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Pietro Urbano

Italian High Renaissance sculptor

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Michelangelo (1475-1564) Florentine High Renaissance military engineer, sculptor, painter, architect and poet

1521

September

Sebastiano del Piombo writes to Michelangelo about Pietro Urbano's mistreatment of his statue of Christ Triumphant:

In the first place, you sent him to Rome with the statue to finish and erect it. What he did and left undone you know already. But I must inform you that he has spoiled the marble wherever he touched it. In particular, he shortened the right foot and cut the toes off; the hands too, especially the right hand, which holds the cross, have been mutilated in the fingers. Frizzi says they seem to have been worked by a biscuit-maker, not wrought in marble, but kneaded by someone used to dough. I am no judge, not being familiar with the method of stone-cutting; but I can tell you that the fingers look to me very stiff and dumpy. It is clear also that he has been peddling at the beard; and I believe my little boy would have done so with more sense, for it look as though he had used a knife without a point to chisel the hair. This can easily be remedied, however. He has also spoiled one of the nostrils. A little more, and the whole nose would have been ruined, and only God could have restored it.

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Source: Primary

Sebastiano del Piombo; Symonds, John Addington. "The Life of Michelangelo Buonarotti", Modern Library (New York), p. 231-2

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