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Monday, July 29, 2013

Michelangelo Buys Figs, parts 1888 - 1891

 1888. The neighborhood Michelangelo was walking through that evening looking for figs was familiar to him because, being the workingman’s district, many of the laborers who worked under his direction rebuilding Saint Peters for the Pope lived there. He also had lived there years ago, and so, in his search for the figs he made a few stops calling on his foreman of the stone-cutters, and the supervisor of stores and supplies for the Vatican.

1889. It should be kept in mind that at this time, late in Michelangelo’s life, he was entirely in charge of the rebuilding of Saint Peters. For this enormous labor he accepted no payment at all. The Vatican had for years, even centuries, been plagued by graft and corruption in its various huge building projects. A big church was looked upon as an endless source of income for architects, masons, and stone layers, and this tradition of never bringing to completion the big edifices goes back to the time of the cathedrals.

1890. It was the advent of Michelangelo that put an end to this problem. Perfectly pure and honest in himself, there was no way for anyone to take advantage of his position, and added to that, he could not be gotten around with false information or the exaggeration of problems because he was more knowledgeable about any of the work of his subordinates than they were.

1891. When jealous contemporaries attempted to criticize him to either the Pope or the Cardinals they turned a deaf ear to the critics, or turned them out altogether pointing out that Michelangelo was saving the church thousands of ducats every year, so it was pointless to level any criticism against him. 

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