The Pope’s Demands

In the chapel, Michelangelo listened to a muffled string of obscenities coming through the thick oak doors to the Sala Regia. Once Julius finished bemoaning the French before his cardinals and generals, he would burst through the chapel doors and it would be Michelangelo’s turn to face Il Papa Terribile. When the door swung open, [...]

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Julius Returns (3)

Michelangelo could not see the beauty of the whole ceiling among all of the obvious mistakes he made along the way. The people in the Great Flood were too small. The landscape was too barren. The ark sat high on the water, bobbing like a cork. The prophets and sibyls should have been larger, bolder, [...]

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Out with the Barbarians (2)

On the scaffold, all Michelangelo could see were the individual pieces of the work, never the whole. Moreover, parts of the ceiling were always cast in shadow, never full light, because the scaffold structure blocked the windows. For two long years he had worked in the chapel. For two long years he had endured the [...]

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