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On Julius the Second succeeding to “Bythose," observes Mr. Duppa,“who the papal crown, he called around him are curious in tracing the remote causes the most learned men, together with the of great events, Michael Angelo may, permost eminent artists of the age. Mi- haps, be found, though unexpectedly, thus chael Angelo was amongst the first who to have laid the first stone of the reformawere invited to Rome, the pope hav- tion. His monument demanded a building determined to employ him in the ing of corresponding magnificence: to execution of a magnificent sepulchral prosecute the undertaking, money, was monument, which he contemplated wanted; and indulgencies were sold to erecting in his life-time. From the ori supply the deficiency of the treasury; ginal design, it appears that this was a monk of Saxony opposed the authoto have been a parallelogram of thirty- rity of the church, and it is singular that four by twenty-three feet, ornamented the means which were employed to with forty figures, some of which were raise the most splendid edifice to the colossal ; in addition to the figures, there Ca:holic faith which the world had were to have been a vast number of bronze ever seen, should, at the same time, aud marble columns, basso relievos, and have shaken that religion to its foundaother architectural ornaments. If this tion." work had been completed in conformity In order to procure blocks of marwith the plan, it would have been the ble fitting for the execution of the most splendid monument of the kind ever monument, Michael Angelo, who spent produced; a sketoh of the original design eight months at Carrara, sent a porhas been published in Bottari's edition tion of what was requisite to Rome of Vasari.*
and the remainder to Florence, intendAlthough the execution of the figures ing, during the unwholesome season would have given full scope to Michael at Rome, to execute some of the figures Angelo's powers, yet as the chief part in that city: The marble was placed of the design was to have consisted of in the court in front of St. Peter's, and representations of Poetry, Painting, Ar. the pope, in order that he might be chitecture, and the provinces conquered enabled to watch the progress of the by the pope, in attitudes expressive of work, had a covered way constructed their grief for his loss; it must have been from the Vatican to the study of Michael deficient in sentiment, and like all alle- Angelo, who enjoyed his friendship and gories have failed in creating any real esteem, and whom he used frequently to interest, beyond that excited by the visit. excellence of the mechanical execution. Whilst at Carrara, he conceived the
It became difficult to find a site suited idea of executing a colossal statue, out for the reception of this intended work of an insulated rock on the coast, at a San Gallo, the architect, suggested, that point where it would have been seen by so considerable a monument was worthy the vessels passing either from Genoa or of having a chapel built on purpose to Leghorn: it is said the same idea had ocreceive it. Julius considering that it curred to the ancients, and some works could not be well placed in the old in the rock are still shewn as having been basilica of St. Peter's, it was at last de- the commencement of a similar design. termined that the church itself should The only colossal statue now existing, be rebuilt, and hence the origin of the is the bronze one of St. Charles Borpresent church of St. Peter's, the most romeo, near Arona, looking over the stupendous structure that the art of Lake of Como, and those only who man ever produced.
have seen this work, (the head of which
is large enough to hold several persons,) Henry the Eighth, in the beginning of his reign, also conceived the same idea as Julius the Second ;
can form any just idea of the probable and ordered Torrigiano, the rival or Michael An effect which such a statue, by Michael gelo in the garden of Lorenzo de Medici, and who Angelo, would have produced. was employed to execute the tomb in the chapel of Henry the Seventh, to make a magnificent monte
As the figures for the monument proment for himself and his queen.--Although this ceeded, they obtained universal admirawas not intendel to be so large as that originally tion; but excellence and eminence are number of tigures, it would (if'it had been executed) accompanied by envy. The favour shewn tion in Speed, which was taken from a drawing him enemies, and his disposition, which
It appears from the descrip- to Michael Angelo had early produced been 27 feet, breadth 20 feet
, the depth 15 feet, and wasindependent, unsuspecting, and somethere were to have been 133 statues, 43 basso relievos ol gilt loronze, and 20 columns in the architecture, of
what haughty, was not such as to guard Mayry, oriental alabaster, and serpentine marble him against their evil machinations,
By the pope's directions he always anger of Julius, should he be compelled applied to him for the money requisite to return to Rome, he determined, in confor the work; on the arrival of some mar- sequence of an invitation from Bajazet ble from Carrara, payment for the freight the Second, to proceed to Constantino being required, he went to the Vatican. ple, to superintend the erection of a -He found the pope engaged in state bridge between that city and Pera. matters, and therefore returned home and Sodarini, however, at length, prevailed paid for it with his own monies, think on him to listen to the pope's wishes, ing to be reimbursed immediately: on probably not feeling any inclination to returning however to the pope, he was involve the state in a dispute with the repulsed by a groom of the chamber, Holy See. To ensure him from any vioand refused admittance to his patron, lence, he was invested with the title apparently, nevertheless, not by the di- of ambassador from the state, and rerection of Julius. He went home in commended to a cardinal, the brother anger, and, ordering his servants to sell of Sodarini, who undertook to introduce off all his effects, fed immediately to him to the pope, who had just then Florence. When Julius heard of his entered Bologna as a conqueror at the departure, he dispatched five couriers, head of his army. Julius, angry and one after another, to induce him to re- impatient at the opposition to his wishes, turn; but Michael Angelo, who had on receiving Michael Angelo, said, reached the Florentine states, and was “ What! instead of coming to me, you thus out of the pope's power, refused to have waited till I came to you,'' alluding listen to them, though he was at last to his being then at Bologna, which is induced to return an answer, in which near to Florence. He deprecated the he stated, that having been repulsed pope's anger, and requested pardon for with ignominy, he had determined to a fault which he had been excited to retire from his service, and seek employ- commit, under the impression that he ment elsewhere. Julius, being unsuc- had been repulsed with unmerited incessful in prevailing on him to return, dignity. A bishop who, from the illactually dispatched a brief to the Flo- ness of Cardinal Sodarini, had been rentine republic, requesting that he might deputed by him to introduce the penibe sent back. These proceedings of the tent to the pope, conceived this was pope are a convincing proof of the esti- a good opportunity to entreat the formation in which his services were held: giveness of his holiness, urging that the -the document is so curious that we culprit was ignorant of life, and of all shall give it at length.
but his art: this turned the tide in Mi“ Health, and apostolic benediction to chael Angelo's favour, and the unforour dearly beloved Michael Angelo, tunate bishop was reproached by the who has left us capriciously, and with- pope for having dared to insult one out any reason that we have been able whom he, the pope, even in his anger to learn, is now in Florence, and re- had never degraded ; thus the audimains there in fear of our displeasure, ence ended with the hasty expulsion of but against whom we have nothing to the bishop and the reception of the artist allege, as we know the humour of men into favour, who received the holy beneof his character. However, that he diction, accompanied by a solid earnest may lay aside all suspicion, we invite of future protection. him with the same affection that you Whilst at Bologna he was commanded bear towards us; and if he will return to execute a bronze statue of the pope. we promise on our part that he shall be When Julius went to inspect the model neither touched nor offended, and be of this work, observing that he was reprereinstated in the same apostolic grace sented with an air of severity, with one he enjoyed before he left us.”
arm raised as giving the benediction, This brief was also disregarded by he asked the artist if he meant to make Michael Angelo, who hoped that the him giving a benediction or a malepope, not having an answer, might cease diction to the people. Michael Angelo to think of the matter. On his return to dexterously answered that it was only inFlorence he proceeded to complete his tended to threaten them in case they did cartoon of the battle of Pisa, which had not shew obedience. On being asked been left unfinished; but in addition to whether he would have a book in his left the first letter, two others followed, and hand, Julius (who had entered the city these were couched in a more authorita- at the head of his army, and who had tive tone than the former. Dreading the distinguished himself in many military
encounters) replied, No; a sword suits tion, he set to work on his design in good me better than a book, as I know more earnest. Finding the scaffolding erected about the one than the other.
by Bramante unsuited to his object, he The pope returned to Rome, and invented one of a superior construction Michael Angelo remained sixteen months and of great simplicity, which was to finish this bronze; but the people, adopted in the building of St. Peter's ; unmindful of the pope's malediction, and, as suggested by Mr. Duppa, is most destroyed the statue as soon as his probably the same admirable piece of partisans ceased to have power in machinery which is now used at Rome Bologna; and the pieces (except the whenever there is occasion for scaffoldhead, which was long preserved in the ing to repair or construct the interior of museum of Duke Alphonso at Ferrara) public buildings. He gave this invenwere cast into a piece of ordnance, and tion to the poor carpenter who was christened Julia after the pope.
employed to construct it, and who, by When this statue had been completed, the profits derived from it, was enMichael Angelo returned to Rome : here abled to raise a marriage portion for he was again thwarted by the jealousy his two daughters. Unused to workof one of his rivals, Bramante, then the ing in fresco, which is done by paintarchitect of St. Peter's, who, conceiving ing on the wet plaster so that the that the pope inclined more to sculp- colour becomes incorporated in the wall, ture than architecture, persuaded him and requires much experience and practo abandon for a while the completion tical dexterity, Michael Angelo met with of the monument, urging that it was many difficulties in the progress of his ill-omened to prepare a tomb during work, and at first sent for two artists his life. It was he who suggested to from Florence to instruct and assist the pope that Michael Angelo should be him, but these were soon dismissed, employed in the painting the vault of and the whole work executed by himthe Sistine chapel, erected to the me- self. Julius, who was old, and eager mory of his uncle Sixtus. Bramante's for the completion of whatever he had object in doing this was a hope that by once planned, used frequently to visit the these means Michael Angelo would be painting during its progress, and beprevented from displaying his genius came so impatient to see the effect of in that art in which he most excelled, the design, that, in order to gratify bis and would, in the exercise of one in curiosity, the scaffolding was by his which he was almost unskilled, be order removed before the picture was brought in comparison with his relation finished; and so desirous were all to see Raphael, then just rising into eminence the ceiling about which such expecand favour at the papal court. Michael tation had been raised, that the area of Angelo, at once desirous of completing the chapel was immediately filled, the the monument, and of avoiding the ex- pope entering even before the dust occaecution of a work in colours, an art sioned by the removal of the boards had which he had not practised, did all cleared away. Vasari says, that Rahe could to persuade the pope to con- phael on seeing this great work, changed sign the ornamenting the chapel to Ra- his style, from the hints afforded : phael.
this, however, is questioned by the parJulius, whose temper was too eager tisans of that great painter. It is not, and ardent to enable him to wait with however, of much importance to conany thing like patience the time re- sider how far it was correct: no one quisite for the completion of the mo- will be so hardy as to deny that in the nument, which required much study art of design, the greatness of Michael and thought, was not sorry for an Angelo's genius might have furnished excuse to change the employment of hints for improvement even to so disMichael Angelo; and it is probable his tinguished a master as Raphael. independence and unbending manner Bramante, if he had really conceived were displeasing to a pontiff, little ac that he should lower the reputation of customed to opposition; this, and the Michael Angelo, by compelling him to frequent demands for money as the work at a branch of the art with which work proceeded, may have made him he had previously but slight acquaintglad to find some reason for suspending ance, must have been completely disthe completion of the tomb.
appointed in his object. It is stated, When Michael Angelo found that he however, that he tried to prevent Mi
d not change the pope's determina- chael Angelo from completing the whole,
and to persuade the pope to allow Ra Julius, whilst he patronised and richly phael to execute the designs for that rewarded his favourite, appears to have part of the chapel which was unfinished. been a hard task-master, and to have Julius however, more firmly than ever treated him on more occasions than convinced of the powers of Michael An- those already enumerated with harshgelo, by this new proof which he had ness and caprice. This, the independent afforded, confided the whole work to and irritable spirit of the artist could him, and continued impatient for its not brook, and the result was that he completion. It is, however, probable that was more than once in disgrace. Just he did not, in the irritable temper and before his death, the pope ordered Carindependent bearing of the painter, find dinal Santi Quattro and his nephew the so accommodating a spirit as he was Cardinal Agnese to cause his mauaccustomed to discover amongst his soleum to be completed, though on a courtiers and dependents. The patron smaller scale than that which was oriand artist were often at variance during ginally planned; but Michael Angelo the progress of the work, and for some was again thwarted in his desire to finish impatient answer which he received this work which had been so long begun, from Michael Angelo, the pope threat- and which would have been a splendid ened to have him thrown down from the tribute to the memory of one who had platform on which he was painting, if been his patron. Leo the Tenth, who the work was not speedily finished. At succeeded Julius, immediately after his the end of twenty months the scaffold- accession employed him to go to Floing was removed for the last time, and rence to execute a magnificent façade at length in possession of his wish, the to the church of St. Lorenzo, which had pope on All Saints Day sang mass in the remained unfinished from the time of chapel. Michael Angelo thus hurried, his grandfather Cosmo de Medici. The had not put the finishing touches to cardinals intrusted with the superinsome of the parts; but though he was tendence of the monument, and the artist permitted to do this, he left his work as himself, for some time resisted the order; it was, rather than have the scaffolding but the wishes of Leo were soon diserected anew. When the pope suggested covered to be commands, and Michael that there was a want of ornament and Angelo once more departed, even in tears, gilding which he wished to have added; (as his friend Vasari states,) to Carrara, Michael Angelo, feeling perhaps that to superintend the procuring the marble this would impair rather than add to for this new work. The only indulgence its grandeur, said, “ No, holy father, which could be procured was that he those who are represented in these de- might, whilst at Florence, proceed in the signs were simple men, and wore neither execution of the figures for the mausogold nor silver, they were poor but holy, leum. When he had arrived at Carrara, despising all worldly riches.”—For this Leo hearing that there were quarries great work he received 3000 crowns. within the Florentine dominions, where
A brief notice like the present does it was conceived marble equally good as not afford an opportunity of entering that at Carrara might be procured, into any detailed description of these Michael Angelo was ordered to proceed pictures ; neither would any great ade to them in order to superintend the obvantage result from doing so. In a taining the marble, notwithstanding he subsequent page, however, in consider- represented that the quality was inferior, ing the character of the different paint, and that from the situation of the quarries ings of Michael Angelo, we shall give it would be necessary that roads should the opinion of Sir Joshua Reynolds and be cut through both mountains and Mr. Fuseli on these works; authors, per- marshes for its transport. If the reader haps, more capable of appreciating their has felt regret that one so devoted to merit, than any who have yet written on his art-one who had given such testithe fine arts.
mony of genius, should ve met with The size of our page does not enable so much opposition and found such litus to give an idea of the various designs tle real encouragement, his feelings of of which this great work consisted, but disappointment will be increased when an outline is given of a single group in he learns that the great talents of Mione of the compartments, representing chael Angelo were during the whole Charity, which Mr. Flaxman pro- reign of Leo, employed in the execution nounces to be the finest group, ancient of that which probably would have been or modern, ever designed.
as well or even better performed by a
stone-mason. Eight years and some Rome were in their meridian, that he months, (being the whole pontificate,) found greater talents than he employed, were entirely spent at these quarries, and greater works commenced, than he and in petty disputes with the agents completed ; that those men who have of the pope as to money.
been for succeeding ages the admiration Historians, and particularly Mr. Ros- of mankind, Leonardo da Vinci, Micoe, have given Leo more credit for his chael Angelo, and Raphael, executed patronage of genius than, perhaps, he their best works before his accession; merited. With respect to Michael and that Bramante, the architect of St. Angelo, it must be admitted that he Peter's, died in the second year of his reaped no benefit from the magnifi- pontificate. Leonardo da Vinci is accence of him whom it has been the knowledged not to have been benefited fashion to represent as the universal by his munificence; and, for the magpatron of genius. Histitle to this praise nificence of the state chambers in the has been successfully impeached by Mr. Vatican, posterity is indebted to Julius Duppa, who observes, that when he the Second, as those two rooms, which
mended the papal throne, the arts in were painted by Raphael, which are his