Michelangelo (Critical Survey of Poetry)
Other Literary Forms
“The visions of the painter are perpetuated in the vault; the cares of the man in his letters,” E. H. Ramsden declares in the introduction to her edition of English translations of Michelangelo’s letters (The Letters of Michelangelo, 1963). The renowned painter and sculptor, creator of the statue of David and the epic paintings of the Sistine Chapel’s ceiling, also left a literary legacy. Along with his poetry, he wrote some five hundred letters which, though never intended as publishable literature, are a rich source of psychological and biographical material. Michelangelo’s letters are largely concerned with money, contracts, the difficulties of dealing with popes, family quarrels and obligations, real estate deals and speculations, politics (very obliquely referred to), premonitions, and setting his worthless brothers up in business. Rarely, if ever, does he discuss the art which was his sole reason for existence. When he completed the paintings in the Sistine Chapel after four years of hard labor, all he wrote to his father was:
I have finished the chapel I have been painting; the Pope is very well satisfied. But other things have not turned out for me as I’d hoped. For this I blame the times, which are very unfavorable to our art. . . ....
(The entire section is 5621 words.)
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