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golden ducats from the Commune of Bologna, was placed over the grand entrance of San Petronio on the 21st Feb. 1508. It remained there till 1511, the time when the Bentivoglios came into Bologna, and the people broke it in a fury. The Duke Alfonso of Ferrara bought the pieces, and had them made into a piece of artillery which he called the “Julienne." The loss of the figure of this terrible Julius II. by Michelangelo is the more unfortunate, as this statue has left fewer traces than other works of the Florentine sculptor which have likewise perished. The head, however, had been spared; it weighed six hundred pounds, and the Duke Alfonso, who preserved it in his own room, used to say that he would not take its weight in gold for it. But it is not known what has become of it ; it has probably perished like the rest.
RETURN TO ROME—TOMB OF JULIUS II.-SAN LORENZOPAUL III. — THE
MOSES "-- -THE
" CAPTIVES ” —WORK IN THE SIXTINE-DIFFICULTIES-GENIUS AND STYLE-LEO X. —SERRAVEZZA MARBLE QUARRIES.
N 1508 Michelangelo returned to Rome and resumed his
work on the tomb, which had been interrupted by his quarrel with Julius and his flight from Rome.
He was soon to give it up a second time. Bramante had persuaded the Pope that it was unlucky to build his own sepulchre. He advised him to employ Michelangelo in painting the chapel, which his uncle Sixtus IV. had built. So at the beginning of this year he put the first touch to that giant work of decoration which was destined to be his grandest achievement. We shall see how stoutly he resisted the importunity of Julius, yet with what ardour he entered into that stupendous undertaking, and with what rapidity he completed it, when once he had made up his mind to give way. First, however, since at the period to which we have come, most of the statues were blocked out or finished which now adorn the
tomb of Julius II. at San Pietro in Vincoli, and those still more numerous which formed part of the original design and which have been dispersed, I should like to give a general idea of this monument, so as not to come back to it again. I wish also to show through what a series of modifications the original design passed, and what troubles it brought upon the author. Vasari and Condivi do not quite agree in their description of the design for this monument, as it was conceived by Michelangelo and adopted by Julius II. I shall follow Condivi's account, which pretty well agrees with a drawing of it from Michelangelo's own hand, in the possession of Mariette, described by him, and at this moment forming part of the Florence collection. The tomb was to be isolated. On each of its faces were to be four slaves standing, chained to terminal columns, which supported the cornice, and in niches between these groups two figures of Victory trampling upon prostrate prisoners. Above the cornice which surmounted these decorations were to be eight sitting figures, two on each face, representing the Prophets and the Virtues. The Moses was to be one of these statues. The sarcophagus placed between them was surmounted by a pyramid, having at the apex an angel holding a globe. Vasari adds that there were to be in all more than forty figures without reckoning the children and other ornaments. According to him the cornice was only to support four figures : Active, and Contemplative Life, St. Paul and Moses. The sarcophagus was to be supported by two figures, which Condivi does not mention : Heaven, seeming to rejoice that the soul of Julius had gone to inhabit the eternal glory, and Earth weeping over the loss of the Pontiff. This ambitious design was not altered till 1513; but after the death of Julius, Cardinals Santiquatro and Aginense, and the Duke of
Urbino, his executors, reduced to six the number of statues which were to contribute to the decoration of the monument, and to 6,000 ducats the sum of 10,000, which was to have been expended on it.
From 1513 to 1521 Leo X. who was less concerned in finishing the tomb of his predecessor than in endowing his native city with the works of the great Florentine artist, employed Michelangelo almost exclusively upon the façade and the sacristy of San Lorenzo. Michelangelo betook himself to the sculptures for the tomb during the short and stern pontificate of Adrian VI. ; but under Clement VII. was
; obliged to abandon them once more in order to carry out Leo's plans in Florence, which were adopted by the new Pope. About 1531 the Duke of Urbino at last obtained permission for Michelangelo to break off the works at San Lorenzo in order to finish the tomb which had been in hand so long; it does not however appear that he was even then able to do much to it. At last, after the death of Clement he hoped to recover his liberty and to be able to fulfil his engagements after so much involuntary delay; but Paul III. was hardly installed before he sent for him, received him with the utmost condescension, and begged him to devote his talents to his service. Michelangelo replied that it was impossible, that he was under a contract to complete the tomb of Julius II. Paul flew into a great rage and said, “This has been the wish of my heart for the last thirty years, that I am Pope it is not to be gratified. I will tear the contract in pieces, and I expect you to obey my orders." The Duke of Urbino complained and warmly upbraided Michelangelo with a breach of faith. The sculptor not knowing which to listen to, begged the Pope to let him finish the work which he had promised. He conceived the most pre
posterous schemes for escaping from the friendly restraint of Paul, among others to withdraw to Carrara, where he had passed some quiet years in the midst of the marble mountains. The Pontiff put an end to all discussions by issuing a brief, dated September 18th, 1537, by which he declared Michelangelo, his heirs and successors, freed from all obligations resulting from the different compacts respecting the tomb. This mode of settling matters could neither satisfy the Duke of Urbino nor release Michelangelo. The discussion was resumed and ended in an agreement that the tomb should be finished as we now see it in the church of San Pietro in Vincoli, and should be composed of the statue of Moses, entirely finished by the hand of Michelangelo, of two figures representing the one Active, the other contemplative Life, which were in an advanced condition and were to be finished by Raffaello da Montelupo, of two other statues by this master, of a Virgin after a drawing by Michelangelo, and lastly of the recumbent figure of Julius, by Maso del Bosco. Such is briefly the history of this monument, which was not entirely completed till 1550, after having been a source of actual torment to Buonarroti for half a century.
The Duke of Urbino was by no means satisfied, nor was Michelangelo. The figures originally intended to form part of a colossal whole under the gigantic vault of St. Peter's appear too large for their present position. The prominence of the statue of Moses perplexes the mind, and even creates the idea that the monument is raised to the memory of the Hebrew lawgiver rather than to that of the warrior-pontiff. In fact, the principal, if not the sole interest of the tomb, is centred upon this statue. It is this sublime work which remains stamped upon the memory. The Moses dwells amidst the masterpieces of ancient and modern sculpture, an event with