The Florentines made the Count of Pitigliano(1) Capitano, and gave him the baton. And the Sienese made the Signore da Farnese their Capitano.
And up till now my brother Gostanzo had gained 20 palii with his Barbary hose Draghetto, that is, 20 races from the 8th October, 1481, to the 25 June, 1485; the first was Santa Liperata, the next Sant' Anna, and San Vittorio several. Once when he won San Vittorio he sold the palio to the Aretini for 40 gold florins, and then he went to Arezzo and won it back again. And when he went to race at Siena, there was a tie between his horse and one belonging to Lorenzo de' Medici, called La Lucciola (Firefly), that of Gostanzo being in reality one head's length in advance of the other. And the people who were present declared that he had won, and told him to go to the magistrate, and they would bear witness. Gostanzo, however, refused to do this, out of respect for Lorenzo, and as it happened, Lorenzo was proclaimed the winner. Another year, also at Siena, a meaner trick was played him: namely, when Gostanzo's horse was a bowshot in advance, and reached the winning-post, he dismounted and got up on the palio; then another horse came up, and they said that Gostanzo's horse had not passed the winning-post, and that the other one had passed it. Therefore the prize was given to the other. A very great injustice, that a rider who had not won the palio should receive it! It was most unfortunate, as my brother had such a good horse. He rushed about so much after this Barbary horse that in the end it proved his death. He died on the 12th September, 1485.
(1) Niccola Orsini.
The contractors for Michelangelo's marble blocks to be carved into the tombs of S. Lorenzo, all of which were excavated from the old Roman quarry of Polvaccio, came to Florence, and were paid on account.
Two important letters from Michelangelo to Fattucci, written in October 1525 and April 1526, show that he had then abandoned the original scheme (for the Medici tombs), and adopted one which was all but carried into effect.
I am working as hard as I can, and in fifteen days I shall begin the other captain. Afterwards the only important things left will be the four rivers. The four statues are on the sarcophagi, the four figures on the ground which are the rivers, the two captains, and Our Lady, who is to be placed upon the tomb at the head of the chapel; these are what I mean to do with my own hand. Of these I have begun six; and I have good hope of finishing them in due time, and carrying the other forward in part, which do not signify so much.
The six he had begun are clearly the Dukes and their attendant figures of Day, Night, Dawn, Evening. The Madonna, one of his noblest works, came within a short distance of completion. SS. Cosimo and Damiano passed into the hands of Montelupo and Montorsoli. Of the four rivers we have only fragments in the shape of some exquisite little models.