Page:The Life of Michael Angelo.djvu/68

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36
THE LIFE OF MICHAEL ANGELO

be more fitted to perpetuate his glory. He was urged to this by Michael Angelo's enemies, who were numerous and powerful. They were headed by a man whose genius was equal to that of Michael Angelo and who possessed a stronger will—Bramante d'Urbino, the Pope's architect and the friend of Raphael. There could not possibly be sympathy between the sovereign intellect of the two great Umbrians and the fierce genius of the Florentine. But if it is true that they decided to oppose him[1] it was doubtless because he had provoked them. Michael Angelo imprudently criticised Bramante, and accused him, whether rightly or wrongly, of malversation in his work.[2] Bramante immediately decided to ruin him.

He robbed him of the Pope's favour. Playing upon Julius' superstitious nature he reminded him of the

  1. At any rate, Bramante. Raphael was too close a friend of Bramante and too much under an obligation to him to refuse to make common cause with him; but we have no proof that, personally, he acted against Michael Angelo. Nevertheless, the sculptor accuses him in formal terms: " All the difficulties which arose between the Pope Julius and myself were the result of the jealousy of Bramante and Raphael. They sought to ruin me; and truly Raphael had reason for doing so, for what he knows in art he learnt from me." (Letter of October 1542 to a person unknown. Letters, Milanesi's edition, pp. 4S9-494).
  2. Condivi, whose blind friendship for Michael Angelo renders him somewhat open to suspicion, says: "Bramante was impelled to harm Michael Angelo first of all through jealousy, but also owing to a fear of the judgment of Michael Angelo, who discovered his errors. Bramante, as every one knows, was given to pleasure and great dissipation. The salary which he received from the Pope, large though it was, was insufficient for him, so ho sought to make money by building his walls of bad materials and insufficiently solid. Every one can see this in his buildings at St. Peter's, the corridor of the Belvedere, the cloister of Santo Pietro ad Vincula, &c., which it has recently been necessary to support by means of cramp-irons and buttresses, because they were falling or would soon have fallen."