Daniel and the Persian Sibyl

Among the many ideas Michelangelo had to improve the second half of the ceiling, one of the most striking was his plan for the figures seated on marble thrones. He would paint the last five larger and bolder than the others, and make them ripe with suggestive meaning. The first pair would sit on either [...]

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Separation of the Earth from the Waters

One morning after climbing to the scaffold, Michelangelo tripped over a bucket of water that had been left by one of the garzoni at the top of the stairs. Scolding their sloppiness, he bent down to lift the heavy bucket and yanked it up too quickly. A spasm seized his lower back and he bit [...]

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A Two-Front War

The days and weeks after Julius formed the Holy League were a time of great cheer for the pope. He looked forward to the day when his army would join forces with the Spanish troops and together they would chase the French out of the Romagna. It was even possible that could happen without a [...]

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