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Thursday, July 25, 2013

Michelangelo Buys Figs, parts 1871 - 1874

1871. Although the church had heard of Vasari, and his biographies of the renaissance artists, she had never heard of any L’Indaco, so I got up his biography on my iPad and read it to her. I quote just the portions of his story that relate to Michelangelo, and you will perhaps notice its rather archaic style, although the wonder of it is that a biography written in 1550 can be so readable despite the run-on sentences.

1872. Vasari, from the life of L’Indaco: Now seeing that, as has been said, Michelangelo used to take pleasure in this man's chattering and in the jokes that he was ever making, he kept him almost always at his table; but one day Jacopo wearied him as such fellows more often than not do come to weary their friends and patrons with their incessant babbling, so often ill- timed and senseless; babbling.

 1873. I call it senseless, for reasonable talk it cannot be called, since for the most part there is neither reason nor judgment in such people and Michelangelo, who, perchance, had other thoughts in his mind at the time and wished to get rid of him, sent him to buy some figs; and no sooner had Jacopo left the house than Michelangelo bolted the door behind him, determined not to open to him when he came back.

1874. L' Indaco, then, on returning from the market square, perceived, after having knocked at the door for a time in vain, that Michelangelo did not intend to open to him; whereupon, flying into a rage, he took the figs and the leaves and spread them all over the threshold of the door. This done, he went his way and for many months refused to speak to Michelangelo.

Richard Britell

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