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Full text of "Michelangelo : a collection of fifteen pictures and a portrait of the master"

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MICHELANGELO 

A COLLECTION OF FIFTEEN PICTURES 
AND A PORTRAIT OF THE MASTER 
' WITH INTRODUCTION AND 
INTERPRETATION 

BY 146774 

ESTELLE M. HURLL 






BOSTON AND NEW YORK 

HOUGHTON, MIFFLIN AND COMPANY 

(Si))t Bi'atvjiitiz Ij^xe^y Cambcibge 

1901 



COPYRIGHT, 1900, BY HOUGHTON, MIFFLIN & CO. 
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED 



• • • : 

' • . * * ' 



• « 






PREFACE 

In making a collection o£ prints from the works of 
Michelangelo, it is impossible to secure any wide variety, 
either in subject or method of treatment. We are dealing 
here with a master whose import is always serious, and 
whose artistic individuality is strongly impressed on all 
his works, either in sculpture or painting. Our selec- 
tions represent his best work in both arts. These are 
arranged, not in chronological order, but in a way which 
will lead the student from the subjects most familiar and 
easily understood to those which are more abstract and 
difficult. 

ESTELLE M. HURLL. 

New Bedford, Mass. 
January, 1900. 



CONTENTS AND LIST OF PICTURES 

PoiiTRAiT OF Michelangelo. Attributed to Bugiardini. 

Frontispiece. 

PAOB 

INTRODUCTION 

I. On Michelangelo's Character as an Artist . . . vii 

II. On Books of Reference ,. . x 

III. Historical Directory of the Works of Art in this 

Collection xii 

rv. Collateral Readings from Literature xv 

V. Outline Table of the Principal Events in Michel- 

angelo's Life xviii 

VI. Some of Michelangelo's Famous Italian Contem- 

poraries XX 

L. MADONNA AND CHILD 1 

n. DAVID 7 

III. CUPID 13 

IV. MOSES 19 

V. THE HOLY FAMILY 25 

VI. THE PIETI 31 

VII. CHRIST TRIUMPHANT .37 

VIIL THE CREATION OF MAN 43 

IX. JEREMIAH 49 

X. DANIEL 55 

XI. THE DELPHIC SIBYL 61 

r XII. THE CUM^AN SIBYL 67 

XIII. LORENZO DE' MEDICI 73 

XIV. TOMB OF GIULIANO DE' MEDICI 79 

XV. CENTRAL FIGURES FROM THE LAST JUDGMENT . 85 

XVI. PORTRAIT OF MICHELANGELO (See Frontispiece) . . 91 

PRONOUNCING VOCABULARY OF PROPER NAMES AND 
FOREIGN WORDS 95 



Note : All the pictures -with the exception of the Cupid were made 
from photo^aphs by Fratelli Alinari. The Cupid was photographed from 
the statue in the South Kensington Museum^ London. 



INTRODUCTION 



I. ON MICHELANGELO'S CHARACTER AS AN ARTIST. 

Michelangelo's place in the world of art is altogether 
unique. His supremacy is acknowledged by all, but is 
understood by a few only. In the presence of his works 
none can stand unimpressed, yet few dare to claim any 
intimate knowledge of his art. The quality so vividly 
described in the Italian word terribilita is his predomi- 
nant trait. He is onejto awe rather than to attract, to 
overwhelm rather than to delight. The spectator must 
needs exclaim with humility, "Such knowledge is too 
wonderful for me ; it is high, I cannot attain unto it." 
Yet while Michelangelo can never be a popular artist in 
the ordinary sense of the word, the powerful influence 
which he exercises seems constantly increasing. Year by 
year there are more who, drawn by the strange fascina- 
tion of his genius, seek to read the meaning of his art. 
" His subjects are all profoundly serious in intention. 
Life was no holiday to this strenuous spirit ; it was a 
stern conflict with the powers of darkness in which such 
heroes as David and Moses were needed. Like the old 
Hebrew prophets, the artist poured out his soul in a 
vehement protest against evil, and a stirring call to right- 
V^ousness. 

Considered both as a sculptor and a painter, Michel- 
angelo's one vehicle of expression was the human body. 
His works are "form-poems," through which he uttered 



V :7 



viii MICHELANGELO 

his message to mankind. As he writes in one of his own 
sonnets, 

" Nor hath God deigned to show himself elsewhere 
More clearly than in human forms sublime." 

In his art, says the critic Symonds, "a well-shaped 
hand, or throat, or head, a neck superbly poised on an 
athletic chest, the sway of the trunk above the hips, the 
starting of the muscles on the flank, the tendons of the 
ankle, the outline of the shoulder when the arm is raised, 
the backward bending of the loins, the curves of a woman's 
breast, the contours of a body careless in repose or strained 
for action, were all words pregnant with profoundest 
meaning, whereby fit utterance might be given to thoughts 
that raise man near to God." 

! Learning his first lessons in art of the Greeks, he soon 
f possessed himself of the great principles of classic sculp- 
1 ture. Then he boldly struck out his own path ; his was a 
! spirit to lead, not to follow. With the subtle Greek sense 
' of line and form, he united an entirely new motif. In 
contrast to the ideal of repose which was the leading 
canon of the Greeks, his chosen ideal was one of action. 
Moreover, he invariably fixed upon some decisive moment 
in the action he had to represent, a moment which sug- 
gests both the one preceding and the one following, and 
which gives us the whole story in epitome. Thus in the 
David we see preparation, aim, and action. It was a far 
cry from the elegant calm of the Greek god to the restless 
\ energy of this rugged youth. 

Even with seated figures he followed the same principle. 
Moses and the Duke Giuliano are ready to rise to their 
feet if need be. In his frescoes we again find the same 
motif, — Adam rising to his feet in obedience to the 
Creator's summons, and Christ the Judge sweeping asun- 
der the multitudes. 

In his love of action and his passion for the human 



INTRODUCTION ix 

form lay the elements of his art most easily lending them- 
selves to exaggeration. That the master did indeed per- 
mit himself to be carried beyond due limits in these 
matters is seen by comparing the grandeur of the Sistine 
ceiling with the mannerisms of the Last Judgment. The 
interval between was " the time of his best technical and 
spiritual creativeness," when he produced the statues of 
the Sacristy of S. Lorenzo. 

It was characteristic of Michelangelo's impetuous nature 
to spend his enthusiasm upon the early stages of his 
work, and leave it unfinished. This unfinished effect of 
many of his marbles seems to bring us in closer touch 
with his methods as a sculptor. Nor is a rough surface 
here and there inharmonious with the rugged character 
of his conceptions. Moreover, as a critic^ has pointed 
out, the polished and rough portions enhance each other, 
giving a variety in the light and shadow which is pictorial 
in effect. 

To a man of Michelangelo's austere temperament, 
intensely masculine in his predilections, the beauty of 
womanhood was not fully revealed. His sibyls can scarcely 
be counted as women; they belong to a world of their 
own, neither human nor divine. It was only in his few 
Madonnas that we can trace his feminine ideal, an ideal 
noble and dignified, rather than beautiful. The Madonna 
of the bas-relief is proud rather than tender, the Virgin 
of the Pieta is grand rather than lovely. These were 
works of his youth. Later in life, when he had known 
the blessing of a good woman's friendship, he developed 
a new ideal in the gentle and delicate womanhood of the 
Virgin of the Last Judgment. 

Michelangelo has been compared with two great mas- 
ters of dissimilar arts, Milton and Beethoven. There are 

^ See notes on the Life of Michelangelo Buonarotti in the Blash- 
field-Hopkins edition of Vasari. 



X MICHELANGELO 

striking points of similarity in the men themselves, in 
stern uprightness of character, in scorn of the low and 
trivial, in lofty idealism. The art of all three is too far 
above the common level to be popular; it requires too 
much thinking to attract the superficial. In poetry, in 
music, and in sculpture, all three utter the profoundest 
truths of human experience, expressed in grand and sol- 
emn harmonies. 

11. ON BOOKS OF REFERENCE. 

The original materials for the study of Michelangelo's 
life and work are the two biogrkphies by his contempo- 
raries, Vasari and Condivi. Vasari's was the first of 
these (1550), and like the other portions of his "Lives of 
the Painters " contained many inaccuracies. It was to 
correct these that Condivi published his little book a few 
years later. This rival effort aroused Vasari's wrath, and 
after Michelangelo's death he issued an enlarged edition 
of his own book, unscrupulously incorporating all that 
was valuable in Condivi's work, and adding thereto many 
reminiscences of the master's life. The fame of Vasari's 
monumental work caused Condivi's little book to be en- 
tirely forgotten for long years, and it has been one of the 
tasks of modern scholarship to restore it to its true place. 
Even now, however, there is no available form of Con- 
divi's biography for American readers, though Vasari's 
" Lives " in Mrs. Foster's translation is found in most 
libraries. The latest edition of Vasari, published in 1897, 
contains annotations by Mr. and Mrs. E. H. Blashfield, 
and A. A. Hopkins, which correct all the statements in 
the light of recent authorities. 

Far more valuable even than the early biographies is 
the mass of existing documents of the Buonarotti family, 
including contracts, letters, poems, and memoranda, and 
containing data for a full and exact biography of the mas- 



INTRODUCTION 



XL 



ter. Unfortunately, however, this great storehouse of 
material has been for all these centuries a sealed treasure, 
given up only little by little,- to successive generations of 
scholars. When Hermann Grimm wrote his celebrated 
"Life of Michael Angelo" (in 1860), the only original 
material accessible to him was the collection of letters in 
the British Museum. His volumes are still read with 
interest and profit, though it is to be regretted that they 
should be reprinted without any editorial comments to 
connect formerly received opinions with later conclusions. 
John S. Harford's " Life of Michael Angelo Buonarotti " 
was published at about the same time as Grimm's work, 
that is, in 1857. It was in two volumes, and contained 
translations of many of Michelangelo's poems, as well as 
material about Savonarola, Vittoria Colonna, and Raphael. 
The work is found in the older libraries, and is well worth 
studying, as the latter portion is still valuable for all that 
refers to the architecture of St. Peter's. 

Signer Gotti's " Yita," in 1875, was the first to profit 
to any considerable degree by documentary researches. 
The conclusions of this book are best known to the Eng- 
lish-reading public through Charles Heath Wilson's " Life 
and Works of Michelangelo Buonarotti " (1876 and 1881), 
consisting of compilations from Gotti, to which are added 
original investigations of the Sistine frescoes, which are 
very valuable. 

More privileged than any of his predecessors was John 
Addington Symonds, who, by special favor of the Italian 
government, was allowed to examine the Buonarotti col- 
lection in Florence, so long debarred to others. His 
" Life of Michelangelo Buonarotti " is therefore unique in 
being, as the sub-title announces, " based on studies in the 
archives of the Buonarotti family at Florence." It was 
published in 1893 in two large, finely illustrated volumes, 
and is taken as the latest authoritative word on the sub- 



xii MICHELANGELO 

ject, a word singularly independent of others' conclusions, 
and influenced by an artistic and literary nature of rare 
sensitiveness. 

To those who wish briefer notices of Michelangelo's 
life and work than any of these full biographies are 
recommended the chapters on Michelangelo in Kugler's 
"Handbook of the Italian Schools," in Mrs. Jameson's 
"Memoirs of the Italian Painters," in Frank Preston 
Stearns's " Midsummer of Italian Art," in Mrs. Oliphant's 
" Makers of Florence," and in Symonds's volume on 
" Fine Arts " in the series " Renaissance in Italy." 

To understand more fully the character of the man 
Michelangelo, the student should read his sonnets. There 
is a complete collection translated by J. A. Symonds, 
while both Wordsworth and Longfellow have translated 
a few. 

The life of Michelangelo has furnished material for 
two long poems by American writers, — Longfellow's 
drama, and the poem by Stuart Sterne. The former, 
which is annotated, is a well-balanced study of the great 
artist's career and ideals. 

III. HISTORICAL DIRECTORY OF THE WORKS OF 
ART IN THIS COLLECTION. 

Portrait frontispiece. An oil painting in The Hall of the 
Portraits of Old Masters, Uffizi Gallery, Florence. The au- 
thorship of the painting is not certainly known. Symonds says 
that it " may perhaps be ascribed with some show of probabil- 
ity to Bugiardini. Bugiardini was a friend of Michelangelo's 
youth and a fellow student in the gardens of the Medici. That 
later in life he painted a portrait of his distinguished friend we 
know from Vasari. Vasari tells us that the portrait showed a 
peculiarity in the right eye, and this fact lends probability to 
the identification of the Uffizi portrait with Bugiardini's work. 

1. Madonna and Child, an unfinished bas-relief medallion, 
made, according to Vasari, during Michelangelo's residence in 



INTRODUCTION xiii 

Florence in 1501-1505. It was made for Bartolommeo Pitti. 
It is now in the National Museum (Bargello), Florence. 

2. David, a statue made from a block of Carrara marble 
which had been spoiled by an unskilled sculptor. After it had 
lain useless in Florence for a century, a sculptor applied to the 
board of works of the cathedral for permission to use it. The 
board consulted Michelangelo and offered him the marble. He 
undertook to cut from it a single figure which would exactly 
use the block. The contract to make the statue of David was 
drawn up in 1501, and the statue was completed in 1504. 
Forty men were employed four days to remove it from the 
cathedral works to the Piazza della Signoria, where it was 
placed on the platform of the palace (Palazzo Vecchio), remain- 
ing in the open air more than three centuries. The weather 
was beginning to injure it, and it was removed in 1873 to the 
Academy of Fine Arts in Florence, where it now stands. 

3. Cupid. Symonds gives the following account of the statue 
in the " Life of Michelangelo," published in 1893 : " Discovered 
some forty years ago, hidden away in the cellars of the G ual- 
fonda (Ruccellai) Gardens, Florence,n5yTrofessor Milanesi and 
the famous Florentine sculptor, Santarelli. On a cursory exam- 
ination they both declared it to be a genuine Michelangelo. 
The left arm was broken, the right hand damaged, and the hair 
had never received the sculptor's final touches. Santarelli re- 
stored the arm, and the Cupid passed by purchase into the pos- 
session of the English nation." It is now in the Museum of 
South Kensington. 

4. Moses, a statue on the tomb commemorative of Julius 11.,^ 
in the church of S. Pietro in Vincoli, Rome. At the beginning 
of Michelangelo's connection with Julius IL, he made plans 
for a magnificent monumental tomb for this pope, to be orna- 
mented with more than forty statues and to be of great size 
(34^ X 23 feet). The fickleness of the Pope caused a contin- 
ual series of disappointments in the progress of the work, which 
was finally abandoned for the frescoes of the Sistine Chapel. 
After the death of the Pope, his executors were even less zeal- 

^ The Pope, Julius II., is buried at St. Peter's. 



xiv MICHELANGELO 

ous for the completion of the tomb. A succession of contracts 
were made and broken, each one reducing the size and impor- 
tance of the design. The artist was continually in demand for 
other work. Finally, in 1542, to leave him free for the ser- 
vices of the Pope, the completion of the tomb was put into other 
hands. The statue of Moses, with those of Rachel and Leah, 
is all that Michelangelo contributed to a work which had 
occupied his thoughts for nearly forty years. The setting of 
the Moses is in every way exceedingly unfavorable to a proper 
appreciation of the work. 

5. Holy Family, a tempera painting belonging to the Flor- 
entine period 1501-1505, and painted for Angelo Doni. It is 
now in the Uffizi Gallery, Florence. 

6. The Fieta, a marble group executed by the order of the 
Cardinal di San Dionigi according to a contract drawn up Au- 
gust 28, 1498. It was placed in the old basilica of St. Peter's 
(Rome), in a chapel dedicated to Our Lady of the Fever (Ma- 
donna della Febbre). In the present church of St. Peter's it 
occupies a side chapel, to which it gives its name, where it is 
placed so high that it is impossible to see it well, and where its 
beauty is disfigured by the bronze cherubs fastened above, hold- 
ing a crown over the Virgin's head. 

7. Christ Triumphant, a marble statue ordered by Bernardo 
Cencio (a canon of St. Peter's), Mario Scappuci, and Metello 
Varj dei Porcari for the church of S. Maria sopra Minerva, 
Rome, where it still stands. The deed was executed in 1514, 
specifying that the statue should be of marble, " life sized, 
naked, erect, with a cross in his arms." It appears from 
Michelangelo's correspondence that the work was finished by 
apprentices, first by Pietro Urbano, who did so badly that he 
was discharged and replaced by Federigo Frizzi. It was com- 
pleted in 1521, when Michelangelo offered to make a new statue 
if it was not satisfactory. Varj, however, declared that the 
sculptor had " already made what could not be surpassed and 
was incomparable," so the statue was placed in position. 

8-12. The Creation of Man, Jeremiah, Daniel, The Del- 
phic Sibyl, the Ctimcean Sibyl, frescoes on the ceiling of the 
Sistine Chapel, Rome, begun in 1508 at the order of the Pope 



INTRODUCTION 



XV 



Julius II. Michelangelo undertook the work reluctantly, as 
sculpture was his chosen art. The architect Braraante first 
made a scaffolding for the work, so clumsily constructed that 
Michelangelo replaced it by one of his own invention. Several 
Florentine painters were engaged as assistants, but, failing to 
satisfy the painter, returned. Julius II. often visited the chapel 
during the work, climbing to the scaffolding to see how it pro- 
gressed. Impatient to see it, he gave orders to have the ceiling 
uncovered when but half finished. The first uncovering took 
place November 1, 1509. The work was completed October, 
1512. 

13-14. Lorenzo de' Medici, Tomb of Giuliano de' Medici, 
marble tombs first projected in 1520 or 1521, during the pon- 
tificate of Leo X. (formerly Giovanni de' Medici). The order 
was renewed by Clement VII., another Medici pope, in 1523. 
The work was carried on intermittently a number of years 
during which occurred the revolution, siege, and recapture of 
Florence. From 1530-1533 Michelangelo carried them to the 
point of completion in which they are now seen : they were 
never fully finished. The identity of the tombs was long a mat- 
ter of doubt. Though Vasari had called the helmeted figure 
Lorenzo and the other Giuliano, there were critics, notably 
Grimm, who took the opposite view. In 1875 the sarcophagus 
of the helmeted figure was opened and evidence found proving 
it to be unquestionably the tomb of Lorenzo, as Vasari had said. 
Both tombs remain as originally placed in the new sacristy of 
the church of San Lorenzo, Florence. 

15. Central Figures of the Last Judgment, a fresco paint- 
ing on the wall of the Sistine Chapel, executed by the order 
of the Pope Paul III., who in 1535 api)ointed Michelangelo 
chief architect, sculptor, and painter at the Vatican. The work 
occupied several years and was completed in 1541. 

IV. COLLATERAL READINGS FROM LITERATURE. 

IN CONNECTION WITH THE SEVERAL WORKS HERE REPRESENTED. 

The Madonna and Child and the Holy Family : — 

The Latin hymn. Mater Speciosa, by Jacobus de Bene- 
dictis, translated by Dr. Neale. 



xvi MICHELANGELO 

David : — 

Arthur Penrhyn Stanley. History of the Jewish Church, 

Part II. Lectures XXII.-XXV. : David. 
Robert Browning. Poem, Saul. 
Psalm Twenty-three. 

Cupid : — 

Richard Crashaw. Poem, Cupid's Cryer ; out of the 

Greek. 
Edmund Gosse. Poem, Cupido Crucifixus. 

Moses : — 

Arthur Penrhyn Stanley. History of the Jewish Church, 
Part I, Lectures V.-VIII. : Moses. 

Mrs. A. D. T. Whitney. The Open Mystery : A Read- 
ing of the Mosaic Story, Part IV. 

The Song of Moses : Deuteronomy, chapter xxxii. 

The Prayer of Moses : Psalm Ninety. 

Cecil Frances Alexander. Poem, The Burial of 
Moses. 

Sonnet on the statue of Moses by Giovanni Battista 
Felice Zappi, translated by J. A. Symonds (in Life of 
Michelangelo Buonarotti). 

The Pieta : — 

Latin hymn, Stabat Mater, by Jacobus de Benedictis, 
translated by Lord Lindsay, by General Dix or by 
Dr. Coles. 

Christ Triumphant : — 

Henryk Sienkiewicz. Quo Vadis, chapter Ixix. 

Frescoes of the Sistine Chapel, general impressions : — 

Symonds. Renaissance in Italy, volume on the Fine 

Arts, chapter viii. : Life of Michael Angelo. 
Taine. Italy, book iii., chapter ix. : Michael Angelo. 
Andersen. The Improvisatore, chapter xii. : AUegri's 
Miserere, in the Sistine Chapel. 

The Creation of Man : — 

Milton. Paradise Lost, book VIIL, lines 500-528. 

Jeremiah : — 

Lucy Larcom. Poem, The Weeping Prophet. 



INTRODUCTION rvii 

Daniel : — 

Sir Edwin Arnold. Poem, The Feast of Belshazzar. 

The Delphic Sibyl : — 

Lord Houghton. Delphi, a poem included in Long- 
fellow's collection of Poems of Places, volume on 
Greece. 
The Cumsean Sibyl : — 

Virgil, ^neid, sixth book, translated by C. P. Cranch 
or by John Conington. 
The Medicean Tombs, general impressions : — 

Symonds. The Renaissance in Italy, volume on the 

Fine Arts, chapter viii. : Life of Michael Angelo. 
Taine. Italy, book iii., chapter v. : The Florentine 

School of Art. 
Mrs. Oliphant. The Makers of Florence, chapter xv. : 

Michael Angelo. 
Rogers. Italy : poem on Florence. 
Lorenzo de' Medici : — 

Milton. II Penseroso. 

Tomb of Giuliano de' Medici : — 

Charles Algernon Swinburne. Poem, In San Lorenzo. 

The Last Judgment : — 

The Latin hymn, Dies Irae, by Thomas de Celano, 

translated by General John E. Dix. 
Alexander Dumas. Les Trois Maitres : Description of 

Last Judgment, translated by Esther Singleton in the 

compilation Great Pictures described by Great 

Writers. 
The portrait of Michelangelo : — 

C. P. Cranch. Michael Angelo Buonarotti, a poem read 

at a celebration of • the 400th anniversary of his birth, 

included in Longfellow's collection of Poems of Places, 

volume on Italy. 



xviii MICHELANGELO 

V. OUTLINE TABLE OF THE PRINCIPAL EVENTS IN 
MICHELANGELO'S LIFE. 

{Based on Symonds* Life of Michelangelo Buonarotti, to which the 
accompanying notes on pages refer.) 

1475. Born at Caprese, March 6 (p. 4). 

1488. Apprenticed to Domenico and David Ghirlandajo, April 

1 (p. 12). 
1489-1492. Under the patronage of Lorenzo the Magnificent, 

in the Casa Medici (p. 23). 
1494, 1495. In Bologna, work on the tomb of St. Dominick 

(pp. 47, 48). 
1495. Return to Florence, the Sleeping Cupid (pp. 50-52). 
1496-1498. In Rome : — 

The Bacchus (p. 58). 
The South Kensington Cupid (p. 62). 
The Pietk (p. 69). 
1500. A second visit to Rome (p. 80). 
1501-1505. In Florence (p. 87). 

1504. Statue of David (p. 96) taken from workshop, May 

14 ; arrived at Piazza Signoria, May 18 ; set in place, 
June 8. 
Commissioned in August to prepare cartoons for decora- 
tion of Hall in Palazzo Vecchio, on wall opposite to 
that assigned to Leonardo da Vinci (p. 119). 

1505. Arrival in Rome to work under patronage of the Pope 

Julius IL (p. 126). 
Preparations begun for work on tomb of Julius and trip 
to Carrara to select marbles (p. 129). 

1506. His angry flight from Rome (p. 155). 

Visit in Florence and completion of competitive car- 
toon (Battle of Pisa) for Palazzo Vecchio (p. 161). 
Reconciliation with the Pope at Bologna, November 
(p. 186). 
1506-1508. Residence in Bologna, and statue of Julius II. 

(pp. 187 and 195). 
1508. Return to Florence, March (p. 197). 

TfKence to Rome by order of Julius II. (p. 198). 
Frescoes of the Sistine Chapel begun (p. 206). 



INTRODUCTION 



xiz 



1509. First uncovering of the Sistine Chapel ceiling, showing 
frescoes in the central space (pp. 209, 211). 

1512. Sistine frescoes completed, October (p. 217). 

1513. Death of Michelangelo's patron, Julius II., Feb. 21. 
New contract for tomb, dated May 6 (p. 302). 

1514. Contract for life size marble statue of Christ. Date of 

deed, June 14 (p. 305). 
1516. Reduced plan for tomb of Julius II. (p. 320). 
Visit to Carrara to quarry marble. 

Suspension of work on tomb to make facade of church 
of S. Lorenzo (Florence) for Pope Leo X. (p. 323). 
1518. Contract for facade of S. Lorenzo, Jan. 19 (p. 328). 
1518, 1519. To and from Florence and Carrara for marble 
(pp. 331, 339, 341, 342). 

1520. Fagade of S. Lorenzo abandoned (p. 349). 

1521. Work begun on tombs in sacristy of S. Lorenzo (p. 357). 
Statue of Christ finished (pp. 306, 359). 

Death of Michelangelo's patron, Leo X., Dec. 1. 

1523. Fresh beginning of project of the Medicean tombs in 

sacristy of S. Lorenzo (p. 372). 

1524. Vasari's apprenticeship with Michelangelo (p. 389). 

1525. Work in Florence on Medicean tombs (p. 391). 

1526. Work begun on Laurentian Library (p. 397). 

1527. 1528. Uneventful years in Florence (p. 404). 

1529. His services on the fortifications of S. Miniato, to de- 

fend Florence against the Medici (pp. 409, 412). 
Flight from Florence to Venice, Sept. 21 (p. 416). 

1530. Capitulation of Florence (p. 435). 
Michelangelo in hiding (p. 437). 
Resumption of work on Medicean tombs (p. 438). 

1530-1533. Work on Medicean tombs (p. 447). 
1532. New contract for tomb of Julius IL (p. 455). 

1534. Death of Clement VII. 

1535. Appointed chief architect, sculptor, and painter at the 

Vatican by Pope Paul III., Sept. 1 (vol. ii. p. 40). 
1536-1537. Work on the Last Judgment (vol. ii. p. 43). 
1538-1547. Friendship with Vittoria Colonna (vol. ii. pp. 93, 
117, 125). 



XX 



MICHELANGELO 



1541. Last Judgment shown to the public, Christmas day 

(voL ii. p. 58). 

1542. Work assigned by Paul IIL for frescoes in the Pauline 

Chapel (vol. ii. p. 69). 
Michelangelo's last contract for tomb of Julius XL. 
(vol. ii. pp. 40, 69, 73). 

1544. Illness (vol. ii. pp. 183, 187). 

1546. Michelangelo succeeds Antonio da Gallo as architect-in- 
chief at St. Peter's (vol. ii. p. 213). 

1552. Invitation of Duke Cosimo de' Medici to return to Flor- 
ence declined (vol. ii. pp. 289-291). 

1556. Excursion to Spoleto (vol. ii. p. 303). 

1557. Model for cupola of St. Peter's <vol. ii. p. 232). 
1564. Death in Rome, Feb. 17 (vol. ii. p. 320). 

VI. SOME OF MICHELANGELO'S FAMOUS ITALIAN 
CONTEMPORARIES. 

RULERS. 

Florentine Dukes : — 

Lorenzo de' Medici, 1469-1492. 

Piero de' Medici succeeded Lorenzo 1492, expelled from Flor- 
ence 1493. 

Alessandro de' Medici, made first hereditary duke of Florence 
1531, assassinated 1537. 

Cosimo de' Medici succeeded Alessandro, 1537-1574. 

Popes : — 

Sixtus IV., 1471-1484. Clement VIL, 1523-1534. 

Innocent VIIL, 1484-1492. Paul IIL, 1534-1550. 

Alexander VL, 1492-1503. Marcellus IL, 1550-1555. 

- Pius IIL, 1503-1503. Paul IV., 1555-1555.. 

Julius IL, 1503-1513. Pius IV., 1555-1559. 

Leo X., 1513-1522. Pius V., 1559-1566. 

Hadrian VL, 1522-1523. 

MEN OF LETTERS. 

Boiardo, 1434-1494, poet (Orlando Innamorato). 
Ariosto, 1474-1533, poet (Orlando Furioso). 



INTRODUCTION xxi 

Aretino (Venetian) 1492-1557, poet. 

Francesco Berni, 1496-1535, burlesque poet. 

Bandello, 1480-1562, novelUero. 

Sannazaro, 1458-1530, poet (Arcadia). 

Niccolo Machiavelli, 1469-1527, author of The Prince. 

Gucciardini, 1483-1540, historian. 

Tasso, 1544-1595, poet (Gerusalemme Liberata). 

Group centring about Lorenzo the Magnificent in Florence, 

Cristoforo Landino, 1424-1504, tutor of Lorenzo, and professor 

of Latin Literature. 
Bartolommeo Scala, 1430-1497, chancellor of Florence. 
Luigi Pulci, 1431-1487, writer of burlesque epic II Morgante 

Maggiore, and intimate friend of Lorenzo and Poliziano. 
Marsilio Ficino, 1433-1499, president of Academy in 1463, 

translator of Plato and Plotinus. 
Angelo Poliziano, 1454-1494, tutor of Lorenzo's children, and 

professor of Greek and Latin Literature in University of 

Florence. 
Giovanni Pico della Mirandola, 1463-1494, published 900 

theses at Rome in defence of Platonic mysticism. 

Group in Rome : — 

Pietro Bembo, 1470-1547, made cardinal in 1539, master of 

Latin style and also writer in Italian. 
Jacopo Sadoleto, 1477-1547, made cardinal in 1536, writer of 

Latin verses, moral treatises, and commentary on Romans. 
Egidio Canisio, 1470-1532, made cardinal in 1457, Latin orator 

and writer on philosophy, history, and theology. 
Paolo Giovio, 1483-1552, bishop of Nocera 1528, historian and 

biographer. 
Baldassare Castiglione, 1478-1529, diplomatist and scholar. 
Gian Francesco Pico della Mirandola, 1470-1533, author of 

life of Savonarola. 
Jerome Aleander, 1480-1542, made cardinal in 1536, librarian 

at Vatican. 
Marcus Musurus, 1470-1517, lecturer in Gymnasium CabaUini 

Montis. 



xxii MICHELANGELO 

Joannes Lascaris, 1445-1535, superintendent of Greek press 

established in Rome by Leo X. 
Riario, Giulio de' Medici, Bibbiena, Petrucci, Farnese, Alidosi, 

Gonzaga, cardinals and patrons of literature. 

PAINTERS. 

Ghirlandajo, 1449-1495 ? Florentine 

Verrocchio, 1435-1488 " 

Leonardo da Vinci, 1452-1519 " 

Bartolommeo, 1475-1517 " 
Francesco Granacci, 1477-1543 (friend of Michelangelo) " 
Giuliano Bugiardini, 1475-1554 (friend of Michelangelo) " 
Raphael, 1483-1520 

Andrea del Sarto, 1486-1531 " 

Sebastiano del Piombo, 1485-1547 " 

Giorgio Vasari, 1512-1574 " 

Giovanni Bellini, 1428-1516 Venetian 

Giorgione, 1477-1510 " 

Titian, 1477-1576 « 

Tintoretto, 1518-1594 " 

Paolo Veronese, 1528-1588 " 

Perugino, 1446-1523 Umbrian 

Bazzi, 1477-1549 Sienese 

Baldassare Peruzzi, 1481-1536 (also architect) " 

Domenico Beccafumi, 1486-1551 " 

Mantegna, 1431-1506 Mantuan 

Francia, 1450-1518 Bolognese 

Correggio, 1494-1534 Emilian 

MISCELLANEOUS. 

Savonarola, 1452-1498, prior of monastery of S. Marco, Florence, 
preacher, reformer, martyr. 

Marc' Antonio, 1487-1539, engraver. 

Bramante, 1444-1514, architect of St. Peter's. 

Antonio da San Gallo, 1485-1546, architect of St. Peter's. 

Christopher Columbus, 1436 or 1446-1506, discoverer. 

Aldo Manuzio (Teobaldo Mannucci), 1450-1515, printer, estab- 
lished press at Venice 1490. 

Vittoria Colonna, 1490-1547, poet. 



THE MADONNA AND CHILD 

About two thousand years ago a babe was born 
in the httle Judsean village of Bethlehem whose life 
was to change all history. His name was Jesus, and 
every Christian country now takes his birth as a 
standard from which to reckon time. When we 
speak of the year 1900, we are counting the number 
of years that have passed since that event.^ To 
make this clear we sometimes add the initials A. D., 
standing for the Latin words. Anno Domini, mean- 
ing in the year of our Lord. To go still farther 
back we speak of an event as so many years b. c. or 
Before Christ. 

The infant Jesus came to his mother Mary as a 
peculiar treasure. Before his birth she had had a 
vision of an angel telling her that her son was to 
reign over a great kingdom. She felt that there 
was a great and solemn mystery in his life. 

At the time he was born, Bethlehem happened to 
be crowded with people who had come there to pay 
their taxes. When Mary and her husband Joseph 
went to the inn, there was no room for them, and 
the baby was laid in a manger used to feed cattle. 

^ To be perfectly exact we must always add four years to a date 
to get the full length of time passed since the birth of Christ, as a 
mistake has been made in the calculation. 



2 MICHELANGELO 

This was a humble cradle for one destined to be a 
king ; but the mother did not think too much o£ 
outward things. Her confidence in her son's great- 
ness was not to be shaken by trifles like this. 

The new-born babe was soon sought out. First 
came some shepherds asking to see him^ because, 
while watching their sheep at night, they had had 
a vision of angels telling them that a Saviour was 
born in Bethlehem. Still stranger visitors were 
some wise men from the East, who said they had 
seen a star which signified to them the birth of a 
king. They brought the babe royal gifts of gold 
and frankincense and myrrh, and returned on their 
way well pleased with the success of their journey* 

When the babe was about a month old he was 
carried up to the great city of Jerusalem, where, 
according to the religious custom of the Jews, he 
was to be offered or presented to the Lord, in the 
temple. Here a saintly old man named Simeon 
took him in his arms, with some strange words of 
prophecy of the salvation which this child was to 
bring to the world. 

All these things made a deep impression upon 
Mary, and she was a proud and devoted mother. 
Day by day she watched her child grow " strong in 
spirit, filled with wisdom ; and the grace of God 
was upon him." It is said that 

" All mothers worship little feet, 
And kiss the very ground they 've trod," 

and this mother had special cause for child worship. 
The Italians always refer to the mother of Jesus 




Alioari, Photo. 



John Andrew & Son, Sc. 



MADONNA AND CHILD 
National Museum, Florence 



THE MADONNA AND CHILD 5 

as the Madonna, which is the old ItaHan way of 
addressing a lady. This representation of the Ma- 
donna and Child makes us understand better what 
the two were to each other. The confiding way 
in which the boy leans against his mother's knee 
shows the love between them. The mother looks 
like a queen ; on her well-poised head she wears a 
headdress something like a crown. As the mother 
of a prince she bears her honors proudly. 

On her lap is the book from which she has been 
reading. The child seems dreaming of the wonder- 
ful words he has heard, as he rests his cheek on his 
little hand, his elbow bent across the open page. A 
thoughtful mood is upon them both, and there is 
something wistful in the boy's attitude. The mes- 
sage they have read must indeed be a solemn one. 
Perhaps it is something which recalls to the mother 
the promise of the angel in foretelling the birth of 
Jesus. She thinks of the great honors that are to 
be his, and also of the sacrifices by which they must 
be won. The book may be open at the words of 
one of those old Hebrew prophets who longed for 
the coming of the Redeemer. There is a verse in 
the prophecy of Isaiah, which speaks of a child upon 
whose shoulders the government shall rest.^ The 
writer tells some of the many names by which he 
shall be called, and we may imagine this mother 
and child going over together these strange titles : 
^^ Wonderful, Counsellor, The Mighty God, The 
Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace." 

^ Isaiah, chapter ix. verse 6. 



6 MICHELANGELO 

Our illustration is from a bas-relief by Michel- 
angelo, and as we examine it closely we discover 
that the sculptor's work was left unfinished. The 
rough marks of the chisel are still seen on the sur- 
face of the marble. A child's figure in the back- 
ground is quite indistinct. Probably it was intended 
for the boy St. John the Baptist, the cousin of Jesus. 
The child Jesus himself is by no means completed ; 
his right arm is only faintly indicated. 

As we shall learn from other examples of sculp- 
ture in this book/ Michelangelo often neglected to 
carry his work to completion. He was so possessed 
with his ideas that he could not work fast enough 
in sketching them on the marble, but after this, it 
did not matter so much to him about the finishing. 
He had done enough to show his meaning. 

There are reasons for liking such work all the 
better for being unfinished. Some of the most 
delightful stories ever written, like those of Haw- 
thorne, leave something at the end still unexplained. 
The reader's imagination is then free to go on for- 
ever exploring the mystery, and inventing new 
situations. So in this bas-relief, the great sculptor 
does not work out the details, but allows us to exer- 
cise our own fancy upon them. He sketches his 
thought in a few noble lines, and each may round 
out for himself the completed ideal. 

1 Note particularly the Cupid on page 15, and the tomb of Giuliano 
de' Medici on page 81. 



II 

DAVID 

Long ago in the country of Palestine lived a lad 
named David, who kept his father's sheep. His 
free life out of doors made him strong and manly 
beyond his years. The Israelites were at this time 
at war with the Philistines, and David's quick wit 
and indomitable courage fitted him to play an im- 
portant part in the issue of the war. 

The Philistine army contained a giant named 
Goliath, described as " six cubits and a span " in 
height. That is over ten feet ; but perhaps his ter- 
rible appearance, in all his armor, made him taller 
than he really was. 

One day this giant came out from his army and 
made a proposal to the Israelites : ^ " Choose you a 
man for you, and let him come down to me. If he 
be able to fight with me, and to kill me, then will 
we be your servants : but if I prevail against him 
and kill him, then shall ye be our servants, and 
serve us." Every day, morning and evening for 
forty days, the Philistine stood forth and repeated 
his challenge, yet in vain. Saul, the king, and all 
Israel, were " dismayed and greatly afraid." 

Now it happened that David's three elder brothers 

^ 1 Samuel, chapter xvii. verses 8, 9. 



8 MICHELANGELO 

were in the Israelite army, and one day their father 
sent him to them with a present of some provisions. 
While the lad was talking with his brothers, Goliath 
came out with his usual call of defiance. David 
listened with wonder and indignation. " Who is 
this Philistine?" he asked scornfully, "that he 
should defy the armies of the living God ? " The 
brothers were angry at what they thought foolish 
bravado on the part of David ; but there were others 
who reported his words to Saul, who forthwith sent 
for the lad. Then David amazed the king by boldly 
offering to go and fight with the Philistine. 

" And Saul said to David, ' Thou art not able to 
go against this Philistine to fight with him : for 
thou art but a youth, and he a man of war from his 
youth.' And David said unto Saul, ' Thy servant 
kept his father's sheep, and there came a lion, and 
a bear, and took a lamb out of the flock : And I 
went out after him, and smote him, and delivered it 
out of his mouth : and when he arose against me, I 
caught him by his beard, and smote him, and slew 
him. Thy servant slew both the lion and the bear. 
. . . The Lord that delivered me out of the paw of 
the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will 
deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine.' And 
Saul said unto David, ' Go, and the Lord be with 
thee.' 

" And Saul armed David with his armour, and he 
put an helmet of brass upon his head ; also he armed 
him with a coat of mail. And David girded his 
sword upon his armour, and he assayed to go ; for 




Alinari, Pboto. 



John Andrew & Son, Sc. 



DAVID 
Academy of Fine Arts, Florence 



DAVID U 

he had not proved it. And David said unto Saul, 
^ I cannot go with these ; for I have not proved 
them.' And David put them off him. And he 
took his staff in his hand and chose him five smooth 
stones out of the brook, . . . and his sHng was in 
his hand : and he drew near to the PhiHstine. . . . 

^^And when the Philistine looked about, and saw 
David, he disdained him : for he was but a youth, 
and ruddy, and of a fair countenance. . . . And 
the Philistine said to David, ' Come to me, and I 
will give thy flesh unto the fowls of the air, and 
to the beasts of the field.' Then said David to 
the Philistine, ' Thou comest to me with a sword, 
and with a spear, and with a shield : but I come 
to thee in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God 
of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied. 
This day will the Lord deliver thee into mine hand ; 
and I will smite thee, and take thine head from 
thee.' ... 

"And it came to pass, when the Philistine arose, 
and came and drew nigh to meet David, that David 
hasted, and ran toward the army to meet the PhiHs- 
tine. And David put his hand in his bag, and took 
thence a stone, and slang it, and smote the Philis- 
tine in his forehead, that the stone sunk into his 
forehead ; and he fell upon his face to the earth. 
So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling 
and with a stone, and smote the Philistine, and slew 
him ; but there was no sword in the hand of David. 
Therefore David ran, and stood upon the Philistine, 
and took his sword, and drew it out of the sheath 



12 MICHELANGELO 

thereof, and slew him, and cut off his head there- 
with. And when the Philistines saw their champion 
was dead, they fled." ^ 

This heroic adventure of David is the subject 
of Michelangelo's statue. The shepherd, having 
thrown off the king's armor, advances naked and 
unhampered, carrying only the sling flung across 
his back. The large muscular hand hanging by his 
side holds the piece of wood on which the sling is 
hung. It is the hand that wrenched the lamb from 
the lion's mouth and then seized the king of beasts 
himself by the beard. The left hand, poised on the 
shoulder, holds the centre of the sling where it 
bulges with the pebble. The youth scans the enemy 
keenly, marking the spot at which to aim. In 
another moment the pebble will be speeding on its 
way. His air of confidence makes us sure of the 
victory. Determination like this must win the day. 

Critics of sculpture tells us that the statue of 
David must have been studied from a model of the 
age which Michelangelo imagined as that of the 
shepherd lad at this time. The figure is that of a 
growing youth, and although it is therefore not so 
beautiful as a type of perfectly developed manhood, 
it has a rugged strength which makes it one of the 
sculptor's most interesting works. 

^ 1 Samuel, chapter xvii. verses 33-51. 



Ill 



CUPID 



In the mythology of ancient Greece there is no 
more popular figure than the little god of love, Eros, 
more commonly known by the Latin name Cupid. 
He was supposed to be the son of Venus, the god- 
dess of love and beauty, whom he attended. He 
was never without his bow and quiver of arrows. 
Whoever was hit by one of his magic darts straight- 
way fell in love. The wound was at once a pain and 
a delight. Some traditions say that he shot blind- 
folded, — his aim seemed often so at random. Sonxe- 
times the one whom he wounded was apparently 
least susceptible to love. Indeed, Cupid had the 
reputation of being rather a mischievous fellow, 
fond of pranks. 

One of these was at the expense of Apollo, the 
great sun god. Apollo was himself a mighty archer, 
and had slain with his arrows the python of Delphi. 
Proud of his victory, he mocked at the little god of 
love, advising him to leave his arrows for the war- 
like, and content himself with the torch of love. 
Cupid, vexed at the taunt, replied threateningly, 
" Thine arrows may strike all things else, Apollo, but 
mine shall strike thee." So saying he drew from 
his quiver two arrows, one of gold, to excite love, 



14 MICHELANGELO 

and one of lead^ to repel it. With the golden one 
he shot Apollo through the heart, with the leaden 
he shot the nymph Daphne. So Apollo became 
nearly mad with love for Daphne, but the maid fled 
from him with horror. He pursued her, and when 
he was close upon her, she turned into a laurel-tree. 

Cupid continued to work havoc with his arrows. 
Even his mother Venus could not escape their power. 
One day, when frolicking with her boy, she was 
wounded by one of the darts, and before the 
wound healed she saw and loved Adonis. When 
that youth was killed in a struggle with a wild boar, 
she was inconsolable. 

Another romantic tragedy for which Cupid was 
responsible was the love between Hero and Leander. 
These two young people lived in towns on opposite 
sides of the Hellespont. Leander was one day wor- 
shipping in the temple of Venus, in Hero's town, 
Sestos, when he saw Hero, and was at that moment 
shot by Cupid's arrow. His love was returned, and 
every night he swam across the channel to see his 
lady love, until one night a tempest arose, and he 
was drowned. The waves bore his body to the 
shore, where Hero found him, and in her despair 
threw herself into the sea and was also drowned. 

Such legends as these were dear to the hearts of 
the Greeks. Their poets and artists were very fond 
of the subject of Cupid. Now Michelangelo's early 
artistic training was under the influence of the Greek 
culture. He was an inmate of the household of 
Lorenzo de' Medici, who was an ardent lover of all 




John Andrew & Son, So. 



CUPID 

South Kensington Museum^ London 



CUPID 17 

that was beautiful in Greek art and literature. At 
the table of the prince the youth must often have 
heard the old Greek myths related, and in the gardens 
he saw splendid Greek marbles. It was natural, then, 
that among his early works in sculpture he should 
choose the subject of Cupid. His idea was, how- 
ever, his own, and was not at all such as a Greek 
would have imagined. Classic art always repre- 
sented the god of love as a merry little winged boy, 
while in this statue he is seen as a well-grown youth. 
His face is strong and masterful, instead of inno- 
cently gay. 

He has dropped on one knee to take an arrow 
from the ground. In his raised left hand he holds 
the bow, of which we see only a portion. His left 
leg is bent in position to rise again. Like David, 
he has an abundance of bushy hair crowning his 
handsome head ; his straight brows and set mouth 
show the same determination of character. He 
stands for love which is determined to win, for 
love which conquers every obstacle, for love which 
is unerring in aim. It is a much nobler conception 
than the mere passing fancy of which the old myth 
speaks. Michelangelo was one who believed that 

" Love betters what is best, 
Even here below, but more in heaven above." ^ 

So he put into a pagan fancy a new and higher 
meaning:. 

To understand fully the qualities of this work of 
art, one ought to see it from many points of view, 

^ From one of Michelangelo's sonnets translated by Wordsworth. 



18 MICHELANGELO 

and study the lines. The long curve of the right 
arm follows the curve of the right leg from hip to 
knee. The bend of the left arm repeats the line 
made by the bend of the left leg. The two extended 
arms together form a long line arching Hke the 
curve of a bow. 

From every standpoint all the lines are beautiful 
and harmonious. This was the secret the Greeks 
had taught the young Italian sculptor. In other 
respects he was entirely original. Cupid^ like David, 
is in an attitude of action. In another moment he 
will move. This was quite different from the Greek 
sculpture, which always gives an impression of 
repose. 

Note, — There is a difference of opinion among critics as to the 
subject of the statue at South Kensington. Heath Wilson con- 
sidered it an Apollo. The writer has followed Symonds in calling it 
Cupid. 

The size of the statue may be calculated from the foot rule which 
lies across the pedestal in the picture. 



IV 

MOSES 

In Michelangelo's statue of Moses the great He- 
brew leader is represented at the height of his 
career. He was a prophet, a poet, a military com- 
mander, and a statesman. The story of his life will 
show how all these qualities could be combined in 
one person. 

At the time of his birth his people were in slav- 
ery to the Egyptians, who cruelly oppressed them. 
Their numbers were increasing so rapidly that it 
was feared they would soon outnumber their masters. 
So the command went forth to drown every boy 
baby. Now the mother of Moses had no mind to 
lose her boy, and " when she could not longer hide 
him, she took for him an ark of bulrushes, and 
daubed it with slime and with pitch, and she put 
the child therein and laid it in the flags by the 
river's brink. And his sister stood afar off, to know 
what would be done to him." ^ 

Then a strange thing happened. The princess 
came to the river with her maids for a bath, and 
finding the babe, was touched by his cries. The 
sister came up as if by chance, and asked if she 
should seek a Hebrew nurse for the child, and when 

1 Exodus, chapter ii. verses 3, 4, Revised Version. 



20 MICHELANGELO 

the princess said Yes, she went straight for her 
mother. 

So Moses was adopted by an Egyptian princess, 
yet he was nurtured in infancy by his own mother. 
This explains why, with all the Egyptian learning 
acquired at court, he had still the religious training 
of a Jew, and when he grew to manhood he was 
full of sympathy for the wrongs of his people. One 
day he saw an Egyptian smiting a Hebrew, and in 
his wrath he slew the Egyptian on the spot. News 
of the deed came to Pharaoh the king, and Moses 
fled into a place called Midian. Here for forty 
years he lived a quiet pastoral life as a shepherd for 
Jethro, whose daughter he had married. 

Then came the divine call. He was alone with 
his sheep on the mountain-side, when he heard a 
voice saying, " Come now and I will send thee unto 
Pharaoh, that thou mayest bring forth my people 
the children of Israel out of Egypt, . . . and I will 
bring you up out of the affliction of Egypt unto the 
land of the Canaanites ... unto a land flowing 
with milk and honey." ^ Thus Moses became the 
leader of his people in their exodus, or departure 
from Egypt. 

After many strange experiences, the great com- 
pany of emigrants made the passage of the E-ed Sea 
in safety, and Moses showed his poetic gifts in a 
song of triumph. Many years of slavery had taken 
the spirit out of the Hebrews, and they needed a 
wise head and a firm hand to govern them. Moses 

^ Exodus, chapter iii. verses 10 and 17. 




AliDari, Photo. 



John Andrew i Sun, Si-. 



MOSES 

Church of S. Pietro in Vincoli, Rome 



MOSES 23 

had both, and he was, besides, a man of God. 
Going apart from them for a season of divine com- 
munion on the mountain, he spent forty days in 
preparation for a system of government. On his 
return he brought with him two tables of stone, 
inscribed with the ten great commandments, which 
are at the foundation of right character. He had 
also detailed directions for their daily conduct, and 
for their religfious ceremonial. 

The people for whose good all these plans were 
made were in the mean time discouraged by the 
long absence of their leader. They had no idea 
how much he was doing for them, and in their folly 
they forgot his teachings, and began to practise the 
idolatrous customs they had seen in Egypt. On 
descending the mountain, Moses found them wor- 
shipping the golden image of a calf. It is not to 
be wondered at that, as the historian says,^ " Moses' 
anger waxed hot, and he cast the tables out of his 
hands, and brake them beneath the mount." 

Again Moses went up into the mount for com- 
munion with God, and again two tables of stone 
were inscribed with the ten commandments, to re- 
place those which had been destroyed. Again, also, 
he was gone forty days, and this time he was given 
a mysterious revelation of the goodness of God. 

Thus it was that when he came down the people 
were afraid to come near, for ^ " the skin of his face 
shone," or "put forth beams," as the expression 

^ Exodus, chapter xxxii. verse 19. 

2 Ibid , chapter xxxiv. verse 30. See Revised Version. 



24 MICHELANGELO 

reads In some Bible translations. In the old Latin 
version made by Jerome in the fifth century, and 
known as the Vulgate, translated into what is now 
called the Douay Bible, we read that " Moses' face 
was horned." This is why all the old artists, who 
were guided by the Vulgate, represented Moses 
with horns. These horns became, as it were, sym- 
bols of Moses' inspiration as a prophet. 

Michelangelo followed the prevailing custom in 
using these curious symbols. The long curling 
beard gives his hero the aspect of a poet. The 
tables of stone show him to be a law-giver. But 
of all the qualities of this many-sided man seen 
in the great statue, the most conspicuous are his 
qualities of leadership, — the keen glance, the com- 
manding air, the alert attitude, the determined look. 
He seems ready to spring to his feet if occasion 
demands. We see also something of his faults, of 
the impulsive anger which slew the Egyptian, and 
dashed in pieces the tables of stone, and of the 
arrogance which cost him the privilege of entering 
Canaan. 

He was not permitted to see his labors carried to 
completion, but on the borders of Canaan " went up 
into the mountain of Nebo, . . . and died there in 
the land of Moab, according to the word of the 
Lord. And he buried him in a valley . . . over 
against Beth-peor ; but no man knoweth of his sep- 
ulchre unto this day." 



THE HOLY FAMILY 

The pictures we have thus far studied in this col- 
lection are reproductions of works of sculpture. 
This is the art which Michelangelo loved best. He 
was, however, a painter also, and in the later years 
of his life he was even drawn into architecture. 
Painting was the first art he studied, but he soon 
laid it aside for sculpture, and after that returned 
to it from time to time throughout his life. 

This picture of the Holy Family is from a tempera 
painting. It shows us a glimpse of the home life of 
the child Jesus. We have already seen in the bas- 
relief of the Madonna and Child how thoughtful a 
mood was sometimes upon the mother and her boy. 
In this picture they are making merry together. 
The mother, seated on the ground, tosses the boy 
with her strong arms, for her husband Joseph to 
catch. She is a beautiful woman, large, and full of 
life and vigor. The boy is a healthy, happy child, 
with perfect confidence in his mother. He rests his 
fat little hands on her head to steady himself. 

Joseph, bald and gray, takes the play a little 
more seriously, as he gently lifts the boy from the 
mother's arms. He has a special care for the child. 
It was he who was warned by an angel in a dream 



26 MICHELANGELO 

that it was dangerous to remain in Judaea. It was 
he who " took the young child and his mother by 
night and departed into Egypt." ^ It was he again 
who duly brought them back to their native country 
when the cruel king was dead who had threatened 
the child's life. After the return from Egypt Joseph 
and his family settled in the little town of Nazareth, 
where he followed the trade of a carpenter. 

Now Jesus had a cousin, a boy who was not far 
from the same age. His name was John, and his 
mission in life was closely connected with that of 
Jesus. He was to grow up a great preacher, and 
finally to lead people to Jesus himself. His parents 
knew before his birth, from an angelic visitation, 
that he was to be a prophet. His mother Eliza- 
beth, and Mary the mother of Jesus, used to talk 
together, before their children were born, of the 
strange future in store for them. We like to think 
that the two boys grew up as companions aild play- 
mates. 

It is this little boy John who is seen in the back 
of the picture, at the right, coming up as if to join 
the child Jesus in his romp. We see his eager little 
face, with the long hair blown back from it, just 
above the coping stone surrounding the garden in- 
closure which the Holy Family occupy. He carries 
over his left shoulder a slender reed cross, such as 
is given him in all the old works of art as a symbol 
of his prophetic character. 

You may say when you look at the picture that 

1 Matthew, chapter ii. verses 13, 14. 




Aliuari, Fboto. 



John Andrew Si Son, Sc. 



THE HOLY FAMILY 
UJizi Galleryy Florence 



lA677~k 

THE HOLY FAMILY 29 

this is sucli a group as you might see any day in 
some Tuscan village. The people are indeed very 
plainly of the peasant class, and the artist did not 
go far out of his way to find his figures. Perhaps 
he thought this was after all the best way to show 
that the Holy Family was not unlike other families 
in enjoying the simple pleasures of home life. We 
may feel a closer sense of kinship with them on that 
account. 

In studying the artistic qualities of this picture 
we have to remember that Michelangelo was more 
of a sculptor than a painter, and that he went to 
work upon a painting with the same methods he 
used in marble. The central figures are grouped in 
a solid mass as if for a bas-relief, as we may see by 
comparing this illustration with that of the Madonna 
and Child. The mother's arms are so " modelled," 
to use a critical term, that they seem to start out 
from the canvas " in the round," just as if cut from 
marble. The folds of her dress, as well as those of 
Joseph's garment, are arranged in the long beauti- 
ful lines artists call " sculpturesque." 

The sculptor's methods are also plainly seen in 
the peculiarity of his background. In a picture of 
this kind most painters would have painted there a 
landscape, but Michelangelo did nothing of the 
kind. Instead there is a semicircular parapet upon 
which five slender unclothed youths are playing 
together. Three sit upon the wall and two lean 
against it. 

The figures bear no relation to the story of the 



30 MICHELANGELO 

picture. They are introduced merely for the sake 
of decoration. To Michelangelo there was nothing 
so beautiful in decoration as the human form. The 
lines made by different positions of the body trace 
patterns more beautiful, he thought, than any ara- 
besques. The Greeks had the same idea when they 
decorated the pediments of their temples with bas- 
reliefs of nude figures. Applying this principle of 
sculpture to his painting, Michelangelo arranged 
these boys so that their slender limbs intertwine in 
graceful patterns, making a decorative background 
to fill in the picture. The lightness and delicacy 
of the design heighten the effect of solidity in the 
figures of the foreground, giving them the promi- 
nence of figures in relief. 



VI 



THE PIETA 



In the busy years of Christ's ministry we do not 
read of his often being with his mother Mary. He 
was going about the country preaching and heahng, 
and gave himself wholly to his mission. Yet we 
know that the love between mother and son was 
constant and unchanging. From beginning to end 
she always had confidence in his power, and his 
tender care for her was among his last thoughts. 

On the dreadful day of the Crucifixion, the mother 
was found standing by the cross, with her sister and 
Mary Magdalene. " When Jesus therefore saw his 
mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved 
[that is, St. John], he saith unto his mother. Wo- 
man, behold thy son ! Then saith he to the dis- 
ciple, Behold thy mother ! And from that hour 
that disciple took her unto his own home." ^ 

We can imagine the mother's anguish in seeing 
her son suffer this cruel and ignominious death. 
He had lived only to do good, and now he was dying 
an innocent sacrifice to his enemies. At such a 
moment the mother might truly feel that a sword 
was piercing her soul, as the old man Simeon ^ had 
once prophesied of her, many years before. 

^ John, chapter xix. verses 26, 27. ^ Luke, chapter ii. verse 35. 



32 MICHELANGELO 

" Wearied was her heart with grieving, 
Worn her breast with sorrow heaving, 
Through her soul the sword had passed. 

" Ah ! how sad and broken-hearted 
Was that blessed mother, parted 
From the God-begotten One! 

" How her loving heart did languish 
When she saw the mortal anguish 
Which o'erwhelmed her peerless Son." ^ 

Time passed, and Jesus now being dead, his 
friends were permitted by the governor to remove 
him from the cross. Joseph of Arimathea took the 
lead, as he was to lay the body in a new sepulchre 
recently made in his garden. Nicodemus was also 
there, bringing linen and spices for the burial, and 
the loving women lingered to see these preparations. 

We can imagine how theyjnight all stand aside to 
make room for the mother Mary. Perhaps, indeed, 
they would withdraw a little way to leave her for a 
moment alone with her son. The years seem to 
melt away, and again she gathers him in her lap as 
when he was a babe. All the motherly tenderness 
which she has had long pent up in her heart now 
overflows. If she has sometimes felt a little lonely 
that in his manhood he no longer needed her care, 
she forgets it now. He is still her child. 

The marble group by Michelangelo interprets 
such a moment for us. The Italians call the subject 
the Pieta, which means compassion, but the name 
scarcely expresses all the emotions of the mother. 

1 From Stahat Mater. 




AliQftil, Fboto. 



John Andrew & Son, So. 



THE PIETA 

S/. Peter's^ Rome 



1 



THE PIETA 36 

She seems as strong and young as when she brooded 
over her babe in the Bethlehem manger. " Purity 
enjoys eternal youth " was the sculptor's explanation 
to those who objected. 

Across her capacious, motherly lap lies the slen- 
der, youthful figure of the dead Christ. The head 
falls back, and the limbs are relaxed in death. Suf- 
fering has left no trace on his face. The nail prints 
in hands and feet, and the scar in the side, are the 
only signs of his crucifixion. The delicately moulded 
body is beautiful in repose. 

The mother seems to find mysterious comfort in 
gazing upon her son. Perhaps his death has opened 
her eyes to the meaning of his life. If this is so, 
she cannot grieve. He has finished the work given 
him to do, and death is the beginning of immor- 
tality. So sorrow gives place to resignation. She 
is again the proud mother. The fond hopes with 
which she watched his childhood have been more 
than fulfilled. She extends her hand in a gesture 
which seems to say, "Behold and see." 

It is said that certain Lombards, passing through 
the church where the Pieta stood, ascribed the work 
to a Milanese sculptor named Cristoforo Solari. 
Michelangelo, having overheard them, shut himself 
up in the chapel, and chiselled his name upon the 
girdle which crosses the Madonna's breast and sup- 
ports her flowing garments. His name is not found 
on any of his other works, and we can understand 
why he felt proud of such a masterpiece. Though 
made when on the very threshold of his career, it 



36 MICHELANGELO 

was never surpassed even in his later years. Some 
other artist afterwards designed the two little bronze 
cherubs who hold a crown over the Madonna's head. 
They are quite out of harmony with the impressive 
dignity of the figures below. 

Michelangelo's early love of Greek sculpture 
taught him many lessons, which were worked out in 
this group. It has, first of all, that perfect repose 
which was the leading trait in classic art. There is 
nothing strained or violent in the positions. Besides 
this, the figures are so arranged that on all sides, as 
in a Greek statue, the lines are beautiful and har- 
monious. 

But the subject itself is one which would have 
been too sad for the pleasure-loving Greek. To the 
pagan the thought of death was something to be 
avoided. Michelangelo's statue teaches the highest 
lesson of religious faith, — the beauty of resigned 
sorrow and the sublimity of sacrificing love. 



VII 

CHRIST TRIUMPHANT 

(Crista Risorto) 

The character of Christ is so many-sided that 
when trying to fancy how he looked while he lived 
in the world, every one has probably a different 
thought uppermost. The business man and the 
lawyer may imagine the keen, searching glance 
which he turned upon those who tried to entangle 
him with hard questions. A loving woman thinks 
rather of the compassionate look with which he 
greeted the sisters of Lazarus when they came to 
tell him that their brother was dead. The physician 
may wonder how he looked when he spoke the com- 
manding words to those whom he healed. 

Others dwell upon his sufferings as the Man of 
Sorrows, and often think how sad he looked when 
he referred to the disciple who should betray him. 
Lovers of nature like to imagine the look of pleasure 
on his face in seeing the lilies growing in the field, 
or the expression of eager inquiry with which he 
asked the fishermen what luck they had had. Every 
boy and girl likes best to think of him smiling upon 
the children, whom he called to him and took in 
his arms. 

Now when an artist makes an ideal representation 



38 MICHELANGELO 

of Christ, he tries to show us as many as possible 
of these elements of character combined in one 
figure. So we may test the success of Michelan- 
gelo's statue of Christ by searching out these vari- 
ous elements in it. We must also know what inci- 
dent the artist had in mind of which the work is an 
illustration, so to speak. 

The statue is called in Italian Crista RisortOy 
that is, Christ Risen or Triumphant, because the 
reference is to a circumstance not recorded of his 
earthly career, but belonging to the time following 
his resurrection. It is connected with a story told 
by St. Ambrose about the apostle Peter. St. Peter, 
it is believed, spent the latter part of his life in 
Rome, where the cruel emperor, Nero, was doing 
his best to exterminate the Christians. 

" After the burning of Rome, Nero threw upon 
the Christians the accusation of having fired the 
city. This was the origin of the first persecution, 
in which many perished by terrible and hitherto un- 
heard-of deaths. The Christian converts besought 
Peter not to expose his life, which was dear and 
necessary to the well-being of all ; and at length he 
consented to depart from Rome. But as he fled 
along the Appian Way, about two miles from the 
gates, he was met by a vision of our Saviour, travel- 
ling towards the city. Struck with amazement, he 
exclaimed, ' Lord ! whither goest thou ? ' (Domine, 
quo vadisf) to which the Saviour, looking upon 
him with a mild sadness, replied, ^ I go to Rome to 
be crucified a second time,' and vanished. Peter, 




Alinari, Photo. 



John Andrew & Sou, He. 



CHRIST TRIUMPHANT 

Church of S. Maria sopra Minerva, Rome 



CHRIST TRIUMPHANT 41 

taking this for a sign that he was to submit himself 
to the sufferings prepared for him, immediately 
turned back, and reentered the city." ^ 

It is this visionary figure of the Christ, appear- 
ing and disappearing before the eyes of Peter, that 
Michelangelo represents in the statue. He carries 
a cross not large enough for an actual crucifixion, 
as that would be out of place here, but tall enough 
to show its real purpose. He has also the long reed 
and the sponge which the soldier used to give him 
a drink of vinegar and gall when he thirsted on the 
cross. A bit of rope is a reminder of the scourging 
given him by the governor. 

All these things he carries with him to Rome for 
a fresh martyrdom. It is as if in walking along the 
way he suddenly meets Peter, and, at the apostle's 
astonished question, he pauses, leaning a moment 
on the cross, as he turns gently to reply. 

Now as this is the Christ risen, or triumphant, 
the Christ who has conquered death and the grave, 
Michelangelo wanted to do all he could to make a 
noble-looking figure. The face is of the handsome 
type, with regular features, which the Italians hke 
to give to their ideal of Christ. The expression of 
reproach is so gentle that one deserving rebuke may 
well feel ashamed before it. 

The sorrow in the face is such as Jesus mig-ht 
have shown as he turned to Judas at the Last Sup- 
per. The gentleness in it is of the quality so at- 
tractive to children. There is, too, something of the 

* From Mrs. Jamesou's Sacred and Legendary Art, pages 200, 201. 



42 MICHELANGELO 

sympathetic element in it which Mary and Martha 
found. 

The countenance is not without intellectuahty, 
though it scarcely shows the keenness which the 
lawyers found it hard to outwit. It has rather the 
refinement of a lover of all that is beautiful. Nor 
is there much in expression or attitude to suggest 
the more commanding qualities of Jesus. These 
stronger elements the statue seems to lack. 

It is rather puzzling to one who is trying to form 
standards of taste to learn that critics are divided in 
their opinion about this statue. It is, therefore, 
well to know that Michelangelo is not wholly respon- 
sible for the work as we now see it. Though he 
designed and began it, he left it to some unskilful 
apprentices to finish. The effect of the lines is in- 
jured by the bronze drapery which was added later. 
A bronze sandal has also been put on the right foot 
to protect it, as it had become much worn by kisses. 

In criticising a statue one must always remember 
that it is best seen in the surroundings for which it 
is designed. It is said, even by one who does not 
greatly admire Michelangelo's Christ, that in the 
dim light of the church where it stands, " it diffuses 
a grace and sweetness which no reproduction ren- 
ders.'' 1 

^ Symonds, in Life of Michelangelo Buonarotti. 



VIII 

THE CREATION OF MAN 

Science has long been trying to solve the problem 
of the origin of the human race. Great books are 
published by learned men to explain how the being 
called man came to be what he is. But centuries 
before the beginnings of science a wonderful poem 
was written on the same subject of the creation. 
This poem is called Genesis, that is, the Birth or 
Origin of things, and it forms a part of the first 
book of our Bible. Ever since it was written it has 
been one of the sacred books of many people. 
'^ This story of creation was once the favorite 
subject of artists. In the period before the inven- 
tion of printing, people depended for their in- 
struction upon pictures about as much as we now 
do upon books. Painters sometimes covered the 
walls and ceiling of churches with illustrations of 
the book of Genesis, transforming them into huge 
picture-books, from which the worshippers could 
learn the Bible stories which they were unable to 
read in books. 

Michelangelo was one of the last Italian painters 
to do this, and he profited by all the wDrk that had 
been done before to make the grandest series of 
Genesis illustrations ever produced. It is from this 



44 MICHELANGELO 

series that our illustration is taken, representing the 
subject of the Creation of Man. The painter did 
not try to follow the text very literally. In the 
book of Genesis we read : ^ — 

" And God said, Let us make man in our image, 
after our likeness : and let them have dominion over 
the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and 
over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over 
every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. 

" So God created man in his own image, in the 
image of God created he him. . . . And the Lord 
God formed man of the dust of the ground, and 
breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and 
man became a living soul." 

Michelangelo takes these words, and expresses, in 
his own way, the supreme creative moment when 
" man became a living soul." 

The man Adam lies on a jutting promontory of 
the newly made land. Though his body is formed, 
he lacks as yet the inner force to use it ; he is not 
yet alive. The Creator is borne along on a swirling 
cloud of cherubs, moving forward through space 
like a rushing mighty wind. Perhaps the painter 
was thinking of the psalmist's beautiful description 
of God's coming : ^ " He rode upon a cherub, and 
did fly : yea, he did fly upon the wings of the 
wind." 

In His fatherly face is expressed the good pur- 
pose to create a son ^^in his own image." The 

* Genesis, chapter i. verses 26-27 ; chapter ii. verse 7. 
2 Psalm xviii. verse 10. 




i^ "VJ 






s 



\ 



THE CREATION OF MAN 47 

cherubic host accompanying him are full of joy and 

awe. We are reminded of that time of which the 

poet Milton wrote/ when 

"All 
The multitude of angels, with a shout 
Loud as from numbers without number, sweet 
As from blest voices, uttering joy, — Heaven rung 
With jubilee, and loud hosannas filled 
The eternal regions." 

The sign of the Almighty's creative power is the 
outstretched arm extended towards Adam with a 
superb gesture of command. As if in answer to 
the divine summons, the lifeless figure begins to 
stir, rising slowly to a sitting posture. The face 
turns towards the source of life as the flower turns 
to the sun. The eyes are lifted to the Creator's 
with a wistful yearning. It is the look we some- 
times see in the eyes of a woodland creature appeal- 
ing for mercy. It is such a look as might belong 
to that imaginary being of the Greek mythology, 
the faun, half beast, half human. Thus Adam, still 
but half created, begins to feel the thrill of life 
in his members, and is aroused to action. He lifts 
his hand to meet the Creator's outstretched finger. 
The current of life is established, the vital spark is 
communicated, and in another moment Adam will 
rise in his full dignity as a human soul. 

This picture was painted long before there was 
any knowledge of electricity, of electric sparks, and 
electric currents. Yet, if we did not know other- 
wise, we might fancy that Michelangelo had some 

^ Paradise Lost, book iii. lines 344-349. 



48 MICHELANGELO 

of these wonderful ideas of modern science in mind, 
as the symbols of the great thoughts he was trying 
to express. 

The picture suggests to our latter day scientific 
imagination that God's currents of power move as 
silently, as swiftly, as invisibly and mysteriously as 
the currents of electricity. The painter meant to 
show that the work of creation was not a mechanical 
effort of the Almighty, but that with him a gesture, 
a word, even a thought, brings something into 
being. 

The series of which this picture forms a part is 
painted in fresco on the ceiling of the Sistine 
Chapel, in the Pope's palace of the Vatican, Eome. 
To break up the monotony of the long plain surface 
he had to decorate, the painter divided the strip of 
space in the centre into nine compartments. These 
are separated from each other by a painted architec- 
tural framework, so cunningly represented that it 
seems to project from the ceiling like a solid struc- 
ture of beams. 

Our illustration shows a portion of the simulated 
framework which incloses the picture. On what 
appears to be a pedestal at each corner is a seated 
figure representing a statue. One is a beautiful 
youth with a horn of plenty, and the other is a 
faun-like creature capering gayly. The purpose of 
these figures is decorative,Uike those in the back- 
ground of the Holy Family. 



IX 

JEREMIAH 

Michelangelo's decoration of the Sistine Chapel 
ceiling did not stop with the series of panels run- 
ning along the flat space in the centre. On either 
side, where the ceiling arches to meet the side walls, 
he painted a row of figures, which seem to be seated 
in sculptured niches. There are twelve of these 
figures in all, and seven of them are Hebrew pro- 
phets. 

The prophets were holy men of old, who walked 
with God, and carried his messages among men. 
They were men of great courage and conviction, 
fearlessly denouncing the sins of their times. Some- 
times they were great reformers, bringing about by 
their preaching an improved condition of things. 
Often their mission was to arouse hope in discour- 
agement, to strengthen faith in a happier time to 
come. They looked forward to a future day, when 
the Prince of Peace should reign in the earth. 

Jeremiah was a prophet of Judah during the cor- 
rupt and troublous times in the reigns of Josiah, 
Jehoiakim, and Zedekiah. He has been compared 
by a recent writer ^ to " a Puritan living in the age 
of the Stuarts, to a Huguenot living in the age of 

^ Lyman Abbot; . Hebrew Prophets and American Problems. 



60 MICHELANGELO 

the Medici, or a Savonarola living in the age of 
Pope Alexander VI." He was born in Anathoth, 
a little village of Judaea, and being the son of a 
priest was consecrated to the priesthood from birth. 

He was still very young when it was borne in 
upon him that to be loyal to God he must stand 
forth and speak the truth more boldly than other 
priests were doing. Shrinking from such a task, 
he besought God to spare him. " Ah, Lord God ! 
behold, I cannot speak : for I am a child." 

And this, writes Jeremiah, is the answer he re- 
ceived : ^ " Say not, I am a child : for thou shalt 
go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I 
command thee thou shalt speak. Be not afraid of 
their faces : for I am with thee to deliver thee, 
saith the Lord. Then the Lord put forth his hand, 
and touched my mouth. And the Lord said unto 
me, Behold, I have put my words in thy mouth. 
See, I have this day set thee over the nations and 
over the kingdoms, to root out, and to pull down, 
and to destroy, and to throw down, to build, and to 
plant." 

Thus Jeremiah became a prophet, and from that 
time on his life was "one long, hopeless protest 
against folly and crime." Earnestly he besought 
his people to return to God before it was too late : 
" Jerusalem, wash thine heart from wickedness, 
that thou mayest be saved ; " ^ but prayers and 
threats were alike of no avail, and misfortunes be- 
gan to afflict the land. Then Jeremiah shows 

1 Jeremiah, chapter i. verses 6-10. ^ Ibid., eh. iv. v. 14. 




Alinari. Photo. 



John Andrew & Son, Sc. 



JEREMIAH 
Sistine Chapel y Rome 



JEREMIAH 63 

himself a true patriot. Though his people refused 
to hear him, he still loves them and pleads their 
cause. In the horror of famine, he prays to God 
in their behalf. 

There are times even in the midst of disappoint- 
ment when Jeremiah has some gleam of hope for 
the future. He predicts the days when "a King 
shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment 
and justice in the earth." ^ Such times he himself 
was never to enjoy. He lived to see the Babylonian 
invasion, Jerusalem besieged and laid waste, and his 
people taken captive. The reward of his faithful 
warnings was to be cast into prison by the ungrate- 
ful King Zedekiah. Finally he was carried by the 
remnant of his people into Egypt, where he died in 
a sad and lonely old age. 

Once in a moment of discouragement early in 
life, his grief had burst forth in words which might 
well express the feelings of his old age : " Oh 
that my head were waters, and mine eyes a fountain 
of tears, that I might weep day and night for the 
slain of the daughter of my people ! " ^ 

All the pathos of these words is conveyed in 
Michelangelo's wonderful figure of Jeremiah. The 
story of his life is written in his face and attitude. 
He is an old man, with long gray beard, but he still 
has the splendid vigor which comes from plain and 
simple living. He sits with bowed head, lost in 
thought, his long life passing in review before his 

^ Jeremiah, chapter xxiii. verse 5. 
* Jeremiah, chapter ix. verse 1. 



54 MICHELANGELO 

mind's eye. His message is spoken, his race is run ; 
he is weary of life and longs to die. There is some- 
thing inexpressibly moving in his profound melan- 
choly. 

The painter has placed just behind the prophet 
two little figures which are like attendant spirits. 
They seem to sympathize with Jeremiah's sorrows. 
The figures ornamenting the sculptured niche re- 
mind us of those in the background of the Holy 
Family and have a similar decorative purpose. 

Those who have studied the history of the times 
in which Michelangelo lived may find in this figure 
of Jeremiah an expression of the artist's own char- 
acter. Like the old Hebrew prophet, he lived in 
the midst of a corruption which he was helpless to 
remedy, and which saddened his inmost soul. His 
own life was full of disappointments. In his lonely 
old age he wrote a sonnet, which is not unlike some 
of Jeremiah's utterances, and which is a clue to the 
meaning of the picture : — 

" Borne to the utmost brink of life's dark sea, 
Too late thy joys I understand, O earth ! 
How thou dost promise peace which cannot be, 
And that repose which ever dies at birth. 
The retrospect of life through many a day, 
Now to its close attained by Heaven's decree, 
Brings forth from memory, in sad array, 
Only old errors, fain forgot by me, — 
Errors which e'en, if long life's erring day. 
To soul destruction would have led my way. 
For this I know — the greatest bliss on high 
Belongs to him called earliest to die." 



X 

DANIEL 

In striking contrast to the bowed and sorrowful 
old prophet Jeremiah is the alert and eager youth 
Daniel. The two men were contemporaries, though 
there was a difference in their ages. When, in the 
reign of Jehoiakim, the Jews were taken into captiv- 
ity to Babylon, the youth Daniel went with them, while 
the old prophet Jeremiah was left behind. Daniel 
was chosen, with three companions, to be educated 
at the court of the Babylonian king, Nebuchadnez- 
zar. They were taught the Chaldean language and 
the sciences, and the king was delighted with their 
progress. 

An opportunity soon came for Daniel to be of 
service to his royal patron. Nebuchadnezzar had a 
strange dream, which none of his magicians could 
interpret, because, unfortunately, he had forgotten 
it. In his anger that no one could supply the lost 
memory, he commanded to destroy all the wise men 
of Babylon. But Daniel prayed to God that the 
secret might be revealed to him. 

His prayers were answered, and he related to the 
king not only just what the dream was, but the full 
meaning of it : ^ " Thou, king, sawest, and behold 

^ Dauiel, chapter ii. verses 31-35. 



56 MICHELANGELO 

a great image. This great image, whose brightness 
was excellent, stood before thee ; and the form 
thereof was terrible. This image's head was of fine 
gold, his breast and his arms of silver, his belly and 
his thighs of brass, his legs of iron, his feet part of 
iron and part of clay. Thou sawest till that a stone 
was cut out without hands, which smote the image 
upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake 
them to pieces. . . . And the stone that smote the 
image became a great mountain, and filled the whole 
earth." 

In Daniel's interpretation the different portions 
of the image represented the different kingdoms 
which should follow, one after another, in the 
future. The stone which brake the image in pieces 
referred to the final kingdom which the God of 
heaven shall set up, "which shall never be de- 
stroyed," but which shall stand forever. 

From this time forth Daniel became a seer. He 
had many wonderful visions in the night, and inter- 
preted them with reference to future historical 
events. He was also a statesman, the king having 
made him governor of the province as a reward for 
his services. In later years he acted as viceroy at a 
time when the king was insane. 

In the reign of Nebuchadnezzar's successor, Bel- 
shazzar, Daniel was again called into service as a 
seer. One night, during a great feast, a mysterious 
hand appeared to write some inscription on the wall, 
and Daniel alone could interpret it. The message 
was ominous, but the prophet spoke out boldly. 




AliDari, Photo 



John Audrev & Son, Sc. 



DANIEL 
Sistine Chapel, Rome 



DANIEL 59 

"Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin, ran the words, 
" Thou art weig-hed in the balances and art found 
wanting." Daniel condemned the king for his in- 
iquities, and declared that his kingdom should be 
divided by the Medes and Persians. That very 
night Belshazzar was slain, and Darius, the Median, 
took the kingdom. 

Under the new dynasty Daniel was given so much 
power that some of the officials, jealous of his pre- 
ferment, plotted against him. They contrived to 
persuade King Darius to sign a decree that " who- 
soever should ask a petition of any god or man for 
thirty days, save of the king himself, should be cast 
into the den of lions." The officials were right in 
supposing that this would entrap Daniel into law- 
breaking, for, faithful to his Hebrew training, he 
offered prayer to God three times a day. He was 
therefore cast into the lions' den, but no harm befell 
him, because, according to his own explanation, God 
sent his angel to shut the lions' mouths. 

Daniel continued to hold office even in the reign 
of the next king, Cyrus the Persian. He lived to a 
great old age, but he was so young when he first 
showed his prophetic gifts that it is natural to think 
of him in his youth as Michelangelo has represented 
him. It would seem that the artist had in mind 
Daniel's early years of education at court. On his 
lap is a large open book supported on the back of a 
tiny figure standing between his knees. This may 
represent a volume of Chaldean learning. His pos- 
ture shows that he has been consulting the volume, 



60 MICHELANGELO 

and now turns to his writing tablets to record his 
own thoughts. 

His broad forehead shows him to be a student 
and a thinker. The waving hair is brushed back 
to form an aureole about his face. It is the face of 
a dreamer in a moment of inspiration. Eagerly he 
writes his words of mingled poetry and prophecy. 
He is full of youthful enthusiasm for his work, a 
nature fitted for action as well as for vision. He 
has also the spirited bearing of one who fears 
neither the rage of a lion nor the wrath of a king. 
There is a breezy energy in his motions, as if 
thoughts came more swiftly than he could tran- 
scribe them. 

His expression of happy anticipation is in vivid 
contrast to Jeremiah's sorrowful attitude of retro- 
spection. The picture brings out clearly the fact 
that the keynote of DanieFs prophecy is hope. 
Looking into his rapt face, we may imagine that 
this is the message he is writing : " They that be 
wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament ; 
and they that turn many to righteousness, as the 
stars forever and ever." ^ 

1 Daniel, chapter xii. verse 3. 



XI 

THE DELPHIC SIBYL 

In the rows of figures which Michelangelo painted 
along the arched portion of the ceiling of the Sis- 
tine Chapel, the prophets are associated with sibyls. 
Hence, in the plan of decoration, there comes first 
the figure of a man, and then the figure of a 
woman. 

Now, as the Bible contains no allusion to sibyls, 
it may seem strange that they should have a place 
in a series of Bible illustrations, and especially that 
they should appear side by side with the prophets. 
To explain this, we must learn something about the 
sibyls. 

They were women of ancient times supposed to 
have supernatural gifts of foretelling the future. 
They devoted themselves to solitude and meditation, 
and sometimes lived apart in caves or grottoes. 
Sometimes they were connected with temples, and 
delivered what were supposed to be the messages of 
the gods to the worshippers. These messages were 
called oracles, and were greatly revered by the peo- 
ple who consulted the gods. 

Some of the sibyls' words of wisdom were com- 
mitted to writing and passed down to following 
generations. Though they lived in heathen coun- 



62 MICHELANGELO 

tries, the tradition ran that they prophesied the 
advent of Christ. There is a passage in one of 
Virgil's eclogues (the fourth) upon which the sup- 
position is based. Early in the Christian era, when 
men were spreading the new faith, they made much 
of these sibylline prophecies to add weight to their 
teachings. 

In former times, fact and fable were very often 
confused, and people did not take pains to distin- 
guish the legends of tire sibyls from the history of 
the prophets. When the Latin hymn " Dies Irae " 
was written, the sibyl was mentioned, with the 
prophet, as predicting the final destruction of the 
world. Many painters and sculptors gave the two I 
equal honor in the same way. In the prevailing 
opinion, the sibyls shared with the prophets an in- 
spired foreknowledge of the Christian faith. 

The nine main panels of Michelangelo's ceiling 
decoration show how man was created, and how 
he was tempted and fell into sin. To carry on still 
further the story of the human race, the painter 
shows the succession of men and women, prophets 
and sibyls, who, one after another, predicted the 
redemption of the world in Christ. On the side 
walls, below these figures, the story is carried to 
completion in a series of pictures illustrating the 
life of Christ. The last named frescoes were painted 
by various artists some years before Michelangelo's 
work on the ceiling. 

The number of sibyls was given as ten or twelve, 
and of these Michelangelo selected five. His idea 




Alinari, Photo. 



John Andrew & Son, Sc. 



THE DELPHIC SIBYL 
Sistine Chapel, Rome 



THE DELPHIC SIBYL 65 

here, as with the prophets, seemed to be to represent 
some in old age and some in youth. 

The Delphic sibyl is the youngest and most beau- 
tiful of them all. She presided over the temple of 
Apollo in the Greek town of Delphi, where it was 
long customary for the priestess, ov pythia, as she 
was called, to be a young woman selected from some 
family of poor country people. 

The temple at Delphi was one of great celebrity. 
In the centre was a small opening in the ground, 
whence arose an intoxicating vapor, and over this 
sat the pythia, on a three-legged seat, or tripod, and 
delivered the oracle communicated to her by the 
god. These oracles were delivered in verse. 

The Delphic sibyl, or pythia, of Michelangelo's 
picture, has the splendid stature of an Amazon. 
Her head is draped with a sort of Greek turban, 
beneath which her hair escapes in flying curls. Her 
face and expression show her at once to be unlike 
an ordinary woman. She has the look of a startled 
fawn, which has suddenly heard the call of a distant 
voice. She turns her head in the attitude of one 
listening. She looks far away with eyes that see 
visions, but what those visions are none can guess. 
There are other pictures of the same sibyl carrying 
a crown of thorns, showing that she predicted the 
sufferings of Christ. Perhaps this is the meaning 
of the sorrowful expression in these wide eyes. 

The scroll which she unrolls in her left hand is 
the scroll of her prophecy. The two little figures 
holding a book, just behind her right shoulder, are 



66 MICHELANGELO 

genii, or spirits, symbolic of her inspiration. One 
reads eagerly from the volume while the other lis- 
tens with rapt attention. 

The picture makes a very interesting study in the 
composition of lines. Starting from the topmost 
point of the turban, draw a line on the right, com- 
ing across the shoulder along the outer edge of the 
drapery to the toe. On the left, let the line con- 
necting the same two points follow the outer curve 
of the scroll, along the slanting edge of the mantle, 
and we get a beautiful pointed oval as the basis of 
the composition. 

The sibyl's left arm drops a curve across the 
upper part of the figure, and this curve is repeated 
a little lower down by the creases in the drapery 
across the lap. Such are the few strong, simple 
lines which compose the picture, producing an effect 
of grandeur which a confusion of many lines would 
entirely spoil. 



XII 

THE CUM^AN SIBYL 

Of all the sibyls, the one we hear most about is 
the Cumsean. The legend runs that, having asked 
a boon of Apollo, she gathered a handful of sand 
and said, " Grant me to see as many birthdays as 
there are sand grains in my hand." The wish was 
gratified, but unluckily she forgot to ask for endur- 
ing youth, so she was doomed to live a thousand 
years in a withered old age. Thus we always think 
of her as an old woman, as Michelangelo has repre- 
sented her. 

She is called the Cumsean sibyl because she is 
supposed to have lived in Cumse, which was the 
oldest and one of the most important of the Greek 
colonies in Italy. Her real name, we are told, was 
Demos. She lived in a great cavern, where the 
people came to consult her, and her answers to their 
questions were regarded as oracles, or answers from 
the deities. She used to write on the leaves of trees 
the names and fates of different persons, arranging 
them in her cave to be read by her votaries. Some- 
times the wind sweeping through the cavern scat- 
tered the leaves broadcast through the world. 

The manner of consulting her is fully described 
by the Latin poet Virgil in the sixth book of the 



68 MICHELANGELO 

iEneid. He tells how iEneas, arriving with his 
fellow voyagers at the town of Cumse, immediately 
goes to the temple of Apollo, 

" And seeks the cave of wondrous size, 
The sibyl's dread retreat, 
The sibyl, whom the Delian seer 
Inspires to see the future clear, 
And tills with frenzy's heat ; 
The grove they enter, and behold 
Above their heads the roof of gold. 



** Within the mountain's hollow side, 
A cavern stretches high and wide ; 
A hundred entries thither lead ; 
A hundred voices thence proceed, 
Each uttering forth the sibyl's rede. 
The sacred threshold now they trod : 
*Pray for an answer ! pray ! the god,' 
She cries, ' the god is nigh ! ' 

" And as before the door in view 
She stands, her visage pales its hue, 
Her locks dishevelled fly. 
Her breath comes thick, her wild heart glows. 
Dilating as the madness grows, 
Her form looks larger to the eye ; 
Unearthly peals her deep-toned cry. 
As, breathing nearer and more near. 
The god comes rushing on his seer." 

^neas now begs a favor of the sibyl. He has 
heard that here the path leads downward to the 
dead, and he desires to go thither to visit his father, 
Anchises. There are certain conditions to fulfil 
before setting forth, but when these are done the 
sibyl guides him on his way, and the journey is 
safely made. 




Alinari, Photo. 



John Andrew & Son, Kc. 



THE CUMiEAN SIBYL 
Sistine Chapel, Rome 



THE CUM^AN SIBYL 71 

Another legend of the Cumsean sibyl has to do 
with the Roman emperor Tarquin. The sibyl came 
to him one day with nine books of oracles, which 
she wished him to buy. The price was exorbitant, 
and the emperor refused her demand. She then 
went away, burned three of the books, and, return- 
ing with the remaining six, made the same demand. 
Again her offer was refused, and again she burned 
three books and returned, still requiring the original 
price for the three that were left. Tarquin now 
consulted the soothsayers, and, acting upon their 
advice, bought the books, which were found to con- 
tain directions concerning the religion and policy of 
Rome. 

For many years they were held sacred, and were 
carefully preserved in the temple of Jupiter in the 
Capitol, under the care of official guardians. At 
length the temple was destroyed by fire, and the 
original sibylline books perished. In the following 
centuries they were replaced by scattered papers, 
collected from time to time in various parts of the 
empire, purporting to be the writings of the sibyl. 
These sibylline leaves, as they were called, contained 
passages supposed to be prophetic of the coming of 
Christ, and this is why the Cumsean sibyl is placed 
by Michelangelo among the prophets. 

The sibyl is reading aloud from one of her books 
of oracles. The two little genii standing behind 
her shoulder, and listening with absorbed attention, 
hold another book, not yet unclasped, ready for her. 
She reads her prophecy with keen, searching eyes. 



72 



MICHELANGELO 



and a manner that is almost stern. We can see in 
the large, strong features the determination of her 
character. 

It is not a gentle face, and not pleasing, but it is 
full of meaning. We read there the record of the 
centuries :which have passed over her head, bringing 
her the deep secrets of life. Yet the prophecies 
are still unfulfilled, and there is a look of unsatisfied 
longing in her wrinkled old face. 

You will notice that the outlines of the Cumsean 
sibyl are drawn in an oval figure similar to that 
inclosing the Delphic sibyl. Here, however, the 
oval is of a more elongated form, and the left side 
is broken midway by the introduction of the book. 

The old writer Pausanias, writing his " Descrip- 
tion of Greece," in the second century, says that the 
people of Cumse showed a small stone urn in the 
temple of Apollo containing the ashes of the sibyl. 
For many centuries her cavern was pointed out to 
travellers in a rock under the citadel of Cumse. 
Finally the fortifications of the city were under- 
mined, but to this day a subterranean passage in 
the rock on which they were built is still shown as 
the entrance to the sibyl's cave. 



XIII 



LORENZO De' MEDICI 



The statue of Lorenzo de' Medici is the central 
figure on the tomb erected to the memory of this 
prince. He was the rather unworthy namesake of 
his illustrious grandfather, who was known as 
Lorenzo the Magnificent. The Medici family was 
for many generations the richest and most powerful 
in Florence. They were originally merchants, and, 
as the name signifies, physicians, and, accumulating 
great wealth, they became powerful leaders, and 
really the rulers of the republic. 

Some of them were munificent patrons of art and 
literature. There was one named Cosimo, who did 
so much to make his city famous that he was called 
Pater Patriae, the father of the country, as was, 
centuries afterwards, our own Washington. His 
grandson Lorenzo won the title of the Magnificent 
for his lavish generosity and superb plans for the 
advancement of art and learning. So much power 
could not safely be in the hands of a single family. 
The Medici, from being benefactors, finally became 
tyrants. 

The Lorenzo of this statue was one of the more 
insignificant members of the family. It is said that 
" he inherited the vices without the genius of the 



74 MICHELANGELO 

family, and was ambitious, unscrupulous, and dissi- 
pated. His uncle, Pope Leo X., after depriving the 
Duke of Urbino of his hereditary domains, bestowed 
them, with the title of duke, on Lorenzo, whom he 
also made general of the pontifical forces." ^ In 
1518 Leo united him in marriage to a French prin- 
cess, and their daughter was the afterwards cele- 
brated Catharine de' Medici, queen of the French 
king, Henry 11. These are the main facts in the 
life of a man who is remembered only because he 
had illustrious ancestors, a famous daughter, and a 
superb tomb. 

It mattered nothing to Michelangelo that he had 
so poor a subject for a statue. It is supposed that 
he made no attempt at correct portraiture in the 
figure. . The insignificant Lorenzo was transformed 
by the magic of his genius into a hero. 

He wears a suit of Eoman armor, in accordance 
with his career as a general in the wars with the 
Duke of Urbino, whose title he took. His helmet 
is pulled well forward over the brow, the head is 
bent, the cheek rests upon the left hand, the elbow 
supported on a casket placed on the knee. With 
finger laid thoughtfully upon the lips, he is thinking 
intently. The right hand rests, palm out, against 
the knee in a characteristic position of inaction. 

His mood is not that of a dreamer lost to his pre- 
sent surroundings. Rather he seems to be keenly 
aware of what is going on ; his meditations have to 
do with the present. It is as if, having given an 
order, he awaits its execution, his mind still intent 

^ Susan and Joanna Horner's Walks in Florence, vol. i. p. 125. 




Alinari, Pboto. 



John Andrew & Son, Sc. 



LORENZO DE' MEDICI 

Chti7'ch of S. Lorenzo, Florence 



LORENZO DE' MEDICI 77 

upon his purposes, satisfied with his decision, and 
calmly expectant of its success. His affair is one of 
serious importance; no trifling matter absorbs the 
thought of this grave man. " A king sits in this at- 
titude when, in the midst of his army, he orders the 
execution of some judicial act, like the destruction 
of a city. Frederic Barbarossa must have appeared 
thus when he caused Milan to be ploughed up." ^ 

The lack of resemblance in the statue to the 
original duke Lorenzo made it for a long time 
doubful whether it was intended to be his tomb. 
The Florentines, in their poetic way, fell into the 
habit of calling it II Pensiero, that is. Thought, or 
Meditation, sometimes II Pensieroso, The Thinker. 
These are, after all, the best names for the statue, 
which is allegorical rather than historical in its in- 
tention. The great English poet Milton has writ- 
ten a poem, which is like a companion piece to the 
statue, fitting it as words sometimes fit music. It 
begins in this way, in words which II Pensieroso 
himself might speak : — 

" Hence, vain deluding Joys, 
The brood of Folly, without father bred ! 
How little you bested. 
Or fill the fix^d mind with all your toys I 
Dwell in some idle brain, 
And fancies fond with gaudy shape possess, 
As thick and numberless 
As the gay motes that people the sunbeams, 
Or likest hovering dreams. 
The fickle pensioners of Morpheus' train. 
But hail ! thou Goddess sage and holy. 
Hail, divinest Melancholy ! " 

^ Taine, Travels in Italy, 



78 MICHELANGELO 

Lorenzo's statue stands in a niche above the sar- 
cophagus, or stone coffin, in which his body was 
laid. On the top of the sarcophagus are two reclin- 
ing figures called Dawn and Twilight. The tomb 
itself is in a chapel, or sacristy, called the New 
Sacristy (to distinguish it from one still older), in 
the Church of S. Lorenzo, Florence. The entire 
sacristy is devoted to the memory of the Medici 
family, who had for several generations been bene- 
factors of this church. 

Now Michelangelo had a great deal to do with 
this family first and last, and his work on the tomb 
has an additional interest on this account. It was 
to Lorenzo the Magnificent that he owed his first 
start as a sculptor in an academy founded by this 
prince. He so pleased his patron that he was re- 
ceived into the duke's own household, and treated 
almost like a son. Years passed ; Lorenzo had long 
been dead, when, one after another, two members of 
the same family came to the papal throne, and they 
desired to honor their name by employing the great- 
est sculptor of Italy in this monumental work. 

So Michelangelo began designs for the sacristy, 
the entire decoration of which was intrusted to him. 
The walls of the rooms were panelled with marble, 
set with niches, in the form of windows, in which 
the statues were to be placed. 

As the work proceeded, it was interrupted by 
some strange incidents, of which we shall hear later. 
The whole plan was never fully carried out, but in 
spite of incompleteness the chapel is a grand and 
impressive place. 



XIV 

THE TOMB OF GIULIANO DE' MEDICI 

The tomb of Giuliano de' Medici is the companion 
to the tomb of Lorenzo, and stands on the opposite 
side of the altar which separates them. Our illus- 
tration shows the entire work, the statue being in 
the niche above, and the sarcophagus standing below 
with two reclining figures on it. 

Giuliano de' Medici, duke of Nemours, was the 
youngest son of Lorenzo the Magnificent, and con- 
sequently the uncle of the younger Lorenzo. In 
reality he was greatly superior to his nephew, but 
curiously enough his appearance in Michelangelo's 
statue is more commonplace, though his attitude is 
graceful. He was a thoughtful man, somewhat 
melancholy in disposition, and the author of a poem 
on suicide. He wears the costume of a Roman 
general, but his small head and slender throat are 
not those of a warrior. 

You will notice that the attitude of the duke 
Giuliano is somewhat similar to that of Moses. 
Both sit with left foot drawn back and right knee 
extended. Both turn the head in profile, looking 
intently toward the left. In either case it is easy to 
imagine the figure suddenly springing up. 

Now this fact emphasizes the difference we have 



80 MICHELANGELO 

already noted between the sculpture of Michelangelo 
and that of the Greeks. The leading idea in Greek 
sculpture was that of repose, while, as we have seen 
in the David and the Cupid, Michelangelo chose for 
his figures a moment of action. To give this sug- 
gestion of motion to a seated figure is even more 
remarkable than in the case of one standing, for the 
sitting posture naturally has an effect of stability. 

The reclining figures on the sarcophagus of the 
Duke Giuliano represent Night and Day, and are 
supposed to be symbolic of death and resurrection. 
Night is a woman lying with head sunk upon the 
breast in a deep sleep. She is crowned with a cres- 
cent moon and star, and an owl is placed at her feet. 
The mask beneath her pillow symbolizes the body 
from which the spirit has departed. Though the 
figure is not beautiful in the Greek sense, it is grand 
and queenly. Opposite is Day, an unfinished cap- 
tive, his head half freed from the stone, the arms 
rigid, the body contorted. 

These two figures, together with Dawn and Twi- 
light on Lorenzo's tomb, have an allegorical meaning 
which must be read in the light of Michelangelo's 
own life history. " Life is a dream between two 
slumbers ; sleep is death's twin-brother ; night is the 
shadow of death ; death is the gate of life — such 
is the mysterious mythology wrought by the sculp- 
tor." ' 

The work on the Medicean tombs covered a period 
of about twelve years. During this time the Medici 

^ Symonds, in Renaissance in Italy : the Fine Arts. 




Alinari, Photo. 



John Andrew & Son, So. 



TOMB OF GIULIANO DE ' MEDICI 
Church of S. Lorenzo, Florence 



THE TOMB OF GIULIANO DE' MEDICI 83 

family passed through varying fortunes, and in con- 
sequence the fate of the tombs, and indeed that of 
the sculptor himself, hung in the balance. Florence 
became weary of tyranny and rose in a revolution 
which drove the Medici from the city in 1527. 

Success was of short duration : the republic soon 
"found herself standing out against a world of 
foes," the Pope, Clement VII. (himself a Medici), 
"threatening fire and flame," and all the Medici 
family " getting ready to return in double force." 
The Florentines prepared to fight for their liberty, 
and Michelangelo was found among the patriots. 
No sense of personal gratitude to the Medici could 
shake his love of liberty. He forsook the monu- 
ments and turned his skill to the fortification of the 
city. 

For eleven months Florence was besieged, and in 
the end the city was captured. The Medici returned 
conquerors. Mercenaries now broke into the houses, 
killing the best citizens. Had not Michelangelo 
been in hiding, he too would have perished. But 
the Pope could not afford to lose his best sculptor, 
and, calling him forth from his hiding-place, again 
set him to work in the Medici chapel. It is not 
strange that the sculptor's proud spirit rebelled at 
having to work on that which was to honor the ene- 
mies of his beloved Florence. 

Thus it was that his sculpture told the story of 
" the tragedy of Florence : how hope had departed, 
how life had become a desert, and how it was hard 
to struggle with waking cpnsciousness, but good to 



84 MICHELANGELO 

sleep and forget — nay, best of all, to be stone and 
feel no more." 

The old writer Vasari, who was once a pupil of 
Michelangelo, and tells us many anecdotes of the 
sculptor, relates that when the statue of Night was 
first shown to the public, it called forth a verse from 
a contemporary poet (Giovan Battista Strozzi). 
This is the verse : — 

" Night in so sweet an attitude beheld 
Asleep, was hy an angel sculptured 
In this stone; and sleeping, is alive; 
Waken her, doubter; she will speak to thee." ^ 

To this Michelangelo replied in the following 
lines : ^ — 

" W^elcome is sleep, more welcome sleep of stone 
Whilst crime and shame continue in the land; 
My happy fortune not to see or hear; 
Waken me not; — in mercy whisper low."^ 

The artist's verse may be taken as a keynote to 
the solemn tragedy of the work. In fact, the monu- 
ments are not really to Lorenzo and Giuliano, but 
to Florence, to " the great city which had struggled 
and erred so long, which had gone astray and re- 
pented, and sufPered and erred again, but always 
mightily, with full tide of life in her veins and con- 
sciousness in her heart, until now the time had come 
when she was dead and past, chained down by icy 
oppression in a living grave." ^ 

1 Both translations are from Horners' Walks in Florence. Sy- 
monds has also translated the verses, but less literally. 

^ Swinburne in his lines, " In San Lorenzo," answers these lines, 
"Is thine hour come to waken, slumbering Night ?" 

8 This and the preceding quotations are from Mrs. Oliphant's 
Makers of Florence. 



XV 

CENTRAL FIGURES IN THE LAST JUDGMENT 

There are in the Bible certain references to sl ]^ ) 
great day when the Son of Man shall be seen " com- 
ing in the clouds with great power and glory." 
" And he shall send his angels with a great sound 
of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his 
elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven 
to the other." ^ St. Paul, in a letter which he wrote 
to the Christians in Corinth, speaks of this as a 
" mystery," and says : ^ " We shall not all sleep, but 
we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twin- 
kling of an eye, at the last trump : for the trumpet 
shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorrupt- 
ible, and we shall be changed." 

In the Middle Ages these passages were interpreted 
very literally and had a great influence over the 
people. At that time the Christian religion was a 
religion of fear rather than of love, and men were 
continually picturing in their minds God's angry 
separation of the good from the wicked. 

How much such thoughts occupied them we may 
see from Dante's great poem describing a vision of 

^ Matthew, chapter xxiv. verse 31. 

2 1 Corinthians, chapter xv. verses 51, 52. 



86 MICHELANGELO 

the Inferno, Purgatory, and Paradise. This was 
written in the thirteenth century, and in the same 
period appeared a short Latin lyric, or hymn, called 
" Dies Irae," or the Day of Wrath, from an expres- 
sion used by the old Hebrew prophet Zephaniah. 
The author was a Franciscan monk named Thomas 
of Celano, and we may see how deeply he felt from 
these verses : — 

" Ah ! what terror is impending 
When the Judge is seen descending, 
And each secret veil is rending. 

" To the throne, the trumpet sounding. 
Through the sepulchres resounding, 
Summons all, with voice astounding. 

" Sits the Judge, the raised arraigning. 
Darkest mysteries explaining. 
Nothing unavenged remaining." 

This vivid word picture forms the subject of many 
great paintings by the older Italian masters, known 
under the title of the Last Judgment. Michelan- 
gelo's was one of the last of these, and in general 
arrangement his composition resembles those of his 
predecessors. 

From the upper air a company of angels descends, 
carrying a cross, a crown of thorns, and other instru- 
ments of the Saviour's sufferings. Below them is 
the Judge himself surrounded by the apostles and 
other saints. Underneath are the archangels blow- 
ing their trumpets. On earth, in the lowest part of 
the picture at the left, the dead rise from their 
graves and ascend through the air to the Judge. 




Alinari, Phoco. 



John Andrew i Son. Sc. 



CENTRAL FIGURES OF THE LAST JUDGMENT 
Sistiiie Chapel, Rome 



CENTRAL FIGURES IN THE LAST JUDGMENT 89 

At the right, opposite the ascending dead, are the 
condemned sinners, descending to the boat which 
will carry them over the river Styx into the Inferno. 

Our illustration gives only the central figures in 
this great multitude, the Divine Judge accompanied 
by his mother. He is a man of mighty muscular 
power, young and handsome, with an expression of 
imperious dignity. Enthroned on the clouds, he 
seems just rising from a sitting posture to execute 
his judgments. He lifts his arms in a sweeping 
motion as if to part the multitudes pressing upon 
him on both sides. In so doing he shows the wound 
in his right side made by the soldier's spear at the 
crucifixion. Neither expression nor gesture mani- 
fests anger ; those beautiful hands with delicately 
extended fingers will strike no blow. The gesture 
itself is a command. 

Beneath Christ's upraised arm, on his right side, 
sits his Mother Mary. Each must interpret for 
himself her attitude and expression. Some think 
that because she turns her face away she is shrink- 
ing from her son in terror. Yet her expression is so 
gentle that others say she is nestling close to him 
for protection. This is certainly as we should im- 
agine the situation. When she was a young mother, 
she was proud to take care of her child. And 
now on this great day she is equally proud to let 
him take care of her. As he clung to her, his 
mother, so she now clings to him, the Judge. 

Looking at the composition of the picture, we 
see that her figure completes a pyramid, whose apex 



a^^ 



90 MICHELANGELO 

is the uplifted hand of the Judge, and whose base 
lies along the cloud supporting his feet and hers. 
This gives proper stability to the figures which 
dominate the whole great picture. Considered in 
a larger way, the pyramid is itself the upper part 
of a long oval which keeps the central group apart 
from the surrounding host. 

The picture of the Last Judgment was painted by 
Michelangelo on the end wall of the Sistine Chapel, 
over the altar, nearly twenty years after the com- 
pletion of the ceiling frescoes. There is a great dif- 
ference between the two works. The figures on the 
ceiling are strong and powerful, their attitudes 
spirited and graceful. Those in the Last Judgment 
are huge and cumbersome, their attitudes strained 
and violent. The entire effect of the vast company 
of colossal figures is awe-inspiring, but not pleasing. 

It is a relief to fix our eyes upon the central 
portion. Here the painter expressed an idea at 
once noble and original. The figure of the Christ 
has not the delicate beauty of the dead Christ in 
the Pieta, or the finished elegance of the Christ Tri- 
umphant, but he has the splendid vigor of a force- 
ful character. The Mother, less grand and noble 
than in the bereavement of the Pieta, less proud 
than in her young motherhood, is a gentle and 
lovely creature. Thus the intensely masculine is 
completed by the delicately feminine, and the artist 
shows us ideal types of manhood and womanhood. 



XVI 

PORTRAIT 

In the pictures of this collection we have learned 
something of the work of Michelangelo as a sculptor 
and a painter. He was an artist whose personality 
was so strongly impressed upon his work that we 
have come thus to know, to a certain extent, the 
man himself. His, as we have seen, was not a- 
happy nature, and many of the circumstances of his 
life conspired against his happiness. 

In his early youth he seemed strangely aware of 
his own superior gifts and was often so overbearing 
that he made enemies. The story is told of a quar- 
rel he had with a young man named Torrigiano, in 
whose company he was copying some frescoes in a 
church in Florence. Stung by some tormenting 
words of Michelangelo, Torrigiano retaliated with a 
blow of the fist, which crushed his companion's nose, 
and disfigured him for life. 

Michelangelo's real education began in the palace 
of Lorenzo the Magnificent, who discovered the 
lad's talent and made him a favorite. " He sat at 
the same table with Ficino, Pico, and Poliziano, lis- 
tening to dialogues on Plato, and drinking in the 
golden poetry of Greece. Greek literature and 
philosophy, expounded by the men who had discov- 



92 MICHELANGELO 

ered them, first moulded his mind to those lofty 
thoughts which it became the task of his life to 
express in form. At the same time he heard the 
preaching of Savonarola. In the Duomo and the 
cloister of S. Marco another portion of his soul was 
touched, and he acquired that deep religious tone 
which gives its majesty and terror to the Sistine." ^ 
In the gardens of S. Marco he had Lorenzo's fine 
collection of antiquities to study, and learned from 
them the secrets of Greek sculpture. 

In all these opportunities it would seem that 
Michelangelo was a most fortunate person. Nor 
did he lack proper appreciation ; the Pieta placed 
him at once on a pinnacle of fame, and the David 
was heartily admired. 

It was when he entered the service of the Pope 
that his troubles beg^an. He w^as never thereafter a 
free man. His genius was at the disposition of a 
series of men, each ambitious for his own fame, 
and caring little for the artist's personal aspirations. 
His proud nature was bitterly humiliated by this 
sacrifice of his independence. Sometimes he openly 
rebelled, but in the end was always obliged to yield 
to papal authority. 

Michelangelo's sternly upright spirit found also 
much to sadden him in the corruption of the times. 
He was a lover of righteousness as well as a lover 
of liberty, and he greatly mourned the evils which 
surrounded him. 

One of the pleasantest traits in his character was 

^ Symonds, in Renaissance in Italy : The Fine Arts. 



PORTRAIT 93 

his warm affection for the members of his family 
and for the few whom he honored with his friend- 
ship. One of the latter was Yittoria Colonna, a 
woman of strong and beautiful character, who 
brought much brightness into his life. 

Our portrait shows him somewhat past middle life 
when occupied with many important concerns. We 
can read in the face something of the character of 
the man. It is certainly not a handsome face, for 
any good looks he might once have boasted were 
destroyed by his broken nose. It is nevertheless a 
face full of rugged strength, with not a little kindli- 
ness in the expression. Here is a man whose enmity 
we should avoid, but whose friendship we should 
value above rubies. 

It is the face of a lonely man. Michelangelo had 
to suffer the loneliness of genius. No one could 
fully understand him. He stood apart, towering 
like a giant above his fellow men. 

On the four hundredth anniversary of Michelan- 
gelo's birthday, some verses were written by an 
American poet, Christopher Cranch, which one 
should read while looking at this portrait : — 

" This is the rugged face 
Of him who won a place 
Above all kings and lords; 
Whose various skill and power 
Left Italy a dower 
No numbers can compute, no tongue translate in words. 

" Patient to train and school 
His genius to the rule 
Art's sternest laws required; 



94 MICHELANGELO 

Yet, by no custom chained, 

His daring hand disdained 

The academic forms by tamer souls admired. 

** In his interior light 
Awoke those shapes of might 
Once known that never die; 
Forms of titanic birth. 
The elder brood of earth. 
That fill the mind more grandly than they charm the eye. 

" Yet when the master chose, 
Ideal graces rose 
Like flowers on gnarled boughs; 
For he was nursed and fed 
At beauty's fountain head 
And to the goddess pledged his earliest warmest vows." 

The poet describes still further the artist's char- 
acter, and then enumerates some of his great works. 
Whatever occupied him — 

" Still proudly poised, he stepped 
The way his vision swept, 
And scorned the narrower view. 
He touched with glory all 
That pope or cardinal. 
With lower aim than his, allotted him to do. 



" So stood this Angelo 
Four hundred years ago ; 
So grandly still he stands, 
Mid lesser worlds of art, 
Colossal and apart. 
Like Memnon breathing songs across the desert sands." 



PRONOUNCING VOCABULARY OF PROPER NAMES 
AND FOREIGN WORDS 



The Diacritical Marks given are those found in the latest edition of Webster's Inter- 
national Dictionary. 

EXPLANATION OF DIACRITICAL MARKS. 

A Dash (~) above the vowel denotes the long sound, as in fate, eve, time, note, use. 

A Dash and a Dot (■^) above the vowel denote the same sound, less prolonged. 

A Curve (") above the vowel denotes the short sound, as in 5dd, 6nd, TU, 6dd, up. 

A Dot ( * ) above the vowel a denotes the obscure sound of a in past, abate, Amgric&. 

A Double Dot (■)above the vowel a denotes the broad sound of a in father, alms. 

A Double Dot (,.) below the vowel a denotes the sound of a in ball, 

A Wave (~) above the vowel e denotes the souud of e in her. 

A Circumflex Accent {'^) above the vowel o denotes the sound of o in bdru. 

^ sounds like s. 

•e sounds like k. 

g sounds like z. 

g is hard as in get. 

g is soft as in gem. 



Ado'nTs. 

-^Eneas (e ne'as) ; JEneid (e ne'id). 

Am'azon. 

Am'broge. 

An'athoth. 

Anchises (an ki'sez), 

An'no Dom'ini. 

ApoHo. 

Ap'pian. 

Arimathe'a. 

Babylon (bab'i lun) ; Pab^lo'nian. 

Barbaros'sa. 

BargeFlo. 

Beethoven (ba'to vun). 

Belshaz'zar. 

Beth'lehem. 

Beth-pe'or. 

Bramante (bra man'ta). 

Bugiardini (boo jar de'ne). 

Buonarroti (boo 6 nar rot'e). 

Canaan (ka'nan or ka'na an), 
('arra'ra. 

Celano (cha la'no). 

Cencio, Bernardo (b§r nar'do chen'- 
che 6). 



Chaldean (kal de'an). 

Colonna, Vittoria (vet to'r& a ko lon'- 

na). 
Condi vi (ksn de've). 
Cosinio (k6'z6 mo). 
Cristo Risorto (kres't6 re zor'to). 
Cumse (kii'me). 
Cyrus (si'rus). 

Daniel (dan'yel or dan'i el). 

Dan'te. 

Daphne (daf'ne). 

Dari'us. 

De'lian. 

Delphi (del'fl). 

De'mos. 

Dies Irse (de'as e'ri or di'ez I're). 

Dionigi, di San (de san de 6 ne'je). 

Domine, quo vadis (do'rae na, kwo 

wa'dis or dom'i ne, kwo va' dis). 
Doni, Angelo (an'ja lo do'ns). 
Douay (doo a'). 
Duomo (dob o'mo). 

E'ros. 

Febbre, della (del'la feb'bra). 



96 



PRONOUNCING VOCABULARY 



Fieino (fs che'no). 

Franciscan (t'ran sis'kan). 

Frizzi, Federigo (fa da re'go fret'se). 

Giovanni (jo van'ns). 
Giuliano (joo Is a'no). 
Goli'ath 
Gotti (got'ts). 
Gualfonda (gwal fon'da). 

Hel'lespont. 
Huguenot (hu'ge not). 

Inf§r'no. 
Isaiah (i za'ya). 
Israel (iz'ra el). 

Jameson (ja'me sun). 

Jehoi'akim. 

J ere mi' ah, 

Jerome (J6 rom' or jer'om). 

Jerii'salem. 

Je'thro, 

JosFah. 

Judaea (ju d6'a). 

Jii'dah. 

Jii'pitgr. 

Kugler (kobg'lSr). 

Laz'arus. 
Lean'der. 
Lombards. 

Mag'dalsne. 

Me'dian. 

Medici (ma'de che). 

Mem'non. 

Me'ne. 

Michelangelo (me kel an'ja 15). 

Midian. 

Milan (mil' an or mi Ian'). 

Milanesi (me lana'ze). 

M5ab. 

Morpheus (mor'fiis). 

Naz'areth. 

Ne'bo. 

Nebuchadnezzar (neb u kad nez'zar). 

Nemour (ne moor'). 

Ne'ro. 

Oliphant (ol'i fant). 

Palazzo Vecchio (pa lat'so vek'ke 6). 
Pal'estine. 

Pater Patriae (pa'tar pa'tre i or 
pa'tgr pa'tri e). 



Pausanias (pa sa'ni as). 

Pensiero, II (el pen se a'ro) ; Pensie- 

roso (pen sB a ro'zO). 
Pharaoh (fa'rO). 
Philistine. 
Piazza della Signoria (pe at'sa del'la 

sen y6 re 'a). 
Pico (pe'ko). 
Pietk (p6 a ta'). 
Pietro in Vincoli (pe a'tro en ven'- 

kole). 
Pitti, Bartolommeo (bar to lom ma'6 

pet'te). 
Plato. 

Poliziano (p6 let s6 a'no) 
pyth'i a. 

Raphael (ra/fa el). 
Rucellai (rob chel la'e). 

Sae'risty. 

Santarelli (san ta rel'le). 
Savonarola (sa v6 na ro'la). 
Scappuci, Mario (ma're 6 skap pob'- 

che). 
Ses'tos. 
Sib'yl 
Sim'eon. 
Sistine (sis 'ten). 
Solari, Cristof oro (kres tof '& r6 so- 

la're). 
Stabat Mater (sta'bat ma'tgr or sta'- 

bat ma'tur). 
Strozzi, Giovan Battista (30 van' bat- 

tes'ta strot'se). 
St^x. 

Swin'burne. 
Sym'ond§. 

Tarquin (tar'kwin). 

te'kel. 

terribilit^ (ter r5 be^le ta'). 

Torrigiano (tor re ja'nO). 

Uffizi (obf f et'se). 
Upharsin (u far'sin). _ 

Urbano, Pietro (p6 a'tro oor ba'no). 
Urbino (obr be'nO). 

Varj dei Porcari, Metello (ma tel'16 

va're da' 6 por ka're). 
Vasari (va sa're). 
Vatican (vat'i kan). 
Virgil (vgr'jil). 
Vul'gate. 

Zedeki'ah. 
Zephaniah (zef a nl'a). 



AUTHORS' PORTRAIjTS, 



FOR SCHOOL USIJV: > "^ ^ '^ 

Sample of the portraits in " MasterptccVs" ^ o/!' Aitierican 
Literature'' and ^''Masterpieces of\BritisA Liierature,^^^ , 
described on the second page of this circular, • »'•, " . 




^f^l-eyty ^d^a^/^^:^^^^. 



P0RI^:^AITS OF AUTHORS 

, ^''^'aJ^^D i»^CTURES OF THEIR HOMES 

* ^ :'r < 
^FQ/^ ^THM rt/^E OF PUPILS IN THE STUDY OF 

"-'''< /I -;,'/ ,' 'LITER A TURE 

'" We have received so many calls for portraits of 
authors ,and pictures of their homes suitable for class 
and note-book use in ?,he study of reading and litera- 
ture, that we have decided to issue separately the 
twenty-nine portraits contained in '* Masterpieces of 
American Literature " and " Masterpieces of British 
Literature," and the homes of eight American authors 
as shown in the Appendix to the newly revised edition 
of " Richardson's Primer of American Literature." 

PORTRAITS 





AMERICAN. 




BRYANT. 


HAWTHORNE. 


O'REILLY. 


EMERSON. 


HOLMES. 


THOREAU. 


EVERETT. 


IRVING. 


WEBSTER. 


FRANKLIN. 


LONGFELLOW. 
LOWELL. 

BRITISH. 


WHITTIER. 


ADDISON. 


COLERIDGE. 


MACAULAY. 


BACON. 


COWPER. 


MILTON. 


BROWN. 


DICKENS. 


RUSKIN. 


BURNS. 


GOLDSMITH. 


TENNYSON. 


BYRON. 


GRAY. 
LAMB. 


WORDSWORTH. 


HOMES OF AUTHORS 


BRYANT. 


HOLMES. 


LOWELL. 


EMERSON. 


LONGFELLOW. 


STOWE. 


HAWTHORNE. 




WHITTIER. 



Sold only in lots of ten or nioi^e, assorted as desired. 

Ten, assorted, postpaid, 20 cents. 

Each additional one in the same package, i cent. 

In lots of 100 or more, assorted, i cent each, postpaid. 

Eor mutual convenience please send a remittance with each 
order. Postage stamps taken. 

HOUGHTON, MIFFLIN & CO. 

4 Park Street, Boston; ii East 17TH Street, New York; 
.•?78-388 Wabash Avenue, Chicago. 



ORNAMENTS 

FOR SCHOOL-ROOMS 



THE ATLANTIC LIFE-SIZE PORTRAITS 

Of Whittier, Lowell, Emerson, Hawthorne, Long- 
fellow, Holmes, Bryant. Size, 24 by 30 inches. Lith- 
ographs, ^i.oo, net, each, postpaid. Teachers' price, 
85 cents, net, each, postpaid. 

MASTERPIECES PORTRAITS. 

For descriptions and prices see other pages of this 
circular. 

HOMES OF AMERICAN AUTHORS. 

For descriptions and prices see other pages of this 
circular. 

LONGFELLOW'S RESIDENCE. 

A colored lithograph of the historic mansion ("Wash- 
ington's Headquarters") at Cambridge, in which Mr. 
Longfellow lived for forty years. Size, 12 by 16 
inches. Price, 50 cents, net, postpaid. 

FINE STEEL PORTRAITS 

(The size of cabinet photographs) of over ninety of 
the most celebrated American and European Au- 
thors. The 25-cent portraits and the 75-cent por- 
traits are printed on paper measuring 9 by 12 inches, 
and the $1.00 portraits 11 by 14 inches. A list with 
prices to teachers may be had on application. 

HOUGHTON, MIF-FLIN & CO. 

4 P!\RK Strrrt, Boston; ii East 17TH Street, New York: 
378-388 Wabash Avenue, Chicago. 






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PRINTED BY H. O. HOUGHTON & CO. 

CAMBRIDGE, MASS. 

U.S.A. 



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