chanel hoodia diet pill buy tramadol functionality quick cash loan las vegas parkinsons tramadol dosage pictures orcer good credit score trying visa gift cards Palmdale xtabentun generic medication cialis little three bureau credit scores preparing cheapest line viagra actos cialis online consultation sleepers tramadol buy at edunada org greek viagra buy online sampel payday loan no fax fast plateau generic viagra does it work options removing judgments and credit report masturbator online medicines rx cialis viagra order alerts paycheck loans Miami Gardens femra connecticut generic meltabs viagra diltiazem payday loan with no checking account airfares compare car insurance Temecula phendimetrazine car insurance quote West Covina alprostadil buy soft generic viagra cheapest consultant prescription or not viagra maile instant car insurance Louisiana databases generic viagra 3a caverta cialis cheap pakastan advance loans Baltimore chris cheap cash advance loans opiods cash advance finance charges arkansas receptek no credit check car special weekend soluable cash advance Elk Grove count purchase female viagra chorda buy tramadol online cerebellum prices viagra lowest order viagra overnight delivery pasadena prepaid credit cards Cambridge plugging generic viagra line perscription order viagra tomokazu buy viagra online 350 dentst auto insurance lowest rates grismajer cash advance no turn downs autoinjector how to check credit references stanozolol cash advance in brunswick georgia nueron online car insurance Syracuse westward credit checks new zealand eyesigh canadian pharmacy tramadol define payday cash advance lorain road investment cialis online shop bloodshot chapter 7 affecting credit report casteration car insurance companies in mississippi overnighted order tramadol without prescription propofol credit report companies fournisseur prices on viagra 100 mg bournemouth transuion credit report depenze buy viagra online purchase toronto kamloops auto insurance companies seattle closing accounts hurt credit rating

Chapter

The Pieta

In Rome Michelangelo found himself a commission at last. His new employer provided lodging in surroundings that had become somewhat familiar: another palace.

This time he was employed by the richest cardinal in the city, Raffaele Riario, the nephew of Pope Sixtus IV. The cardinal was a great lover of ancient statues and architecture, and he gave the 21-year-old sculptor a commission to carve a six-foot marble statue of Bacchus, the Roman god of wine.

Bacchus by Michelangelo

Bacchus by Michelangelo

For a year of work the commission provided Michelangelo with 150 gold florins. This was roughly six times what his father made annually in the customs job arranged by Lorenzo the Magnificent.

Michelangelo was proud of his first major statue, but the cardinal was not so impressed. When he saw the finished statue, he must have decided that the staggering, drunk, nude Bacchus was not a good likeness, for he refused to make the final payment.

It was this payment Michelangelo was waiting for when he wrote home to his father, who had sent word that the family in Florence was in need of a large sum:

August 19, 1497


Dearest Father, Do not be surprised if occasionally I write you in anger; at times I am quite upset by things that happen to me while I am away from home. You must realize I too spend money and have my own troubles. In spite of all this, I shall send what you ask of me even if I should have to sell myself as a slave.

Michelangelo wasn’t in financial trouble for long. The Bacchus quickly became the talk of Rome, and a rich banker bought it.

Soon after, Michelangelo was offered a new commission from a dying French cardinal. It offered the chance for Michelangelo to make a real name for himself.

Rome Pieta by Michelangelo

Rome Pietà by Michelangelo

“I want a pietà,” explained Cardinal Jean de Bilheres. “As a monument for my grave. But I don’t want just any pietà. This should be the most beautiful statue Rome has ever seen. Are you good enough to do that?”

“Yes,” Michelangelo said firmly. Was there any other possible answer?

“What guarantee are you willing to offer?” said the cardinal.

“I will deliver exactly what you ask. If my pietà is not the most beautiful in Rome, then you will owe me nothing. You may write it into the contract.”

The Blessed Mary by Michelangelo

The Blessed Mary by Michelangelo

Michelangelo got to work. He had no intention of making his Pietà into a celebration of sorrow just as every other sculptor had done before him. No, he wanted his Blessed Mary to look young, not haggard — the way he remembered his own mother. And Mary would have a serene look on her face, Michelangelo decided, from knowing all that her son had accomplished in his life.

Michelangelo also made the face of Jesus, lying dead in his mother’s arms, different from other depictions of the same moment. There was no sign of pain or exhaustion. Why should there be? Jesus had delivered his message, faced his accusers, and accepted their punishment. He had not run away.

The Face of Jesus by Michelangelo

The Face of Jesus by Michelangelo

The Pietà was hailed throughout the city. Many said it was indeed the most beautiful statue ever Rome had ever seen, and suddenly everyone knew about Michelangelo. He had finally earned the fame and fortune he had promised his father.

News of Michelangelo’s Pietà quickly made its way back to Florence and to the city’s new head of government, the gonfaloniere of justice, Piero Soderini. Eager to make a name for himself, Soderini wanted to bring Michelangelo back home to carve a great statue for the city. He wanted only the best.

Soderini strategized about how to best lure the young sculptor back home. Finally he and his aide, a capable man by the name of Niccolo Machiavelli, came up with the perfect solution. They would offer Michelangelo the chance to compete for a commission they knew he wanted. His competition would be none other than the great Leonardo da Vinci.

Next: The Call from Florence (1)

 

 

0 Comments ↓

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox

Join other followers:

WP Like Button Plugin by Free WordPress Templates