Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Tragedy of the Tomb
Michelangelo was commissioned by Pope Julius II to create his tomb. It was going to be a glorious eternal resting place for Julius with over 40 statues. It would have been a mausoleum if it were completed to the original specifications.
Michelangelo himself traveled to Carrara to harvest the marble, he paid for it out of his own pocket, and began work in Rome. This was going to be the ultimate accomplishment for the artist. It tested his ability as an architect and sculptor.
During the course of work the Pope created a private corridor from Saint Peter's to Michelangelo's studio to suppress any jealousy. He would visit the artist and his work often. Bramante began whispering into the Pope's ear to stop work on his tomb. It was a bad omen. The pope eventually listened.
Michelangelo went to get payback on the marble and wasn't admitted to see the pope. This happened three times. Michelangelo freaked out, sold his stuff, and moved back to Florence. He eventually reconciled with Julius. Shortly after he was commissioned to paint the Sistine Chapel ceiling.
The tomb was never completed to its original standards. It now rests in San Pietro in Vincoli in Rome. It does contain the Moses by Michelangelo and is amazing. It is said that this statue alone would do Julius honor enough.