The Story of Michelangelo and Pope Julius Ii

In: Historical Events

Submitted By dancekid619
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History of Florence

In October of 1503, Giuliano della Rovere was elected Pope, taking the name Julius II. Given the nickname “Il Papa Terribile,” his papacy was filled with activity ranging from warfare to architecture. Especially prevalent was Julius’ patronage for the arts. Wanting to leave behind a spectacular legacy, it was important to adorn as much as possible with glorious works from numerous artists. Naturally, Michelangelo Buonarroti was a marvel that would fit Julius’ standard. Having lived in the Medici household, studying at their school, while under the guidance of Lorenzo the Magnificent, Michelangelo was the man who everyone wanted and the Pope would thus use his powers to use him. Pope Julius II first commissioned Michelangelo to create a tomb for himself, wanted his final resting place to represent his tremendous power of a papacy. This would be Michelangelo’s first papal patron, quickly draining both energy and funds to devote his attention on the project. It was only after he finally found the marble that would be to his liking when the Pope cancelled the project. Still unknown today are the exact reasons to Julius’ decision, but Michelangelo was distraught. He returned home, both annoyed and angered by the Pope’s dismissal. Michelangelo was known to be difficult when is came to any patron, and the Pope was not an exception. A few years later, the Pope, thinking nothing wrong of it, called upon Michelangelo once again, but not to start work on the abandoned project of his papal tomb. Instead, Julius wanted Michelangelo to fresco the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. Michelangelo had every reason to be outraged. He was a sculptor, which the Pope very well knew and in response, turned down the summons. However, after repeated tries and several visits from both his and papal allies, Michelangelo reluctantly moved to Rome to being the…...

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