Michelangelo lived in St Peter’s Basilica in Rome

From German press agency DPA:

Rome- Michelangelo lived in a small room inside Rome’s Basilica of St Peter’s during the last 17 years of his life, according to a report Friday in daily La Repubblica.

The report cites a recently discovered receipt dating back to March 1557, in which an engraver was paid “10 scudi” for making a key for a chest “in the room in St Peter’s where Master Michelangelo retires to.”

Historians had always suspected that the great Renaissance artist spent his last years inside the Vatican.

But this is the first timethat evidence has been found to corroborate their theory and pinpoint its exact location.

Michelangelo lived inside the basilica. No one before had been able to verify it.

This document casts new light on a theory that until yesterday we could only imagine,” art historian Maria Cristina Carlo-Stella told La Repubblica.

Michelangelo’s alleged room is now a library inside the basilica’s Historic Archive, which is positioned behind the church’s dome.

Researchers use it to study its documents and commonly refer to it as “Michelangelo’s room.”

Michelangelo is thought to have lived there from January 1547 until his death, which took place on February 18, 1564.

The basilica was still under construction at the time.

The artist had previously worked on his famous Last Judgment fresco in the Vatican’s Sistine Chapel, between 1534 and 1541.

That Michelangelo lived in a small room where he could be easily controlled by papal authorities, is an argument for the thesis of him being more a less a slave to the pope.

Michelangelo became a famous sculptor by choice; and a famous painter, especially of the Sistine Chapel frescoes; and famous architect, including of St Peter’s Church, by pressure of his papal patrons.

14 thoughts on “Michelangelo lived in St Peter’s Basilica in Rome

  1. Tuscan tower ‘by Michelangelo’

    Bell tower by man who designed St Peter’s, expert claims

    (ANSA) – Pietrasanta, April 8 – A 16th-century bell tower in this Tuscan hillside town has been attributed to Renaissance great Michelangelo. The study, by History of Architecture researchers at Florence University, also claims the tower’s interior is an exact mirror image of Trajan’s Column in Rome.

    Built in 1520, the tower was officially the work of Donato Benti, one of Michelangelo’s assistants. But the ingenuity of the design, based on complex mathematics and cleverly linked to the renowned Rome monument, has convinced one group of experts that Michelangelo was behind the plans. The bell tower is built of simple red brick with a series of exterior ridges designed to support a marble facade that was never added. However, the hollow interior was what caught the attention of one researcher in particular, Enrico Venturini, who spent a year inside the tower, analysing and measuring its various sections. The spiralling helix staircase made of brick, which circles three times before reaching the chamber at the top, was still a very unusual design at the time. Even more interestingly, the internal measurements of the tower were an exact match to Trajan’s Column, which overlooks the Roman forum in the Italian capital. The tower has the same base, height and dimensions as the column, starting from the ground and gradually tapering higher up.

    Computer analyses have confirmed the two structures are reverse images of one another, which experts say is an astonishing feat of engineering. Professor Gabriele Morolli, who oversaw the research, said it was ”difficult to attribute a masterpiece of this kind to someone like Benti”.

    Although Benti was a talented marble engraver who also worked closely on the cathedral, he has produced no other work of note. ”Truth be told, it is far easier to see this as an ingenious and capricious creation by Michelangelo, who, either in play or as a challenge, used his assistant to create a work capable of reproducing the harmonious lines of the famous column,” said Morolli. The experts see further evidence for their theory in the fact Michelangelo spent four years in Pietrasanta, from 1516 until 1520, the year in which the bell tower was built.

    The findings are discussed in a show under way in the Santa Maria Basilica in Florence and more details will be revealed at an exhibition in Pietrasanta next year.

    photo: Michelangelo instruction for St Peter’s dome found in 2007


    Against this theory, one might say that Michelangelo prefered sculpture to architecture, but was made to do architecture by the pope.


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  5. Michelangelo’s Work Destroyed in Spanish Civil War Restored

    Rome, Jul 8 (Prensa Latina) The sculpture of Saint John the Baptist by Italian artist Michelangelo (1475-1564) was restored in the city of Florencia thanks to 17 fragments rescued from total destruction during the Spanish Civil War 1936.

    After a tough and thorough research and collection of original images worldwide, the piece was put together again with the help of modern materials which support the weight of the fragments rescued, the CEO of the Ducal House de Medinaceli Foundation, Juan Manuel Albendea, stated.

    The replica was made of Plexiglas and resin, and has a stainless steel frame inside, he said.

    The original piece, 1.3 meters high, was shattered on July 26, 1936 during the assault to the Chapel of Salvador de Ubeda in the Andalusian city of Jaen, with an altarpiece by Berruguete and other works of the Spanish artistic heritage.

    Among the 17 fragments rescued there is a piece of the head, whose Carrara marble was irreversibly blackened by flames.

    The pieces were moved in 1994 to Florence by the Ducal House de Medinaceli Foundation, but its restoration started 17 years later.

    Young San Juan Bautista, sculpted by Michelangelo from 1495 to 1496 when he was 20 years old, will be exposed to the public until August at the Opificio delle Pietre Dure in Florence, in September will go to the Bologna Cathedral and in October to the Palazzo Grimani in Venice.

    The work will finally return to the Chapel of Salvador de Ubeda in Spain.



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