The Life & Times of Michelangelo by Maria Luisa Rizzatti

By Maria Luisa Rizzatti

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One day of 1512 Juhus II, at the end of his endurance, threatened to have the artist thrown off the scaffolding. Perhaps Michelangelo was secretly waiting for this outburst of temper as a signal. He ordered the scaffolding to be taken down and on October 31, 1512, the completed ceiling was uncovered. The next day, at the solemn mass of All Saints Day, there took place the official inauguration accompanied by the music of a glorious Te Deum, a hymn of Thanksgiving. To the crowd of onlookers was suddenly revealed a vision so splendid as to be staggering: The gigantic world of the reply remained unchanged: it was then the — fall Sistine Chapel with its Sybils and Prophets facing one another over the abyss of the future, surrounded on all sides by powerful figures who were the incarnation of a dream of plastic perfection.

Philibert of Orange was commander of the imperial troops sent by Charles V to return the Medici to power. Left : This small drawing, in the Buonarroti museum in Florence, is a plan for the building operations carried out by Michelangelo for the fortifications of the city at the time of its unsuccessful defense against the Medici. Below: Two sketches offortifications having to do with the works at the gates of the Prato d'Ognissanti. THE EVENING STAR On the fateful day of August 12, 1530, after betrayal turned the city over to the enemy, Michelangelo, from tower of Saint Niccolo, saw the imperial and Medici troops occupy Florence.

The new pope as a boy had sat at his father's dinner table beside Michelangelo. But it was not until two years after his accession to the papacy that he remembered his existence. Leo X, who had a real predilection for Raphael, was uneasily aware in Michelangelo's presence of the artist's stormy greatness. " Right: The prophet Ezekiel, one of the major biblical prophets, who sees God on a chariot offire. This figure has often been thought to be another of the portraits many of Pope Julius IL : THE MYSTERY OF THE PROPHECIES The sight of the severe figures of the Sybils, with their deeply lined faces, whose foreboding of the anguish of the years to come is already stamped upon their coun- tenances, makes alarm that rose it in easy to understand the feeling of X in the presence of Michel- Leo own outlook on life was from the artist's, as was indeed that of world in which he lived.

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