Translated from Dutch news agency ANP:
NEW YORK – A letter by Italian artist Michelangelo this Monday at an auction in New York City was sold for 576,000 dollars (434,000 euros) .
Auctioneers Sotheby’s say that is much more than expected.
The 1521 letter is about paying gold coins to two sculptors working at his sculpture of the Risen Christ in the Santa Maria Sopra Minerva church in Rome.
The letter is part of 31 rare documents owned by a US American collector sold now.
A letter from 1534 by Catharine of Aragon to her cousin Charles V was sold for 156,000 dollars (117,000 euros).
Queen Catharine, Charles V, and Henry VIII while alive, were used to much money, for being members of the ruling class (not for doing anything of artistic value).
Michelangelo, however, while certainly not poor, also certainly never got over half a million dollars for any of his works, let alone for a letter.
He lived in comfortable semi-serfdom to popes who ordered him to do painting and architecture while he prefered sculpture.
And, as with many other artists, today people who never contributed a drop of paint or cubic millimeter of marble get rich off them.
Somewhat similarly: Che Guevara, and Che portrait photographer Alberto Korda.
- Michelangelo (trungdoan1309.wordpress.com)
- Was Michelangelo the first celebrity artist? (newstatesman.com)
- Selfish or Magnificent (renaissancereconsidered.wordpress.com)
- Really Suffering For Their Art (dish.andrewsullivan.com)
- Michelangelo by Martin Gayford, review (telegraph.co.uk)
- The Private Life Of Henry VIII (myoldaddiction2.wordpress.com)
- Michelangelo’s Bacchus (plainofoblivion.wordpress.com)