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Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Rounder Than The , parts 1964 - 1967

1964. To understand this story you must know that this person, Piero Soderini was the most powerful man in Florence at that time, and his title, Gonfalonier indicated something between a mayor and a dictator of the city state. So when he criticized Michelangelo’s David he was not only expressing his artistic opinion, he was also exerting his authority over the artist as if to say, “You may be able to create this thing, but still you are just a servant.”

 1965. And Michelangelo would never have ventured to contradict the Gonfalonier, regardless of how his biographers have glorified his personality by dwelling on his arguments with the Pope about the Sistine Chapel. Nevertheless, Michelangelo puts Soderini in his place, and illustrates his ignorance for all to see for all time, and he does it out of the knowledge of the details of his craft.

 1966. Something must be said however, of the trick that Michelangelo used to fool Soderini. Perhaps you might think that he thought this rouse up in an instant, and on the spur of the moment, but that would be wrong. You can be quite sure that in the long history of humble sculptors creating figures for the Lords of this world, that incident has happened over and over again.

1967. In the Rome of Nero, and in the Athens of Pericles, both Nero and Pericles would have been subjected to the same deception of the artist pretending to correct his work. And the story, handed down from generation to generation is the possession of the sculptors only, and their employers remain in ignorance that their pretended aesthetic judgments have been used to make fools of them.

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