The Youth of Michelangelo

By Charles De Tolnay | Go to book overview

XII. CARRARA

AFTER the contract for the tomb was agreed upon, Michelangelo went to Carrara to secure the marble. He spent eight months there (probably from April to December). 118

Some light is thrown on this period by two contracts. On November 12, 1505 (Milanesi, p. 630) he engaged two shipowners in Lavagna to stand ready until November ao at the Porto dell' Avenza (near Carrara) to bring 34 carrate (wagonloads) of marble to Rome, including two figures (i.e. blocks for 2 figures) of 15 carrate. One month later, on December 10, 1505 (Milanesi, p. 631), he made a contract with Guido di Biagio and Matteo Cuccarello for delivery of 60 carrate, including four figures, two of eight carrate, and two of five carrate. All the other pieces were two carrate or smaller (for the architecture of the tomb). 119 These blocks were to be cut out according to specifications to be sent by Michelangelo from Florence in January.

It is hard to believe that during the eight months in Carrara, Michelangelo busied himself exclusively with arranging for the marble. It is much more probable that the artist, with the imagination inflamed by the great commission, continued to plan further projects. The sight of the mighty mountain ranges of Carrara, which in their richly articulated shape give the effect of living creatures, and the sharp, clear mountain air must have aroused Michelangelo's creative fantasy, as we see from an anecdote of Condivi's (p. 62) according to which Michelangelo wished to make a Colossus of a huge mountain overlooking the sea, a figure which could be seen by sailors on the water.

-33-

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The Youth of Michelangelo
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page v
  • Contents ix
  • Acknowledgments xi
  • Introduction xiii
  • Life 1
  • I - Origins 3
  • II - Early Childhood 11
  • III - Apprenticeship in the Studio of the Brothers Ghirlandaio 14
  • IV - In the School of the Giardino Mediceo 16
  • V - The Court of Lorenzo De' Medici 18
  • VI - Florence under Piero De' Medici 20
  • VII - Bologna la Grassa 22
  • VIII - Florence, the Free Republic 24
  • IX - Quattrocento Rome 26
  • X - Classical Florence 29
  • XI - Imperial Rome 32
  • XII - Carrara 33
  • XIII - The Quarrel 34
  • XIV - Refuge in Florence 36
  • XV - Bologna under Julius II 38
  • XVI - Return to Florence 41
  • Notes to Part I 42
  • Artistic Development 61
  • Introduction 63
  • I - Foundations of the New Style 65
  • II - Primordial Visions of Life and Destiny 75
  • III - Differentiation of Emotions 83
  • IV - Differentiation of Outward Form 89
  • V - Differentiation of Inward Structure: Classical Style 93
  • VI - Return to the Vision of Preterhuman Forces 113
  • Conclusion 117
  • Critical Catalogue 119
  • Introduction to the Catalogue 121
  • Catalogue of Original Sculpture and Painting 123
  • Catalogue of Drawings Nil 173
  • Catalogue of Lost Works 193
  • Catalogue of Apocryphal and Falsely Attributed Works 225
  • Paintings Falsely Attributed to Michelangelo's Youth 236
  • Appendices 239
  • Bibliographical Abbreviations 257
  • Addenda 263
  • Index 265
  • The Illustrations 281
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