Giorgio Vasari's Lives of the Artists

       IN 1474, under a lucky star, was born a son to Lodovico di Lionardo

Buonarroti Simoni, descended, it is said, from the ancient and noble

family of the Counts of Canossa. This Lodovico was Podesta that year

of Chiusi and Caprese, near Vernia, where S. Francis received the

stigmata, and, as I have said, there was born to him on Sunday the 6th

of March, in the eighth hour of the night, a son, to whom he gave the

name of Michael Angelo, perceiving that he was something greater than

usual, Mercury and Venus at his birth being in the second house of

Jove, which demonstrated that he would produce marvellous and

stupendous works of art and genius. Lodovico, his time of office being

finished, returned to Florence to Settignano, three miles from the

city, where he had a small estate. The place was rich in a hard stone,

which was con stantly beitlg worked by stonecutters, mostly born in

the place, and the wife of one of these stonecutters was made nurse to

Michael Angelo Speaking of this once to Vasari, Michael Angelo said

jestingly, "Giorgio, if I have anything of genius, it came to me from

being born in the subtle air of your country of Arezzo, while from my

nurse I got the chisel and hammer with which I make my figures."

       As in time many sons were born to Lodovico, and his revenues were

small, he set them to the woollen and silk trades, Michael Angelo, who

was already growing up, being placed at school with Master Francesco

da Urbino. But his inclination to the arts of design being strong, he

spent all his time in drawing, as far as he could do so secretly, for

he was often scolded by his father and those who were over him, and

sometimes beaten for it, they supposing, perhaps, that it was a low

thing, and unworthy of his ancient house. At that time Michael Angelo

made friends with Francesco Granacci, who; being then a youth, had

been placed with Domenico del Ghirlandajo to learn painting; and

Granacci loving Michael Angelo, and seeing him clever at drawing, used

to give him every day drawings of Ghirlandajo's, who was esteemed not

only in Florence but through all Italy as one of the best masters then

living. By this means the desire grew stronger every day in Michael

Angelo, and Lodovico, seeing there was no help for it, by the advice

of his friends determined to put him with Ghirlandajo.

       Michael Angelo was at this time fourteen years old, and he made such

progress that he astonished Domenico, who saw that he not only

surpassed his other pupils, of whom he had a great number, but often

equalled the things he did himself. It happened once that one of the

boys who was learning there had copied with a pen some women out of

one of Ghirlandajo's works, and Michael Angelo, taking the paper, with

a thicker pen outlined one of the women again, as she should have been

drawn; and it is a wonderful thing to see the difference, and consider

the courage of the youth who was daring enough to correct his master's

things. I have this drawing still, as a relic, having received it from

Granaccio; and in the year 1550, when he was in Rome, Giorgio showed

it to Michael Angelo, who recognised it and was glad to see it, saying

modestly that he knew more of the art when he was a boy than now he

was old.

       At that time the magnificent Lorenzo de' Medici had filled his garden

on the Piazza of S. Marco with ancient and good sculpture, so that the

terraces and alleys were adorned with good antique figures in marble,

and with pictures and other things by the best masters in Italy and

elsewhere. And not only were they a great ornament to the garden, but

they became a school and academy for young painters and sculptors,

particularly for young nobles; for Lorenzo held that those who are

born of noble blood can more easily attain perfection in anything than

those who come of low birth. Lorenzo therefore always favoured men of

talent, but particularly nobles who had any inclination to art; so it

is no wond'er that some came forth from that school to astound the

world. Besides this, he not only provided food and clothing for those

who being poor could not afford time for study, but he also offered

rewards for those who excelled in anything, that the youths by

competing together might become more perfect. The head of this academy

was Bertoldo, an old Florentine sculptor and a pupil of Donatello's.

He taught the youths, and at the same time had the care of the things

in the garden, and many drawings, cartoons, and models from the hand

of Donatello, Brunellesco, Masaccio, Paolo Uccello, Fra Giovanni, and

other masters native and foreign. And, indeed, these arts cannot be

learned except by long study and by copying good works, and he who has

not the opportunity, although he may be greatly endowed by nature,

wi!l be long in attaining perfection.

       Lorenzo, therefore, lamenting that there were no great sculptors in

his time, though there were many painters of the greatest fame, asked

Domenico Ghirlandajo if he had in his workshop any youths who were

inclined to sculpture, to sond them to his garden. Now Domenico held

Michael Angelo and Francesco Granacci to be the best of his pupils. So

these two going to the garden, found young Torrigiano there working

upon some figures in clay as Bertoldo had directed him. This

Torrigian'o was by nature very proud and choleric, and being robust

and fierce and courageous, he domineered over all the others. His

principal occupation was sculpture, but he also worked in clay in a

very beautiful manner. He could not endure, however, that any one

should ever surpass him, and would with his own hands injure any work

of another which he could not equal; and if the other resented it,

they often came to something more than words about it. He took a

particular dislike to Michael Angelo, for no other reason than because

he saw that he worked studiously, and knew that he drew at home

secretly at night and on feast days, by which means he surpassed all

the others in the garden, and was much in favour with the great

Lorenzo. Therefore, moved by envy, he was always seeking to offend him

in word or deed, and having one day come to blows, Torrigiano gave

Michael Angelo such a blow with his fist on his nose that he broke it,

and Michael Angelo bore the mark of it as long as he lived. The thing

having come to the ears of Lorenzo, he was so angry that if Torrigiano

had not fled from Florence he would have been severely punished. He

fled to Rome, and was employed by Alexander VI. in the building of the

Borgia tower, but being led astray by some Florentine youths, he

turned soldier, and joining the Duke Valentino, bore himself valiantly

in the war in Romagna. He was afterwards in the war of Pisa, and was

with Pietro de' Medici in the deed of arms on the Garigliano, where he

obtained a pair of colours and earned the name of the brave

standardbearer. But finding he was never likely to attain to the rank

of captain, and had not advanced his ovvn affairs by war, but had

rather lost his time, he returned to sculpture. He made some little

figures in marble and bronze for some Florentine merchants, and was by

them brought to England. There he worked for the king many things in

marble, bronze, and wood, competing with the masters of that land, all

of whom he surpassed; and he earned such honours and rewards that if

he had not been a person without any selfcontrol, he would have lived

and died there quietly. However, leaving England, he went to Spain,

where he produced many works which are much esteemed, and was charged

by the Duke of Arcos to make a Madonna and Child for him, the duke

making him such fine promises that he thought he should be rich for

ever. Having finished the work, the duke paid him in those coins which

are called maravedis, which are worth little or nothing; but

Torrigiano, seeing two men laden with money come to his house, was

fully persuaded that he was very rich. When, however, he had had it

counted by one of his Florentine friends, and reduced to Italian

money, he found there was not quite thirty ducats. Upon this,

supposing himself to have been cheated, he went and destroyed in his

fury the statue he had made for the duke. The Spaniard in his turn,

considering himself insulted, accused Torrigiano of heresy. He was

taken to prison, and brought up day after day, being sent from one

inquisitor to another, and finally adjudged worthy of the gravest

punishment. But meanwhile Torrigiano had fallen into a state of

melancholy, and passed several days without eating, by which he

brought himself to such weakness that he died, saving himself thus

from shame, for it is said he had been condemned to death.

       Another of the students in the garden of the Medici was Giuliano

Bugiardini, who was united in close and intimate friendship with

Michael Angelo, and loved him much. Michael Angelo returned his love,

not because he saw anything very profound in him, but because he bore

so much love to art. There was a certain natural goodness and

simplicity in him, without any envy or malice, which pleased

Buonarroti infinitely. He had no other fault than loving his own works

too much. For though this is a common fault with men, he passed all

bounds; for which reason Michael Angelo used to call him blessed,

because he was content with what he knew, and himself unhappy because

his works never satisfied him fully.

       Ottaviano de' Medici having secretly asked him to draw Michael Angelo,

he set to work, and having kept him still for two hours, for he was

fond of his conversation, he said to him, "Michael Angelo, if you

would like to see yourself, come here, for I have just caught your

look." Michael Angelo got up, and looking at the portrait said, "What

have you done? you have put one of my eyes in my temple; look and

see." Giuliano looked at it several times, and said, "It does not seem

so to me; but sit down and I shall see a little better how it is."

Buonarroti, who saw what the mistake was, sat down laughing, and

Giuliano looked again and again at Michael Angelo and the portrait,

and then getting up at last said, "It seems that the thing is exactly

as I have drawn it." "Then," answered Buonarroti, "it is a defect of

nature; go on, and do not spare pencils or art."

       M. Palla Rucellai had given him a picture to paint for his altar in S.

Maria Novella, and Giuliano began the martyrdom of S. Catherine; but

he kept it on hand for twelve years, not having invention or knowledge

enough for such a work. But Rucellai pressing for it to be done, he

resolved one day to take Michael Angelo to see it, and having told him

with what trouble he had made the lightning coming down from heaven

and breaking the wheel, and the sun coming out of a cloud, he prayed

Michael Angelo, who could not help laughing at his troubles, to tell

him how to do eight or ten principal figures of the soldiers standing

in file on guard, for he could not see how to foreshorten them so that

they should appear all in a row, or how he could find room for them in

so narrow a place. Buonarroti, feeling compassion for the poor man,

took up a piece of charcoal and sketched a file of naked figures with

all the judgment and excellence proper to him, and went away with many

thanks from Giuliano. Not long after, the latter brought Il Tribolo

his friend to see what Buonarroti had done, and told him all about it;

but because Buonarroti had only sketched them in outline, without any

shadow, Bugiardini could not carry them out; so Il Tribolo resolved to

help him and he made some rough models in clay, giving them all that

rough force which Michael Angelo had put into the drawing; and so he

brought them to Giuliano. But this manner did not please Bugiardini's

smooth fancy, and as soon as Il Tribolo was gone he took a brush and,

dipping it in water, smoothed them all down. Il Tribolo, hearing about

it from Giuliano himself, laughed at his honest simplicity, and the

work was at last finished, so that none would have known that Michael

Angelo had ever looked at it.

       Giuliano, when he was old and poor, and doing little work, took great

pains over a Pieta in a tabernacle which was to go to Spain. To

reprcsent the darkness at the death of the Saviour, he made a Night on

a black ground, copying the figure from Michael Angelo's in the

sacristy of S. Lorenzo. But that statue having no emblem but an owl,

Giuliano added his own conceits--a net with a lantern for catching

thrushes at night, a little vessel with a candle in it, besides

nightcaps and pillows and bats. And when Michael Angelo saw the work

he nearly killed himself with laughing at the strange things with

which Bugiardini had enriched his Night.

       Giuliano was once telling Il Bronzino how he had seen a very beautiful

woman, and after he had praised her a great deal, Il Bronzino asked,

"Do you know her?" "No," he replied; "but she is very beautiful. Think

she is like a picture of mine, and that is enough."

       But to return to Michael Angelo in the garden. When he saw

Torrigiano's work in clay he was fired with emulation. He set himself

to imitate an ancient head of an old faun, and although he had never

touched marble or a chisel before, he succeeded so well that Lorenzo

was quite astonished. Seeing that out of his own fancy he had opened

the mouth and shown the tongue and teeth, De' Medici said in jest, but

speaking gravely, as was his wont, "You ought to know that old men

never have all their teeth, but have always lost some." Michael

Angelo, with his simple respect and love for this lord, thought he

spoke in earnest, and no sooner was he departed than he broke away a

tooth and altered the gum to look as if he had lost it, and waited

with desire the return of his Magnificence. He, when he came and saw

the simplicity of Michael Angelo, laughed much, telling the story to

his friends. But desiring to assist him, he sent for Lodovico his

father, and prayed him to give him his son, promising that he would

treat him like a son of his own. And he willingly consenting Lorenzo

gave him a room in his house, and he eat continually at his table with

his sons and the noble persons who were around his Magnificence.

       This was in the year after he had gone to Domenico, when he was about

fifteen or sixteen years old, and he stayed in that house four years,

until the death of the magnificent Lorenzo.

       Afterwards Michael Angelo returned to his father's house, but Piero

de' Medici, Lorenzo's heir, often sent for him, and one winter when it

snowed heavily in Florence, he made him make a statue of snow in his

courtyard, which was most beautiful. When the Medici were driven out

of Florence, Michael Angelo had gone to Bologna and Venice, having

left some weeks before, for he feared some evil would befall him from

his intimacy with that house, seeing the insolence and bad government

of Piero de' Medici. He tarried in Bologna a year and then returned to

Florence, where he made a sleeping Cupid, which being shown by

Baldassari del Milanese to Lorenzo di Pier Francesco de' Medici, he

said, "If you were to bury it till it looked old, and then sent it to

Rome, I am sure it would pass for an antique, and you would get much

more for it than if you sold it here." Some say that Michael Angelo

did so, making it look old, and others that Milanese carried it to

Rome and buried it in one of his vineyards, and then sold it as an

antique for two hundred ducats to the Cardinal S. Giorgio. However it

may be, it brought such reputation to Michael Angelo that he was

summoned to Rome by the Cardinal S. Giorgio, and tarried there a year,

but the cardinal, knowing little of art, gave him nothing to do.

Nevertheless during his stay in Rome he made much progress in the

study of art, and the Cardinal de S. Denis, desiring to leave some

worthy memorial of himself in so famous a city, caused him to make a

Pieta in marble for the chapel of the Virgin in S. Peter's. To this

work Michael Angelo bore such love that he inscribed his name on the

girdle of our Lady, a thing he never did again. For one day Michael

Angelo, entering the place where it stood, found a number of Lombard

strangers there. And as they were giving it great praise, one of them

asked another who had made it, and he answered, "Our hunchback from

Milan." Michael Angelo remained silent, but it seemed strange to him

that his labours should be attributed to another. And one night he

shut himself into the place with a light and cut his name upon it.

       At this time some of his friends wrote to him advising him to come

back to Florence, because there was some talk of having the great

piece of marble which was lying spoilt made into a statue, and Piero

Soderini the Gonfaloniere had talked of giving it to Lionardo da

Vinci, and now was preparing to give it to Andrea Contucci. Michael

Angelo had desired to have it many years before; so he returned to

Florence, and tried for it. It was a piece of marble nine braccia in

size, out of which a Master Simone da Fiesole had begun to carve a

giant, and had managed it so badly that the heads of the works at S.

Maria del Fiore, without caring to have it finished, had abandoned it,

and it had been lying thus for many years. Michael Angelo measured it

again, and examined it to see if a reasonable figure could be cut out

of the rock by accommodating its attitude to the maimed condition in

which Master Simone had left it, and resolved to make request for it

from the architects and Soderini. They, considering it a useless

thing, granted it to him, thinking that anything would be better than

the state it was in. Then Michael Angelo made a model in wax of a

young David with a sling in his hand, and began to work in S. Maria

del Fiore, setting up a hoarding round the marble, and working at it

continually without any seeing it until he had brought it to

perfection. Master Simone had so spoilt the marble that in some places

there was not enough left for Michael Angelo's purpose, and certainly

it was a miracle restoring thus one that was dead.

       When Piero Soderini saw it, it pleased him much, but he said to

Michael Angelo, who was engaged in retouching it in certain places,

that he thought the nose was too thick. Michael Angelo, perceiving

that the Gonfaloniere was below the statue, and could not see it

truly, to satisfy him went up the scaffold, taki4g a chisel in his

left hand with a little marble dust, and began to work with his

chisel, letting a little dust fall now and then, but not touching the

nose. Then looking down to the Gonfaloniere, who was watching, he

said, "Look at it now." "It pleases me better," said the Gonfaloniere;

"you have given it life." So Michael Angelo came down pitying those

who make a show of understanding matters about which they really know

nothing. Michael Angelo received from Soderini for the statue four

hundred crowns, and it was set up in the year 1504.

       Lionardo da Vinci was now occupied in painting the great Council Hall,

and Pietro Soderini assigned one part of it to Michael Angelo, who

chose for his subject the war of Pisa. He took a room in the

dyers' hospital at S. Onofrio, and began a great cartoon, which he

would not allow any one to see. He covered it with nude figures of the

soldiers bathing in the river Arno and suddenly called to arms, the

enemy making an assault. Some are coming out of the water, others are

hastening to arm themselves and gc to the help of their companions,

buckling on their cuirasses and their other arms. When it was shown,

many said that such a thing had never been seen before, either from

his hand or another's. And indeed this must be true, for all who have

studied this cartoon have become men excellent in the art. And because

it became thus a study for artists it was carried to the Medici

palace, and was left in too great security in the hands of the

artists. For during the sickness of Duke Giuliano, when no one was

thinking of the matter, it was torn and cut into many pieces, and

dispersed in many places, some pieces being to be seen now in Mantua.

       Michael Angelo's fame was grown so great that in the year 1503, when

he was twentynine years of age, Julius II. sent for him to come and

build his tomb. Therefore he proceeded to Rome, and after many months

he completed a design which in beauty, ornament, and the number of the

statues surpassed every ancient or imperial sepulchre. Thereupan Pope

Julius enlarged his projects, and resolved to rebuild the church of S.

Peter's that it might contain it. So Michael Angelo set to work and

went to Carrara with two of his youths to obtain the marble, and spent

in those mountains eight months. Having chosen a quantity of marble,

he caused it to be carried to the sea and thence to Rome, where it

filled half the Piazza of S. Peter's, and the part round S. Caterina,

and the space between the church and the corridor that goes to the

castle, where Michael Angelo had made a room in which to work at the

statues and the rest of the tomb. And that the'Pope might easily come

and see the work, he had a drawbridge made from the corridor to the

room Being treated with such familiarity he became exposed to great

persecution, and much envy was aroused among the artists.

       Of this work Michael Angelo finished four statues and began eight

more. Some of the marble was carried to Florence, where he worked for

some time to escape the bad air of Rome. In Rome he made the two

Captives, and the Moses, which no other modern work will ever equal in

beauty. Meanwhile the rest of the marble, which had been left at

Carrara, arrived, and was carried to the Piazza of S. Peter's, and it

being necessary to pay those who had brought it, Michael Angelo went

as usual to the Pope, but finding that his Holiness was occupied with

important business concerning the affairs of Bologna, he returned home

and paid for the marble himself. He returned another day to speak of

it to the Pope, but found difficulty in obtaining admission, one of

the lacqueys bidding him have patience, for he had orders not to let

him in. A bishop said to the lacquey "Perhaps you do not know this

man;" but he answered, "I know him too well, but I am here to do what

my superiors and the Pope command me." This displeased Michael Angelo,

and thinking it treatment contrary to what he had before experienced,

he replied in anger to the Pope's lacquey, bidding him say, when his

Holiness asked for him, that he had gone elsewhere. He returned home

and set off in haste at two o'clock of the night, leaving two servants

with orders to sell all the things in the house to the Jews, and to

follow him to Florence. He journeyed on till he reached Poggibonsi, a

place in the Florentine district. It was not long before five couriers

arrived with letters from the Pope to bring him back; but he

would listen neither to their prayers nor to the letters, which

commanded him to return to Rome under pain of disgrace. At last the

couriers' entreaties induced him to write a few words to his Holiness,

saying that he must pardon him for not returning to his presence since

he had been driven away, that his faithful service had not deserved

such treatment, and therefore his Holiness must seek elsewhere for one

to serve him. And so coming to Florence he set himself to finish the

cartoon for the Great Hall, which Pier Soderini greatly desired he

should execute. In the meantime there came three briefs to the

Signory, commanding them to send back Michael Angelo to Rome.

       He, perceiving the fury of the Pope, meditated going to Constantinople

to serve the Turk, who desired to have him to construct a bridge from

Constantinople to Pera. At last Pier Soderini persuaded him against

his will to go back to the Pope, sending him back as a public person,

with the title of ambassador of the city, and recommending him to his

brother, Cardinal Soderini So he came to Bologna, whither his Holiness

had come from Rome.

       Some tell the story of his departure from Rome in another manner, and

say that the Pope was angry with Michael Angelo because he

would not let him see his work, and that he came more than once

disguised when Michael Angelo was not at home, and corrupted his lads

with money to let him in to see the chapel of Sixtus his uncle, which

he was painting, and that once Michael Angelo, doubting his

boys, hid himself and let something fall upon the Pope as he entered

the chapel, which made him rush out in a fury.

       However it was, as soon as he reached Bologna before he had taken off

his boots, he was conduct~d by the Pope's servant to his Holiness

accompanied by a bishop from Cardinal Soderini the cardinal himself

being ill. Arrived in the Pope's presence, Michael Angelo knelt down

and his Holiness looked at him severely as if in anger, saying,

"Instead of coming to us, you have waited for us to come to you,"

meaning that Bologna was nearer to Florence than Rome. Michael Angelo

humbly begged pardon, saying he had not done it to offend, but that he

could not endure to be driven away in such a manner. And the bishop

who had brought him in began to excuse him, saying that such men were

ignorant, except in matters of art, and were not like other men. Upon

this the Pope grew angry, and with a stick he had in his hand he

struck the bishop, saying, "It is you who are ignorant and speak evil

of him, which we did not do." So the bishop was driven out from his

presence by the lacquey, and the Pope, having vented his anger upon

him, blessed Michael Angelo, and showered upon him gifts and promises.

       He was employed to make a bronze statue of Pope Julius, five braccia

high, for the city of Bologna. The attitude is most beautiful, having

great dignity, and in the drapery there is richness and magnificence,

and in the countenance vivacity and force, promptness and terrible

majesty. It was set up in a niche over the gate of S. Petronio. It is

said that while Michael Angelo was working upon it, Francia the

goldsmith and also a most excellent painter came to see it, having

heard much of him and his works, and never having seen any of them.

Gazing upon the work with astonishment, he was asked by Michael Angelo

what he thought of it, and he answered that it was a very beautiful

cast and a fine material. Michael Angelo, thinking that he was

praising the bronze rather than the artist, said, " I am as much

obliged to Pope Julius who gave it to me as you are to the men from

whom you get your colours for painting," adding before some gentlemen

that he was a fool.

       Michael Angelo finished this statue in clay before the Pope left

Bologna for Rome, and his Holiness went to see it. He asked what was

to be in his left hand, and whether the right hand, which was raised

with so haughty a gesture, was blessing or cursing. Michael Angelo

replied that he was advising the people of Bologna to conduct

themselves well, and prayed him to decide if he should put a book in

his left hand, but he answered, "Put a sword, for I am not a man of

letters." This statue was afterwards destroyed by Bentivogli, and the

bronze sold to Duke Alphonso of Ferrara, who made it into a cannon

called the Julia, but the head is still preserved.

       When the Pope was returned to Rome, Bramante (a friend of Raffaello's,

and therefore little a friend to Michael Angelo) tried to turn his

mind from finishing his sepulchre, saying it was an evil augury and

seemed like hastening his death to make his own grave; and he

persuaded him that on Michael Angelo's return he should set him to

paint the ceiling of the chapel in the palace, in memory of Sixtus his

uncle. For Bramante and Michael Angelo's other rivals thought to draw

him away from sculpture, in which they saw he was perfect, and make

him produce less worthy works, not to be compared with Raffaello's,

knowing he had had no experience in painting in fresco. So when he was

returned and proposed to the Pope to finish his tomb, he desired him

instead to paint the ceiling of the chapel. Michael Angelo sought in

every way to shift the load off his back, proposing Raffaello instead.

But the more he excused himself, the more impetuous the Pope became.

So seeing that his Holiness persevered, he resolved to do it, and the

Pope ordered Bramante to make the scaffold. He made it hanging by

ropes passed through holes in the ceiling, which when Michael Angelo

saw, he asked Bramante how the holes were to be stopped up when the

painting was finished. He answered, "We must think of that afterwards,

but there is no other way." So Michael Angelo knew that either

Bramante was worth little or that he was no friend to him, and he went

to the Pope and told him the scaffolding would not do. So he told him

to do it his own way. He therefore ordered it to be made on supports,

not touching the wall, and he gave to a poor carpenter who made it so

many of the useless ropes that by the sale of them he obtained a dowry

for one of his daughters.

       The Pope having resolved that the pictures which had been painted

there by the masters before him in the time of Sixtus should be

destroyed, Michael Angelo was forced by the greatness of the

undertaking to ask aid, and sent to Florence for men. And having begun

and finished the cartoons, and never having coloured before in fresco,

he brought from Florence some of his friends to aid hlm, and that he

might see their method of working in freseo, among whom were Granacci,

Bugiar~ini, and others. So he set them to begin the work, but their

efforts being far from satisfying him, one morning he resolved to

destroy all that they had done, and shutting himself up in the chapel,

would not open the door for them, nor show himself to them at home.

They therefore, after this had gone on some time, were offended, and

took leave and went back to Florence with shame. Then Michael Angelo

prepared to do the whole work himself, and brought it to a successful

termination with great labour and study, nor would he let any one see

it, by which means the desire grew strong in all. When the half was

done and uncovered, all Rome went to see it, the Pope the first; and

Raffaello da Urbino, who was excellent in imitating, having seen it,

changed his manner. Then Bramante sought to persuade the Pope to give

the other half to Raffaello. But the Pope, seeing every day the powers

of Michael Angelo, judged that he should finish the other half. So he

brought it to an end in twenty months by himself without even the help

of a man to grind the colours. Michael Angelo complained that from the

haste of the Pope he could not finish it as he would, for the Pope

constantly asked him when it would be finished. Once he answered, "It

will be finished when I have satisfied myself." "But we will," replied

the Popes "that you should satisfy us in our desire to have it

quickly." And he added that if it was not done soon he would have him

thrown from his scaffold. The Pope used often to tell Michael Angelo

to make the chapel rich in colour and gold, but Michael Angelo would

answer the Holy Father, "In those times men did not wear gold, and

those whom I am painting were never very rich, but holy men despising


       The work was done in great discomfort from constantly looking up, and

it so injured his sight that he could only read or look at drawings in

the same position, an effect which lasted many months. But in the

ardour of labour he felt no fatigue and cared for no discomfort. The

work has been, indeed, a light of our art, illuminating the world

which had been so many centuries in darkness. Oh, truly happy age, and

oh, blessed artists, who at such a fountain can purge away the dark

films from your eyes. Give thanks to Heaven, and imitate Michael

Angelo in all things.

       So when it was uncovered every one from every part ran to see it, and

gazed in silent astonishment; and the Pope, inspired by it and

encouraged to greater undertakings, rewarded him libera.lly with money

and rich gifts. The great favours that the Pope showed him proved that

he recognised his talents, and if sometimes he did him an injury, he

healed it with gifts and signal favours; as when, for instance,

Michael Angelo once asked leave of him to go to work in S. Giovanni in

Florence, and requested money for the purpose, and he said, "Well, and

this chapel, when will it be finished?" "When I can, Holy Father." The

Pope having a stick in his hand struck Michael Angelo, saying, "When I

can! when I can! I will make you finish it!" Michael Angelo therefore

returned to his house and prepared to leave for Florence, but

the Pope in haste sent his chamberlain after him with five hundred

crowns to pacify him, and ordered him to make his excuses and say it

was all done in love and kindness. And he, seeing it was the nature of

the Pope and really loving him, took it in good part and laughed at

it, finding also that it turned to his profit, for the Pope would do

anything to keep him his friend.

       But when the chapel was finished, and before the Pope died, he gave

orders to Cardinal Santiquattro and Cardinal Aginense, his nephew,

that in the case of his death they were to complete his monument, but

after a less magnificent design than the first. So MichaeJ Angelo

returned again to his work upon the tomb, hoping to carry it out to

the end without hindrance, but it was to him the cause of more

annoyance and trouble than anything else he did in his life. At that

time befell the death of Julius, and the whole plan was abandoned upon

the creation of Pope Leo X For he having a mind and talents no less

splendid than those of Julius, desired to leave in his native city, of

which he was the first pontiff, such a marvellous work in memory of

himself and of the divine artist, his fellowcitizen, as a great prince

like himself was able to produce. So he gave orders that the facade of

S. Lorenzo in Florence, a church built by the house of Medici, should

be erected, and he commanded that the sepulchre of Julius should be

abandoned that Michael Angelo might prepare plans and designs for this

work. Michael Angelo made all the resistance he could, alleging that

he was bound to Santiquattro and Aginense for the tomb. But the Pope

replied that he was not to think about that, for he had already

considered that, and had procured their consent to his departure. So

the matter was settled to the displeasure both of the cardinals and

Michael Angelo, and he departed weeping. He consumed many years in

procuring marble, though in the meantime he made models in wax and

other things for the work; but the matter was so delayed that the

money set apart for it was consumed in the war of Lombardy, and the

work was left unfinished at the death of Leo.

       At this time, in the year 1525, Giorgio Vasari was brought as a boy to

Florence by the Cardinal of Cortona and put with Michael Angelo to

learn the art. But he being called by Pope Clement VII to Rome,

determined that Vasari should go to Andrea del Sarto, and went himself

to Andrea's workshop to recommend him to his care.

       When Clement VII was made pope he sent for Michael Angelo, and he

agreed with the Pope to finish the sacristy and library of S. Lorenzo,

and to make four tombs for the bodies of the fathers of the two Popes,

Lorenzo and Giuliano, his brother, and for Giuliano, brothcr of Leo,

and Duke Lorenzo, his nephew. At this time befell the sack of Rome and

the banishment of the Medici from Florence. Those who governed the

city desired to refortify it, and made Michael Angelo

commissarygeneral of all the fortifications. He surrounded the hill of

S. Miniato with bastions and fortified the city in many places, and he

was sent to Ferrara to view the fortifications of Duke Alfonso, who

received him with much courtesy, and prayed him at his leisure to make

some work of art for him. Returning to Florence, and engaged again

upon the fortifications, he nevertheless found time both to make a

painting of Leda in tempera for the duke, and to work upon the statues

for the monument in S. Lorenzo. Of this monument, partly finished,

there are seven statues. The first is Our Lady, and though it is not

finished, the excellence of the work may be seen. Then there are the

four statues of Night and Day, Dawn and Twilight, most beautiful, and

sufficient of themselves, if art were lost, to restore it to light.

The other statues are the two armed captains, the one the pensive Duke

Lorenzo, and the other the proud Duke Giuliano.

       Meanwhile the siege of Florence began, and the enemy closing round the

city, and the hope of aid failing, Michael Angelo determined to leave

Florence and go to Venice. So he departed secretly without any one

knowing of it, taking with him Antonio Mini his pupil, and his

faithful friend Piloto the goldsmith, wearing each one their money in

their quilted doublets. And they came to Ferrara and rested

there. And it happened because of the war that Duke Alfonso had given

orders that the names of those who were at the inns and of all

strangers should be brought him every day. So it came about that

Michael Angelo's coming was made known to the duke. And he sent some

of the chief men of his court to bring him to the palace, with his

horses and all he had, and give him good lodging. So Michael Angelo,

finding himself in the power of another, was forced to obey and went

to the duke. And the duke received him with great honour, and making

him rich gifts, desired him to tarry in Ferrara. But he would not

remain, though the duke, praying him not to depart while the war

lasted, offered him all in his power. Then Michael Angelo, not willing

to be outdone in courtesy, thanked him much, and turning to his two

companions, said that he had brought to Ferrara twelve thousand

crowns, and that they were quite at his service.

       And the duke took him through his palace and showed him all his

treasures, especially his portrait by the hand of Titian, which

Michael Angelo commended much; but he would not stop at the palace,

and returned to the inn, and the host where he lodged received from

the duke an infinite number of things with which to do him honour, and

command to take nothing from him for his lodging.

       He proceeded thence to Venice, but many desiring to make his

acquaintance, for which he had no wish, he departed from the Giudecca

where he had lodged. It is said that he made a design for the bridge

of the Rialto at the request of the Doge Gritti, a design most rare

for invention and ornament.

       But Michael Angelo was recalled by his native city, and earnestly

implored not to abandon her, and they sent him a safe conduct. At

last, overcome by his love for her, he returned, not without peril of

his life. He restored the tower of S. Miniato, which did much injury

to the enemy, so they battered it with great cannon, and would have

overthrown it, but Michael Angelo defended it, hanging bales of wool

and mattresses to shield it.

       When the peace was made, Baccio Valore was commissioned by the Pope to

seize some of the ringleaders, and they sought for Michael Angelo, but

he had fled secretly to the house of a friend, where he lay hid many

days. When his anger was passed, Pope Clement remembered his great

worth, and bade them seek him, ordering them to say nothing to him,

but that he should have his usual provision and should go on with his

work at S. Lorenzo.

       Then Duke Alfonso of Ferrara, having heard that he had

completed a rare piece of work for him, sent one of his gentlemen to

him that he might not lose such a jewel, and he came to Florence and

presented his letters of credence. Then Michael Angelo showed him the

Leda, and Castor and Pollux coming out of the eggbut the messenger of

the duke thought he ought to have produced some great work, not

understanding the skill and excellence of the thing, and he said to

Michael Angelo, "Oh, this is a little thing." Then Michael Angelo

asked him what was his trade, for he knew that none are such good

judges of a thing as those who have some skill in it themselves. He

replied contemptuously, "I am a merchant," thinking that Michael

Angelo did not know he was a gentleman; and so, being rather offended

by the question, he expressed some contempt for the industry of the

Florentines. Michael Angelo, who perfectly understood his meaning,

answered, " You have shown yourself a bad merchant this time, and to

your master's damage; take yourself off." Afterwards, Anton Mini, his

pupil, having twc sisters about to be married, asked him for the

picture, and he gave it to him willingly, together with the greater

part of his drawings and cartoons, and also two chests of models. And

when Mini went into France he took them with him there, and the Leda

he sold to King Francis, but the cartoons and drawings were lost, for

he died in a short time and they were stolen.

       Afterwards the Pope desired Michael Angelo to come to him in Rome and

paint the walls of the Sistine Chapel. Clement wished that he should

paint the Last Judgment and Lucifer driven out of heaven for his

pride, for which many years before he had made sketches and designs.

However, in 1533 followed the death of Pope Clement, and Michael

Angelo again thought himself free to finish the tomb of Julius II But

when Paul III was made pope, it was not long before he sent for him,

and desired him to come into his service. Then Michael Angelo refused,

saying he was bound by contract to the Duke of Urbino to finish the

tomb of Julius II. But the Pope in anger cried out, "I have desired

this for thirty years, and now that I am Pope I will not give it up. I

will destroy the contract, and am determined that you shall serve me."

Michael Angelo thought of departing from Rome, but fearing the

greatness of the Pope, and seeing him so old, thought to satisfy him

with words. And the Pope came one clay to his house with ten

cardinals, and desired to see all the statues for the tomb of Julius,

and they appeared to him miraculous, particularly the Moses; and the

Cardinal of Mantua said this figure alone was enough to do honour to

Pope Julius. And when he saw the cartoons and drawings for the chapel,

the Pope urged him again to come into his service, promising to order

matters so that the Duke of Urbino should be contented with three

statues the others being made from his designs by good masters.

The new contract, therefore, being confirmed by the duke, the work was

completed and set up, a most excellent work, but very far from

the first design; and Michael Angelo since he could do no other,

resolved to serve Pope Paul, who desired him to carry out the commands

of Clement without altering anything. When Michael Angelo had

completed about three quarters of the work, Pope Paul went to see it,

and Messer Biagio da Cesena, the master of the ceremonies, was with

him, and when he was asked what he thought of it, he answered that he

thought it not right to have so many naked figures in the Pope's

chapel. This displeased Michael Angelo, and to revenge himself, as

soon as he was departed, he painted him in the character of Minos with

a great serpent twisted round his legs. Nor did Messer Biagio's

entreaties either to the Pope or to Michael Angelo himself, avail to

persuade him to take it away. At this time it happened that the master

fell from the scaffold, from no little height, and hurt one of his

legs, but would not be doctored for it. Thereupon Master Baccio

Rontini, the Florentine, his friend and a clever doctor, feeling pity

for him, went one day and knocked at his door, and receiving no

answer, made his way to the room of Michael Angelo, who had been given

over, and would not leave him until he was cured. When he was healed,

returning to his painting, he worked at it continually, until in a few

months it was brought to an end, and the words of Dante verified, "The

dead seem dead and the living living." And when this Last Judgment was

uncovered, he was seen to have vanquished not only all the painters

who had worked there before, but even to have surpassed his own work

on the ceiling. He laboured at this work eight years, and uncovered it

in the year 1541, on Christmas Day, I think, to the marvel of all

Rome, or rather all the world; and 1 who went that year to Rome was


       Afterwards he painted for Pope Paul the Conversion of S. Paul and the

Crucifixion of S. PeterThese were the last pictures he painted, at the

age of seventyfive, and with great fatigue, as he told me; for

painting, and especially working in fresco, is not an art for old men.

But his spirit could not remain without doing something, and since he

could not paint, he set to work upon a piece of marble, to bring out

of it four figures larger than life, for his amusement and pastime,

and as he said, because working with the hammer kept him healthy in

body. It represented the dead Christ, and was left unfinished,

although he had intended it to be placed over his grave.

       It happened in 1546 that Antonio de Sangallo died, and one being

wanted in his place to superintend the building of S. Peter's, his

Holiness sent for Michael Angelo and desired to put him in the office,

but he refused, saying that architecture was not his proper art.

Finally, entreaties availing nothing, the Pope commanded him to accept

it, and so, to his great displeasure and against his will, he was

obliged to enter upon this office. Then one day going to S. Peter's to

see the model of wood which Sangallo had made, he found the whole

Sangallo party there. They coming up to him said they were glad that

the charge of the work was to be his, adding that the model was a

field which would never fail to provide pasture. "You say the truth,"

answered Michael Angelo, meaning to infer, as he told a friend, " for

sheep and oxen, who do not understand art." And he used to say

publicly that Sangallo held more to the German manner than to the good

antique, and besides that fifty years' labour might be spared and

300,000 crowns' expense, and yet the building might be carried out

with more grandeur and majesty. And he showed what he meant in a model

which made every one acknowledge his words to be true. This model cost

him twentyfive crowns, and was made in fifteen days. Sangallo's model

cost more than four thousand, it is said, and took many years to make,

for he seemed to think that this building was a way of making money,

to be carried on with no intention of its being finished. This seemed

to Michael Angelo dishonest, and when the Pope was urging him to

become the architect, he said one day openly to all those connected

with the building, that they had better do everything to prevent him

having the care of it, for he would have none of them in the building;

but these words, as may be supposed, did him much harm, and made him

many enemies, who were always seeking to hinder him. But at last the

Pope issued his commands, and created him the head of the building

with all authority. Then Michael Angelo, seeing the Pope's trust in

him, desired that it should be put into the agreement that he served

for the love of God and without any reward. But when a new Pope was

made, the set that was opposed to him in Rome began again to trouble

him; therefore the Duke Cosimo desired that he should leave Rome and

return to Florence, but he, being sick and infirm, could not travel.

At that time Paul IV thought to have the Last Judgment amended which

when Michael Angelo heard he bade them tell the Pope that this was a

little matter, and might easily be amended; let him amend the world,

and then the pictures would soon amend themselves.

       The same year befell the death of Urbino his servant, or rather, to

speak more truly, his companion. He had come to him in Florence after

the siege in 1530, and during twentysix years served him with

such faithfulness that Michael Angelo made him rich, and loved him so

much that when he was ill he nursed him and lay all night in his

clothes to watch him. After he was dead, Vasari wrote to him to

comfort him, and he replied in these words:-

       "MY DEAR MESSER GIORCIO,-It is hard for me to write;

nevertheless, in reply to your letter, I will say something. You know

that Urbino is dead, to my great loss and infinite grief, but in the

great mercy of God. The mercy is that dying he has taught me how to

die, not in sorrow, but with desire of death. I have had him twentysix

years, and have found him most rare and faithful; and now that I had

made him rich, and hoped that he would have been the support of my old

age, he has left me, and nothing remains but the hope of meeting him

again in Paradise. And of this God gave me promise in the happy death

he died, for he regretted, far more than death, leaving me in this

treacherous world with so many infirmities, although the chief part of

me is gone with him, and nothing remains but infinite misery."

       Until this time Michael Angelo worked almost every day at that stone

of which we have spoken before, with the four figures, but now he

broke it, either because the stone was hard or because his judgment

was now so ripe that nothing he did contented him. His finished

statues were chiefly made in his youth; most of the others were left

unfinished, for if he discovered a mistake, however small, he gave up

the work and applied himself to another piece of marble. He often said

this was the reason why he had finished so few statues and pictures.

This Pieta, broken as it was, he gave to Francesco Bandini. Tiberio

Calcagni, the Florentine sculptor, had become a great friend of

Michael Angelo's through Bandini, and being one day in Michael

Angelo's house, and seeing this Pieta broken, he asked him why he had

broken it, and spoilt so much marvellous work. He answered it was

because of his servant Urbino's importunity, who was always urging him

to finish it, and besides that, among other things, he had broken a

piece off the Virgin's arm, and before that he had taken a dislike to

it, having many misfortunes because of a crack there was in it; so at

last, losing patience, he had broken it, and would have destroyed it

altogether if his servant Antonio had not begged him to give it him as

it was. Then Tiberio spoke to Bandini about it, for Bandini desired to

have a work of Michael Angelo's, and he prayed Michael Angelo to allow

Tiberio to finish it for him, promising that Antonio should have two

hundred crowns of gold, and he being content, made them a present of

it. So Tiberio took it away and joined it together, but it was left

unfinished at his death. However, it was necessary for Michael Angelo

to get another piece of marble, that he might do a little

carving every day.

       The architect Pirro Ligorio had entered the service of Paul IV, and

was the cause of renewed vexation to Michael Angelo, for he

went about everywhere saying that he was becoming childish. Indignant

at this treatment, Michael Angelo would willingly have returned to

Florence, and Giorgio urged him to do so. But he felt he was getting

old, having already reached the age of eightyone, and he wrote to

Vasari saying he knew he was at the end of his life, as it were in the

twentyfourth hour, and that no thought arose in his mind on which

death was not carved. He sent also a sonnet, by which it may be seen

that his mind was turning more and more towards God, and away from the

cares of his art. Duke Cosimo also commanded Vasari to encourage him

to return to his native place; but though his will was ready, his

infirmity of body kept him in Rome.

       Many of his friends, seeing that the work at S. Peter's proceeded but

slowly, urged him at least to leave a model behind him. He was for

many months undecided about it, but at last he began, and little by

little made a small clay model, from which, with the help of his plans

and designs, Giovanni Franzese made a larger one of wood.

       When Pius V became pope, he showed Michael Angelo much favour, and

employed him in many works, particularly in making the design of a

monument for the Marquis Marignano, his brother. The work was

entrusted by his Holiness to Lione Lioni, a great friend of Michael

Angelo's, and about the same time Lione pourtrayed Michael Angelo on a

medallion, putting at his wish on the reverse a blind man led by a

dog, with the words, "Docebo iniquos vias tuas, et impii ad te

convertentur," and because the thing pleased him much, Michael Angelo

gave him a model in wax of Hercules and Antaus. There are only two

painted portraits of Michael Angelo, the one by Bugiardini and the

other by Jacopo del Conte, besides one in bronze by Daniello

Ricciarelli, and this one of Lione's, of which there have been so many

copies made that I have seen a great number in Italy and elsewhere.

       About a year before his death, Vasari, seeing that Michael Angelo was

much shaken, prevailed upon the Pope to give orders concerning the

care of him, and concerning his drawings and other things, in case

anything should befall him. His nephew Lionardo desired to come to

Rome that Lent, as if foreboding that Michael Angelo was near his end,

and when he fell sick of a slow fever, he wrote for him to come. But

the sickness increasing, in the presence of his physician and other

friends, in perfect consciousness, he made his will in three words,

leaving his soul in the hands of God, his body to the earth, and his

goods to his nearest relations, charging his friends when passing out

of this life to remember the sufferings of Jesus Christ; and so, on

the seventeenth day of February, at twentythree o'clock of the year

1563, according to the Florentine style, which after the Roman would

be 1564, he expired to go to a better Jife.

       Michael Angelo's imagination was so perfect that, not being able to

express with his hands his great and terrible conceptions, he often

abandoned his works and destroyed many of them. I know that a little

before his death he burnt a great number of drawings and sketches. It

should appear strange to none that Michael Angelo delighted in

solitude, being as it were in love with art. Nevertheless he held dear

the friendship of many great and learned persons, among whom were many

cardinals and bishops. The great Cardinal Ippolito de' Medici loved

him much, and once, having heard that Michael Angelo was greatly

pleased with a Turkish horse of his, he sent it to him as a gift with

ten mules' burden of hay and a servant to keep it. He loved the

society of artists, and held intercourse with them; and those who say

he would not teach are wrong, for he was ready to give counsel to any

one who asked. But he was unfortunate with those pupils who lived in

his house; for Piero Urbano was a man of talent, but would never do

anything to tire himself; Antonio Mini would have done anything, but

he had not a brain capable of much, and when the wax is hard you

cannot get a good impression; Ascanio dalla Ripa Transone worked very

hard, but nothing came of it: he spent years over a picture of which

Michael Angelo had given him the drawing, but at last all the great

expectations that had been formed of him went off into smoke, and I

remember Michael Angelo had so much compassion for his difficulty in

painting that he helped him with his own hand.

       He has often said to me that he would have written something for the

help of artists, but feared not being able to express in writing what

he wished. But he delighted much in reading the poets, particularly

Dante and Petrarca, and in making madrigals and sonnets. And he sent

much, both in rhyme and prose, to the illustrious Marchioness of

Pescara, of whose virtues he was greatly enamoured, and she of his.

Many times she went from Viterbo to Rome to visit him, and Michael

Angelo made many things for her. He delighted much in the sacred

scriptures, like the good Christian he was, and held in veneration the

works of Fr. Girolamo Savonarola, having heard him preach. In his

manner of life he was most abstemious, being content when young with a

little bread and wine while at his work, and until he had finished the

Last Judgment he always waited for refreshment till the evening, when

he had done his work. Though rich he lived poorly, never taking

presents from any one. He took little sleep, but often at night he

would rise to work, having made himself a paper cap, in the middle of

which he could fix his candle, so that he could have the use of his

hands. Vasari, who often saw this cap, noticed that he did not use wax

candles, but candles made of goats' tallow, and so he sent him four

bundles, which would be 40 lbs. His servant took them to him in the

evening, and when Michael Angelo refused to take them, he answered,

"Sir, carrying them here has almost broken my arms, and I will not

carry them back again; but there is some thick mud before your door in

which they will stand straight enough, and I will set light to them

all." Upon which Michael Angelo answered, "Put them down here, then,

for I will not have you playing tricks before my door." He told me

that often in his youth he had slept in his clothes, too worn out with

his labours to undress himself. Some have accused him of being

avaricious, but they are mistaken, for he freely gave away his

drawings and models and pictures, for which he might have obtained

thousands of crowns. And then, as for the money earned by the sweat of

his brow, bv his own study and labour-can any one be cailed avaricious

who remembered so many poor as he did, and secretly provided for the

marriage of many girls, and enriched his servant Urbino? He had served

him long, and once Michael Angelo asked him, "If I die, what will you

do?" He answered, "I shall serve another." "Oh, poor fellow!" answered

Michael Angelo, "I will mend your poverty." And he gave him at once

two thousand crowns, a gift for a Caesar or a great pontiff.

       He had a most tenacious memory; he could remember and make use of the

works of others when he had only once seen them; while he never

repeated anything of his own, because he remembered all he had done.

In his youth, being one evening with some painters, his friends, it

was proposed that they should try who could make a figure without any

drawing in it, like those things that ignorant fellows draw on the

walls, and the one that could make the best should have a supper given

him. He remembered having seen one of these rude drawings on a wall,

and drew it as if he had it in front of him, and so surpassed all the

other painters-a difficult thing for a man to do who had such

knowledge of drawing.

       He felt very strongly against those who had done him an injury, but he

never had recourse to vengeance. His conversation was full of wisdom

and gravity, mixed with clever or humorous sayings. Many of these have

been noted down, and I will give some. A friend of his was once

talking to him about death, and saying that he must dread it very much

because he was so continually labouring in his art; but he answered,

"All that was nothing, and if life pleased us, death was a work from

the hand of the same Master, and ought not to displease us." A citizen

found him once at Orsanmichele in Florence, looking at the statue of

S. Mark by Donatello, and asked him what he thought of it. He answered

that he had never seen a more honest face, and that if S. Mark was

like that, we might believe all that he had written. A painter had

painted a picture in which the best thing was an ox, and some one

asked why it was that the painter had made the ox more lifelike than

anything else? Michael Angelo answered, "Every painter can pourtray

himself well."

       He took pleasure in certain men like Il Menighella, a common painter,

who would come to him and get him to make a drawing for a S. Rocco or

a S. Antonio, which he was to paint for some peasant. And Michael

Angelo, who could hardly be persuaded to work for kings, would at once

lay aside his work, and make simple designs suited to Il Menighella's

wishes. He was also attached tc, Topolino, a stonecutter, who fancied

hin1self a sculptor of worth. He resided for many years in the

mountains of Carrara for the purpose of sending marble to Michael

Angelo, and he never sent a boatload without three or four roughly

hewn figures of his own carving, which used to make Michael Angelo die

with laughing. After he came back from Carrara he set himself to

finish a Mercury which he had begun in marble, and one day, when it

was nearly completed, he asked Michael Angelo to look at it and give

him his opinion on it. "You are a fool," said Michael Angelo, "to try

to make figures. Don't you see that this Mercury is the third part of

a braccio too short from the knee to the foot-that you have made him a

lame dwarf?" "Oh, that is nothing! If that is all, I will soon remedy

that." Michael Angelo laughed again at his simplicity, but when he was

gone Topolino took a piece of marble, and having cut Mercury under the

knees, inserted the marble, joining it neatly, and giving Mercury a

pair of boots, the top of which hid the join. When he showed his work

to Michael Angelo he laughed again, but marvelled that ignorant

fellows like him, when driven by necessity, should be capable of doing

daring things which sculptors of real worth would not think of.

       Michael Angelo was a very healthy man, thin and muscular, although as

a boy he was sickly. When grown up he had also two serious illnesses;

nevertheless he could support any amount of fatigue. He was of middle

height, wide across the shoulders, but the rest of his body in good


       Certainly he was sent into the world to be an exarnple to men of art,

that they sholld learll from his life and from his works; and I, who

have to thank God for felicity rare among men of our profession, count

among my greatest blessings that I was born in the time when Michael

Angelo was alive, and was counted worthy to have him for my master,

and to be treated by him as a familiar friend, as every one knows.