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Artisan

1425

April 14

on Thursday

Lorenzo Ghiberti receives a letter from Giovanni Turini, a goldsmith of Siena.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was waning crescent that night.
Sunrise in Siena was at 5:56 AM and sunset was at 6:03 PM.

Source: Primary

'Letters of the Great Artists', p. 14

1425

April 16

on Saturday

2 days later

Lorenzo Ghiberti to Giovanni Turini, goldsmith, of Siena:

Jesus Honourable friend, I received your letter the fourteenth day of April and saw therefrom how dear and faithful a friend I have in you, and also that you are well. Also of your good mind toward me, which you have ever displayed; inasmuch that in case of need you would help me to polish one of these stories (reliefs) and would do it willingly: the which I know I can come only of love to me, for the which may God bless you. You must know, dear friend, that the stories are almost completed; one is in the hands of Giuliano di Ser Andrea, the other I have; and they will be finished at the time I promised Messer Bartolomeo; in sooth they would have been finished long since, but for the thanklessness of those, my past companions, from whom I received not one injury, but many. Thanks be to God, I am out of their hands, for which I ever praise God, considering in what freedom I now find myself. Being quite without company, I intend to remain thus, master in my own workshop and able to receive any friend with a good and cheerful countenance. I thank you for your perfect goodwill towards me. And I heartily beg you to commend me to Messer Bartolomeo. Also I beg you heartily to find, if you may, some means by which I may recover the drawings of the birds I lent to Ghoro (dir Ser Neroccio, a goldsmith of Siena). I know that it will be no pains to you to beg Master Domenico, the wood-carver, that he send them back to me, for I hear say that these and all other things that were in the hands of the said Ghoro are now with Master Domenico. Greet him from me, and likewise Master Francesco di Valdambrina: and if there be aught that I can do here, I am always at your pleasure. There is nothing other to say. May Christ keep you in peace. Writ on the sixteenth day of April 1425. By your Lorenzo di Bartolo, goldsmith of Florence, your dear friend

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Astronomical Events

The moon was a new moon that night.
Sunrise in Siena was at 5:56 AM and sunset was at 6:02 PM.
Sunrise in Florence was at 5:56 AM and sunset was at 6:02 PM.

Source: Primary

'Letters of the Great Artists', p.14-5

1453

27 years, 8 months, 27 days later

Apprenticeship

Andrea del Verrocchio studies with goldsmith Andrea Dei in Florence.

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Agents

Andrea del Verrocchio (1435-1488), aged 18: painter; sculptor

1465

April 10

on Monday

12 years, 3 months, 12 days later

A young woman, who was the daughter of Zanobi Gherucci, was tried, for having killed, and then thrown into a well, the little girl of Bernardo della Zecca, a goldsmith, for the sake of stealing a pearl necklace and certain silver ornaments that the child wore round her neck. She was taken away in the executioner's cart, and was beheaded.

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The moon was a full moon that night.

1470

4 years, 8 months, 27 days later

Botticelli opens his own workshop.

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Agents

Botticelli (1445-1510), aged 25: painter; man; goldsmith

1489

19 years, 5 days later

Michelangelo leaves the studio of Ghirlandaio and enters the household of Lorenzo de' Medici to study sculpture under Bertoldo di Giovanni, a pupil of Donatello.

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1491

2 years later

Botticelli serves on a committee to decide upon a façade for the Cathedral of Florence.

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Agents

Botticelli (1445-1510), aged 46: painter; man; goldsmith

1500

November 3

on Saturday

9 years, 10 months, 8 days later

Birth

Benvenuto Cellini is born in Florence.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was waxing gibbous that night.
Sunrise in Florence was at 5:40 AM and sunset was at 5:47 PM.

1502

November 16

on Sunday

2 years, 13 days later

Jacques Mesnil discovers a summary of a charge in the Florentine Archives for November 16, 1502, which reads simply "Botticelli keeps a boy", under an accusation of sodomy.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was a full moon that night.

Agents

Botticelli (1445-1510), aged 57: painter; man; goldsmith

1503

1 month, 16 days later

As a child, Benvenuto Cellini plays with a scorpion he finds near a water-pipe and is narrowly rescued from being stung by his father, who cuts off its head and tail with a pair of scissors.

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1504

1 year later

Botticelli is invited to join the committee appointed to decide where Michelangelo's David will be placed.

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Agents

Botticelli (1445-1510), aged 59: painter; man; goldsmith

1507

January 31

on Thursday

3 years, 1 month, 1 day later

p29 From Rome, January 31st, 1507.
To Lodovico di Lionardo di Buonarrota Simoni, in
Florence. To be delivered at the Customs
House, Florence.

Most Revered Father, — I learn from one of your letters that the Spedalingo has not yet come back to Florence and that as a consequence you have been unable to conclude the business about the farm as you desired. It has given me annoyance also, for I supposed you had already paid over the money for it. I half suspect that the Spedalingo has gone away on purpose so that he may not have to give up this source of income but may continue to hold both the money and the farm. Please let me know about it, for should matters be as I fear I would take my money from his keeping and place it elsewhere.

As for my affairs here, I should get on all right if only my marbles were to arrive : but I seem to be most unfortunate in this matter, for since I arrived there have not been two fine days in succession. A boat happened to get here some days ago, but it was only by the greatest good fortune that it escaped accident, as the weather was most unfavourable : and as soon as I had unloaded it the river suddenly rose in flood and submerged it (the marble), so that even p30 now I have not been able to set to work on anything, although I make promises to the Pope and encourage him to hope in order that he may not lose his temper with me ; hoping myself all the time that the weather will improve and that I shall soon be able to begin work—God grant it so ! Please take all the drawings, that is to say, all those papers I put into the sack of which I told you, and make them up into a little bundle and send them to me by some carrier. But see that they are securely done up and run no risk of damage from rain, so that not even the smallest paper may suffer hurt. Bid the carrier take good care of them, for some are of the very greatest importance. Write and say into whose charge you have given them and what I have to pay the man. As to Michele, I wrote to say that he was to put that chest in safety somewhere under cover and then come immediately to Rome where he should want for nothing. I do not know what he has done. I beg of you to enquire into this ; and, further, I beg of you to put yourself to a little trouble over these two things — that is to say, first to see that the chest is put in a safe place under cover, and afterwards I would like you to have the marble Madonna brought to your house, and take care that nobody shall see it. I am not sending you any money for these two things because I do not think they will cost much. If you have to borrow, you can do so, because very soon — if my marble arrives I will send you money for this purpose and for your own use.

p31 I wrote asking you to enquire of Bonifazio the name of the man in Lucca to whom he was going to pay those fifty ducats I am sending to Matteo di Cucherello at Carrara, and I asked you to write the name in the unsealed letter I sent you, which you were to forward to the said Matteo at Carrara so that he might know where to go in Lucca in order to get the money. I expect you have already done this. I beg you also to tell me to whom Bonifazio is paying the money at Lucca, so that I may know his name and can write to Matteo at Carrara telling him from whom he is to receive the said money in Lucca. No more. Do not send me anything more than I write for : my clothes and shirts I give to you and to Giovansimone. Pray to God that my affairs may prosper, and bear in mind that I wish you to invest about a thousand ducats of my money in land, as we have agreed.

On the thirty-first day of January, one thousand five hundred and six.

Your MICHELAGNIOLO, in Rome.

P.S. — Lodovico : I beg you to send on the enclosed letter addressed to Piero d'Argiento, and I beg you to see that he receives it. I think it might be well to send it through the medium of the Jesuits, as he visits them frequently. I beg you to see to this.

Note

The Michele mentioned in this letter is Michele di Piero di Pippo, a stone cutter of Settignano, who was p32 sent to Carrara in connection with the marbles for the facade of San Lorenzo in Florence. With regard to the "Madonna" mentioned further on, it is not certain whether Michelangelo refers to the marble bas-relief now preserved in the Casa Buonarroti in Florence or to the Madonna and Child which is the chief treasure of Notre Dame at Bruges. In passing, it may be worth while to draw attention to the obvious nervousness which marks all Michelangelo's financial transactions. The instructions with regard to the banker at Lucca are characteristic, and afford sufficient proof of the artist's aversion to trusting his money in the hands of other people.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was waning gibbous that night.
Sunrise in Lucca was at 6:10 AM and sunset was at 6:17 PM.
Sunrise in Florence was at 6:10 AM and sunset was at 6:17 PM.
Sunrise in Carrara was at 6:10 AM and sunset was at 6:17 PM.
Sunrise in Rome was at 6:10 AM and sunset was at 6:17 PM.

1507

March 6

on Wednesday

1 month, 4 days later

p39 From Bologna, March 6th, 1507.
To Buonarroto di Lodovico Buonarroti
in Florence.

Buonarroto, — I did not reply to thy letter or to Piero Aldobrandini's because I had decided not to write until I had received the said Piero's dagger. It is now two months ago that I entrusted this work to a man who has the reputation of being he most skilful master to be found in his particular craft, and although he has kept me waiting until now I did not wish to have it made by anyone else, nor to annul the agreement : wherefore, the aforesaid Piero has some excuse if he considers I have treated him badly, but I could not do otherwise.

Now I have got the dagger back again, or rather, I have got it ; but only this morning, and with much difficulty, for my lad Piero had been obliged to go for it so many times that he was ready to beat the maker over the head with it. Please note that the gold-beater, Chiaro di Bartolomeo, will be the bearer of this and that he will also bring the dagger. See that Chiaro is paid what is due for bringing it, and give it p40 to Piero. If it does not please him, tell him to send me word, and I will have another one made ; and tell him also that since the Court came here every craftsman and all the arts have risen to great dignity and esteem, wherefore he must not marvel if I have so long delayed sending it, for I, too, have had much to think of. This one workman alone has more on his hands since the Court was here than the whole of Bolognia had previously. I have no time for writing. I wrote to Lodovico saying I had received his letters and telling him how I had been deceived, as he will now be able to understand.

On the sixth day of March, 1506.
MICHELAGNIOLO DI LODOVICO BUONARROTI,
in Bolognia.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was in the last quarter that night.
Sunrise in Florence was at 6:08 AM and sunset was at 6:15 PM.
Sunrise in Bologna was at 6:08 AM and sunset was at 6:15 PM.

1507

July 6

on Saturday

4 months, 2 days later

p. 46 Bologna, July 6th, (1507).
To Buonarroto di Lodovico di Buonarrota Simoniy
in Florence.

Buonarroto, — Learn that we have cast my statue, and that I was not over fortunate with it, the reason being that Maestro Bernardino, either through ignorance or misfortune, failed to melt the metal sufficiently. It would take too long to explain how it happened : enough that my figure has come out up to the waist, the remainder of the metal — half the p. 47 bronze, that is to say — having caked in the furnace, as it had not melted ; and to get it out the furnace must be taken to pieces. I am having this done, and! this week I shall have it built up again. Next week I shall recast the upper portion and finish filling the mould, and I believe it will turn out tolerably well after so bad a beginning, though only as the result of the greatest labour, worry and expense. I was ready to believe that Maestro Bernardino could melt his metal without fire, so great was my confidence in him : but all the same it is not that he is not a skilled master, or that he did not work with a will. But he who tries may fail. His failure has been costly to him as well as to me, for he has disgraced himself to such an extent that he dare not raise his eyes in Bologna.

If thou shouldst meet Baccio d'Agnolo, read this letter to him and beg him to inform San Gallo in Rome, and commend me to him. Commend me also to Giovanni da Ricasoli and to Granaccio. If this turns out satisfactorily I hope to be finished with it in from fifteen to twenty days, when I will return to you. If it is not successful I should perhaps have to do it again, but I will keep you informed.

Let me know how Giovansimone is.
On the 6th day of July.

P.S. With this I shall enclose a letter for Giuliano da San Gallo in Rome. Send it as securely and as quickly as thou canst : if he should be in Florence, give it into his hands.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was waning crescent that night.
Sunrise in Florence was at 5:59 AM and sunset was at 6:07 PM.
Sunrise in Bologna was at 5:59 AM and sunset was at 6:07 PM.
Sunrise in Rome was at 5:59 AM and sunset was at 6:07 PM.

1516

8 years, 6 months, 1 day later

Banished from Florence

Benvenuto Cellini is banished from Florence for six months for his part in a street fight and lives in Siena.

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1519

3 years, 1 day later

Benvenuto Cellini moves to Rome at the age of 19.

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1521

April 9

on Saturday

2 years, 3 months, 9 days later

Michelangelo says that (...) he received money from the Cardinal de' Medici for a journey to Carrara, whither he went and stayed about three weeks, ordering marbles for "the tombs which are to be placed in the new sacristy at S. Lorenzo. And there I made out drawings to scale, and measured models in clay for the said tombs." He left his assistant Scipione of Settignano at Carrara as overseer of the work, and returned to Florence.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was waxing crescent that night.
Sunrise in Carrara was at 5:58 AM and sunset was at 6:04 PM.

Source: Primary

Symonds, John Addington. "The Life of Michelangelo Buonarotti", Modern Library (New York), p. 230

1521

August 19

on Friday

4 months, 12 days later

Michelangelo's assistant Scipione of Settignano returns to Florence from Carrara about the business of the marble blocks for the tombs of S. Lorenzo.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was a full moon that night.
Sunrise in Florence was at 5:59 AM and sunset was at 6:06 PM.
Sunrise in Carrara was at 5:59 AM and sunset was at 6:06 PM.

Source: Primary

Symonds, John Addington. "The Life of Michelangelo Buonarotti", Modern Library (New York), p. 230

1523

January 14

on Sunday

1 year, 4 months, 28 days later

Fined for sodomy

Benvenuto Cellini is sentenced to pay 12 staia of flour for relations with a boy named Domenico di ser Giuliano da Ripa.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was waning crescent that night.

1527

May

4 years, 3 months, 18 days later

Cellini wounds the Prince of Orange

Benvenuto Cellini shoots and injures Philibert of Châlon, prince of Orange during the Sack of Rome.

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1527

May 6

on Friday

5 days later

Cellini shoots the Duke of Bourbon

Benvenuto Cellini kills Charles III, Duke of Bourbon during the Sack of Rome.

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The moon was in the first quarter that night.

1527

Late

26 days later

Benvenuto Cellini returns to Florence.

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1528

7 months, 4 days later

Michelangelo praises Benvenuto Cellini

A Sienese gentleman had commissioned Cellini to make him a golden medal, to be worn in the hat. "The subject was to be Hercules wrenching the lion's mouth. While I was working at this piece, Michel Agnolo Buonarroti came oftentimes to see it. I had spent infinite pains upon the design, so that the attitude of the figure and the fierce passion of the beast were executed in quite a different style from that of any other craftsman who had hitherto attempted such groups. This, together with the fact that the special branch of art was totally unknown to Michel Agnolo, made the divine master give such praises to my work that I felt incredibly inspired for further effort. "Just then I met with Federigo Ginori, a young man of very lofty spirit. He had lived some years in Naples and being endowed with great charms of person and presence, had been the lover of a Neopolitan princess. He wanted to have a medal made with Atlas bearing the world upon his shoulders, and applied to Michel Agnolo for a design. Michel Agnolo made this answer: 'Go and find out a young goldsmith named Benvenuto; he will serve you admirably, and certainly he does not stand in need of sketches by me. However, to prevent your thinking that I want to save myself the trouble of so slight a matter, I will gladly sketch you something; but meanwhile speak to Benvenuto and let him also make a model; he can then execute the better of the two designs.' Federigo Ginori came to me and told me that he wanted, adding thereto how Michel Agnolo had praised me, and how he had suggested I should make a waxen model while he undertook to supply a sketch. The words of that great man so heartened me, that I set myself to work at once with eagerness upon the model; and when I had finished it, a painter who was intimate with Michel Agnolo, called Giuliano Bugiardini, brought me the drawing of Atlas. On the same occasion I showed Giuliano my little model in wax, which was very different from Michel Agnolo's drawing; and Federigo, in concert with Bugiardini, agreed that I should work upon my model. So I took it in hand, and when Michel Agnolo saw it, he praised me to the skies."

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Source: Primary

Symonds, John Addington: "The Life of Michelangelo Buonarroti", Modern Library (New York), p.259-261

1529

1 year, 1 day later

Cellini avenges the death of his brother

Cecchino Cellini kills a Corporal of the Roman Watch and in turn is wounded by an arquebusier (rifleman), later dying of his wound. His brother, Benvenuto Cellini, kills his killer, then flees to Naples to escape the consequences of an affray with a notary, Ser Benedetto, whom he had wounded.

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1529

October 22

on Tuesday

9 months, 24 days later

Granacci pays Sebastiano di Francesco, a stone-cutter, to whom Michelangelo is much attached, money for his journey to Venice.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was waning gibbous that night.
Sunrise in Venice was at 5:41 AM and sunset was at 5:48 PM.

Source: Primary

Symonds, John Addington. "The Life of Michelangelo Buonarotti", Modern Library (New York), p. 273

1530

April 2

on Wednesday

5 months, 12 days later

Cellini meets Clement VII

Jacopo della Barca conducts Benvenuto Cellini to an audience with Clement VII. The Pope is indisposed in bed with an illness, attended by Jacopo Salviati and the Archbishop of Capua. Benvenuto asks for absolution for a theft he had committed during the Sack of Rome, when he stole some grains of gold worth a hundred and fifty ducats, in recompense for moneys that were not paid him for work he had carried out on behalf of the Pope. The Pope gives his absolution.

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The moon was waxing crescent that night.

1531

9 months, 4 days later

Cellini directs the fusiliers at the Castel Sant'Angelo to fire their cannons at the Duke of Orange during the Sack of Rome, and wounds him.

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1534

3 years, 1 day later

Cellini kills Pompeo

Benvenuto Cellini kills Pompeo of Milan, a rival goldsmith.

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1537

3 years, 1 day later

Cellini is imprisoned at Castel Sant Angelo

Upon returning from a visit to the French court, Benvenuto Cellini is imprisoned on a charge (apparently false) of having embezzled the gems of the pope's tiara during the war. He is confined to the Castel Sant'Angelo, escapes, is recaptured, and treated with great severity; he is in daily expectation of death on the scaffold. The intercession of Pier Luigi's wife, and especially that of the Cardinal d'Este of Ferrara, eventually secures Cellini's release, in gratitude for which he gives d'Este a splendid cup.

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1548

11 years, 2 days later

In Florence, Benvenuto Cellini is accused by a woman named Margherita, for having certain familiarities with her son, Vincenzo.

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1556

February 26

on Sunday

8 years, 1 month, 28 days later

Cellini's apprentice Fernando di Giovanni di Montepulciano accuses his mentor of having sodomised him many times. This time the penalty was a hefty fifty golden scudi fine, and four years of prison, remitted to four years of house arrest thanks to the intercession of the Medicis.

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The moon was a full moon that night.

1558

1 year, 10 months, 10 days later

Benvenuto Cellini begins to write his Autobiography.

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1562

4 years, 1 day later

Benvenuto Cellini marries a servant, Piera Parigi.

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1563

1 year later

Benvenuto Cellini travels to Pisa for the last time.

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1571

May 13

on Thursday

8 years, 4 months, 14 days later

Benvenuto Cellini dies in Florence and is buried with great pomp in the church of the Santissima Annunziata.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was waning gibbous that night.
Sunrise in Florence was at 5:52 AM and sunset was at 5:59 PM.

1598

December 7

on Monday

27 years, 7 months, 5 days later

Gian Lorenzo Bernini is born in Naples.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was in the first quarter that night.
Sunrise in Naples was at 5:48 AM and sunset was at 5:55 PM.

1605

6 years, 27 days later

The family of Gian Lorenzo Bernini leaves Naples and moves to Rome.

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1606

1 year later

According to Filippo Baldinucci, an eight-year-old Gian Lorenzo Bernini creates a "small marble head of a child that was the marvel of everyone".

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1620

14 years, 3 days later

Gian Lorenzo Bernini was commissioned by Scipione Borghese to making the buttoned mattress upon which the Hermaphroditus reclines, and was paid sixty scudi.

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Agents

Scipione Borghese (1577-1633), aged 43: patron; cardinal

1624

4 years, 1 day later

Gian Lorenzo Bernini begins work on the The Baldacchino of Saint Peters Basilica in Rome.

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1629

5 years, 2 days later

Giuliano Finelli is active in Bernini's studio for a few years, but breaks with Bernini in 1629, when he feels slighted by the awarding of the choice commission of a Saint Helena statue for the crossing of Saint Peters Basilica to Andrea Bolgi.

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1633

4 years, 1 day later

Gian Lorenzo Bernini finishes work on the The Baldacchino.

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1640

7 years, 1 day later

Gian Lorenzo Bernini finishes construction of the balconies required above the large niches in the pillars of Saint Peters Basilica for the exhibition on special occasions of the most venerated relics in the church.

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1644

4 years, 1 day later

Diary entry on Gianlorenzo Bernini

Bernini... gave a public opera wherein he painted the scenes, cut the statues, invented the engines, composed the music, writ the comedy, and built the theatre.

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1645

1 year, 1 day later

Gian Lorenzo Bernini began the preparatory work for Truth Unveiled by Time in 1645, during the critical period after the death of his main patron Pope Urban VIII, and the figure of Truth was largely complete by 1652.

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1657

12 years, 3 days later

Gian Lorenzo Bernini erects the Cathedra Petri in the apse of Saint Peters.

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1671

14 years, 3 days later

Gian Lorenzo Bernini starts work on the clay models for the Tomb of Pope Alexander VII.

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1672

April 9

on Saturday

1 year, 3 months, 9 days later

Gian Lorenzo Bernini receives the last payment for the Tomb of Pope Alexander VII.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was waxing gibbous that night.

1672

July 23

on Saturday

3 months, 15 days later

Gian Lorenzo Bernini has drawings sent out to the quarry specifying the size of the marble blocks for the Tomb of Pope Alexander VII.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was a new moon that night.

1672

October 7

on Friday

2 months, 16 days later

Gian Lorenzo Bernini begins working on a design and model of the Tomb of Pope Alexander VII and is paid one thousand scudi for the start of his work.

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The moon was a full moon that night.

1678

5 years, 2 months, 27 days later

Bernini's last commissioned work, the Tomb of Pope Alexander VII, is unveiled.

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1713

35 years, 8 days later

Domenico Bernini publishes a biography on his father, "Vita del Cavalier Gio. Lorenzo Bernini" in Rome.

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1906

193 years, 1 month, 16 days later

Louvre restorer Eugène Denizard performs watercolour retouches on areas of the paint layer of the Mona Lisa disturbed by the crack in the panel. He also retouches the edges of the picture with varnish, to mask areas that were covered initially by an older frame.

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1913

7 years, 2 days later

After the return of the Mona Lisa after its theft, Eugène Denizard is again called upon to work on the painting. Denizard cleans the picture without solvent, and lightly touches up several scratches to the painting with watercolour.

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1956

December 30

on Sunday

44 years, 9 days later

The Mona Lisa is damaged again when a rock was thrown at it, resulting in the loss of a speck of pigment near the left elbow. Restorer Jean-Gabriel Goulinat touches up the damage with watercolour.

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Astronomical Events

The moon was a new moon that night.

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