Page:The Life of Michael Angelo.djvu/99
genius?—the lifeless "Christ" of the Church of S. Maria Sopra Minerva—a work by Michael Angelo in which Michael Angelo is absent! Moreover, he could not even complete it.
From 1515 to 1520, during these closing years of the great Renaissance, before the overwhelming disasters which were to put an end to the springtime of Italy, Raphael had painted the Loggie, the Incendio di Borgo, the Farnesina Palace, and masterpieces of every description; had built the Villa Madame, directed the building of St. Peter's, the excavations, the fêtes, and the raising of monuments; had governed over art and founded a school of innumerable pupils. And in the midst of this triumphant work he had died.
The bitterness of his disillusions, the despair caused by lost days, ruined hopes and a broken will are reflected in the melancholy works of the following period: the tombs of the Medicis and the new statues for the mausoleum of Julius II.
The free Michael Angelo, who all his life was passing from one yoke to another, had changed his master. Cardinal Julius de' Medici, who soon became Pope under
- Michael Angelo entrusted the completion of this "Christ" to his unskilful pupil, Piero Urbano, who "mutilated it." (Letter from Sebastiano del Piombo to Michael Angelo, September 6, 1521.) The sculptor Frizzi, of Rome, repaired the damages as well as was possible.
All these troubles did not prevent Michael Angelo from looking for fresh tasks to add to those which were crushing him. On October 20, 1519, he signed the petition of the Academicians of Florence to Leo X. begging that the remains of Dante be brought from Ravenna to Florence; and he offered "to raise to the memory of the divine poet a monument worthy of him."
- April 6, 1520.
- "The Conqueror."