, and a certain delicacy
very pleasing to the eyes of craftsmen, insomuch that his every
sketch, rough study, and model has always had a movement and a
boldness that Nature is wont to give to but few sculptors. Moreover,
the friendship and intercourse that Andrea del Sarto and Jacopo
Sansovino had with each other in their childhood, and then in their
youth, assisted not a little both the one and the other, for they
followed the same manner in design and had the same grace in
execution, one in painting and the other in sculpture, and, conferring
together on the problems of art, and Jacopo making models of figures
for Andrea, they gave one another very great assistance. And that this
is true a proof is that in the altar-piece of S. Francesco, belonging
to the Nuns of the Via Pentolini, there is a S. John the Evangelist
which was copied from a most beautiful model in clay that Sansovino
made in those days in competition with Baccio da Montelupo; for the
Guild of Por Santa Maria wished to have a bronze statue of four
braccia made for a niche at the corner of Orsanmichele, opposite to
the Wool-Shearers, for which Jacopo made a more beautiful model in
clay than Baccio, but nevertheless it was allotted to Montelupo, from
his being an older master, rather than to Sansovino, although his
work, young as he was, was the better. That model, which is a very
beautiful thing, is now in the possession of the heirs of Nanni
Unghero; for which Nanni, being then his friend, Sansovino made some
models of large boys in clay, and the model for a figure of S.
Nicholas of Tolentino, which were all executed of the size of life in
wood, with the assistance of Sansovino, and placed in the Chapel of
that Saint in the Church of S. Spirito.

Becoming known for these reasons to all the craftsmen of Florence, and
being considered a young man of fine parts and excellent character,
Jacopo was invited by Giuliano da San Gallo, architect to Pope Julius
II, to Rome, vastly to his satisfaction; and then, taking
extraordinary pleasure in the ancient statues that are in the
Belvedere, he set himself to draw them. Whereupon Bramante, who was
likewise architect to Pope Julius, holding the first place at that
time and dwelling in the Belvedere, having seen some drawings by this
young man, and a nude recumbent figure of clay in full-relief, holding
a vessel to contain ink, which he had made, liked them so much that he
took him under his protection and ordered him that he should make a
large copy in wax of the Laocoon, which he was having copied also by
others, in order to take a cast in bronze--namely, by Zaccheria Zacchi
of Volterra, the Spaniard Alonzo Berughetta, and Vecchio of Bologna.
These, when all were finished, Bramante caused to be seen by Raffaello
Sanzio of Urbino, in order to learn which of the four had acquitted
himself best; whereupon it was judged by Raffaello that Sansovino,
young as he was, had surpassed the others by a great measure. Then, by
the advice of Cardinal Domenico Grimani, orders were given to Bramante
that he should have Jacopo's copy cast in bronze; and so the mould was
made, and the work, being cast in metal, came out very well. And
afterwards, having been polished, it was given to the Cardinal, who
held it as long as he lived not less dear than if it had been the
antique; and when he came to die, he left it as a very rare thing to
the most Serene Signoria of Venice, which, after having kept it many
years in the press of the Hall of the Council of Ten, finally in the
year 1534 presented it to the Cardinal of Lorraine, who took it to

[Illustration: S. JAMES

(_After =Jacopo Sansovino=. Florence: Duomo_)


While Sansovino was acquiring greater fame every day in Rome with his
studies in art, being held in much consideration, Giuliano da San
Gallo, who had been keeping him in his house in the Borgo Vecchio,
fell ill; and when he departed from Rome in a litter, in order to go
to Florence for a change of air, a room was found for Jacopo by
Bramante, likewise in the Borgo Vecchio, in the Palace of Domenico
della Rovere, Cardinal of San Clemente, where Pietro Perugino was also
dwelling, who at that time was painting for Pope Julius the vaulting
of the chamber in the Borgia Tower. Whereupon Pietro, having seen the
beautiful manner of Sansovino, caused him to make many models in wax
for himself, and among them a Christ taken down from the Cross in the
round, with many ladders and figures, which was a very beautiful
thing. This and other things of the same sort, and models of various
fantasies, were all collected afterwards by M. Giovanni Gaddi, and
they are now in his house on the Piazza di Madonna in Florence. And
these works were the reason that Sansovino became very intimately
associated with Maestro Luca Signorelli, the painter of Cortona, with
Bramantino da Milano, with Bernardino Pinturicchio, with Cesare
Cesariano, who was in repute at that time for his commentaries on
Vitruvius, and with many other famous and beautiful intellects of that
age. Bramante, then, desiring that Sansovino should become known to
Pope Julius, arranged to have some antiques restored by him; whereupon
Jacopo, setting to work, displayed such diligence and so much grace in
restoring them, that the Pope and all who saw them judged that nothing
better could be done. These praises so spurred Sansovino to surpass
himself, that, having given himself beyond measure to his studies, and
being, also, somewhat delicate in constitution and suffering from some
excess such as young men commit, he became so ill that he was forced
for the sake of his life to return to Florence, where, profiting by
his native air, by the advantage of his youth, and by the diligence
and care of the physicians, in a short time he completely recovered.
Now Messer Piero Pitti was arranging at that time to have a Madonna of
marble made for that façade of the Mercato Nuovo in Florence where the
clock is, and it appeared to him, since there were in Florence many
young men of ability and also old masters, that the work should be
given to that one among them who might make the best model. Whereupon
one was given to Baccio da Montelupo to execute, one to Zaccheria
Zacchi of Volterra, who had likewise returned to Florence the same
year, another to Baccio Bandinelli, and yet another to Sansovino; and
when these were placed in comparison, the honour and the work were
given by Lorenzo di Credi, an excellent painter and a person of
judgment and probity, and likewise by the other judges, craftsmen, and
connoisseurs, to Sansovino. But, although the work was therefore
allotted to him, nevertheless so much delay was caused in procuring
and conveying the marble for him, by the envious machinations of
Averardo da Filicaia, who greatly favoured Bandinelli and hated
Sansovino, that he was ordered by certain other citizens, having
perceived that delay, to make one of the large Apostles in marble
that were going into the Church of S. Maria del Fiore. Wherefore,
having made the model of a S. James (which model, when the work was
finished, came into the possession of Messer Bindo Altoviti), he began
that figure and, continuing to work at it with all diligence and
study, he carried it to completion so perfectly, that it is a
miraculous figure and shows in all its parts that it was wrought with
incredible study and care, the draperies, arms, and hands being
undercut and executed with such art and such grace, that there is
nothing better in marble to be seen. Thus, Sansovino showed in what
way undercut draperies should be executed, having made these so
delicate and so natural, that in some places he reduced the marble to
the thickness that is seen in real folds and in the edges and hems of
the borders of draperies; a difficult method, and one demanding much
time and patience if you wish that it should so succeed as to display
the perfection of art. That figure remained in the Office of Works
from the time when it was finished by Sansovino until the year 1565,
at which time, in the month of December, it was placed in the Church
of S. Maria del Fiore to do honour to the coming of Queen Joanna of
Austria, the wife of Don Francesco de' Medici, Prince of Florence and
Siena. And there it is kept as a very rare work, together with the
other Apostles, likewise in marble, executed in competition by other
craftsmen, as has been related in their Lives.

[Illustration: BACCHUS

(_After =Jacopo Sansovino=. Florence: Museo Nazionale_)


At this same time he made for Messer Giovanni Gaddi a Venus of marble
on a shell, of great beauty, as was also the model, which was in the
house of Messer Francesco Montevarchi, a friend of these arts, but
came to an evil end in the inundation of the River Arno in the year
1558. He also made a boy of tow and a swan as beautiful as could be,
of marble, for the same M. Giovanni Gaddi, together with many other
things, which are all in his house. For Messer Bindo Altoviti he had a
chimney-piece of great cost made, all in grey-stone carved by
Benedetto da Rovezzano, which was placed in his house in Florence, and
Messer Bindo caused Sansovino to make a scene with little figures for
placing in the frieze of that chimney-piece, with Vulcan and other
Gods, which was a very rare work; but much more beautiful are two boys
of marble that were above the crown of the chimney-piece, holding some
arms of the Altoviti in their hands, which have been removed by
Signor Don Luigi di Toledo, who inhabits the house of the above-named
Messer Bindo, and placed about a fountain in his garden, behind the
Servite Friars, in Florence. Two other boys of extraordinary beauty,
also of marble and by the same hand, who are likewise holding an
escutcheon, are in the house of Giovan Francesco Ridolfi. All these
works caused Sansovino to be held by the men of art and by all
Florence to be a most excellent and gracious master; on which account
Giovanni Bartolini, having caused a house to be built in his garden of
Gualfonda, desired that Sansovino should make for him a young Bacchus
in marble, of the size of life. Whereupon the model for this was made
by Sansovino, and it pleased Giovanni so much, that he had him
supplied with the marble, and Jacopo began it with such eagerness,
that his hands and brain flew as he worked. This work, I say, he
studied in such a manner, in order to make it perfect, that he set
himself to portray from the life, although it was winter, an assistant
of his called Pippo del Fabbro, making him stand naked a good part of
the day. Which Pippo would have become a capable craftsman, for he was
striving with every effort to imitate his master; but, whether it was
the standing naked with the head uncovered at that season, or that he
studied too much and suffered hardships, before the Bacchus was
finished he went mad, copying the attitudes of that figure. And this
he showed one day that it was raining in torrents, when, Sansovino
calling out "Pippo!" and he not answering, the master afterwards saw
him mounted on the summit of a chimney on the roof, wholly naked and
striking the attitude of his Bacchus. At other times, taking a sheet
or other large piece of cloth, and wetting it, he would wrap it round
his naked body, as if he were a model of clay or rags, and arrange the
folds; and then, climbing up to some extraordinary place, and settling
himself now in one attitude and now in another, as a Prophet, an
Apostle, a soldier, or something else, he would have himself
portrayed, standing thus for a period of two hours without speaking,
not otherwise than as if he had been a motionless statue. Many other
amusing follies of that kind poor Pippo played, but above all he was
never able to forget the Bacchus that Sansovino had made, save only
when he died, a few years afterwards.

[Illustration: MARS AND NEPTUNE

(_After =Jacopo Sansovino=. Venice: Ducal Palace_)


But to return to the statue; when it was carried to completion, it was
held to be the most beautiful work that had ever been executed by a
modern master, seeing that in it Sansovino overcame a difficulty never
yet attempted, in making an arm raised in the air and detached on
every side, which holds between the fingers a cup all cut out of the
same marble with such delicacy, that the attachment is very slight,
besides which the attitude is so well conceived and balanced on every
side, and the legs and arms are so beautiful and so well proportioned
and attached to the trunk, that to the eye and to the touch the whole
seems much more like living flesh; insomuch that the fame that it has
from all who see it is well deserved, and even more. This work, I say,
when finished, while Giovanni was alive, was visited in that courtyard
in the Gualfonda by everyone, native and stranger alike, and much
extolled. But afterwards, Giovanni being dead, his brother Gherardo
Bartolini presented it to Duke Cosimo, who keeps it as a rare thing in
his apartments, together with other most beautiful statues of marble
that he possesses. For the same Giovanni Sansovino made a very
beautiful Crucifix of wood, which is in their house in company with
many works by the ancients and by the hand of Michelagnolo.

In the year 1514, when festive preparations of great richness were to
be made in Florence for the coming of Pope Leo X, orders were given by
the Signoria and by Giuliano de' Medici that many triumphal arches of
wood should be made in various parts of the city. Whereupon Sansovino
not only executed the designs for many of these, but himself undertook
in company with Andrea del Sarto to construct the façade of S. Maria
del Fiore all of wood, with statues, scenes, and architectural orders,
exactly in the manner wherein it would be well for it to be in order
to remove all that there is in it of the German order of composition.
Having therefore set his hand to this (to say nothing in this place of
the awning of cloth that used to cover the Piazza of S. Maria del
Fiore and that of S. Giovanni for the festival of S. John and for
others of the greatest solemnity, since we have spoken sufficiently of
this in another place), beneath that awning, I say, Sansovino
constructed the said façade in the Corinthian Order, making it in the
manner of a triumphal arch, and placing upon an immense base double
columns on each side, and between them certain great niches filled
with figures in the round that represented the Apostles. Above these
were some large scenes in half-relief, made in the likeness of bronze,
with stories from the Old Testament, some of which are still to be
seen in the house of the Lanfredini on the bank of the Arno; and over
them followed architraves, friezes, and cornices, projecting outwards,
and then frontispieces of great beauty and variety; and in the angles
of the arches, both in the wide parts and below, were stories painted
in chiaroscuro by the hand of Andrea del Sarto, and very beautiful. In
short, this work of Sansovino's was such that Pope Leo, seeing it,
said that it was a pity that the real façade of that temple was not so
built, which was begun by the German Arnolfo. The same Sansovino made
among these festive preparations for the coming of Leo X, besides the
said façade, a horse in the round all of clay and shearings of woollen
cloth, in the act of rearing, and under it a figure of nine braccia,
upon a pedestal of masonry. Which work was executed with such spirit
and force, that it pleased Pope Leo and was much extolled by him;
wherefore Sansovino was taken by Jacopo Salviati to kiss the feet of
the Pope, who showed him many marks of affection.

The Pope departed from Florence, and had a conference at Bologna with
King Francis I of France; and then he resolved to return to Florence.
Whereupon orders were given to Sansovino that he should make a
triumphal arch at the Porta S. Gallo, and he, not falling back in any
way from his own standard, executed it similar to the other works that
he had done--namely, beautiful to a marvel, and full of statues and
painted pictures wrought excellently well. His Holiness having then
determined that the façade of S. Lorenzo should be executed in marble,
the while that Raffaello da Urbino and Buonarroti were expected from
Rome, Sansovino, by order of the Pope, made a design for it; which
giving much satisfaction, Baccio d'Agnolo was commissioned to make a
model of it in wood, which proved very beautiful. Meanwhile,
Buonarroti had made another, and he and Sansovino were ordered to go
to Pietrasanta; where, finding much marble, but difficult to
transport, they lost so much time, that when they returned to
Florence they found the Pope departed for Rome. Whereupon, both
following after him with their models, each by himself, Jacopo arrived
at the very moment when Buonarroti's model was being shown to his
Holiness in the Torre Borgia; but he did not succeed in obtaining what
he hoped, because, whereas he believed that he would at least make
under Michelagnolo part of the statues that were going into that work,
the Pope having spoken of it to him and Michelagnolo having given him
so to understand, he perceived on arriving in Rome that Buonarroti
wished to be alone in the work. Nevertheless, having made his way to
Rome and not wishing to return to Florence without any result, he
resolved to remain in Rome and there give his attention to sculpture
and architecture. And so, having undertaken to execute for the
Florentine Giovan Francesco Martelli a Madonna in marble larger than
life, he made her most beautiful, with the Child in her arms; and this
was placed upon an altar within the principal door of S. Agostino, on
the right hand as one enters. The clay model of this statue he
presented to the Priore de' Salviati, in Rome, who placed it in a
chapel in his palace on the corner of the Piazza di S. Pietro, at the
beginning of the Borgo Nuovo. After no long lapse of time he made for
the altar of the chapel that the very reverend Cardinal Alborense had
caused to be built in the Church of the Spaniards in Rome, a statue in
marble of four braccia, worthy of no ordinary measure of praise, of a
S. James, which has a movement full of grace and is executed with
judgment and perfect art, so that it won him very great fame. And the
while that he was executing these statues, he made the ground-plan and
model, and then began the building, of the Church of S. Marcello for
the Servite Friars, a work of truly great beauty. Continuing to be
employed in matters of architecture, he built for Messer Marco Coscia
a very beautiful loggia on the road that leads to Rome, at Pontemolle
on the Via Appia.[11] For the Company of the Crocifisso, attached to
the Church of S. Marcello, he made a Crucifix for carrying in
procession, a thing full of grace; and for Cardinal Antonio di Monte
he began a great fabric at his villa without Rome, on the Acqua
Vergine. And by the hand of Jacopo, perhaps, is a very beautiful
portrait in marble of that elder Cardinal di Monte which is now in the
Palace of Signor Fabiano at Monte Sansovino, over the door of the
principal chamber off the hall. He directed, also, the building of the
house of Messer Luigi Leoni, a most commodious edifice, and in the
Banchi a palace beside the house of the Gaddi, which was bought
afterwards by Filippo Strozzi--certainly a commodious and most
beautiful fabric, with many ornaments.

         [Footnote 11: Via Flaminia.]

At this time, with the favour of Pope Leo, the Florentine colony had
bestirred itself out of emulation of the Germans, Spaniards, and
Frenchmen, who had either begun or finished the churches of their
colonies in Rome, and had begun to perform their solemn offices in
those already built and adorned; and the Florentines had sought leave
likewise to build a church for themselves. For which the Pope having
given instructions to Lodovico Capponi, the Consul of the Florentine
colony at that time, it was determined that behind the Banchi, at the
beginning of the Strada Giulia, on the bank of the Tiber, an immense
church should be built, to be dedicated to S. John the Baptist; which
might surpass in magnificence, grandeur, cost, ornamentation, and
design, the churches of all the other colonies. There competed, then,
in making designs for this work, Raffaello da Urbino, Antonio da San
Gallo, Baldassarre da Siena, and Sansovino; and the Pope, when he had
seen all their designs, extolled as the best that of Sansovino,
because, besides other things, he had made at each of the four corners
of that church a tribune, and a larger tribune in the centre, after
the likeness of the plan that Sebastiano Serlio placed in his second
book on Architecture. Whereupon, all the heads of the Florentine
colony concurring with the will of the Pope, with much approval of
Sansovino, the foundations were begun for a part of that church,
altogether twenty-two canne[12] in length. But, there being not enough
space, and yet wishing to make the façade of the church in line with
the houses of the Strada Giulia, they were obliged to stretch out into
the stream of the Tiber at least fifteen canne; which pleasing many of
them, because the grandeur as well as the cost was increased by making
the foundations in the river, work was begun on this, and they spent
upon it more than forty thousand crowns, which would have been enough
to build half the masonry of the church.

         [Footnote 12: A "canna" is equal to about four braccia.]

In the meantime Sansovino, who was the head of this fabric, while the
foundations were being laid little by little, had a fall and suffered
a serious injury; and after a few days he had himself carried to
Florence for treatment, leaving the charge of laying the rest of the
foundations, as has been related, to Antonio da San Gallo. But no long
time passed before the Florentine colony, having lost by the death of
Leo so great a support and so splendid a Prince, abandoned the
building for the duration of the life of Pope Adrian VI. Then, Clement
having been elected, it was ordained, in order to pursue the same
order and design, that Sansovino should return and carry on that
fabric in the same manner wherein he had first arranged it; and so a
beginning was made once more with the work. Meanwhile, Sansovino
undertook to make the tomb of the Cardinal of Arragon and that of
Cardinal Aginense; and he had caused work to be begun on the marbles
for the ornaments, and had made many models for the figures, and
already Rome was in his hands, and he was executing many works of the
greatest importance for all those lords, when God, in order to
chastise that city and abate the pride of the inhabitants of Rome,
permitted that Bourbon should come with his army on the 6th of May,
1527, and that the whole city should be sacked and put to fire and

In that ruin, besides many other beautiful intellects that came to an
evil end, Sansovino was forced to his great loss to depart from Rome
and to fly to Venice, intending from there to pass into France to
enter the service of the King, whither he had been already invited.
But, halting in that city in order to make himself ready and provide
himself with many things, for he was despoiled of everything, it was
announced to the Prince Andrea Gritti, who was much the friend of
every talent, that Jacopo Sansovino was there. Whereupon there came to
Gritti a desire to speak with him, because at that very time Cardinal
Domenico Grimani had given him to understand that Sansovino would have
been the man for the cupolas of S. Marco, their principal church,
which, because of age and of weak foundations, and also from their
being badly secured with chains, were all opening out and threatening
to fall; and so he had him summoned. After many courtesies and long
discussions, he said to Sansovino that he wished, or rather, prayed
him, that he should find a remedy for the ruin of those tribunes;
which Sansovino promised to do, and to put it right. And so, having
agreed to do the work, he caused it to be taken in hand; and, having
contrived all the scaffoldings in the interior and made supports of
beams after the manner of stars, he propped in the central hollow of
woodwork all the timbers that sustained the vault of each tribune, and
encircled them on the inner side with curtains of woodwork, going on
then to bind them on the outer side with chains of iron, to flank them
with new walls, and to make at the foot new foundations for the piers
that supported them, insomuch that he strengthened them vastly and
made them for ever secure. By doing which he caused all Venice to
marvel, and not only satisfied Gritti, but also--which was far
more--rendered his ability so clearly manifest to that most
illustrious Senate, that when the work was finished, the Protomaster
to the Lords Procurators of S. Mark being dead, which is the highest
office that those lords give to their architects and engineers, they
gave it to him with the usual house and a passing handsome salary.
Whereupon Sansovino, having accepted it most willingly and freed his
mind of all doubt, became the head of all their fabrics, with honour
and advantage for himself.

[Illustration: THE LIBRARY OF S. MARCO

(_After =Jacopo Sansovino=. Venice_)


First, then, he erected the public building of the Mint, which he
designed and distributed in the interior with so much order and
method, for the convenience and service of the many artificers, that
in no place is there a Treasury ordered so well or with greater
strength than that one, which he adorned altogether in the Rustic
Order, very beautifully; which method, not having been used before in
Venice, caused no little marvel in the men of that city. Wherefore,
having recognized that the genius of Sansovino was equal to their
every need in the service of the city, they caused him to attend for
many years to the fortifications of their State. Nor did any long time
pass before he took in hand, by order of the Council of Ten, the very
rich and beautiful fabric of the Library of S. Marco, opposite to the
Palazzo della Signoria, with such a wealth of carvings, cornices,
columns, capitals, and half-length figures over the whole work, that
it is a marvel; and it is all done without any sparing of expense, so
that up to the present day it has cost one hundred and fifty thousand
ducats. And it is held in great estimation in that city, because it is
full of the richest pavements, stucco-work, and stories, distributed
among the halls of the building, with public stairs adorned by various
pictures, as has been related in the Life of Battista Franco; besides
many other beautiful appurtenances, and the rich ornaments that it has
at the principal door of entrance, which give it majesty and grandeur,
making manifest the ability of Sansovino. This method of building was
the reason that in that city, into which up to that time there had
never entered any method save that of making their houses and palaces
with the same order, each one always continuing the same things with
the same measure and ancient use, without varying according to the
sites as they found them or according to convenience--this, I say, was
the reason that buildings both public and private began to be erected
with new designs and better order.

The first palace that he built was that of M. Giorgio Cornaro, a most
beautiful work, erected with all proper appurtenances and ornaments at
a cost of seventy thousand crowns. Moved by which, a gentleman of the
Delfino family caused Sansovino to build a smaller one, at a cost of
thirty thousand crowns, which was much extolled and very beautiful.
Then he built that of Moro, at a cost of twenty thousand crowns, which
likewise was much extolled; and afterwards many others of less cost in
the city and the neighbourhood. Wherefore it may be said that at the
present day that magnificent city, in the quantity and quality of her
sumptuous and well-conceived edifices, shines resplendent and is in
that respect what she is through the ability, industry, and art of
Jacopo Sansovino, who therefore deserves the highest praise; seeing
that with those works he has been the reason that the gentlemen of
Venice have introduced modern architecture into their city, in that
not only has that been done there which has passed through his hands,
but also many--nay, innumerable--other works which have been executed
by other masters, who have gone to live there and have achieved
magnificent things. Jacopo also built the fabric of the loggia in the
Piazza di S. Marco, in the Corinthian Order, which is at the foot of
the Campanile of the said S. Marco, with a very rich ornamentation of
columns, and four niches, in which are four figures the size of life
and in bronze, of supreme beauty. And that work formed, as it were, a
base of great beauty to the said campanile, which at the foot has a
breadth, on one of the sides, of thirty-five feet, which is about the
extent of Sansovino's ornamentation; and a height from the ground to
the cornice, where are the windows of the bells, of one hundred and
sixty feet. From the level of that cornice to the other above it,
where there is the corridor, is twenty-five feet, and the other dado
above is twenty-eight feet and a half high; and from that level of the
corridor to the pyramid, spire, or pinnacle, whatever it may be
called, is sixty feet. At the summit of that pinnacle the little
square, upon which stands the Angel, is six feet high, and the said
Angel, which revolves, is ten feet high; insomuch that the whole
height comes to be two hundred and ninety-two feet. He also designed
and executed for the Scuola, or rather, Confraternity and Company of
the Misericordia, the fabric of that place, an immense building which
cost one hundred and fifty thousand crowns; and he rebuilt the Church
of S. Francesco della Vigna, where the Frati de' Zoccoli have their
seat, a vast work and of much importance.

[Illustration: LOGGETTA

(_After =Jacopo Sansovino=. Venice: Piazza di S. Marco_)


Nor for all this, the while that he has been giving his attention to
so many buildings, has he ever ceased from executing every day for his
own delight great and beautiful works of sculpture, in marble and in
bronze; and over the holy-water font of the Friars of the Cà Grande
there is a statue executed in marble by his hand, representing a S.
John the Baptist, very beautiful and much extolled. At Padua, in the
Chapel of the Santo, there is a large scene in marble by the same
hand, with very beautiful figures in half-relief, of a miracle of S.
Anthony of Padua; which scene is much esteemed in that place. For the
entrance of the stairs of the Palace of S. Marco he is even now
executing in marble, in the form of two most beautiful giants, each of
seven braccia, a Neptune and a Mars, signifying the power that is
exercised both on land and on sea by that most illustrious Republic.
He made a very beautiful statue of a Hercules for the Duke of
Ferrara; and for the Church of S. Marco he executed four scenes of
bronze in half-relief, one braccio in height and one and a half in
length, for placing around a pulpit, and containing stories of that
Evangelist, which are held in great estimation for their variety. Over
the door of the same S. Marco he has made a Madonna of marble, the
size of life, which is held to be a very beautiful thing, and at the
entrance of the sacristy in that place there is by his hand the door
of bronze, divided into two most beautiful parts, with stories of
Jesus Christ all in half-relief and wrought excellently well; and over
the door of the Arsenal he has made a very lovely Madonna of marble,
who is holding her Son in her arms. All which works not only have
given lustre and adornment to that Republic, but also have caused
Sansovino to become daily more known as a most excellent craftsman,
and to be loved by those Signori and honoured by their magnificent
liberality, and likewise by the other craftsmen; for every work of
sculpture and architecture that has been executed in that city in his
time has been referred to him. And in truth the excellence of Jacopo
has well deserved to be held in the first rank in that city among the
craftsmen of design, and his genius is rightly loved and revered by
all men, both nobles and plebeians, for the reason that, besides other
things, he has brought it about, as has been said, with his knowledge
and judgment, that that city has been almost entirely made new and has
learned the true and good manner of building.

But, if she has received from him beauty and adornment, he, on the
other hand, has received many benefits from her. Thus, in addition to
other things, he has lived in her, from the time when he first went
there to the age of seventy-eight years, full of health and strength;
and the air and that sky have done so much for him, that he does not
seem, one might say, more than forty. He has had, and still has, from
a most talented son--a man of letters--two grandchildren, one male and
the other female, both of them pictures of health and beauty, to his
supreme contentment; and, what is more, he is still alive, full of
happiness and with all the greatest conveniences and comforts that any
man of his profession could have. He has always loved his
brother-craftsmen, and in particular he has been very much the friend
of the excellent and famous Tiziano, as he also was of M. Pietro
Aretino during his lifetime. For all these reasons I have judged it
well to make this honourable record of him, although he is still
living, and particularly because now he is by way of doing little in

Sansovino had many disciples in Florence: Niccolò, called Tribolo, as
has been related, and Solosmeo da Settignano, who finished with the
exception of the large figures the whole of the tomb in marble that is
at Monte Casino, wherein is the body of Piero de' Medici, who was
drowned in the River Garigliano. His disciple, likewise, was Girolamo
da Ferrara, called Lombardo, of whom there has been an account in the
Life of Benvenuto Garofalo of Ferrara; which Girolamo has learned his
art both from the first Sansovino and from this second one in such a
manner, that, besides the works at Loreto of which we have spoken,
both in marble and in bronze, he has executed many works in Venice.
This master, although he came under Sansovino at the age of thirty and
knowing little of design, being rather a man of letters and a courtier
than a sculptor, although he had previously executed some works in
sculpture, nevertheless applied himself in such a manner, that in a
few years he made the proficience that may be perceived in his works
in half-relief that are in the fabrics of the Library and the Loggia
of the Campanile of S. Marco; in which he acquitted himself so well,
that he was afterwards able to make by himself alone the statues of
marble and the Prophets that he executed, as has been related, at the
Madonna of Loreto.


(_After the relief by =Jacopo Sansovino=. Padua: S. Antonio_)


A disciple of Sansovino, also, was Jacopo Colonna, who died at Bologna
thirty years ago while executing a work of importance. This Jacopo
made for the Church of S. Salvadore in Venice a nude S. Jerome of
marble, still to be seen in a niche near the organ, which was a
beautiful figure and much extolled, and for S. Croce della Giudecca he
made a Christ also nude and of marble, who is showing His Wounds, a
work of beautiful artistry; and likewise for S. Giovanni Nuovo three
figures, S. Dorothy, S. Lucia, and S. Catharine. In S. Marina may be
seen a horse with an armed captain upon it, by his hand; and all these
works can stand in comparison with any that are in Venice. In Padua,
for the Church of S. Antonio, he executed in stucco the said Saint
and S. Bernardino, clothed. Of the same material he made for Messer
Luigi Cornaro a Minerva, a Venus, and a Diana, larger than life and in
the round; in marble a Mercury, and in terra-cotta a nude Marzio as a
young man, who is drawing a thorn from his foot, or rather, showing
that he has drawn it out, he holds the foot with one hand, looking at
the wound, and with the other hand seems to be about to cleanse it
with a cloth; which last work, because it is the best that Jacopo ever
did, the said Messer Luigi intends to have cast in bronze. For the
same patron he made another Mercury of stone, which was afterwards
presented to Duke Federigo of Mantua.

Another disciple of Sansovino was Tiziano da Padova, a sculptor, who
carved some little figures of marble in the Loggia of the Campanile of
S. Marco at Venice; and in the Church of the same S. Marco there may
be seen, likewise fashioned and cast in bronze by him, a large and
beautiful cover for a basin in bronze, in the Chapel of S. Giovanni.
This Tiziano had made a statue of S. John, with which were the four
Evangelists and four stories of S. John, wrought with beautiful
artistry for casting in bronze; but he died at the age of thirty-five,
and the world was robbed of an excellent and valiant craftsman. And by
the same hand is the vaulting of the Chapel of S. Antonio da Padova,
with a very rich pattern of compartments in stucco. He had begun for
the same chapel a grating of five arches in bronze, which were full of
stories of that Saint, with other figures in half-relief and
low-relief; but this, also, by reason of his death and of the
disagreement of those who had the charge of having it done, remained
unfinished. Many pieces of it had already been cast, which turned out
very beautiful, and many others were made in wax, when he died, and
for the said reasons the whole work was abandoned. The same Tiziano,
when Vasari executed the above-described decorations for the gentlemen
of the Company of the Calza in Canareio, made for that work some
statues in clay and many terminal figures. And he was employed many
times on ornaments for scenic settings, theatres, arches, and other
suchlike things, whereby he won much honour; having executed works all
full of invention, fantasy, and variety, and above all with great

Pietro da Salò, also, was a disciple of Sansovino; and after having
toiled at carving foliage up to the age of thirty, finally, assisted
by Sansovino, who taught him, he set himself to make figures of
marble. In which he so delighted, and studied in such a manner, that
in two years he was working by himself; to which witness is borne by
some passing good works by his hand that are in the tribune of S.
Marco, and the statue of a Mars larger than life that is in the façade
of the Palazzo Pubblico, which statue is in company with three others
by the hands of good craftsmen. He also made two figures for the
apartments of the Council of Ten, one male and the other female, in
company with two others executed by Danese Cattaneo, a sculptor of
highest renown, who, as will be related, was likewise a disciple of
Sansovino; which figures serve to adorn a chimney-piece. Pietro made,
in addition, three figures that are at S. Antonio, in the round and
larger than life; and these are a Justice, a Fortitude, and a statue
of a Captain-General of the Venetian forces, all executed with good
mastery. He also made a statue of Justice in a beautiful attitude and
with good design, which was placed upon a column in the Piazza of
Murano, and another in the Piazza del Rialto in Venice, as a support
for that stone where public proclamations are made, which is called
the Gobbo[13] di Rialto; and these works have made him known as a very
good sculptor. For the Santo, in Padua, he made a very beautiful
Thetis; and a Bacchus who is squeezing a bunch of grapes into a cup,
which figure, the most difficult that he ever executed, and the best,
he left at his death to his children, who have it still in their
house, seeking to sell it to him who shall best recognize and reward
the labour that their father endured for it.

         [Footnote 13: Hunchback.]

Likewise a disciple of Jacopo was Alessandro Vittoria of Trento, a
most excellent sculptor and much the friend of study, who with a very
beautiful manner has shown in many works that he has executed, as well
in stucco as in marble, that he has a ready brain and a lovely style,
and that his labours are worthy to be held in estimation. By the hand
of this Alessandro, in Venice, at the principal door of the Library of
S. Marco, are two great women of stone, each ten palms high, which
are full of grace and beauty and worthy to be much extolled. He has
made four figures for the tomb of the Contarini in the Santo of Padua,
two slaves, or rather, captives, with a Fame and a Thetis, all of
stone; and an Angel ten feet high, a very beautiful statue, which has
been placed upon the Campanile of the Duomo in Verona. And to Dalmatia
he sent four Apostles also of stone, each five feet high, for the
Cathedral of Traù. He made, also, some figures in silver for the
Scuola of S. Giovanni Evangelista in Venice, which were all in
full-relief and rich in grace, and a S. Teodoro of two feet in silver,
in the round. For the Chapel of the Grimani, in S. Sebastiano, he
wrought two figures in marble, each three feet high; and then he made
a Pietà, with two figures of stone, held to be good, which are at S.
Salvadore in Venice. He made a Mercury, held to be a good figure, for
the pulpit of the Palazzo di S. Marco, which looks out over the
Piazza; and for S. Francesco della Vigna he made three figures large
as life--S. Anthony, S. Sebastian, and S. Rocco--all of stone and full
of beauty and grace, and well wrought. For the Church of the
Crocicchieri he made in stucco two figures each six feet high, very
beautiful, which are placed on the high-altar; and of the same
material he made, as has been already told, all the ornaments that are
in the vaulting of the new staircase of the Palazzo di S. Marco, with
various patterns of compartments in stucco, where Battista Franco
afterwards painted in the spaces the scenes, figures, and grotesques
that are there. In like manner, Alessandro executed the ornaments of
the staircase of the Library of S. Marco, all works of great mastery;
and a chapel for the Friars Minors, and in the altar-piece of marble,
which is very large and very beautiful, the Assumption of Our Lady in
half-relief, with five great figures at the foot which have in them
something of the grand and are made with a beautiful manner, a lovely
and dignified flow of draperies, and much diligence of execution;
which figures of marble--S. Jerome, S. John the Baptist, S. Peter, S.
Andrew, and S. Leonardo--each six feet high, are the best of all the
works that he has done up to the present. And as a crown to that
chapel, on the frontispiece, are two figures likewise of marble, each
eight feet high and very graceful. The same Vittoria has executed
many portraits in marble and most beautiful heads, which are good
likenesses, such as that of Signor Giovan Battista Feredo, placed in
the Church of S. Stefano, that of Camillo Trevisano, the orator,
placed in the Church of SS. Giovanni e Polo; the most illustrious
Marc'Antonio Grimani, likewise placed in the Church of S. Sebastiano;
and in S. Gimignano, the rector of that church. He has also portrayed
Messer Andrea Loredano. M. Priano da Lagie, and two brothers of the
Pellegrini family--M. Vincenzio and M. Giovan Battista--both orators.
And since Vittoria is young and a willing worker, talented, amiable,
desirous of acquiring name and fame, and, lastly, very gentle, we may
believe that if he lives, we are destined to see most beautiful works
come from him from day to day, worthy of his name of Vittoria, and
that, if his life endures, he is like to be a most excellent sculptor
and to win the palm from all the others of that country.

There is also one Tommaso da Lugano, a sculptor, who likewise has been
many years with Sansovino, and has made with the chisel many figures
in the Library of S. Marco, very beautiful, in company with others.
And then, having left Sansovino, he has made by himself a Madonna with
the Child in her arms, and at her feet a little S. John, which are all
three figures of such beautiful form, attitude, and manner, that they
can stand among all the other beautiful modern statues that are in
Venice; which work is placed in the Church of S. Bastiano. And a
portrait of the Emperor Charles V, which he made from the breast
upwards, of marble, has been held to be a marvellous thing, and was
very dear to his Majesty. And since Tommaso has delighted to work
rather in stucco than in marble or bronze, there are innumerable most
beautiful figures by his hand and works executed by him in that
material in the houses of various gentlemen of Venice. But it must
suffice to have said this much of him.

Of the Lombards, finally, it remains for us to make record of Jacopo
Bresciano, a young man of twenty-four, who has not long parted from
Sansovino. He has given proof at Venice, in the many years that he has
been there, of being talented and likely to prove excellent, as he has
since shown in the works that he has executed in his native Brescia,
and particularly in the Palazzo Pubblico, and if he lives and
studies, there will be seen from his hand, also, things greater and
better, for he has a fine spirit and most beautiful gifts.

Of our Tuscans, one of the disciples of Sansovino has been the
Florentine Bartolommeo Ammanati, of whom record has already been made
in many places in this work. This Bartolommeo, I say, worked under
Sansovino in Venice; and then in Padua for Messer Marco da Mantova, a
most excellent doctor of medicine, in whose house he made an immense
giant from more than one piece of stone for his court, and his tomb,
with many statues. Afterwards, Ammanati having gone to Rome in the
year 1550, there were allotted to him by Giorgio Vasari four statues
of marble, each of four braccia, for the tomb of the old Cardinal di
Monte, which Pope Julius III had allotted to Giorgio himself in the
Church of S. Pietro a Montorio, as will be related; which statues were
held to be very beautiful. Wherefore Vasari, having conceived an
affection for him, made him known to the said Julius III, who, having
ordained what he wanted done, caused him to be set to work; and so
both of them, Vasari and Ammanati, worked together for a time at the
Vigna. But not long afterwards, when Vasari had gone to serve Duke
Cosimo in Florence, the above-named Pope being dead, Ammanati, who
found himself without work and badly recompensed by that Pontiff for
his labours in Rome, wrote to Vasari, praying him that, even as he had
assisted him in Rome, so he should assist him in Florence with the
Duke. Whereupon Vasari, occupying himself with fervour in this matter,
introduced him into the service of the Duke, for whom he has executed
many statues in marble and in bronze that are not yet in position. For
the garden of Castello he has made two figures in bronze larger than
life--namely, a Hercules who is crushing Antæus, from which Antæus, in
place of his spirit, there issues from the mouth water in great
abundance. Finally, Ammanati has executed in marble the colossal
figure of Neptune that is in the Piazza, ten braccia and a half in
height; but since the work of the fountain, in the centre of which the
said Neptune is to stand, is not finished, I shall say nothing more of
it. The same Ammanati, as architect, is giving his attention with much
honour and praise to the fabric of the Pitti, in which work he has a
great opportunity to show the worth and grandeur of his mind, and the
magnificence and great spirit of Duke Cosimo. I could tell many
particulars of this sculptor, but since he is my friend, and another,
so I hear, is writing his history, I shall say no more, in order not
to set my hand to things that may be related by another better than I
perhaps might be able.

It remains for us to make mention, as the last of Sansovino's
disciples, of Danese Cattaneo, the sculptor of Carrara, who was
already with him in Venice when still a little boy. Parting from his
master at the age of nineteen, he made by himself a boy of marble for
S. Marco, and a S. Laurence for the Church of the Friars Minors; for
S. Salvadore another boy in marble, and for SS. Giovanni e Polo the
statue of a nude Bacchus, who is grasping a bunch of grapes from a
vine which twines round a trunk that he has behind his legs, which
statue is now in the house of the Mozzenighi at S. Barnaba. He has
executed many figures for the Library of S. Marco and for the Loggia
of the Campanile, together with others of whom there has been an
account above; and, in addition to those named, the two that have been
mentioned already as being in the apartments of the Council of Ten. He
made portraits in marble of Cardinal Bembo and Contarini, the
Captain-General of the Venetian forces, which are both in S. Antonio
at Padua, with rich and beautiful ornaments about them. And in the
same city of Padua, in S. Giovanni di Verdara, there is by the same
hand the portrait of Messer Girolamo Gigante, a most learned jurist.
And for S. Antonio della Giudecca, in Venice, he has made a very
lifelike portrait of Giustiniano, the Lieutenant of the Grand Master
of Malta, and that of Tiepolo, who was three times General; but these
have not yet been set in their places. But the greatest work and the
most distinguished that Danese has ever executed is a rich chapel of
marble, with large figures, in S. Anastasia at Verona, for Signor
Ercole Fregoso, in memory of Signor Jano, once Lord of Genoa, and then
Captain-General of the Venetians, in whose service he died. This work
is of the Corinthian Order, in the manner of a triumphal arch, and
divided by four great columns, round and fluted, with capitals of
olive-leaves, which rest upon a base of proportionate height, making
the space in the centre as wide again as one of those at the sides;
with an arch between the columns, above which there rest on the
capitals the architrave and cornice, and in the centre, within the
arch, a very beautiful decoration of pilasters, with cornice and
frontispiece, and with a ground formed by a tablet of most beautiful
black basanite, where there is the statue of a nude Christ, larger
than life and in the round, a very good figure; which statue stands in
the act of showing the Wounds, with a piece of drapery bound round the
flanks and reaching between the legs to the ground. Over the angles of
the arch are Signs of His Passion, and between the columns that are on
the right side there stands upon a pedestal a statue in the round
representing Signor Jano Fregoso, fully armed after the antique save
that he shows the arms and legs nude, and he has the left hand upon
the pommel of the sword at his girdle, and with the right hand he
holds the general's baton; having behind him as a pendant, within the
space between the columns, a Minerva in half-relief, who, poised in
the air, holds with one hand a Ducal staff, such as that of the Doges
of Venice, and with the other a banner containing the device of S.
Mark. Between the two other columns, as the other pendant, is Military
Valour in armour, on her head the helmet-crest with the house-leek
upon it, and on her cuirass the device of an ermine that stands upon a
rock surrounded by mire, with letters that run--"Potius mori quam
foedari," and with the device of the Fregosi; and above is a Victory,
with a garland of laurel and a palm in the hands. Above the columns,
architrave, frieze and cornice, is another range of pilasters, upon
the crowns of which stand two figures of marble in the round, and two
trophies likewise in the round and of the same size as the figures. Of
these two statues, one is Fame in the act of taking flight, pointing
with the right hand to Heaven, and with a trumpet that she is
sounding; and this figure has light and most beautiful draperies about
the body, and all the rest nude. The other, representing Eternity, is
clothed in heavier vestments, and stands in majesty, holding in the
left hand a round on which she is gazing, and with the right hand she
grasps a hem of her garment wherein are globes that signify the
various ages, with the celestial sphere encircled by the serpent that
seizes the tail in the mouth. In the central space above the great
cornice, which forms and separates those two other spaces, are three
steps upon which are seated two large nude boys, who hold a great
shield with the helmet above it, containing the devices of the
Fregosi; and below those steps is an epitaph of basanite with large
gilded letters. That whole work is truly worthy to be extolled, for
Danese executed it with great diligence, and gave beautiful proportion
and grace to the composition, and made each figure with great study.
And Danese is not only, as has been described, an excellent sculptor,
but also a good and much extolled poet, as his works clearly
demonstrate, on which account he has always had intercourse and strait
friendship with the greatest men and choicest spirits of our age; and
of this may serve as a proof the work described above, executed by him
with much poetic feeling. By the hand of Danese is the nude statue of
the Sun above the ornament of the well in the courtyard of the Mint,
at Venice; in place of which those Signori desired a Justice, but
Danese considered that in that place the Sun is more appropriate. This
figure has a bar of gold in the left hand, and in the right hand a
sceptre, at the end of which he made an eye, and about the head the
rays of the sun, and above all the globe of the world encircled by the
serpent that holds the tail in the mouth, with some little mounds of
gold about the globe, generated by him. Danese would have liked to
make two other statues, that of the Moon for silver and another for
copper, with that of the Sun for gold; but it was enough for those
Signori that there should be that of gold, as the most perfect of all
the metals. The same Danese has begun another work in memory of Prince
Loredano, Doge of Venice, wherein it is hoped that in invention and
fantasy he is to surpass by a great measure all his other labours;
which work is to be placed in the Church of SS. Giovanni e Polo in
Venice. But, since this master is alive and still constantly at work
for the benefit of the world and of art, I shall say nothing more of
him; nor of other disciples of Sansovino. I will not omit, however, to
speak briefly of some other excellent craftsmen, sculptors and
painters, from that dominion of Venice, taking my opportunity from
those mentioned above, in order to make an end of speaking of them in
this Life of Sansovino.


(_After =Andrea Palladio=. Vicenza_)


Vicenza, then, has likewise had at various times sculptors, painters,
and architects, of some of whom record was made in the Life of
Vittore Scarpaccia, and particularly of those who flourished in the
time of Mantegna and learned to draw from him; and such were
Bartolommeo Montagna, Francesco Verbo, and Giovanni Speranza, all
painters, by whose hands are many pictures that are dispersed
throughout Vicenza. Now in the same city there are many sculptures by
the hand of one Giovanni, a carver and architect, which are passing
good, although his proper profession has been to carve foliage and
animals, as he still does excellently well, although he is old. In
like manner, Girolamo Pironi of Vicenza has executed praiseworthy
works of sculpture and painting in many places in his city. But among
all the masters of Vicenza he who most deserves to be extolled is the
architect Andrea Palladio, from his being a man of singular judgment
and brain, as many works demonstrate that were executed by him in his
native country and elsewhere, and in particular the Palazzo della
Comunità, a building much renowned, with two porticoes composed in the
Doric Order with very beautiful columns. The same Palladio has erected
a palace, beautiful and grand beyond all belief, with an infinity of
the richest ornaments, for Count Ottavio de' Vieri, and another like
it for Count Giuseppe di Porto, which could not be more beautiful or
magnificent, nor more worthy than it is of no matter how great a
Prince; and another is being built even now for Count Valerio
Chiericati under the direction of the same master, very similar in
majesty and grandeur to the ancient buildings so much extolled. For
the Counts of Valmorana, likewise, he has now carried almost to
completion another most superb palace, which does not yield in any
particular to any of those mentioned above. In the same city, upon the
piazza commonly called the Isola, he has built another very
magnificent fabric for Signor Valerio Chiericati; and at Pugliano, a
place in the Vicentino, a most beautiful house for the Chevalier,
Signor Bonifazio Pugliana. In the same territory of Vicenza, at
Finale, he has erected another fabric for Messer Biagio Saraceni; and
one at Bagnolo for Signor Vittore Pisani, with a large and very rich
court in the Doric Order with most beautiful columns. Near Vicenza, at
the township of Lisiera, he has constructed for Signor Giovan
Francesco Valmorana another very rich edifice, with four towers at
the corners, which make a very fine effect. At Meledo, likewise, for
Count Francesco Trissino and Lodovico his brother, he has begun a
magnificent palace upon a hill of some eminence, with many ranges of
loggie, staircases, and other appurtenances of a villa. At Campiglia,
likewise in the Vicentino, he is making for Signor Mario Ropetta
another similar habitation, with so many conveniences, rich apartments
of rooms, loggie, staircases, and chambers dedicated to various
virtues, that it will be, when once carried to completion, an abode
rather for a King than for a nobleman. At Lunedo he has built another,
in the manner of a villa, for Signor Girolamo de' Godi; and at
Angarano another for Count Jacopo Angarano, which is truly most
beautiful, although it appears a small thing to the great mind of that
lord. At Quinto, also, near Vicenza, he erected not long ago another
palace for Count Marc'Antonio Tiene, which has in it more of the grand
and the magnificent than I could express. In short, Palladio has
constructed so many vast and lovely buildings within and without
Vicenza, that, even if there were no others there, they would suffice
to make a very handsome city with most beautiful surroundings.

In Venice the same Palladio has begun many buildings, but one that is
marvellous and most notable among them all, in imitation of the houses
that the ancients used to build, in the Monastery of the Carità. The
atrium of this is forty feet wide and fifty-four feet long, which are
exactly the diameters of the quadrangle, the wings being one-third and
a half of the length. The columns, which are Corinthian, are three
feet and a half in thickness and thirty-five feet high. From the
atrium one goes into the peristyle, that is, into a clauster (for thus
do the friars call their courts), which on the side towards the atrium
is divided into five parts, and at the flanks into seven, with three
orders of columns one above the other, of which the Doric is at the
foot, and above it the Ionic and the Corinthian. Opposite to the
atrium is the refectory, two squares in length, and as high as the
level of the peristyle, with its officines around it, all most
commodious. The stairs are spiral, in the form of an oval, and they
have neither wall nor column, nor any part in the middle to support
them; they are thirteen feet wide, and the steps by their position
support one another, being fixed in the wall. This edifice is all
built of baked stone, that is, of brick, save the bases of the
columns, the capitals, the imposts of the arches, the stairs, the
surface of the cornices, and the whole of the windows and doors. The
same Palladio has built for the Black Friars of S. Benedict, in their
Monastery of S. Giorgio Maggiore in Venice, a very large and most
beautiful refectory with its vestibule in front, and has begun to
found a new church, with such beautiful ordering, according as the
model shows, that, if it is carried to completion, it will prove a
stupendous and most lovely work. Besides this, he has begun the façade
of the Church of S. Francesco della Vigna, which the very reverend
Grimani, Patriarch of Aquileia, is causing to be made of Istrian
stone, with a most magnificent disregard of expense; the columns are
four palms thick at the foot, forty palms high, and in the Corinthian
Order, and already the whole basement at the foot is built. At
Gambaraie, a place seven miles distant from Venice, on the River
Brenta, the same Palladio has made a very commodious habitation for M.
Niccolò and M. Luigi Foscari, gentlemen of Venice. Another he has
built at Marocco, a place in the Mestrino, for the Chevalier
Mozzenigo; at Piombino one for M. Giorgio Cornaro, one at Montagnana
for the Magnificent M. Francesco Pisani, and another at Cicogna in the
territory of Padua for Count Adovardo da Tiene, a gentleman of
Vicenza. At Udine, in Friuli, he has built one for Signor Floriano
Antimini; at Motto, a township likewise in Friuli, one for the
Magnificent M. Marco Zeno, with a most beautiful court and porticoes
all the way round; and at Fratta, a township in the Polesine, a great
fabric for Signor Francesco Badoaro, with some very beautiful and
fantastic loggie. In like manner, near Asolo, a place in the territory
of Treviso, he has erected a most commodious habitation for the very
reverend S. Daniello Barbaro, Patriarch-Elect of Aquileia, who has
written upon Vitruvius, and for the most illustrious M. Marc'Antonio,
his brother, with such beautiful ordering, that nothing better or
greater can ever be imagined. Among other things, he has made there a
fountain very similar to that which Pope Julius caused to be made at
his Vigna Giulia in Rome; with ornaments of stucco and paintings
everywhere, executed by excellent masters. In Genoa M. Luca
Giustiniano has erected a building with the design of Palladio, which
is held to be very beautiful, as are also all those mentioned above;
but it would have made too long a story to seek to recount the many
particulars of the strange and lovely inventions and fantasies that
are in them. But, since there is soon to come into the light of day a
work of Palladio, in which will be printed two books of ancient
edifices and one book of those that he himself has caused to be built,
I shall say nothing more of him, because this will be enough to make
him known as the excellent architect that he is held to be by all who
see his beautiful works; besides which, being still young and
attending constantly to the studies of his art, every day greater
things may be expected of him. Nor will I omit to say that he has
wedded to such gifts a nature so amiable and gentle, that it renders
him well-beloved with everyone; wherefore he has won the honour of
being accepted into the number of the Academicians of Design in
Florence, together with Danese, Giuseppe Salviati, Tintoretto, and
Battista Farinato of Verona, as will be told in another place,
speaking of the said Academicians.

Bonifazio, a Venetian painter, of whom I have never before received
any information, is also worthy to be numbered in the company of these
many excellent craftsmen, being a well-practised and able colourist.
This master, besides many pictures and portraits that are dispersed
throughout Venice, has executed for the altar of the Relics in the
Church of the Servites, in the same city, an altar-piece wherein is a
Christ with the Apostles about Him, and Philip who appears to be
saying, "Domine, ostende nobis patrem," which is painted with a very
good and beautiful manner. And for the altar of the Madonna in the
Church of the Nuns of the Spirito Santo, he has executed another most
beautiful altar-picture with a vast number of men, women, and children
of every age, who in company with the Virgin are adoring a God the
Father who is in the air with many Angels about Him. Another painter
of passing good name in Venice is Jacopo Fallaro, who has painted on
the doors of the organ in the Church of the Ingesuati the Blessed
Giovanni Colombini receiving his habit in the Consistory from the
Pope, with a good number of Cardinals. Another Jacopo, called
Pisbolica, has executed an altar-piece for S. Maria Maggiore in
Venice, wherein is Christ in the air with many Angels, and below Him
Our Lady with the Apostles. And one Fabrizio Viniziano has painted on
the façade of a chapel in the Church of S. Maria Sebenico the
Consecration of the baptismal font, with many portraits from life
executed with beautiful grace and a good manner.


I., line 1, p. 187.

The family of the Tatti in Florence is recorded in the books of the
Commune from the year 1300, because, having come from Lucca, a very
noble city of Tuscany, it was always abundant in industrious and
honoured men, and they were most highly favoured by the House of
Medici. Of this family was born Jacopo, of whom we are writing in this
place; and he was born from Antonio, a most excellent person, and from
his wife Francesca, in the month of January, 1477. In the first years
of his boyhood he was set, as is usual, to learn his letters; and,
after beginning to show in these vivacity of brain and readiness of
spirit, not long afterwards he applied himself of his own accord to
drawing, giving evidence in a certain sort that nature was inclining
him much more to this kind of work than to letters, for the reason
that he went very unwillingly to school and learned much against his
will the scabrous rudiments of grammar. His mother, whom he resembled
strongly, perceiving this and fostering his genius, gave him
assistance, causing him to be taught design in secret, because she
loved the thought that her son should be a sculptor, perchance in
emulation of the then rising glory of Michelagnolo Buonarroti, who at
that time was still quite young; and also moved by a certain fateful
augury, in that Michelagnolo and this Jacopo had been born in one and
the same street, called Via S. Maria, near the Via Ghibellina. Now the
boy, after some time, was placed to learn the trade of a merchant; in
which delighting even less than in letters, he did and said so much,
that he obtained leave from his father to attend without hindrance to
that towards which he was urged by nature.

There had come to Florence at that time Andrea Contucci of Monte
Sansovino, a township near Arezzo, risen to great fame in our days
from having been the birthplace of Pope Julius III; which Andrea,
having acquired in Italy and in Spain the name of the best sculptor
and architect that there was in art after Buonarroti, was staying in
Florence in order to execute two figures of marble. Etc.

II., line 18, p. 197.

(And he was executing many works of the greatest importance for all
those lords), having been recognized by three Pontiffs, and especially
by Pope Leo, who presented him with a Knighthood of S. Pietro, which
he sold during his illness, doubting lest he might die; (when God,

III., line 22, p. 198.

Having then entered on that office, he began to occupy himself with
every care, both with regard to buildings and in the management of the
papers and of the books that he held by virtue of his office,
acquitting himself with all possible diligence in the affairs of the
Church of S. Marco, of the Commissions, which are a great number, and
of the many other matters that are in the charge of those Procurators;
and he showed extraordinary lovingness towards those Signori, in that,
having turned his whole attention to benefiting them and to directing
their affairs to the aggrandizement, embellishment, and ornamentation
of the church, the city, and the public square (a thing never yet done
by any other in that office), he provided them with various
advantages, profits, and revenues by means of his inventions, with his
ingenuity of brain and readiness of spirit, yet always with little or
no expense to the Signori themselves. Among which benefits, one was
this; in the year 1529 there were between the two columns in the
Piazza some butchers' stalls, and also between the one column and the
other many wooden cabins to accommodate persons in their natural
necessities--a thing most filthy and disgraceful, both for the dignity
of the Palace and of the Piazza Pubblica, and for the strangers who,
coming into Venice by way of S. Giorgio, saw first of all on arrival
that filthiness. Jacopo, after demonstrating to the Prince Gritti the
honourable and profitable nature of his design, caused those stalls
and cabins to be removed; and, placing the stalls where they now are
and making certain places for the sellers of herbs, he obtained for
the Procurators an additional revenue of seven hundred ducats,
embellishing at the same time the Piazza and the city. Not long
afterwards, having perceived that in the Merceria (on the way to the
Rialto, near the Clock), by removing a house that paid a rent of
twenty-six ducats, a street could be made leading into the Spadaria,
whereby the rent of the houses and shops all around would be
increased, he threw down that house and increased their revenues by
one hundred and fifty ducats a year. Besides this, by placing on that
site the hostelry of the Pellegrino and another in the Campo Rusolo,
he brought them in another four hundred ducats. He obtained for them
similar benefits by the buildings in the Pescaria, and, on divers
other occasions, by many houses and shops and other places belonging
to those Signori, at various times; insomuch that the Procurators,
having gained by his care a revenue of more than two thousand ducats,
have been rightly moved to love him and to hold him dear.

Not long afterwards, by order of the Procurators, he set his hand to
the very rich and beautiful building of the Library opposite to the
Palazzo Pubblico, with such a variety of architecture (for it is both
Doric and Corinthian), and such a wealth of carvings, cornices,
columns, capitals, and half-length figures throughout the whole work,
that it is a marvel; and all without any sparing of expense, since it
is full of the richest pavements, stucco-work and scenes throughout
the halls of that place, and public staircases adorned with various
pictures, as has been related in the Life of Battista Franco, not to
speak of the appurtenances and rich ornaments that it has at the
principal door of entrance, which give it majesty and grandeur,
demonstrating the ability of Sansovino. Which method of building was
the reason that in that city, into which there had not entered up to
that time any other method but that of building their houses and
palaces in one and the same order, each man always continuing the same
things with the same measurements and ancient use, without varying
according to the sites as they found them, or according to
convenience; it was the reason, I say, that buildings both public and
private began to be erected with new designs and better order, and
according to the ancient teaching of Vitruvius; and that work, in the
opinion of those who are good judges and have seen many parts of the
world, is without any equal.

He then built the Palace of Messer Giovanni Delfino, situated on the
Grand Canal on the other side from the Rialto, opposite to the Riva
del Ferro, at a cost of thirty thousand ducats. He built, likewise,
that of Messer Leonardo Moro at S. Girolamo, a work of great cost,
which has almost the appearance of a castle. And he erected the Palace
of Messer Luigi de' Garzoni, wider by thirteen paces in every
direction than is the Fondaco de' Tedeschi, with so many conveniences,
that water runs through the whole fabric, which is adorned with four
most beautiful figures by Sansovino; which palace is at Ponte Casale,
in the neighbourhood of Venice. But the most beautiful is the Palace
of Messer Giorgio Cornaro on the Grand Canal, which, without any doubt
surpassing the others in convenience, majesty, and grandeur, is
considered perhaps the finest that there is in Italy. He also built
(to have done with speaking of private edifices) the Scuola or
Confraternity of the Misericordia, a vast work costing one hundred and
thirty thousand crowns, which, when carried to completion, will prove
to be the most superb edifice in Italy. And his work, also, is the
Church of S. Francesco della Vigna, where the Frati de' Zoccoli have
their seat, a work of great size and importance; but the façade was by
another master. The Loggia about the Campanile of S. Marco, in the
Corinthian Order, was from his design, with a very rich ornament of
columns, and with four niches, in which are four supremely beautiful
figures in bronze, little less than the size of life, which are by his
hand, together with various scenes and figures in low-relief. That
work makes a most beautiful base to the said campanile, which has a
thickness, on one of the sides, of thirty-five feet, which is about
the extent of Sansovino's ornamentation. In height, from the ground to
the cornice where are the windows of the bells, it is one hundred and
sixty feet; from the level of that cornice to the other above it,
where the corridor is, twenty-five feet; and the other dado above has
a height of twenty-eight feet and a half. From that level of the
corridor up to the pyramid is sixty feet; at the summit of which
spire, the little square, upon which rests the Angel, is six feet
high, and the said Angel, which turns with every wind, is ten feet
high; insomuch that the whole height comes to be two hundred and
ninety-two feet.

But the finest, richest, and strongest of his edifices is the Mint of
Venice, all of iron and stone, for there is not in it one single piece
of wood, in order to render it absolutely safe from fire. And the
interior is distributed with such order and convenience for the sake
of the many artificers, that there is not in any part of the world a
treasury better ordered, or with greater strength, than that one,
which he built entirely in the Rustic Order and very beautiful; which
method, not having been used before in that city, caused the
inhabitants to marvel not a little. By his hand, also, may be seen the
Church of S. Spirito on the lagoons, of a very delicate and pleasing
workmanship; and in Venice there is the façade of S. Gimignano, which
gives splendour to the Piazza, in the Merceria the façade of S.
Giuliano, and in S. Salvadore the very rich tomb of the Prince
Francesco Veniero. He also erected in the Rialto, on the Grand Canal,
the new fabrics of the vaults, with such good design, that almost
every day there assembles there a very convenient market of townsmen
and of other persons who flock to that city. And a very marvellous
thing and new was that which he did for the Tiepoli at the
Misericordia, in that, they having on the canal a great palace with
many regal chambers, and the whole building being badly founded in the
water, so that it was likely enough that in a few years the edifice
would fall to the ground, Sansovino rebuilt all the foundations in the
canal below the palace with very large stones, maintaining the house
on its feet with a marvellous support of props, while the owners lived
in their house with perfect security.

Nor for all this, while he has given his attention to so many
buildings, has he ever ceased to occupy himself every day for his own
delight with vast and beautiful works of sculpture, in marble and in
bronze. Over the holy-water font of the Friars of the Cà Grande there
is by his hand a statue made of marble, representing S. John the
Baptist, which is very beautiful and highly extolled. At Padua, in the
Chapel of the Santo, there is a large scene in marble by the same
hand, with very beautiful figures in half-relief, of a miracle of S.
Anthony of Padua; which is much esteemed in that place. For the
entrance of the stairs of the Palace of S. Marco he is even now
executing in marble in the forms of two very beautiful giants, each of
seven braccia, a Neptune and a Mars, signifying the power which that
most illustrious Republic has on land and sea. He made a most
beautiful statue of Hercules for the Duke of Ferrara; and for the
Church of S. Marco he made six scenes of bronze in half-relief, one
braccio high and one and a half long, for placing on a pulpit, with
stories of that Evangelist, which are held in much estimation for
their variety. Over the door of the same S. Marco he made a Madonna of
marble, the size of life, which is held to be a very beautiful thing;
and at the entrance to the sacristy of that place there is by his hand
the door of bronze divided into two most beautiful parts, with stories
of Jesus Christ all in half-relief and wrought excellently well. And
over the door of the Arsenal he made a very beautiful Madonna, who is
holding her Son in her arms, of marble. All which works not only have
given lustre and adornment to that Republic, but also have caused
Sansovino to be better known every day as a most excellent craftsman,
and loved and honoured by the magnificent liberality of those Signori,
and likewise by the other craftsmen, every work of sculpture and
architecture that has been executed in that city in his time being
referred to him. And in truth the excellence of Jacopo has well
deserved that he should be held in the first rank among the craftsmen
of design in that city, and that his talents should be loved and
revered by all without exception, both nobles and plebeians, for the
reason that, besides other things, as has been told, with his judgment
and knowledge he has brought it about that the city has been made
almost entirely new and has learned the true and good method of

Three most beautiful figures in stucco by his hand, also, may be seen
in the possession of his son, one a Laocoon, another a Venus standing,
and the third a Madonna with many children about her; which figures
are so rare, that in Venice there is seen nothing to equal them. The
said son also has in drawing sixty plans of temples and churches of
Sansovino's invention, which are so excellent that from the days of
the ancients to our own there have been seen none better conceived or
more beautiful. These I have heard that the son will publish for the
benefit of the world, and already he has had some pieces engraved,
accompanying them with designs of the numberless labours that have
been carried into execution by Sansovino in various parts of Italy.

For all this, although occupied, as has been related, with the
management of so many things both public and private, and both in the
city and abroad (for strangers, also, ran to him for models and
designs of buildings, for figures, or for counsel, as did the Duke of
Ferrara, who obtained a Hercules in the form of a giant, the Duke of
Mantua, and the Duke of Urbino), he was always very zealous in the
private and particular service of each of his own Lords Procurators,
who, availing themselves of him both in Venice and elsewhere, and not
doing a single thing without his assistance or counsel, kept him
continually at work not only for themselves, but also for their
friends and relatives, without any reward, he consenting to endure any
inconvenience and fatigue in order to satisfy them. But above all he
was greatly loved and held in infinite price by the Prince Gritti, who
delighted in beautiful intellects, by Messer Vettorio Grimani, brother
of the Cardinal, and by Messer Giovanni da Legge the Chevalier, all
Procurators, and by Messer Marc'Antonio Justiniano, who became
acquainted with him in Rome. For these illustrious men, exalted in
spirit and truly regal in mind, being conversant with the affairs of
the world and well informed in the noble and excellent arts, soon
recognized his merit and how worthy he was to be cherished and
esteemed, and availed themselves of him in due measure; and they used
to say, in accord with the whole city, that the Procurators never had
and never would have at any time another equal to him, for they knew
very well how celebrated and renowned his name was with the men and
princes of intellect in Florence and Rome and throughout all Italy,
and every one held it as certain that not he only but also his
descendants and all his posterity deserved to be endowed for ever in
return for his singular genius.

Jacopo was in body of ordinary stature, without any fat, and he walked
with the person upright. He was white in complexion, with the beard
red; and in his youth he was very graceful and handsome, and therefore
much beloved by various women of some importance. After he became old,
he had a venerable presence, with a beautiful white beard, and walked
like a young man, insomuch that, having come to the age of
ninety-three, he was still very strong and healthy and could see every
least thing, however distant it might be, without spectacles, and when
writing he kept his head erect, not bending over at all as is done by
others. He delighted to dress handsomely, and was always very neat in
his person; and he always took pleasure in women down to extreme old
age, and much loved to talk of them. In his youth, by reason of his
excesses, he was not very robust; but when he had become old he never
suffered any illness, insomuch that for a period of fifty years,
although at times he felt indisposed, he would never avail himself of
any physician; nay, having had an apoplectic stroke for the fourth
time at the age of eighty-four, he recovered by staying only two
months in bed in a very dark and warm place, despising medicines. He
had so good a stomach, that he was not afraid of anything, making no
distinction between food that might be good and food that might be
harmful; and in summer he lived almost entirely on fruits, eating very
often as many as three cucumbers at a time, and half a citron, in his
extreme old age. As for his qualities of mind, he was very prudent and
foresaw future events in the matters of the present, weighing them
against the past; and he was zealous in his affairs, not considering
any fatigue, and never left his business to follow pleasures. He
discoursed well and with many words upon no matter what subject that
he understood, giving many illustrations with much grace; on which
account he was very dear both to the great and to the small, and to
his friends. And in his last years he had a memory still very fresh,
and remembered in detail his childhood, the sack of Rome, and many
things, fortunate or unfortunate, that he experienced in his time. He
was courageous, and from his youth took delight in contending with
those greater than himself, because, he used to say, by contending
with the great a man advances, but against the little he lowers
himself. He esteemed honour above everything in the world, wherefore
in his affairs he was most loyal and a man of his word, and so pure in
heart, that no offer, however great, could have corrupted him,
although he was put to the test several times by his Signori, who for
this and for other qualities regarded him not as their protomaster or
minister, but as a father and brother, honouring him for his goodness,
which was in no way feigned, but real. He was liberal with every man,
and so loving towards his relatives, that he deprived himself of many
comforts in order to assist them; although he lived always in repute
and honour, as one who was observed by everyone. At times he let
himself be overcome by anger, which was very great in him, but it soon
passed; and very often with a few humble words you could make the
tears come to his eyes.

He had a surpassing love for the art of sculpture; such a love,
indeed, that, to the end that it might be dispersed widely in various
parts, he formed many disciples, making as it were a seminary of that
art in Italy. Among these, very famous were Niccolò Tribolo and
Solosmeo, Florentines; Danese Cattaneo of Carrara, a Tuscan, of
supreme excellence in poetry as well as in sculpture; Girolamo da
Ferrara, Jacopo Colonna of Venice, Luca Lancia of Naples, Tiziano da
Padova, Pietro da Salò, Bartolommeo Ammanati of Florence, at the
present day sculptor and protomaster to the great Duke of Tuscany,
and, finally, Alessandro Vittoria of Trento, a rare master in
portraits of marble, and Jacopo de' Medici of Brescia; who, reviving
the memory of the excellence of their master, have employed their
talents on many honoured works in various cities.

Sansovino was much esteemed by Princes, among whom Alessandro de'
Medici, Duke of Florence, sought his judgment in building the Citadel
of that city. And Duke Cosimo in the year 1540, Sansovino having gone
on his affairs to his native city, not only sought his counsel in the
matter of that fortress, but also strove to engage him in his service,
offering him a good salary; and on his return from Florence Duke
Ercole of Ferrara detained him about his person and proposed various
conditions to him, making every effort to keep him in Ferrara. But
he, being used to Venice, and finding himself comfortable in that
city, where he had lived a great part of his life, and having a
singular love for the Procurators, by whom he was so much honoured,
would never listen to any of them. He was also invited by Pope Paul
III, who wished to advance him to the charge of S. Pietro in the place
of Antonio da San Gallo, and with this Monsignor della Casa, who was
then Legate in Venice, occupied himself much; but all was in vain,
because he said that he was not minded to exchange the manner of life
of a republic for that of living under an absolute Prince. And King
Philip of Spain, on his way to Germany, showed him much kindness at
Peschiera, whither Jacopo had gone to see him.

He had an immoderate desire of glory, and by reason of that used to
spend his own substance on others (not without notable harm to his
descendants), in the hope that there might remain some memory of him.
Good judges say that although he had to yield to Michelagnolo, yet in
certain things he was his superior. Thus in the fashioning of
draperies, in children, and in the expressions of women, Jacopo had no
equal, for the reason that his draperies in marble were very delicate
and well executed, with beautiful folds and curves that revealed the
nude beneath the vestments; his children he made tender and soft,
without those muscles that adults have, and with their little arms and
legs as if of flesh, insomuch that they were in no way different from
the life; and the expressions of his women were sweet and pleasing,
and as gracious as could be, as is clearly seen from various Madonnas
made by him in many places, of marble and in low-relief, and from his
statues of Venus and other figures.

Now this man, having thus become celebrated in sculpture and in
architecture a master without a rival, and having lived in the grace
of mankind and also of God, who bestowed upon him the genius that made
him illustrious, as has been related, when he had come to the age of
ninety-three, feeling somewhat weary in body, took to his bed in order
to rest; in which having lain without any kind of suffering, although
he strove to rise and dress himself as if well, for a period of a
month and a half, failing little by little, he asked for the
Sacraments of the Church, which having received, while still hoping to
live a few years, he sank gradually and died on the 2nd of November in
the year 1570; and although in his old age he had run the whole course
of nature, yet his death was a grief to all Venice. He left behind him
his son Francesco, born at Rome in the year 1521, a man learned both
in the law and in the humanities, from whom Jacopo saw three
grandchildren born; a male child called, like his grandfather, Jacopo,
and two female, one called Fiorenza, who died, to his infinite grief
and sorrow, and the other Aurora. His body was borne with much honour
to his chapel in S. Gimignano, where there was erected to his memory
by his son the marble statue made by Jacopo himself while he was
alive, with the epitaph given below in memory of his great worth:

     V. CAL. DEC. MDLXX.

His obsequies were likewise celebrated publicly at the Frari by the
Florentine colony, with no slight pomp, and the oration was delivered
by Messer Camillo Buonpigli, an excellent man.



Since that which has been said above, here and there, of the Chevalier
Leone, a sculptor of Arezzo, has been said incidentally, it cannot but
be well to speak here in due order of his works, which are truly
worthy to be celebrated and to pass into the memory of mankind. This
Leone, then, having applied himself in the beginning to the
goldsmith's art, and having made in his youth many beautiful works,
and in particular portraits from life in dies of steel for medals,
became in a few years so excellent, that he came to the knowledge of
many great men and Princes, and particularly of the Emperor Charles V,
by whom, having recognized his talents, he was set to works of greater
importance than medals. Thus, not long after he became known to his
Majesty, he made a statue of that Emperor in bronze, larger than life
and in the round, which he then furnished with a very delicate suit of
armour formed of two very thin shells, which can be put on and taken
off with ease, and all wrought with such grace, that whoever sees the
statue when covered does not notice it and can scarcely believe that
it is nude below, and when it is nude no one would believe without
difficulty that it could ever be so well clad in armour. This statue
rests on the left leg, and with the right foot tramples on Fury, which
is a recumbent figure bound in chains, with the torch beneath it and
arms of various kinds. On the base of this work, which is now in
Madrid, are these words:


After these statues Leone made a great die for striking medals of his
Majesty, and on the reverse the Giants being slain by Jove with
thunderbolts. For all which works the Emperor gave to Leone a pension
of one hundred and fifty ducats a year on the Mint of Milan, with a
very commodious house in the Contrada de' Moroni, and made him a
Chevalier and of his household, besides giving him many privileges of
nobility for his descendants. And while Leone was with his Majesty in
Brussels, he had his rooms in the palace of the Emperor himself, who
at times would go for recreation to see him at work. Not long
afterwards he made another statue of the Emperor, in marble, and also
those of the Empress and King Philip, and a bust of the same Emperor
for placing on high between two panels in bronze. He made, likewise in
bronze, the head of Queen Maria, that of Ferdinand, at that time King
of the Romans, that of Maximilian his son, now Emperor, and that of
Queen Leonora, with many others, which were placed in the Gallery of
the Palace of Binche by Queen Maria, who had caused them to be made.
But they did not stay there long, because King Henry of France set
fire to the building by way of revenge, leaving written there these
words, "Vela fole Maria";[14] I say by way of revenge, because a few
years before that Queen had done the same to him. However it may have
been, the work of that gallery did not proceed, and those statues are
now partly in the Palace of the Catholic King at Madrid, and partly at
Alicante, a sea-port, from which her Majesty intended to have them
conveyed to Granada, where are the tombs of all the Kings of Spain. On
returning from Spain, Leone brought with him two thousand crowns in
cash, besides many other gifts and favours that were bestowed upon him
by that Court.

         [Footnote 14: The story runs that in the year 1533 Queen
         Maria attacked and destroyed the Castle of Folembrai, and
         that in the following year King Henry of France, out of
         revenge, destroyed the fortress of Binche in Upper Hainault,
         leaving on the ruined walls the words "Voilà Folembrai";
         which in the Italian have been corrupted into "Vela fole


(_After =Leone Lioni=. Milan: Duomo_)


For the Duke of Alva Leone has executed a head of the Duke, one of
Charles V, and another of King Philip. For the very reverend Bishop of
Arras, now Grand Cardinal, called Granvella, he has made some pieces
in bronze of an oval form, each of two braccia, with rich borders, and
containing half-length statues; in one is Charles V, in another King
Philip, and in the third the Cardinal himself, portrayed from life,
and all have bases with little figures of much grace. For Signor
Vespasiano Gonzaga he has made in a great bust of bronze the portrait
of Alva, which Gonzaga has placed in his house at Sabbionetto. For
Signor Cesare Gonzaga he has executed, likewise in metal, a statue of
four braccia, which has beneath it another figure that is entwined
with a Hydra, in order to denote his father Don Ferrante, who by his
worth and valour overcame the vicious envy that had sought to bring
him into disgrace with Charles V in the matter of the government of
Milan. This statue, which is clad in a toga and armed partly in the
ancient and partly in the modern fashion, is to be taken to Guastalla
and placed there in memory of that Don Ferrante, a most valorous

The same Leone has made, as has been told in another place, the tomb
of Signor Giovanni Jacopo Medici, Marquis of Marignano and brother of
Pope Pius IV, which stands in the Duomo of Milan, about twenty-eight
palms in length and forty in height. This tomb is all of Carrara
marble, and adorned with four columns, two of them black and white,
which were sent by the Pope as rare things from Rome to Milan, and two
others, larger, which are of a spotted stone similar to jasper; which
are all accommodated under one and the same cornice, an unusual
contrivance, by the desire of that Pope, who caused the whole work to
be executed after the directions of Michelagnolo, excepting only the
five figures of bronze that are there, which are by the hand of Leone.
The first of these, the largest of them all, is the statue of the
Marquis himself, standing upright and larger than life, which has in
the right hand the baton of a General, and the left hand resting on a
helmet that is on a very richly adorned trunk. On the left of this is
a smaller statue, representing Peace, and on the right another
signifying Military Virtue; and these are seated, and in aspect all
sad and sorrowing. Of the other two, which are on high, one is
Providence and the other Fame; and between them, on the same level, is
a most beautiful Nativity of Christ in bronze, in low-relief. At the
summit of the whole work are two figures of marble, which support that
lord's escutcheon of balls. For this work seven thousand and eight
hundred crowns were paid, according to the agreement made in Rome by
the most illustrious Cardinal Morone and Signor Agabrio Scierbellone.

The same master has made for Signor Giovan Battista Castaldo a statue
likewise in bronze, which is to be placed in I know not what
monastery, with some ornaments. For the above-named Catholic King he
has executed a Christ in marble, more than three braccia high, with
the Cross and with other Mysteries of the Passion, which is much
extolled. Finally, he has in hand the statue of Signor Alfonso
Davalos, the Marchese del Vasto of famous memory, which was entrusted
to him by the Marchese di Pescara, his son; four braccia high, and
likely to prove an excellent figure when cast, by reason of the
diligence that he is devoting to its execution, and the good fortune
that Leone has always had in his castings.

Leone, in order to display the greatness of his mind, the beautiful
genius that he has received from Nature, and the favour of Fortune,
has built at great expense and with most beautiful architecture a
house in the Contrada de' Moroni, so full of fantastic inventions,
that there is perhaps no other like it in all Milan. In the
distribution of the façade there are upon pilasters six captives each
of six braccia and all of pietra viva, and between these, in certain
niches, Fates in imitation of the antique, with little terminal
figures, windows, and cornices all different from the common use and
very graceful; and all the parts below correspond with beautiful order
to those above, and the frieze-ornaments are all of various
instruments of the arts of design. From the principal door one enters
by a passage into a courtyard, in the centre of which, upon four
columns, is the horse with the statue of Marcus Aurelius, cast in
gesso from the original which is in the Campidoglio. By means of that
statue he has intended that his house should be dedicated to Marcus
Aurelius; and as for the captives, that fancy is interpreted by
various persons in various ways. Besides the horse, he has in that
beautiful and most commodious habitation, as has been told in another
place, as many casts in gesso as he has been able to obtain of famous
works in sculpture and casting, both ancient and modern.

A son of Leone, called Pompeo, who is now in the service of King
Philip of Spain, is in no way inferior to his father in executing dies
of steel for medals and in casting figures that are marvellous.
Wherefore at that Court he has been a competitor of Giovan Paolo
Poggini, a Florentine, who also works in the service of that King and
has made most beautiful medals. But Pompeo, having served that King
many years, intends to return to Milan in order to enjoy his Aurelian
house and the other labours of his excellent father, the loving friend
of every man of talent.

And now to say something of medals, and of the steel dies with which
they are made. I believe that it may be affirmed with truth that our
modern intellects have achieved as much as the ancient Romans once did
in the excellence of the figures, and that in the lettering and in
other parts they have surpassed them. Which may be seen clearly in
twelve reverses--besides many others--that Pietro Paolo Galeotto has
executed recently in the medals of Duke Cosimo, and they are these;
Pisa restored almost to her pristine condition by means of the Duke,
he having drained the country round and dried the marshy places, and
having made many other improvements; the waters conducted to Florence
from various places, the ornate and magnificent building of the
Magistrates erected for the public convenience, the union of the
States of Florence and Siena, the building of a city and two
fortresses in Elba, the column conveyed from Rome and placed on the
Piazza di S. Trinita in Florence, the preservation, completion and
enlargement of the Library of S. Lorenzo for the public good, the
foundation of the Order of the Knights of S. Stephen, the resignation
of the government to the Prince, the fortifying of the State, the
militia or trained companies of his dominion, and the Pitti Palace
with its gardens, waters, and buildings, a work of such regal
magnificence; of which reverses I do not give here either the
lettering that they have around them, or their explanation, having to
treat of them in another place. All these twelve reverses are
beautiful to a marvel and executed with much diligence and grace, as
is also the head of the Duke, which is of perfect beauty; and medals
and other works in stucco, likewise, as I have said on another
occasion, are being made of absolute perfection at the present day.
And recently Mario Capocaccia of Ancona has executed with coloured
stucco, in little cases, heads and portraits that are truly most
beautiful; such as a portrait of Pope Pius V, which I saw not long
since, and that of Cardinal Alessandrino. I have seen, also, portraits
of the same kind by the hands of the sons of Polidoro, a painter of
Perugia, which are very beautiful.

But to return to Milan; looking again a year ago over the works of the
sculptor Gobbo, of whom mention has been made in another place, I did
not see anything that was otherwise than ordinary, excepting an Adam
and Eve, a Judith, and a S. Helena, in marble, which are about the
Duomo; with two other statues of dead persons, representing Lodovico,
called Il Moro, and Beatrice his wife, which were to be placed upon a
tomb by the hand of Giovan Jacomo della Porta, sculptor and architect
to the Duomo of Milan, who in his youth executed many works under the
said Gobbo; and those named above, which were to go on that tomb, are
wrought with a high finish. The same Giovan Jacomo has executed many
beautiful works for the Certosa of Pavia, and in particular on the
tomb of the Conte di Virtù and on the façade of the church. From him
one his nephew learned his art, by name Guglielmo, who in Milan, about
the year 1530, applied himself with much study to copying the works of
Leonardo da Vinci, which gave him very great assistance. Whereupon he
went with Giovan Jacomo to Genoa, when in the year 1531 the latter was
invited to execute the sepulchre of S. John the Baptist, and he
devoted himself with great study to design under Perino del Vaga; and,
not therefore abandoning sculpture, he made one of the sixteen
pedestals that are in that sepulchre, on which account, it being seen
that he was acquitting himself very well, he was commissioned to make
all the others. Next, he executed two Angels in marble, which are in
the Company of S. Giovanni; and for the Bishop of Servega he made two
portraits in marble, and a Moses larger than life, which was placed in
the Church of S. Lorenzo. And then, after he had made a Ceres of
marble that was placed over the door of the house of Ansaldo Grimaldi,
he executed for placing over the Gate of the Cazzuola, in that city, a
statue of S. Catharine of the size of life; and after that the three
Graces, with four little boys, of marble, which were sent into
Flanders to the Grand Equerry of the Emperor Charles V, together with
another Ceres of the size of life.

[Illustration: EVE

(_After =Cristofano Solari=. Milan: Duomo_)


Having executed these works in six years, Guglielmo in the year 1537
made his way to Rome, where he was much recommended by his uncle
Giovan Jacomo to the painter Fra Sebastiano Viniziano, his friend, to
the end that he might recommend him, as he did, to Michelagnolo
Buonarroti. Which Michelagnolo, seeing Guglielmo to be spirited and
very assiduous in labouring, began to conceive an affection for him,
and, before any other thing, caused him to restore some antique things
in the Farnese Palace, in which he acquitted himself in such a manner,
that Michelagnolo put him into the service of the Pope. Another proof
of his powers had been seen already in a tomb that he had executed at
the Botteghe Scure, for the most part of metal, for Bishop Sulisse,
with many figures and scenes in low-relief--namely, the Cardinal
Virtues and others, wrought with much grace, and besides these the
figure of the Bishop himself, which afterwards went to Salamanca in
Spain. Now, while Guglielmo was engaged in restoring the statues,
which are now in the loggia that is before the upper hall in the
Farnese Palace, there took place in the year 1547 the death of Fra
Sebastiano Viniziano, who, as has been told, had administered the
office of the Piombo. Whereupon Guglielmo, with the favour of
Michelagnolo and of others, so wrought upon the Pope, that he obtained
the said office of the Piombo, with the charge of executing the tomb
of Pope Paul III, which was to be placed in S. Pietro. For this he
availed himself in the model, with better design, of the scenes and
figures of the Theological and Cardinal Virtues that he had made for
the above-named Bishop Sulisse, placing at the corners four children
in four partitions, and four cartouches, and making in addition a
bronze statue of the said Pontiff seated, giving the benediction;
which statue was seventeen palms high. But doubting, on account of the
size of the casting, lest the metal might grow cold and the work
therefore not succeed, he placed the metal in the vessel below, in
such a way that it might be gradually sucked upwards. And with this
unusual method that casting came out very well, and as clean as the
wax, so that the very surface that came from the fire had no need at
all to be polished, as may be seen from the statue itself, which was
placed below the first arches that support the tribune of the new S.
Pietro. On this tomb, which according to a design by his hand was to
be isolated, were to be placed four figures, which he executed in
marble with beautiful inventions according as he was directed by M.
Annibale Caro, who had the charge of this from the Pope and Cardinal
Farnese. One was Justice, which is a nude figure lying upon some
draperies, with the belt of the sword across the breast, and the sword
hidden; in one hand she has the fasces of consular jurisdiction, and
in the other a flame of fire, and she is young in countenance, and has
the hair plaited, the nose aquiline, and the aspect full of
expression. The second was Prudence in the form of a matron, young in
aspect, with a mirror in the hand, and a closed book, and partly nude,
partly draped. The third was Abundance, a young woman crowned with
ears of corn, with a horn of plenty in one hand and the ancient
corn-measure in the other, and clothed in such a manner as to show the
nude beneath the draperies. The fourth and last was Peace, who is a
matron with a boy that has lost his eyes, and with the Caduceus of
Mercury. He made, likewise, a scene also of metal and after the
directions of the above-named Caro, which was to be placed in the
work, with two River Gods, one representing a lake and the other a
river that is in the domains of the Farnesi; and, besides all these
things, there was to be there a mount covered with lilies, and with
the rainbow of Iris. But the whole was not afterwards carried into
execution, for the reasons that have been given in the Life of
Michelagnolo. It may be believed that even as these parts are in
themselves beautiful and wrought with much judgment, so they would
have succeeded as a whole together; and yet it is the air of the
piazza[15] which gives the true light and enables us to form a correct
judgment of a work.

         [Footnote 15: See last line on p. 112.]

[Illustration: TOMB OF POPE PAUL III

(_After =Guglielmo della Porta=. Rome: S. Peter's_)


The same Fra Guglielmo has executed during a period of many years
fourteen stories of the life of Christ, for casting in bronze; each of
which is four palms in breadth and six in height, excepting only one,
which is twelve palms high and six broad, wherein is the Nativity of
Jesus Christ, with most beautiful fantasies of figures. In the other
thirteen are, Mary going with the Infant Christ on the ass to
Jerusalem, with two figures in strong relief, and many in half-relief
and low-relief; the Last Supper, with thirteen figures well composed,
and a very rich building; the Washing of the Disciples' feet; the
Prayer in the Garden, with five figures, and at the foot a multitude
of great variety; Christ led before Annas, with six large figures,
many lower down, and one in the distance; the Scourging at the Column,
the Crowning with Thorns, the "Ecce Homo," Pilate washing his hands;
Christ bearing the Cross, with fifteen figures, and others in the
distance, going to Mount Calvary; Christ Crucified, with eighteen
figures; and Christ taken down from the Cross. All which scenes, if
they were cast, would form a very rare work, seeing that they have
been wrought with much study and labour. Pope Pius IV had intended to
have them executed for one of the doors of S. Pietro, but he had not
time, being overtaken by death. Recently Fra Guglielmo has executed
models in wax for three altars in S. Pietro; Christ taken down from
the Cross, Peter receiving the Keys of the Church, and the Coming of
the Holy Spirit, which would all be beautiful scenes.

In short, this man has had, and still has, the greatest opportunities
to exert himself and to execute works, seeing that the office of the
Piombo gives such a revenue that the holder can study and labour for
glory, which he who has not such advantages is not able to do; and yet
Fra Guglielmo has executed no finished work between 1547 and this year
of 1567. But it is the characteristic of those who hold that office to
become sluggish and indolent; and that this is true, a proof is that
this Guglielmo, before he became Friar of the Piombo, executed many
heads in marble and other works, besides those that we have mentioned.
It is true, indeed, that he has made four great Prophets in stucco,
which are in the niches between the pilasters of the first great arch
of S. Pietro. He also occupied himself much with the cars for the
feast of Testaccio and other masquerades, which were held now many
years ago in Rome.

A pupil of this master has been one Guglielmo Tedesco, who, among
other works, has executed a very rich and beautiful ornamentation of
little statues in bronze, imitated from the best antiques, for a
cabinet of wood (so it is called) which the Count of Pitigliano
presented to the Lord Duke Cosimo. Which little figures are these; the
horse of the Campidoglio, those of Monte Cavallo, the Farnese figures
of Hercules, the Antinous and the Apollo of the Belvedere, and the
heads of the Twelve Emperors, with others, all well wrought and very
similar to the originals.

Milan has also had another sculptor, dead this year, called Tommaso
Porta, who worked marble excellently well, and in particular
counterfeited antique heads in marble, which have been sold as
antiques; and masks he made so well that in them no one has equalled
him, of which I have one in marble by his hand, placed on the
chimney-piece of my house at Arezzo, which everyone takes for an
antique. This Tommaso made the heads of the Twelve Emperors in marble,
the size of life, which were the rarest things. These Pope Julius III
took, making him a present of an office of a hundred crowns a year in
the Segnatura; and he kept the heads I know not how many months in his
chamber, as choice things. But by the agency (so it is believed) of
the above-named Fra Guglielmo and others who were jealous of him, such
measures were taken against him, that, with no regard for the dignity
of the gift bestowed upon him by that Pontiff, they were sent back to
his house; where they were afterwards bought from him on better terms
by merchants, and then sent to Spain. Not one of our imitators of
antiques was superior to this Tommaso, of whom it has seemed to me
right that record should be made, and the rather as he has passed to a
better life, leaving name and fame for his ability.

Many works, likewise, have been executed in Rome by one Leonardo, a
Milanese, who has made recently two statues of marble, S. Peter and S.
Paul, for the Chapel of Cardinal Giovanni Riccio da Montepulciano,
which are much extolled and held to be good and beautiful figures. And
the sculptors Jacopo and Tommaso Casignuola have made in the Chapel of
the Caraffi, in the Church of the Minerva, the tomb of Pope Paul IV,
and, besides other ornaments, a statue formed of pieces which
represents that Pope, with a mantle of veined brocatello marble, and
the trimming and other things of veined marbles of various colours,
which render it marvellous. And so we see added to the other
industries of our modern intellects this new one, and that sculptors
proceed with colours in their sculpture to imitate painting. Which
tomb has been executed by means of the great saintliness, goodness and
gratitude of Pope Pius V, a Pontiff and Holy Father truly most
saintly, most blessed, and most worthy of long life.

Of Nanni di Baccio Bigio, a Florentine sculptor, besides what has been
said of him in other places, I have to record that in his youth, under
Raffaello da Montelupo, he applied himself in such a manner to
sculpture, that in some little things that he did in marble he gave
great promise that he would prove to be an able man. And having gone
to Rome, under the sculptor Lorenzetto, while he gave his attention as
his father had done also to architecture, he executed the statue of
Pope Clement VII, which is in the choir of the Minerva, and a Pietà of
marble, copied from that of Michelagnolo, which was placed in S. Maria
de Anima, the Church of the Germans, as a work that is truly very
beautiful. Another like it he made not long afterwards for Luigi del
Riccio, a Florentine merchant, which is now in S. Spirito at Florence,
in a chapel of that Luigi, who is no less extolled for such piety
towards his native city than is Nanni for having executed the statue
with much diligence and love. Nanni then applied himself under Antonio
da San Gallo with more study to architecture, and gave his attention,
while Antonio was alive, to the fabric of S. Pietro; where, falling
from a staging sixty braccia high, and shattering himself, he escaped
with his life by a miracle. Nanni has erected many edifices in Rome
and in the country round, and has sought to obtain even more, and
greater, as has been told in the Life of Michelagnolo. His work, also,
is the Palace of Cardinal Montepulciano on the Strada Giulia, and a
gate at Monte Sansovino built by order of Julius III, with a reservoir
for water that is not finished, and a loggia and other apartments of
the palace formerly built by the old Cardinal di Monte. And a work of
Nanni, likewise, is the house of the Mattei, with many other buildings
that have been erected or are still being constructed in Rome.

A famous and most celebrated architect, also, among others of the
present day, is Galeazzo Alessi of Perugia, who, serving in his youth
the Cardinal of Rimini, whose chamberlain he became, executed among
his first works, at the desire of that lord, the rebuilding of the
apartments in the Fortress of Perugia, with so many conveniences and
such beauty, that for a place so small it was a marvel, and many times
already they have accommodated the Pope with all his Court. Then,
after many other works that he executed for the said Cardinal, he was
invited by the Genoese with much honour into the service of that
Republic, for which the first work that he did was to restore and
fortify the port and the mole; nay rather, to make it almost entirely
different from what it was before. For, reaching out over a good space
into the sea, he caused to be constructed a great and most beautiful
port, which lies in a semicircle, very ornate with rustic columns and
with niches about them, at the extremities of which semicircle there
meet two little bastions, which defend that great port. On the piazza,
then, above the mole and at the back of the great port, towards the
city, he made a very large portico of the Doric Order, which
accommodates the Guard, and over it, comprising all the space that it
covers and likewise the two bastions and the gate, there is left a
platform arranged for the operations of artillery, which commands the
mole in the manner of a cavalier and defends the port both within and
without. And besides this, which is finished, arrangements are being
made for the enlargement of the city after his design, and his model
has already been approved by the Signoria; and all with much praise
for Galeazzo, who in these and other works has shown himself to be a
most ingenious architect. The same Galeazzo has executed the new
street of Genoa, with so many palaces built in the modern manner after
his designs, that many declare that in no other city of Italy is there
to be found a street more magnificent and grand than that one, nor one
more full of the richest palaces, all built by those Signori with the
persuasion and directions of Galeazzo, to whom all confess that they
owe a very great obligation, in that he has been the inventor and
executor of works which render their city, with regard to edifices,
incomparably more grand and magnificent than it was before. The same
master has built other streets without Genoa, and among others that
which starts from Ponte Decimo on the way to Lombardy. He has restored
the walls of the city towards the sea, and the fabric of the Duomo,
making therein the tribune and the cupola; and he has built, also,
many private edifices, such as the country palace of Messer Luca
Giustiniano, that of Signor Ottaviano Grimaldi, the Palaces of two
Doges, one for Signor Battista Grimaldi, and many others of which
there is no need to speak.


(_After =Galeazzo Alessi=. Genoa_)


Now I will not omit to say that he has made the lake and island of
Signor Adamo Centurioni, abounding in waters and fountains contrived
in various beautiful and fantastic ways, and also the fountain of the
Captain Larcaro, near the city, which is a most remarkable work; but
beyond all the different kinds of fountains that he has made for many
persons, most beautiful is the bath that he has made in the house of
Signor Giovan Battista Grimaldi at Bisagno. This bath, which in form
is round, has in the centre a little basin wherein eight or ten
persons can bathe without inconvenience; which basin has hot water
from four heads of sea-monsters that appear as if issuing from it, and
cold water from as many frogs that are over those heads of monsters.
Around that basin, to which one descends by three circular steps,
there curves a space wide enough for two persons to walk in comfort.
The circular wall of the whole bath is divided into eight spaces, in
four of which are four great niches, each of which contains a round
basin that is raised a little from the ground, half being within the
niche and half remaining without; and in the centre of each basin a
man can bathe, hot and cold water coming from a great mask that pours
it through the horns and draws it in again when necessary by the
mouth. In one of the other four spaces is the door, and in the other
three are windows and places to sit; and all the eight spaces are
separated by terminal figures, which support the cornice upon which
rests the round vaulting of the whole bath. From the centre of that
vaulting hangs a great ball of crystal-glass, on which is painted the
sphere of the heavens, and within it the globe of the earth, from
certain parts of which, when one uses the bath at night, comes a
brilliant light that renders the place as light as if it were mid-day.
I forbear to speak of the anteroom, the dressing-room, and the small
bath, which are full of stucco-ornaments, and of the pictures that
adorn the place, so as not to be longer than is needful; let it
suffice to say that they are in no way unworthy of so great a work.

In Milan, under the direction of the same Galeazzo, has been built the
Palace of Signor Tommaso Marini, Duke of Terranuova; and also,
possibly, the façade of the fabric of S. Celso that is now being
built, the auditorium of the Cambio, which is round in form, the
already begun Church of S. Vittore, and many other edifices. He has
also sent designs over all Italy and abroad, wherever he has not been
able to be in person, of many edifices, palaces, and temples, of which
I shall say no more; this much being enough to make him known as a
talented and most excellent architect.

I will not omit--seeing that he is one of our Italians, although I do
not know any particulars of his works--that in France, so I am
informed, a most excellent architect, and particularly in the work of
fortification, is Rocco Guerrini of Marradi, who in the recent wars of
that kingdom, to his great profit and honour, has executed many
ingenious and laudable works.

And so in this last part, in order not to defraud any man of the
proper credit of his talent, I have discoursed of some sculptors and
architects now living, of whom hitherto I had not had a convenient
occasion to speak.




There has never been, nor perhaps will there ever be for many
centuries, a more rare or more excellent miniaturist, or we would
rather say painter of little things, than Don Giulio Clovio, in that
he has surpassed by a great measure all others who have ever been
engaged in that kind of painting. This master was born in the province
of Sclavonia, or rather, Croatia, at a place called Grisone, in the
diocese of Madrucci, although his elders, of the family of the Clovi,
had come from Macedonia; and the name given to him at baptism was
Giorgio Giulio. As a child he gave his attention to letters; and then,
by a natural instinct, to design. And having come to the age of
eighteen, being desirous to make proficience, he came to Italy and
placed himself in the service of Cardinal Marino Grimani, with whom
for a period of three years he applied himself in such a manner to
drawing, that he achieved a much better result than perhaps up to that
time had been expected of him; as was seen in some designs of medals
and their reverses that he made for that lord, drawn with the pen most
minutely, with extreme and almost incredible diligence. Whereupon,
having seen that he was more assisted by nature in little things than
in great, he resolved, and wisely, that he would give his attention to
miniature, since his works in that field were full of grace and
beautiful to a marvel; being urged to this, also, by many friends, and
in particular by Giulio Romano, a painter of bright renown, who was
the man who before any other taught him the method of using tints and
colours in gum and in distemper.

[Illustration: THE DEPOSITION

(_After the painting upon parchment by =Giulio Clovio=. Florence:
Pitti, No. 241_)


Among the first works that Clovio coloured was a Madonna, which, as a
man of ingenious and beautiful spirit, he copied from the book of the
Life of the Virgin; which Madonna was printed in wood-engraving among
the first sheets of Albrecht Dürer. Whereupon, having acquitted
himself well in that his first work, he made his way by means of
Signor Alberto da Carpi, who was then serving in Hungary, into the
service of King Louis and of Queen Maria, the sister of Charles V; for
which King he executed a Judgment of Paris in chiaroscuro, which much
pleased him, and for the Queen the Roman Lucretia killing herself,
with some other things, which were held to be very beautiful. The
death of that King then ensuing, and the ruin of everything in
Hungary, Giorgio Giulio was forced to return to Italy; where he had no
sooner arrived than the old Cardinal Campeggio took him into his
service. Thereupon, being settled to his liking, he executed a Madonna
in miniature for that lord, and some other little things, and disposed
himself to attend at all costs with greater study to the matters of
art; and so he set himself to draw, and to seek with every effort to
imitate the works of Michelagnolo. But this fine resolution was
interrupted by the unhappy sack of Rome in the year 1527, when the
poor man, finding himself the prisoner of the Spaniards and
maltreated, in his great misery had recourse to divine assistance,
making a vow that if he escaped safely from that miserable ruin and
out of the hands of those new Pharisees, he would straightway become a
friar. Wherefore, having escaped by the grace of God and made his way
to Mantua, he became a monk in the Monastery of S. Ruffino, a seat of
the Order of Canons Regular of Scopeto; having been promised, besides
peace and quiet of mind and tranquil leisure in the service of God,
that he would have facilities for attending at times, as it were by
way of pastime, to the work of miniature. Having thus taken the habit
and the name of Don Giulio, at the end of a year he made his
profession; and then for a period of three years he stayed peacefully
enough among those fathers, changing from one monastery to another
according to his pleasure, as has been related elsewhere, and always
working at something. During that time he completed a great choir-book
with delicate illuminations and most beautiful borderings, making in
it, among other things, a Christ appearing to the Magdalene in the
form of a gardener, which was held to be a rare thing. Wherefore,
growing in courage, he depicted--but in figures much larger--the
Adulterous Woman accused by the Jews before Christ, with a good number
of figures; all which he copied from a picture that had been executed
in those days by Tiziano Vecelli, that most excellent painter.

Not long afterwards it happened that Don Giulio, in transferring
himself from one monastery to another, as monks or friars do, by
misfortune broke a leg. Being therefore conveyed by those fathers to
the Monastery of Candiana, that he might be better attended, he lay
there some time without recovering, perhaps having been wrongly
treated, as is common, no less by the fathers than by the physicians.
Which hearing, Cardinal Grimani, who much loved him for his
excellence, obtained from the Pope the power to keep him in his
service and to have him cured. Whereupon Don Giulio, having thrown off
the habit, and his leg being healed, went to Perugia with the
Cardinal, who was Legate there; and, setting to work, he executed for
him in miniature these works; an Office of Our Lady, with four most
beautiful stories, and in an Epistolar three large stories of S. Paul
the Apostle, one of which was sent not long afterwards to Spain. He
also made for him a very beautiful Pietà, and a Christ Crucified,
which after the death of Grimani came into the hands of Messer
Giovanni Gaddi, Clerk of the Chamber.

All these works caused Don Giulio to become known in Rome as an
excellent craftsman, and were the reason that Cardinal Alessandro
Farnese, who has always assisted, favoured, and desired to have about
him rare and gifted men, having heard his fame and seen his works,
took him into his service, in which he has remained ever since and
still remains, old as he is. For that lord, I say, he has executed an
infinite number of the rarest miniatures, of which I shall mention
here only a part, because to mention them all is almost impossible. In
a little picture he has painted Our Lady with her Son in her arms,
with many Saints and figures around, and Pope Paul III kneeling,
portrayed from life so well, that for all the smallness of that
miniature he seems as if alive; and all the other figures, likewise,
appear to lack nothing save breath and speech. That little picture, as
a thing truly of the rarest, was sent to Spain to the Emperor Charles
V, who was amazed by it. After that work the Cardinal caused him to
set his hand to executing in miniature the stories in an Office of Our
Lady, written in lettering shaped by Monterchi, who is a rare master
in such work. Whereupon Don Giulio, resolving that this work should be
the highest flight of his powers, applied himself to it with so much
study and diligence, that no other was ever executed with more;
wherefore he has achieved with the brush things so stupendous, that it
does not appear possible to go so far with the eye or with the hand.
Don Giulio has divided this labour into twenty-six little scenes, each
two sheets being next to one another, the figure and the
prefiguration, and every little scene has around it an ornament
different from the other, with figures and fantasies appropriate to
the story that it represents. Nor do I wish to grudge the labour of
describing them briefly, for the reason that everyone is not able to
see them. On the first page, where Matins begin, is the Angel bringing
the Annunciation to the Virgin Mary, and in the ornament a border full
of little children that are marvellous; and in the other scene Isaiah
speaking with King Ahaz. In the second, for Lauds, is the Visitation
of the Virgin to Elizabeth, which has an ornament in imitation of
metal; and in the opposite scene are Justice and Peace embracing one
another. For Prime is the Nativity of Christ, and opposite, in the
Earthly Paradise, Adam and Eve eating the Fruit; both the one and the
other with ornaments full of nudes and other figures and animals,
portrayed from nature. For Terce he has painted the Shepherds with the
Angel appearing to them, and in the opposite scene the Tiburtine Sibyl
showing to the Emperor Octavian the Virgin with Christ her Son in
Heaven; both the one and the other with ornaments of various borders
and figures, all coloured, and containing the portrait of Alexander
the Great and of Cardinal Alessandro Farnese. For Sext there is the
Circumcision of Christ, where Pope Paul III is portrayed for Simeon,
and in the scene are portraits of Mancina and Settimia, gentlewomen of
Rome, who were of surpassing beauty; and around it a border well
adorned, which likewise encloses with the same design the other story
that is beside it, wherein is S. John the Baptist baptizing Christ, a
scene full of nudes. For Nones he has made there the Magi adoring
Christ, and opposite to that Solomon adored by the Queen of Sheba,
both one and the other with borders rich and varied, and at the foot
of this the whole Feast of Testaccio executed with figures smaller
than ants, which is a marvellous thing to see, that a work so small
should have been executed to perfection with the point of a brush;
this is one of the greatest things that mortal hand could do or mortal
eye could behold, and in it are all the liveries that Cardinal Farnese
devised at that time. For Vespers there is Our Lady flying with Christ
into Egypt, and opposite is the Submersion of Pharaoh in the Red Sea;
with varied borders at the sides. For Complines there is the
Coronation of Our Lady in Heaven, with a multitude of Angels, and in
the other scene opposite is Ahasuerus crowning Esther; with
appropriate borders. For the Mass of the Madonna he has placed first,
in a border in imitation of cameos, the Angel Gabriel announcing the
Word to the Virgin; and the two scenes are Our Lady with Jesus Christ
in her arms and God the Father creating Heaven and Earth. Before the
Penitential Psalms is the Battle in which Uriah the Hittite was done
to death by command of King David, wherein are horses and warriors
wounded or dead, all marvellous; and opposite, in the other scene,
David in Penitence; with ornaments and also little grotesques. But he
who would sate himself with marvelling, let him look at the Litanies,
where Don Giulio has woven a maze with the letters of the names of the
Saints; and there in the margin above is a Heaven filled with Angels
around the most holy Trinity, and one by one the Apostles and the
other Saints; and on the other side the Heaven continues with Our Lady
and all the Virgin Saints. On the margin below he has depicted with
the most minute figures the procession that Rome holds for the solemn
office of the Corpus Christi, thronged with officers with their
torches, Bishops, and Cardinals, and the most Holy Sacrament borne by
the Pope, with the rest of the Court and the Guard of Halberdiers, and
finally Castel S. Angelo firing artillery; all such as to cause every
acutest wit to marvel with amazement. At the beginning of the Office
for the Dead are two scenes; Death triumphing over all mortals, mighty
rulers of States and Kingdoms and the common herd alike, and opposite,
in the other scene, the Resurrection of Lazarus, and also Death in
combat with some on horseback. For the Office of the Cross he has made
Christ Crucified, and opposite is Moses with the rain of serpents, and
the same Moses placing on high the serpent of brass. For that of the
Holy Spirit is that same Holy Spirit descending upon the Apostles, and
opposite is the Building of the Tower of Nimrod.

That work was executed by Don Giulio in a period of nine years with so
much study and labour, that in a manner of speaking it would never be
possible to pay for the work with no matter what price; nor is one
able to see any more strange and beautiful variety than there is in
all the scenes, of bizarre ornaments and various movements and
postures of nudes both male and female, studied and well detailed in
every part, and placed appropriately all around in those borders, in
order to enrich the work. Which diversity of things infuses such
beauty into that whole work, that it appears a thing divine and not
human, and above all because with his colours and his manner of
painting he has made the figures, the buildings and the landscapes
recede and fade into the distance with all those considerations that
perspective requires, and with the greatest perfection that is
possible, insomuch that, whether near or far, they cause everyone to
marvel; not to speak of the thousand different kinds of trees, wrought
so well that they appear as if grown in Paradise. In the stories and
inventions may be seen design, in the composition order and variety,
and richness in the vestments, which are executed with such beauty and
grace of manner, that it seems impossible that they could have been
fashioned by the hand of man. Wherefore we may say, as we said at the
beginning, that Don Giulio has surpassed in this field both ancients
and moderns, and that he has been in our times a new, if smaller,

The same master once executed a small picture with little figures for
the Cardinal of Trent, so pleasing and so beautiful, that that lord
made a present of it to the Emperor Charles V; and afterwards, for the
same lord, he painted another of Our Lady, and with it the portrait of
King Philip, which were very beautiful and therefore presented to the
said Catholic King. For the above-named Cardinal Farnese he painted a
little picture of Our Lady with her Son in her arms, S. Elizabeth, a
young S. John, and other figures, which was sent to Ruy Gomez in
Spain. In another, which the above-named Cardinal now has, he painted
S. John the Baptist in the Desert, with landscapes and animals of
great beauty, and another like it he executed afterwards for the same
lord, for sending to King Philip; and a Pietà, which he painted with
the Madonna and many other figures, was presented by the same Farnese
to Pope Paul IV, who as long as he lived would always have it beside
him. And a scene in which David is cutting off the head of the giant
Goliath, was presented by the same Cardinal to Madama Margherita of
Austria, who sent it to King Philip, her brother, together with
another which that most illustrious lady caused Don Giulio to execute
as a companion to it, wherein was Judith severing the head of

Many years ago Don Giulio stayed many months with Duke Cosimo, and
during that time executed some works for him, part of which were sent
to the Emperor and other lords, and part remained with his most
illustrious Excellency, who, among other things, caused him to copy a
little head of Christ from one of great antiquity that his Excellency
himself possesses, which once belonged to Godfrey of Bouillon, King of
Jerusalem; which head, they say, is more like the true image of the
Saviour than any other that there may be. Don Giulio painted for the
said Lord Duke a Christ on the Cross with the Magdalene at the foot,
which is a marvellous thing, and a little picture of a Pietà, of which
we have the design in our book together with another, also by the hand
of Don Giulio, of Our Lady standing with her Son in her arms, dressed
in the Jewish manner, with a choir of Angels about her, and many nude
souls in the act of commending themselves to her. But to return to the
Lord Duke; he has always loved dearly the excellence of Don Giulio,
and sought to obtain works by his hand; and if it had not been for the
regard that he felt for Farnese, he would not have let him go when he
stayed some months, as I have said, in his service in Florence. The
Duke, then, besides the works mentioned, has a little picture by the
hand of Don Giulio, wherein is Ganymede borne to Heaven by Jove
transformed into an Eagle, copied from the one that Michelagnolo once
drew, which is now in the possession of Tommaso de' Cavalieri, as has
been told elsewhere. In like manner, the Duke has in his study a S.
John the Baptist seated upon a rock, and some portraits by the same
hand, which are admirable.

Don Giulio once executed a picture of a Pietà, with the Maries and
other figures around, for the Marchioness of Pescara, and another like
it in every part for Cardinal Farnese, who sent it to the Empress, who
is now the wife of Maximilian and sister of King Philip; and another
little picture by the same master's hand he sent to his Imperial
Majesty, in which, in a most beautiful little landscape, is S. George
killing the Serpent, executed with supreme diligence. But this was
surpassed in beauty and design by a larger picture that Don Giulio
painted for a Spanish gentleman, in which is the Emperor Trajan as he
is seen in medals with the Province of Judæa on the reverse; which
picture was sent to the above-named Maximilian, now Emperor.

For the same Cardinal Farnese he has executed two other little
pictures; in one is Jesus Christ nude, with the Cross in His hands,
and in the other is Christ led by the Jews and accompanied by a vast
multitude to Mount Calvary, with the Cross on His shoulder, and behind
Him Our Lady and the other Maries in attitudes full of grace, such as
might move to pity a heart of stone. And in two large sheets for a
Missal, he has painted for that Cardinal Jesus Christ instructing the
Apostles in the doctrine of the Holy Evangel, and the Universal
Judgment--a work so beautiful, nay, so marvellous, so stupendous, that
I am confounded at the thought of it; and I hold it as certain that it
is not possible, I do not say to execute, but to see or even imagine
anything in miniature more beautiful.

It is a notable thing that in many of these works, and particularly in
the Office of the Madonna described above, Don Giulio has made some
little figures not larger than very small ants, with all the members
so depicted and distinguished, that more could not have been done in
figures of the size of life; and that everywhere there are dispersed
portraits from nature of men and women, not less like the reality than
if they had been executed, large as life and very natural, by Tiziano
or Bronzino. Besides which, in some ornaments of the borders there
may be seen little figures both nude and in other manners, painted in
the likeness of cameos, which, marvellously small as they are,
resemble in those proportions the most colossal giants; such is the
art and surpassing diligence that Don Giulio uses in his work. Of him
I have wished to give to the world this information, to the end that
those may know something of him who are not or will not be able to see
any of his works, from their being almost all in the hands of great
lords and personages. I say almost all, because I know that some
private persons have in little cases most beautiful portraits by his
hand, of various lords, their friends, or ladies loved by them. But,
however that may be, it is certain that the works of men such as Don
Giulio are not public, nor in places where they can be seen by
everyone, like the pictures, sculptures, and buildings of the other
masters of these our arts.

At the present day Don Giulio, although he is old and does not study
or attend to anything save to seeking the salvation of his soul by
good and holy works and by a life wholly apart from the things of the
world, and is in every way an old man, yet continues constantly to
work at something, there where he lives well attended and in perfect
peace in the Palace of the Farnesi, where he is most courteous in
showing his work with much willingness to all who go to visit and see
him, as they visit the other marvels of Rome.



There is now living in Rome one who is certainly very excellent in his
profession, Girolamo Siciolante of Sermoneta, of whom, although
something has been said in the Life of Perino del Vaga, whose disciple
he was, assisting him in the works of Castel S. Angelo and in many
others, nevertheless it cannot but be well to say also here so much as
his great excellence truly deserves. Among the first works, then, that
this Girolamo executed by himself, was an altar-piece twelve palms
high painted by him in oils at the age of twenty, which is now in the
Badia of S. Stefano, near his native town of Sermoneta; wherein, large
as life, are S. Peter, S. Stephen, and S. John the Baptist, with
certain children. After that altar-piece, which was much extolled, he
painted for the Church of S. Apostolo, in Rome, an altar-piece in oils
with the Dead Christ, Our Lady, S. John, the Magdalene, and other
figures, all executed with diligence. Then in the Pace, in the marble
chapel that Cardinal Cesis caused to be constructed, he decorated the
whole vaulting with stucco-work in a pattern of four pictures,
painting therein the Nativity of Jesus Christ, the Adoration of the
Magi, the Flight into Egypt, and the Massacre of the Innocents; all
which was a work worthy of much praise and executed with invention,
judgment, and diligence. For that same church, not long after, the
same Girolamo painted an altar-piece fifteen palms high, which is
beside the high-altar, of the Nativity of Jesus Christ, which was very
beautiful; and then in another altar-piece in oils, for the Sacristy
of the Church of S. Spirito in Rome, the Descent of the Holy Spirit
upon the Apostles, which is a work full of grace. In like manner, in
the Church of S. Maria de Anima, the church of the German colony, he
painted in fresco the whole of the Chapel of the Fugger family (for
which Giulio Romano once executed the altar-piece), with large scenes
of the Life of Our Lady. For the high-altar of S. Jacopo degli
Spagnuoli he painted in a large altar-piece a very beautiful Christ on
the Cross with some Angels about Him, Our Lady, and S. John, and
besides this two large pictures that are one on either side of it,
each nine palms high and with a single figure, S. James the Apostle
and S. Alfonso the Bishop; in which pictures it is evident that he
used much study and diligence. On the Piazza Giudea, in the Church of
S. Tommaso, he painted in fresco the whole of a chapel that looks out
over the court of the Cenci Palace, depicting there the Nativity of
the Madonna, the Annunciation by the Angel, and the Birth of Our
Saviour Jesus Christ. For Cardinal Capodiferro he painted a hall in
his palace, which is very beautiful, with stories of the ancient
Romans. And at Bologna he once executed for the Church of S. Martino
the altar-piece of the high-altar, which was much commended. For
Signor Pier Luigi Farnese, Duke of Parma and Piacenza, whom he served
for some time, he executed many works, and in particular a picture
that is in Piacenza, painted for a chapel, wherein are Our Lady, S.
Joseph, S. Michael, S. John the Baptist, and an Angel, of eight palms.


(_After the painting by =Sermoneta=. Rome: S. Maria Maggiore_)


After his return from Lombardy he painted in the Minerva, in the
passage of the sacristy, a Christ on the Cross, and another in the
church. Then he painted in oils a S. Catharine and a S. Agatha; and in
S. Luigi he executed a scene in fresco in competition with Pellegrino
Pellegrini of Bologna and the Florentine Jacopo del Conte. In an
altar-piece in oils, sixteen palms high, executed not long since for
the Church of S. Alò, opposite to the Misericordia, a Company of the
Florentines, he painted Our Lady, S. James the Apostle, and the
Bishops S. Alò and S. Martino; and in S. Lorenzo in Lucina, in the
Chapel of the Countess of Carpi, he painted in fresco a S. Francis who
is receiving the Stigmata. In the Hall of Kings, at the time of Pope
Pius IV, as has been related, he executed a scene in fresco over the
door of the Chapel of Sixtus; in that scene, which was much extolled,
Pepin, King of the Franks, is presenting Ravenna to the Roman Church,
and is leading as prisoner Astulf, King of the Lombards; and we have
the design of it by Girolamo's own hand in our book, with many others
by the same master. And, finally, he has now in hand the Chapel of
Cardinal Cesis in S. Maria Maggiore, for which he has already executed
in a large altar-piece the Martyrdom of S. Catharine on the wheel,
which is a most beautiful picture, as are the others on which both
there and elsewhere, with much study, he is continually at work. I
shall not make mention of the portraits and other pictures and little
works of Girolamo, because, besides that they are without number,
these are enough to make him known as a valiant and excellent painter.

Having said above, in the Life of Perino del Vaga, that the painter
Marcello Mantovano worked many years under him at pictures that gave
him a great name, I have to say in this place, coming more to
particulars, that he once painted in the Church of S. Spirito the
whole Chapel of S. Giovanni Evangelista and its altar-piece, with the
portrait of a Knight Commander of the same S. Spirito, who built that
church and constructed that chapel; which portrait is a very good
likeness, and the altar-piece most beautiful. Whereupon a Friar of the
Piombo, having seen his beautiful manner, caused him to paint in
fresco in the Pace, over the door that leads from the church into the
convent, Jesus Christ as a boy disputing with the Doctors in the
Temple, which is a very lovely work. But since he has always delighted
to make portraits and little things, abandoning larger works, he has
executed an infinite number of these; and among them may be seen some
of Pope Paul III, which are beautiful and speaking likenesses. In like
manner, from the designs of Michelagnolo and from his works he has
executed a vast number of things likewise small, and among these he
has depicted in one of his works the whole façade of the Judgment,
which is a rare thing and executed excellently well; and in truth, for
small paintings, it would not be possible to do better. For which
reason, finally, that most gentle Messer Tommaso de' Cavalieri, who
has always favoured him, has caused him to paint after the design of
Michelagnolo an altar-picture of the Annunciation of the Virgin, most
beautiful, for the Church of S. Giovanni Laterano; which design by
Buonarroti's own hand, imitated by this Marcello, Leonardo Buonarroti,
the nephew of Michelagnolo, presented to the Lord Duke Cosimo
together with some others of fortifications and architecture and other
things of the rarest. And this must suffice for Marcello, who has been
attending lately to working at little things, executing them with a
truly supreme and incredible patience.

Of Jacopo del Conte, a Florentine, who like those named above dwells
in Rome, enough will have been said, what with this and other places,
after certain other particulars have been given here. This Jacopo,
then, having been much inclined from his earliest youth to portraying
from the life, has desired that this should be his principal
profession, although on occasions he has executed altar-pictures and
works in fresco in some numbers, both in Rome and without. Of his
portraits--not to speak of them all, which would make a very long
story--I shall say only that he has portrayed all the Pontiffs that
there have been from Pope Paul III to the present day, and all the
lords and ambassadors of importance who have been at that Court, and
likewise the military captains and great men of the house of Colonna
and of the Orsini, Signor Piero Strozzi, and an infinite number of
Bishops, Cardinals, and other great prelates and lords, not to speak
of many men of letters and other men of quality; all which has caused
him to acquire fame, honour, and profit in Rome, so that he lives
honourably and much at his ease with his family in that city. From his
boyhood he drew so well that he gave promise, if he should persevere,
of becoming excellent, and so in truth he would have been, but, as I
have said, he turned to that to which he felt himself inclined by
nature. Nevertheless, his works cannot but be praised. By his hand is
a Dead Christ in an altar-piece that is in the Church of the Popolo,
and in another that he has executed for the Chapel of S. Dionigi in S.
Luigi, with stories, is the first-named Saint. But the most beautiful
work that he ever did was in two scenes in fresco that he once
painted, as has been told in another place, in the Florentine Company
of the Misericordia, with an altar-picture of Christ taken down from
the Cross, with the Thieves fixed on their crosses, and the Madonna in
a swoon, painted in oil-colours, all beautiful and executed with
diligence and with great credit to him. He has made many pictures
throughout Rome, and figures in various manners, and has executed a
number of full-length portraits, both nude and draped, of men and
women, which have proved very beautiful, because the subjects were not
otherwise. He has also portrayed, according as occasions arose, many
heads of noble ladies, gentlewomen and princesses who have been in
Rome; and among others, I know that he once portrayed Signora Livia
Colonna, a most noble lady, incomparable in her illustrious blood, her
virtue, and her beauty. And let this suffice for Jacopo del Conte, who
is still living and constantly at work.

I might have made known, also, many from our Tuscany and from other
parts of Italy, their names and their works, which I have passed over
lightly, because many of them, being old, have ceased to work, and
others who are young are now trying their hands and will become known
better by their works than by means of writings. But of Adone Doni of
Assisi, because he is still living and working, although I made
mention of him in the Life of Cristofano Gherardi, I shall give some
particulars of his works, such as are in Perugia and throughout all
Umbria, and in particular many altar-pieces in Foligno. But his best
works are in S. Maria degli Angeli at Assisi, in the little chapel
where S. Francis died, wherein are some stories of the life of that
Saint executed in oils on the walls, which are much extolled, besides
which, he has painted the Passion of Christ in fresco at the head of
the refectory of that convent, in addition to many other works that
have done him honour; and his gentleness and courtesy have caused him
to be considered liberal and courteous.

In Orvieto there are two young men also of that same profession, one a
painter called Cesare del Nebbia, and the other a sculptor, both well
on the way to bringing it about that their city, which up to the
present has always invited foreign masters to adorn her, will no
longer be obliged, if they follow up the beginnings that they have
made, to seek other masters. There is working at Orvieto, in S. Maria,
the Duomo of that city, a young painter called Niccolò dalle
Pomarancie, who, having executed an altar-piece wherein is Christ
raising Lazarus, has given signs--not to speak of other works in
fresco--of winning a name among the others named above.

And now that we are come to the end of our Italian masters still
living, I shall say only that no less service has been rendered by one
Lodovico, a Florentine sculptor, who, so I am told, has executed
notable works in England and at Bari; but, since I have not found here
either his relatives or his family name, and have not seen his works,
I am not able (as I fain would) to make any other record of him than
this mention of his name.



Now, although in many places mention has been made of the works of
certain excellent Flemish painters and of their engravings, but
without any order, I shall not withhold the names of certain
others--for of their works I have not been able to obtain full
information--who have been in Italy, and I have known the greater
number of them, in order to learn the Italian manner; believing that
no less is due to their industry and to the labour endured by them in
our arts. Leaving aside, then, Martin of Holland, Jan van Eyck of
Bruges, and Hubert his brother, who in 1510 invented and brought to
light the method of painting in oil-colours, as has been told
elsewhere, and left many works by his hand in Ghent, Ypres, and
Bruges, where he lived and died in honour; after them, I say, there
followed Roger van der Weyden of Brussels, who executed many works in
several places, but principally in his native city, and for the Town
Hall four most beautiful panel-pictures in oils, of things
appertaining to Justice. A disciple of that Roger was Hans,[16] by
whom, as has been told, we have in Florence the Passion of Christ in a
little picture that is in the hands of the Duke. To him there
succeeded the Fleming Louis of Louvain, Pieter Christus, Justus of
Ghent, Hugo of Antwerp, and many others, who, for the reason that they
never went forth from their own country, always adhered to the Flemish
manner. And if Albrecht Dürer, of whom we have spoken at some length,
did once come to Italy, nevertheless he kept always to one and the
same manner; although he was spirited and vivacious, particularly in
his heads, as is well known to all Europe.

         [Footnote 16: Hans Memling.]

But, leaving these, and together with them Lucas of Holland and
others, I became acquainted in Rome, in 1532, with one Michael Coxie,
who gave no little study to the Italian manner, and executed many
works in fresco in that city, and in particular two chapels in S.
Maria de Anima. Having then returned to his own country and made
himself known as an able man, I hear that among other works he
executed for King Philip of Spain an altar-picture copied from one by
the above-named Jan van Eyck that is in Ghent; and in that copy, which
was taken into Spain, is the Triumph of the Agnus Dei. There studied
in Rome, not long afterwards, Martin Heemskerk, a good master of
figures and landscapes, who has executed in Flanders many pictures and
many designs for copper-engravings, which, as has been related
elsewhere, have been engraved by Hieronymus Cock, whom I came to know
in Rome while I was serving Cardinal Ippolito de' Medici. And all
these have been most beautiful inventors of stories, and close
observers of the Italian manner.

[Illustration: PORTRAIT OF A MAN

(_After the painting by =Johannes Calcar=. Paris: Louvre, No. 1185_)

_X phot._]

In Naples, also, in the year 1545, I came to know Johann of Calcar, a
Flemish painter, who became very much my friend; a very rare
craftsman, and so well practised in the Italian manner, that his works
were not recognized as by the hand of a Fleming. But he died young in
Naples, while great things were expected of him; and he drew for
Vessalio his studies in anatomy. Before him, however, there was much
in repute one Dirk of Louvain, a good master in that manner; and also
Quentin of the same place, who in his figures always followed nature
as well as he was able, as also did a son of his called Johann. Joost
van Cleef, likewise, was a great colourist and rare in making
portraits from life, for which King Francis of France employed him
much in executing many portraits of various lords and ladies. Famous
painters of the same province, also, have been--and some of them still
are--Jan van Hemessen, Matthys Cock of Antwerp, Bernard of Brussels,
Jan Cornelis of Amsterdam, Lambert of the same city, Hendrik of
Dinant, Joachim Patinier of Bouvignes, and Jan Scorel, Canon of
Utrecht, who carried into Flanders many new methods of painting taken
from Italy. Besides these, there have been Jean Bellegambe of Douai,
Dirk of Haarlem, from the same place, and Franz Mostaert, who was
passing skilful in painting landscapes in oils, fantasies, bizarre
inventions, dreams, and suchlike imaginings. Hieronymus Bosch and
Pieter Brueghel of Breda were imitators of that Mostaert, and Lancelot
Blondeel has been excellent in painting fires, nights, splendours,
devils, and other things of that kind. Pieter Koeck has had much
invention in stories, and has made very beautiful cartoons for
tapestries and arras-hangings; with a good manner and practice in
matters of architecture, on which account he has translated into the
Teuton tongue the works on architecture of Sebastiano Serlio of
Bologna. And Jean Gossart of Mabuse was almost the first who took from
Italy into Flanders the true method of making scenes full of nude
figures and poetical inventions; and by his hand is a large
altar-piece in the Abbey of Middelburg in Zeeland. Of all these
information has been received from Maestro Giovanni Strada of Bruges,
a painter, and from Giovan Bologna of Douai, a sculptor; both Flemings
and men of excellence, as we shall relate in the Treatise on the

As for those of the same province who are still living and in repute,
the first among them, both for his works in painting and for his many
copper-plate engravings, is Franz Floris of Antwerp, a disciple of the
above-mentioned Lambert Lombard. This Floris, who is held to be most
excellent, has worked in such a manner in every field of his
profession, that no one, they say there, has expressed better the
emotions of the soul, sorrow, gladness, and the other passions, and
all with most beautiful and bizarre inventions; insomuch that,
likening him to the Urbinate, they call him the Flemish Raffaello. It
is true that this is not demonstrated to us fully by the printed
sheets, for the reason that the engraver, be he ever so able, never by
a great measure equals the originals or the design and manner of him
who has drawn them. A fellow-disciple with Floris, learning under the
discipline of the same master, has been Willem Key of Breda, and also
of Antwerp, a temperate, serious, and judicious man, and a close
imitator of the life and the objects of nature, and in addition
passing fertile in invention, and one who more than any other executes
his pictures with good gradation and all full of sweetness and grace;
and although he has not the facility, boldness, and terrible force of
his brother-disciple Floris, for all that he is held to be truly
excellent. Michael Coxie, of whom I have spoken above, saying that he
carried the Italian manner into Flanders, is much celebrated among the
Flemish craftsmen for being profoundly serious and making his figures
such that they have in them much of the virile and severe; wherefore
the Fleming Messer Domenicus Lampsonius, of whom mention will be made
in the proper place, discoursing of the two masters named above and of
this Michael, likens them to a fine trio in music, in which each plays
his part with excellence. Much esteemed, also, among the same men, is
Antonius Moor of Utrecht in Holland, painter to the Catholic King,
whose colours, they say, in portraying whatever he may choose from
nature, vie with the reality and deceive the eye most beautifully. The
same Lampsonius writes to me that Moor, who is a man of very gentle
ways and much beloved, has painted a most beautiful altar-picture of
Christ rising from the dead, with two Angels, S. Peter, and S. Paul,
which is a marvellous thing. Marten de Vos, who copies excellently
well from nature, is held to be good in invention and colouring. But
in the matter of making beautiful landscapes, none are equal to Jakob
Grimmer, Hans Bol, and others, all of Antwerp and able men, of whom,
nevertheless, I have not been able to obtain particular information.
Pieter Aertsen, called Long Peter, painted in his native city of
Amsterdam an altar-picture with wing-panels, containing Our Lady and
other Saints; which whole work cost two thousand crowns. They also
celebrate as a good painter Lambert of Amsterdam, who dwelt many years
in Venice, and had the Italian manner very well. This Lambert was the
father of Federigo, of whom, from his being one of our Academicians,
record will be made in the proper place. Pieter Brueghel of Antwerp,
likewise, they celebrate as an excellent master, and Lambert van Noort
of Amersfort in Holland, and as a good architect Gilis Mostaert,
brother of the above-named Franz; and Pieter Pourbus, a mere lad, has
given proof that he is destined to become an excellent painter.

Now, that we may learn something of the miniaturists of those
countries: they say that these have been excellent there, Marinus of
Zierickzee, Lucas Horebout of Ghent, Simon Bening of Bruges, and
Gerard; and likewise some women, Susanna, sister of the said Lucas,
who was invited for that work into the service of Henry VIII, King of
England, and lived there in honour all the rest of her life; Clara
Skeysers of Ghent, who at the age of eighty died, so they say, a
virgin; Anna, daughter of Meister Seghers, a physician; Levina,
daughter of the above-named Meister Simon of Bruges, who was married
by the said Henry of England to a nobleman, and held in estimation by
Queen Mary, even as she is now by Queen Elizabeth; and likewise
Catharina, daughter of Meister Jan van Hemessen, who went to Spain
into the service of the Queen of Hungary, with a good salary. In
short, many other women in those parts have been excellent

In the work of glass and of making windows there have been many able
men in the same province; Arthus van Noort of Nymwegen, Borghese of
Antwerp, Dierick Jacobsz Vellaert, Dirk van Staren of Kampen, and Jan
Haeck of Antwerp, by whom are the windows in the Chapel of the
Sacrament in the Church of S. Gudule in Brussels. And here in Tuscany
many very beautiful windows of fired glass have been made for the Duke
of Florence by Wouter Crabeth and Giorgio, Flemings and able men, from
the designs of Vasari.

In architecture and sculpture the most celebrated Flemings are
Sebastian van Oja of Utrecht, who served Charles V in some
fortifications, and then King Philip; Willem van Antwerp; Willem Keur
of Holland, a good architect and sculptor; Jan van Dalen, sculptor,
poet and architect; and Jakob Breuck, sculptor and architect, who
executed many works for the Queen Regent of Hungary, and was the
master of Giovan Bologna of Douai, one of our Academicians, of whom we
shall speak in a short time. Jan de Mynsheere of Ghent, also, is held
to be a good architect, and Matthaeus Manemaker of Antwerp, who is
with the King of the Romans, an excellent sculptor; and Cornelis
Floris, brother of the above-named Franz, is likewise an excellent
sculptor and architect, and the first who introduced into Flanders the
method of making grotesques. Others who give their attention to
sculpture, with much honour to themselves, are Willem Paludanus, a
very studious and diligent sculptor, brother of the above-named
Heinrich; Jan der Sart of Nymwegen, Simon van Delft, and Joost
Janszoon of Amsterdam. And Lambert Suavius of Liège is a very good
architect and master in engraving prints with the burin, wherein he
has been followed by Joris Robyn of Ypres, Dirk Volkaerts and Philip
Galle, both of Haarlem, Lucas van Leyden, and many others; who have
all been in Italy in order to learn and to draw the antiquities, and
to return home, as for the most part they have done, excellent
masters. But greater than any of those named above has been Lambert
Lombard of Liège, a man great in letters, judicious in painting, and
excellent in architecture, the master of Franz Floris and Willem Key;
of the excellencies of which Lambert and of others I have received
much information in letters from M. Domenicus Lampsonius of Liège, a
man well lettered and of much judgment in everything, who was the
familiar confidant of Cardinal Pole of England during his lifetime,
and now is secretary to Monsignor the Prince Bishop of Liège. That
gentleman, I say, once sent me the life of the said Lambert written in
Latin, and he has saluted me several times in the name of many of our
craftsmen from that province; and a letter that I have by his hand,
dated October 30, 1564, is written in this tenor:

"For four years back I have had it constantly in mind to thank you,
honoured Sir, for two very great benefits that I have received from
you, although I know that this will appear to you a strange exordium
from one whom you have never seen or known. And strange, indeed, it
would be, if I had not known you, which has been from the time when my
good fortune, or rather, our Lord God, willed that by His Grace there
should come into my hands, I know not in what way, your most excellent
writings concerning the architects, painters, and sculptors. But at
that time I did not know one word of Italian, whereas now, thanks be
to God, for all that I have never seen Italy, by reading your writings
I have gained such little knowledge as has encouraged me to write you
this letter. And to this desire to learn your tongue I have been
attracted by your writings, which perhaps those of no other man could
have done; being drawn to seek to understand them by a natural and
irresistible love that I have borne from childhood to these three most
beautiful arts, but above all to that most pleasing to every age, sex,
and rank, and hurtful to none, your art of painting. In which art,
although I was at that time wholly ignorant and wanting in judgment,
now, by means of the frequently reiterated reading of your writings, I
understand so much--little though it may be, and as it were
nothing--as is yet enough to enable me to lead an agreeable and happy
life; and this I value more than all the honours, comforts and riches
of this world. By this little I mean only that I could copy with
oil-colours, as with any kind of drawing-instrument, the objects of
nature, and particularly nudes and vestments of every sort; but I have
not had courage enough to plunge deeper, as for example, to paint
things more hazardous which require a hand more practised and sure,
such as landscapes, trees, waters, clouds, splendours, fires, etc. And
although in these things, as also in inventions, up to a certain
point, it is possible that in case of necessity I could show that I
have made some little proficience by means of the reading I have
mentioned, yet I have been content, as I have said, to confine myself
to making only portraits, and the rather because the many occupations
which my office necessarily involves do not permit me to do more. And
in order to prove myself in some way appreciative and grateful for
these benefits, that by your means I have learned a most beautiful
tongue and the art of painting, I would have sent you with this letter
a little portrait of my face, taken with a mirror, had I not doubted
whether my letter would find you in Rome or not, since at the present
moment you might perchance be living in Florence or your native city
of Arezzo."

This letter contains, in addition, many other particulars that are not
here to the point. In others, since, he has prayed me in the name of
many honourable gentlemen of those parts, who have heard that these
Lives are being reprinted, that I should add to them three treatises
on sculpture, painting, and architecture, with drawings of figures, by
way of elucidation according to necessity, in order to expound the
secrets of the arts, as Albrecht Dürer and Serlio have done, and Leon
Battista Alberti, who has been translated by M. Cosimo Bartoli, a
gentleman and Academician of Florence. Which I would have done more
than willingly, but my intention has been only to describe the lives
and works of our craftsmen, and not to teach the arts, with the
methods of drawing the lines of painting, architecture, and sculpture;
besides which, the work having grown under my hands for many reasons,
it will be perchance too long, even without adding treatises. But it
was not possible or right for me to do otherwise than I have done, or
to defraud anyone of his due praise and honour, nor yet the world of
the pleasure and profit that I hope may be derived from these


  Abate, Niccolò dell' (Niccolò da Modena), 148

  Adone Doni, 261

  Aertsen, Pieter, 268

  Agnolo, Baccio d', 40, 41, 194

  Agnolo Bronzino, 118, 125, 128, 133, 137, 252

  Agnolo di Donnino, 29, 30

  Agresti, Livio (Livio da Forlì), 155

  Aimo, Domenico (Vecchio), 189

  Alberti, Leon Batista, 271

  Albrecht Dürer, 163, 246, 265, 271

  Alessandro Allori (Alessandro del Bronzino), 133, 138

  Alessandro (Scherano da Settignano), 55

  Alessandro Vittoria, 204-206, 223

  Alessi, Galeazzo, 239-242

  Alesso Baldovinetti, 182

  Alfonso Lombardi, 167

  Allori, Alessandro (Alessandro del Bronzino), 133, 138

  Alonzo Berughetta, 20, 189

  Ammanati, Bartolommeo, 69, 70, 73, 118, 125, 126, 129, 207, 208, 223

  Amsterdam, Lambert of (Lambert Lombard), 266-268, 270

  Andrea Calamech, 129

  Andrea Contucci (Andrea Sansovino), 15, 40, 41, 187, 202, 216

  Andrea del Minga, 131

  Andrea del Sarto, 20, 43, 188, 193, 194

  Andrea Mantegna, 211

  Andrea Palladio, 211-214

  Andrea Sansovino (Andrea Contucci), 15, 40, 41, 187, 202, 216

  Anna Seghers, 269

  Antonio Begarelli (Modena), 113

  Antonio da San Gallo (the elder), 16, 40, 41

  Antonio da San Gallo (the younger), 61-67, 196, 197, 224, 239

  Antonio di Gino Lorenzi, 131

  Antonio di Marco di Giano (Carota), 51

  Antonio Mini, 47-51, 69, 81, 107, 109

  Antonius Moor, 268

  Antwerp, Hugo of, 265

  Antwerp, Willem van, 269

  Apelles, 133, 168

  Arca, Niccolò dell', 11

  Aretino, Leone (Leone Lioni), _Life_, 229-232. 95, 233

  Aristotile (Bastiano) da San Gallo, 20, 29, 30

  Arnolfo di Lapo, 194

  Arthus van Noort, 269

  Ascanio Condivi (Ascanio dalla Ripa Transone), 5, 107

  Baccio Bandinelli, 20, 49, 126, 190

  Baccio d'Agnolo, 40, 41, 194

  Baccio da Montelupo, 55, 188, 190, 239

  Bagnacavallo, Bartolommeo da, 147

  Bagnacavallo, Giovan Battista da, 147, 148

  Baldassarre Peruzzi, 65, 196

  Baldovinetti, Alesso, 182

  Bandinelli, Baccio, 20, 49, 126, 190

  Bandini, Giovanni di Benedetto (Giovanni dell'Opera), 126, 130, 140, 141

  Barbara de' Longhi, 155

  Barbiere, Domenico del, 149

  Barozzi, Jacopo (Vignuola), 102, 146, 147

  Bartolommeo Ammanati, 69, 70, 73, 118, 125, 126, 129, 207, 208, 223

  Bartolommeo Bozzato (Girolamo Bozza), 183

  Bartolommeo da Bagnacavallo, 147

  Bartolommeo Montagna, 211

  Bartolommeo Passerotto, 156

  Bartolommeo Suardi (Bramantino da Milano), 190

  Bassano, Jacopo da, 175, 176

  Bastiano (Aristotile) da San Gallo, 20, 29, 30

  Battista del Cavaliere (Battista Lorenzi), 131, 140, 141

  Battista del Cinque, 51

  Battista del Tasso, 51

  Battista di Benedetto Fiammeri, 126

  Battista Farinato, 214

  Battista Franco, 199, 205, 217

  Battista Lorenzi (Battista del Cavaliere), 131, 140, 141

  Battista Naldini, 134

  Begarelli, Antonio (Modena), 113

  Bellegambe, Jean, 266

  Bellini, Giovanni, 159, 160, 162, 163

  Benedetto da Rovezzano, 191

  Bening, Levina, 269

  Bening, Simon, 268

  Benvenuto Cellini, 51, 118, 125

  Benvenuto Garofalo, 202

  Bernard of Brussels, 266

  Bernardino Pinturicchio, 190

  Bernardo Timante Buontalenti, 135-137

  Bertoldo, 8

  Berughetta, Alonzo, 20, 189

  Bigio, Nanni di Baccio, 69, 76, 100, 101, 113, 239

  Blondeel, Lancelot, 267

  Bol, Hans, 268

  Bologna, Giovan, 267, 269

  Bologna, Ruggieri da, 147

  Bolognese, Pellegrino (Pellegrino Pellegrini, or Tibaldi), 151-154, 258

  Bonifazio (of Venice), 214

  Bordone, Paris, 178-182

  Borghese (of Antwerp), 269

  Bosch, Hieronymus, 267

  Bosco, Maso dal (Maso Boscoli), 55

  Boscoli, Giovanni, 156

  Boscoli, Maso (Maso dal Bosco), 55

  Bozzato, Bartolommeo (Girolamo Bozza), 183

  Bramante da Urbino, 27-29, 31, 65, 71, 188-190

  Bramantino da Milano (Bartolommeo Suardi), 190

  Bresciano, Jacopo (Jacopo de' Medici), 206, 207, 223

  Breuck, Jakob, 269

  Bronzino, Agnolo, 118, 125, 128, 133, 137, 252

  Bronzino, Alessandro del (Alessandro Allori), 133, 138

  Brueghel, Pieter, 267, 268

  Brunelleschi, Filippo, 43, 44, 133

  Brussels, Bernard of, 266

  Bugiardini, Giuliano, 29, 30, 95

  Buglioni, Santi, 132

  Buonarroti, Michelagnolo, _Life_, 3-141. 145, 153, 162, 170, 171,
    187, 193-195, 215, 216, 224, 231, 235, 236, 239, 246, 250, 251, 259

  Buontalenti, Bernardo Timante, 135-137

  Butteri, Giovan Maria, 131

  Cadore, Tiziano da (Tiziano Vecelli), _Life_, 159-178. 48, 145, 153,
    159-179, 182, 183, 201, 202, 247, 252

  Calamech, Andrea, 129

  Calamech, Lazzaro, 129

  Calcagni, Tiberio, 83, 84, 98-100

  Calcar, Johann of (Giovanni Fiammingo), 178, 266

  Capocaccia, Mario, 233

  Caravaggio, Polidoro da, 170

  Carota (Antonio di Marco di Giano), 51

  Carpaccio, Vittore (Vittore Scarpaccia), 210, 211

  Carrara, Danese da (Danese Cattaneo), 176, 204, 208-210, 214, 223

  Casignuola, Jacopo, 238

  Casignuola, Tommaso, 238

  Castel Bolognese, Giovanni da, 164

  Castelfranco, Giorgione da, 159-162, 165, 179

  Catharina van Hemessen, 269

  Cattaneo, Danese (Danese da Carrara), 176, 204, 208-210, 214, 223

  Cavaliere, Battista del (Battista Lorenzi), 131, 140, 141

  Cavalori, Mirabello (Mirabello di Salincorno), 126

  Cellini, Benvenuto, 51, 118, 125

  Cesare Cesariano, 190

  Cesare del Nebbia, 261

  Cesariano, Cesare, 190

  Christus, Pieter, 265

  Ciappino, 51

  Ciciliano, Jacopo, 98

  Cimabue, Giovanni, 133

  Cinque, Battista del, 51

  Cioli, Valerio, 129, 140, 141

  Clara Skeysers, 269

  Cleef, Joost van, 266

  Clovio, Don Giulio, _Life_, 245-253

  Cock, Hieronymus, 266

  Cock, Matthys, 266

  Colonna, Jacopo, 202, 203, 223

  Condivi, Ascanio (Ascanio dalla Ripa Transone), 5, 107

  Conte, Jacopo del, 95, 152, 258, 260, 261

  Contucci, Andrea (Andrea Sansovino), 15, 40, 41, 187, 202, 216

  Cornelis Floris, 269

  Cornelis, Jan, 266

  Coxie, Michael, 266-268

  Crabeth, Wouter, 269

  Credi, Lorenzo di, 190

  Cristofano Gherardi, 261

  Cristofano Gobbo (Cristofano Solari), 14, 234

  Cristofano Rosa, 177

  Cristofano Solari (Cristofano Gobbo), 14, 234

  Crocifissaio, Girolamo del (Girolamo Macchietti), 126

  Dalen, Jan van, 269

  Danese Cattaneo (Danese da Carrara), 176, 204, 208-210, 214, 223

  Daniello Ricciarelli (Daniello da Volterra), 95, 100, 101, 103, 107,
    121, 122

  Dante, Girolamo (Girolamo di Tiziano), 183

  Danti, Vincenzio, 128, 139

  David Ghirlandajo, 5, 6, 182

  Delft, Simon van, 269

  Dierick Jacobsz Vellaert, 269

  Dinant, Hendrik of, 266

  Dirk of Haarlem, 266

  Dirk of Louvain, 266

  Dirk van Staren, 269

  Dirk Volkaerts, 270

  Domenico Aimo (Vecchio), 189

  Domenico del Barbiere, 149

  Domenico Ghirlandajo, 5-9, 182

  Domenico Poggini, 131

  Domenicus Lampsonius, 268, 270, 271

  Don Giulio Clovio, _Life_, 245-253

  Donato (Donatello), 8, 10, 111, 133, 138, 169

  Doni, Adone, 261

  Donnino, Agnolo di, 29, 30

  Dosso Dossi, 163

  Dürer, Albrecht, 163, 246, 265, 271

  Eyck, Hubert van, 265

  Eyck, Jan van, 265, 266

  Fabbro, Pippo del, 192

  Fabrizio Viniziano, 215

  Faenza, Jacopone da, 154

  Faenza, Marco da (Marco Marchetti), 155, 156

  Fallaro, Jacopo, 214

  Farinato, Battista, 214

  Federigo Fiammingo (Federigo di Lamberto, or Del Padovano), 127, 268

  Ferrarese, Girolamo (Girolamo Lombardi), 202, 223

  Fiammeri, Battista di Benedetto, 126

  Fiammingo, Federigo (Federigo di Lamberto, or Del Padovano), 127, 268

  Fiammingo, Giorgio, 269

  Fiammingo, Giovanni (Johann of Calcar), 178, 266

  Fiesole, Simone da, 15, 16

  Filippo Brunelleschi, 43, 44, 133

  Filippo Lippi, Fra, 119, 133

  Floris, Cornelis, 269

  Floris, Franz, 267-270

  Fontana, Prospero, 147, 148, 150-152

  Forlì, Livio da (Livio Agresti), 155

  Fra Filippo Lippi, 119, 133

  Fra Giovanni Agnolo Montorsoli, 51, 117, 133

  Fra Guglielmo della Porta, 68, 69, 234-238

  Fra Sebastiano Viniziano del Piombo, 68, 106, 109, 111, 162, 235

  Francesco del Tadda, 97

  Francesco Francia, 26, 27

  Francesco Granacci, 5, 6, 8, 20, 29, 30

  Francesco Primaticcio, _Description of Works_, 145-150. 151, 156

  Francesco Salviati, 133

  Francesco Verbo (Verlo), 211

  Francia, Francesco, 26, 27

  Francia, Piero, 130

  Franciabigio, 20

  Franco, Battista, 199, 205, 217

  Franz Floris, 267-270

  Franz Mostaert, 266-268

  Franzese, Giovanni, 88

  Gaddi, Taddeo, 133

  Galeazzo Alessi, 239-242

  Galeotto, Pietro Paolo, 233

  Galle, Philip, 270

  Garofalo, Benvenuto, 202

  Gerard, 268

  Ghent, Justus of, 265

  Gherardi, Cristofano, 261

  Gherardo, 182

  Ghiberti, Lorenzo, 114

  Ghirlandajo, David, 5, 6, 182

  Ghirlandajo, Domenico, 5-9, 182

  Ghirlandajo, Michele di Ridolfo, 130

  Ghirlandajo, Ridolfo, 20

  Gian Maria Verdezotti, 178

  Giano, Antonio di Marco di (Carota), 51

  Gilis Mostaert, 268

  Giorgio Fiammingo, 269

  Giorgio Vasari. See Vasari (Giorgio)

  Giorgione da Castelfranco, 159-162, 165, 179

  Giotto, 3, 119, 133, 182

  Giovan Battista da Bagnacavallo, 147, 148

  Giovan Bologna, 267, 269

  Giovan Jacomo della Porta, 234, 235

  Giovan Maria Butteri, 131

  Giovan Paolo Poggini, 232, 233

  Giovanni (of Vicenza), 211

  Giovanni Agnolo Montorsoli, Fra, 51, 117, 133

  Giovanni Antonio Licinio (Pordenone), 160, 167, 168

  Giovanni Bellini, 159, 160, 162, 163

  Giovanni Boscoli, 156

  Giovanni Cimabue, 133

  Giovanni da Castel Bolognese, 164

  Giovanni da Udine, 42, 51

  Giovanni dell'Opera (Giovanni di Benedetto Bandini), 126, 130, 140, 141

  Giovanni Fiammingo (Johann of Calcar), 178, 266

  Giovanni Franzese, 88

  Giovanni Pisano, 11

  Giovanni Speranza, 211

  Giovanni Strada (Jan van der Straet), 134, 135, 267

  Girolamo Bozza (Bartolommeo Bozzato), 183

  Girolamo da Sermoneta (Girolamo Siciolante), 152, 257-259

  Girolamo Dante (Girolamo di Tiziano), 183

  Girolamo del Crocifissaio (Girolamo Macchietti), 126

  Girolamo di Tiziano (Girolamo Dante), 183

  Girolamo Ferrarese (Girolamo Lombardi), 202, 223

  Girolamo Macchietti (Girolamo del Crocifissaio), 126

  Girolamo Miruoli, 156

  Girolamo Pironi, 211

  Girolamo Siciolante (Girolamo da Sermoneta), 152, 257-259

  Giuliano Bugiardini, 29, 30, 95

  Giuliano da San Gallo, 16, 29, 30, 188, 189

  Giulio Clovio, Don, _Life_, 245-253

  Giulio Romano, 146, 168, 245, 257, 258

  Giuseppe Salviati (Giuseppe Porta), 214

  Gobbo, Cristofano (Cristofano Solari), 14, 234

  Gossart, Jean, 267

  Granacci, Francesco, 5, 6, 8, 20, 29, 30

  Grimmer, Jakob, 268

  Guerrini, Rocco, 242

  Guglielmo della Porta, Fra, 68, 69, 234-238

  Guglielmo Tedesco, 237

  Haarlem, Dirk of, 266

  Haeck, Jan, 269

  Hans Bol, 268

  Hans Memling, 265

  Heemskerk, Martin, 266

  Heinrich Paludanus, 269

  Hemessen, Catharina van, 269

  Hemessen, Jan van, 266, 269

  Hendrik of Dinant, 266

  Hieronymus Bosch, 267

  Hieronymus Cock, 266

  Horebout, Lucas, 268

  Horebout, Susanna, 268, 269

  Hubert van Eyck, 265

  Hugo of Antwerp, 265

  Indaco, Jacopo L', 29, 30

  Irene di Spilimbergo, 175

  Jacopo Barozzi (Vignuola), 102, 146, 147

  Jacopo Bresciano (Jacopo de' Medici), 206, 207, 223

  Jacopo Casignuola, 238

  Jacopo Ciciliano, 98

  Jacopo Colonna, 202, 203, 223

  Jacopo da Bassano, 175, 176

  Jacopo da Pontormo, 20, 107, 110, 133, 134

  Jacopo de' Medici (Jacopo Bresciano), 206, 207, 223

  Jacopo del Conte, 95, 152, 258, 260, 261

  Jacopo di Sandro, 29, 30

  Jacopo Fallaro, 214

  Jacopo L'Indaco, 29, 30

  Jacopo Palma, 160

  Jacopo Pisbolica, 214, 215

  Jacopo Sansovino (Jacopo Tatti), _Life_, 187-202, 215-225. 20, 40,
    41, 107, 145, 166, 170, 187-204, 206-208, 210, 215-225

  Jacopo Tintoretto, 214

  Jacopo Zucchi, 134

  Jacopone da Faenza, 154

  Jakob Breuck, 269

  Jakob Grimmer, 268

  Jan Cornelis, 266

  Jan de Mynsheere, 269

  Jan der Sart, 269

  Jan Haeck, 269

  Jan Scorel, 266

  Jan van Dalen, 269

  Jan van der Straet (Giovanni Strada), 134, 135, 267

  Jan van Eyck, 265, 266

  Jan van Hemessen, 266, 269

  Janszoon, Joost, 269

  Jean Bellegambe, 266

  Jean Gossart, 267

  Joachim Patinier, 266

  Johann of Calcar (Giovanni Fiammingo), 178, 266

  Johann of Louvain, 266

  Joost Janszoon, 269

  Joost van Cleef, 266

  Joris Robyn, 270

  Justus of Ghent, 265

  Keur, Willem, 269

  Key, Willem, 267, 268, 270

  Koeck, Pieter, 267

  Lambert Lombard (Lambert of Amsterdam), 266-268, 270

  Lambert Suavius, 269, 270

  Lambert Van Noort, 268

  Lamberto, Federigo di (Federigo Fiammingo, or Del Padovano), 127, 268

  Lampsonius, Domenicus, 268, 270, 271

  Lancelot Blondeel, 267

  Lancia, Luca, 223

  Lapo, Arnolfo di, 194

  Lastricati, Zanobi, 125, 132

  Lazzaro Calamech, 129

  Leon Batista Alberti, 271

  Leonardo da Vinci, 15, 19, 234

  Leonardo Milanese, 238

  Leone Lioni (Leone Aretino), _Life_, 229-232. 95, 233

  Levina Bening, 269

  Leyden, Lucas van, 265, 270

  Licinio, Giovanni Antonio (Pordenone), 160, 167, 168

  Ligorio, Pirro, 84, 94, 95, 102

  L'Indaco, Jacopo, 29, 30

  Lioni, Leone (Leone Aretino), _Life_, 229-232. 95, 233

  Lioni, Pompeo, 232, 233

  Lippi, Fra Filippo, 119, 133

  Livio Agresti (Livio da Forlì), 155

  Lodovico (of Florence), 262

  Lodovico Rosso, 182

  Lombard, Lambert (Lambert of Amsterdam), 266-268, 270

  Lombardi, Alfonso, 167

  Lombardi, Girolamo (Girolamo Ferrarese), 202, 223

  Longhi, Barbara de', 155

  Longhi, Luca de', 154, 155

  Lorenzetto, 20, 239

  Lorenzi, Antonio di Gino, 131

  Lorenzi, Battista (Battista del Cavaliere), 131, 140, 141

  Lorenzo della Sciorina (Lorenzo Sciorini), 128

  Lorenzo di Credi, 190

  Lorenzo Ghiberti, 114

  Lorenzo Sabatini, 151

  Lorenzo Sciorini (Lorenzo della Sciorina), 128

  Louis of Louvain, 265

  Louvain, Dirk of, 266

  Louvain, Johann of, 266

  Louvain, Louis of, 265

  Louvain, Quentin of, 266

  Luca de' Longhi, 154, 155

  Luca Lancia, 223

  Luca Signorelli, 190

  Lucas Horebout, 268

  Lucas van Leyden, 265, 270

  Lugano, Tommaso da, 206

  Macchietti, Girolamo (Girolamo del Crocifissaio), 126

  Manemaker, Matthaeus, 269

  Mantegna, Andrea, 211

  Marcello Mantovano (Marcello Venusti), 106, 259, 260

  Marco da Faenza (Marco Marchetti), 155, 156

  Marinus (of Zierickzee), 268

  Mario Capocaccia, 233

  Marten de Vos, 268

  Martin Heemskerk, 266

  Martin Schongauer (Martino), 7, 265

  Masaccio, 10, 133

  Maso dal Bosco (Maso Boscoli), 55

  Matthaeus Manemaker, 269

  Matthys Cock, 266

  Maturino, 20

  Medici, Jacopo de' (Jacopo Bresciano), 206, 207, 223

  Memling, Hans, 265

  Menighella, 114

  Michael Coxie, 266-268

  Michelagnolo Buonarroti, _Life_, 3-141. 145, 153, 162, 170, 171, 187,
    193-195, 215, 216, 224, 231, 235, 236, 239, 246, 250, 251, 259

  Michele di Ridolfo Ghirlandajo, 130

  Milanese, Leonardo, 238

  Milano, Bramantino da (Bartolommeo Suardi), 190

  Minga, Andrea del, 131

  Mini, Antonio, 47-51, 69, 81, 107, 109

  Minio, Tiziano (Tiziano da Padova), 203, 223

  Mirabello di Salincorno (Mirabello Cavalori), 126

  Miruoli, Girolamo, 156

  Modena (Antonio Begarelli), 113

  Modena, Niccolò da (Niccolò dell'Abate), 148

  Montagna, Bartolommeo, 211

  Montelupo, Baccio da, 55, 188, 190, 239

  Montelupo, Raffaello da, 51, 55, 69, 239

  Montorsoli, Fra Giovanni Agnolo, 51, 117, 133

  Moor, Antonius, 268

  Mosca, Simone, 69

  Mostaert, Franz, 266-268

  Mostaert, Gilis, 268

  Mynsheere, Jan de, 269

  Naldini, Battista, 134

  Nanni di Baccio Bigio, 69, 76, 100, 101, 113, 239

  Nanni Unghero, 188

  Nebbia, Cesare del, 261

  Niccolò (Tribolo), 20, 51, 77, 78, 202, 223

  Niccolò da Modena (Niccolò dell'Abate), 148

  Niccolò dalle Pomarancie, 261

  Niccolò dell'Abate (Niccolò da Modena), 148

  Niccolò dell'Arca, 11

  Noort, Arthus van, 269

  Noort, Lambert van, 268

  Oja, Sebastian van, 269

  Opera, Giovanni dell' (Giovanni di Benedetto Bandini), 126, 130, 140, 141

  Orazio Sammacchini, 154

  Orazio Vecelli, 171

  Padova, Tiziano da (Tiziano Minio), 203, 223

  Padovano, Federigo del (Federigo di Lamberto, or Fiammingo), 127, 268

  Palladio, Andrea, 211-214

  Palma, Jacopo, 160

  Paludanus, Heinrich, 269

  Paludanus, Willem, 269

  Paolo Ponzio, 149

  Paolo Uccello, 133

  Paris Bordone, 178-182

  Parrhasius, 133

  Passerotto, Bartolommeo, 156

  Patinier, Joachim, 266

  Pellegrino Bolognese (Pellegrino Pellegrini or Tibaldi), 151-154, 258

  Perino del Vaga, 20, 61, 151, 234, 257, 259

  Perugino, Pietro, 189

  Peruzzi, Baldassarre, 65, 196

  Peruzzi, Salustio, 82

  Philip Galle, 270

  Pieri, Stefano, 137

  Piero Francia, 130

  Pieter Aertsen, 268

  Pieter Brueghel, 267, 268

  Pieter Christus, 265

  Pieter Koeck, 267

  Pieter Pourbus, 268

  Pietro da Salò, 204, 223

  Pietro Paolo Galeotto, 233

  Pietro Perugino, 189

  Pietro Urbano, 44, 107

  Piloto, 42, 43, 47, 48

  Pinturicchio, Bernardino, 190

  Piombo, Fra Sebastiano Viniziano del, 68, 106, 109, 111, 162, 235

  Pippo del Fabbro, 192

  Pironi, Girolamo, 211

  Pirro Ligorio, 84, 94, 95, 102

  Pisano, Giovanni, 11

  Pisbolica, Jacopo, 214, 215

  Poggini, Domenico, 131

  Poggini, Giovan Paolo, 232, 233

  Polidoro (of Perugia), 234

  Polidoro da Caravaggio, 170

  Pomarancie, Niccolò dalle, 261

  Pompeo Lioni, 232, 233

  Pontormo, Jacopo da, 20, 107, 110, 133, 134

  Ponzio, Paolo, 149

  Pordenone (Giovanni Antonio Licinio), 160, 167, 168

  Porta, Fra Guglielmo della, 68, 69, 234-238

  Porta, Giovan Jacomo della, 234, 235

  Porta, Giuseppe (Giuseppe Salviati), 214

  Porta, Tommaso, 238

  Pourbus, Pieter, 268

  Praxiteles, 133

  Primaticcio, Francesco, _Description of Works_, 145-150. 151, 156

  Prospero Fontana, 147, 148, 150-152

  Quentin of Louvain, 266

  Raffaello da Montelupo, 51, 55, 69, 239

  Raffaello Sanzio (Raffaello da Urbino), 20, 27, 28, 30, 31, 40, 41,
    65, 162, 165, 170, 189, 194, 196, 267

  Ricciarelli, Daniello (Daniello da Volterra), 95, 100, 101, 103,
    107, 121, 122

  Ridolfo Ghirlandajo, 20

  Ripa Transone, Ascanio dalla (Ascanio Condivi), 5, 107

  Robyn, Joris, 270

  Rocco Guerrini, 242

  Roger van der Weyden, 265

  Romano, Giulio, 146, 168, 245, 257, 258

  Rosa, Cristofano, 177

  Rosa, Stefano, 177

  Rosso, 20, 107, 146, 147

  Rosso, Lodovico, 182

  Rovezzano, Benedetto da, 191

  Ruggieri da Bologna, 147

  Sabatini, Lorenzo, 151

  Salincorno, Mirabello di (Mirabello Cavalori), 126

  Salò, Pietro da, 204, 223

  Salustio Peruzzi, 82

  Salviati, Francesco, 133

  Salviati, Giuseppe (Giuseppe Porta), 214

  Sammacchini, Orazio, 154

  San Friano, Tommaso da, 137

  San Gallo, Antonio da (the elder), 16, 40, 41

  San Gallo, Antonio da (the younger), 61-67, 196, 197, 224, 239

  San Gallo, Aristotile (Bastiano) da, 20, 29, 30

  San Gallo, Giuliano da, 16, 29, 30, 188, 189

  Sandro, Jacopo di, 29, 30

  Sansovino, Andrea (Andrea Contucci), 15, 40, 41, 187, 202, 216

  Sansovino, Jacopo (Jacopo Tatti), _Life_, 187-202, 215-225. 20, 40,
    41, 107, 145, 166, 170, 187-204, 206-208, 210, 215-225

  Santi Buglioni, 132

  Santi Titi, 135

  Sanzio, Raffaello (Raffaello da Urbino), 20, 27, 28, 30, 31, 40, 41,
    65, 162, 165, 170, 189, 194, 196, 267

  Sart, Jan der, 269

  Sarto, Andrea del, 20, 43, 188, 193, 194

  Scarpaccia, Vittore (Vittore Carpaccio), 210, 211

  Scherano da Settignano (Alessandro), 55

  Schongauer, Martin (Martino), 7, 265

  Sciorini, Lorenzo (Lorenzo della Sciorina), 128

  Scorel, Jan, 266

  Sebastian van Oja, 269

  Sebastiano Serlio, 196, 267, 271

  Sebastiano Viniziano del Piombo, Fra, 68, 106, 109, 111, 162, 235

  Seghers, Anna, 269

  Serlio, Sebastiano, 196, 267, 271

  Sermoneta, Girolamo da (Girolamo Siciolante), 152, 257-259

  Settignano, Scherano da (Alessandro), 55

  Settignano, Solosmeo da, 202, 223

  Siciolante, Girolamo (Girolamo da Sermoneta), 152, 257-259

  Signorelli, Luca, 190

  Simon Bening, 268

  Simon van Delft, 269

  Simone da Fiesole, 15, 16

  Simone Mosca, 69

  Skeysers, Clara, 269

  Solari, Cristofano (Cristofano Gobbo), 14, 234

  Solosmeo da Settignano, 202, 223

  Speranza, Giovanni, 211

  Spilimbergo, Irene di, 175

  Staren, Dirk van, 269

  Stefano Pieri, 137

  Stefano Rosa, 177

  Strada, Giovanni (Jan van der Straet), 134, 135, 267

  Suardi, Bartolommeo (Bramantino da Milano), 190

  Suavius, Lambert, 269, 270

  Susanna Horebout, 268, 269

  Tadda, Francesco del, 97

  Taddeo Gaddi, 133

  Tasso, Battista del, 51

  Tatti, Jacopo (Jacopo Sansovino), _Life_, 187-202, 215-225. 20, 40,
    41, 107, 145, 166, 170, 187-204, 206-208, 210, 215-225

  Tedesco, Guglielmo, 237

  Tibaldi, Pellegrino (Pellegrino Pellegrini or Bolognese), 151-154, 258

  Tiberio Calcagni, 83, 84, 98-100

  Tintoretto, Jacopo, 214

  Titi, Santi, 135

  Tiziano, Girolamo di (Girolamo Dante), 183

  Tiziano da Cadore (Tiziano Vecelli), _Life_, 159-178. 48, 145, 153,
    159-179, 182, 183, 201, 202, 247, 252

  Tiziano da Padova (Tiziano Minio), 203, 223

  Tiziano Vecelli (Tiziano da Cadore), _Life_, 159-178. 48, 145, 153,
    159-179, 182, 183, 201, 202, 247, 252

  Tommaso Casignuola, 238

  Tommaso da Lugano, 206

  Tommaso da San Friano, 137

  Tommaso Porta, 238

  Topolino, 114, 115

  Torrigiano, 8, 10, 116

  Tribolo (Niccolò), 20, 51, 77, 78, 202, 223

  Uccello, Paolo, 133

  Udine, Giovanni da, 42, 51

  Unghero, Nanni, 188

  Urbano, Pietro, 44, 107

  Urbino, Bramante da, 27-29, 31, 65, 71, 188-190

  Urbino, Raffaello da (Raffaello Sanzio), 20, 27, 28, 30, 31, 40, 41,
    65, 162, 165, 170, 189, 194, 196, 267

  Vaga, Perino del, 20, 61, 151, 234, 257, 259

  Valerio Cioli, 129, 140, 141

  Valerio Zuccati, 182, 183

  Vasari, Giorgio--
    as art-collector, 6, 16, 104, 149, 152, 156, 238, 251, 258, 259
    as author, 4-8, 22, 27, 30, 32, 35, 46, 47, 55, 56, 60, 61, 63,
      65, 68-88, 91, 93-97, 102-104, 107, 109-112, 114-118, 122-125,
      128, 130, 134, 135, 137-140, 145, 147-151, 154-156, 160, 162,
      169-172, 177, 178, 182, 183, 187, 192, 193, 199, 202, 206-208,
      210, 212, 214, 215, 218, 221, 230, 232-234, 238, 239, 241, 242,
      245, 247, 248, 250-253, 259-262, 265-272
    as painter, 23, 32, 43, 95, 96, 107, 117, 118, 134, 138, 148, 151,
      155, 156, 170, 203, 269-271
    as architect, 68-73, 77-79, 95, 96, 107, 117, 140, 207

  Vecchio (Domenico Aimo), 189

  Vecelli, Orazio, 171

  Vecelli, Tiziano (Tiziano da Cadore), _Life_, 159-178. 48, 145, 153,
    159-179, 182, 183, 201, 202, 247, 252

  Vellaert, Dierick Jacobsz, 269

  Venusti, Marcello (Marcello Mantovano), 106, 259, 260

  Verbo (Verlo), Francesco, 211

  Verdezotti, Gian Maria, 178

  Verlo (Verbo), Francesco, 211

  Vignuola (Jacopo Barozzi), 102, 146, 147

  Vincenzio Danti, 128, 139

  Vincenzio Zuccati, 182, 183

  Vinci, Leonardo da, 15, 19, 234

  Viniziano, Fabrizio, 215

  Vitruvius, 44, 113, 190, 213, 218

  Vittore Scarpaccia (Vittore Carpaccio), 210, 211

  Vittoria, Alessandro, 204-206, 223

  Volkaerts, Dirk, 270

  Volterra, Daniello da (Daniello Ricciarelli), 95, 100, 101, 103,
    107, 121, 122

  Volterra, Zaccheria da (Zaccheria Zacchi), 189, 190

  Vos, Marten de, 268

  Weyden, Roger van der, 265

  Willem Keur, 269

  Willem Key, 267, 268, 270

  Willem Paludanus, 269

  Willem van Antwerp, 269

  Wouter Crabeth, 269

  Zaccheria Zacchi (Zaccheria da Volterra), 189, 190

  Zanobi Lastricati, 125, 132

  Zeuxis, 133

  Zuccati, Valerio, 182, 183

  Zuccati, Vincenzio, 182, 183

  Zucchi, Jacopo, 134



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