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Take It Down!

The word came that Matthäus Lang would come to Rome sooner than Pope Julius had expected. With his arrival, and his welcome mass, the Sistine Chapel ceiling had to be finished. Pope Julius limped into the chapel, leaning heavily on his cane. “I know you’re up there, Buonarroti,” he called. “Come speak to me now.” […]

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Michelangelo’s Dream

Michelangelo passed the sweltering August night in his workshop, awake. He slumped over his drafting table, drinking a bottle of Chianti his brother Buonarroto had sent him. It was impossible to forget the stinging words of his critics that day. Where’s the theme? one cardinal had asked. He’s really not very good at foreshortening, Bramante […]

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Over the Rainbow (3)

Michelangelo was working on one of the last giornate of The Great Flood. The section depicts Noah leaning out of the top of the ark with his hand lifted to the horizon as a man below him swings an axe, about to kill another man trying to climb on. The plaster was drying quickly and […]

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