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Saint Peters Basilica

cathedral by Michelangelo at the age of 72

made out of

the Vatican City, Italy, Europe, Rome

1498

August 7

on Sunday

The contract between Michelangelo and the Cardinal di San Dionisio for the Pieta.(1)

Die VII mensis augusti, 1498.

Be it known and manifest to all who shall read this present writing that the Most Reverend Cardinal di San Dionisio has agreed with Maestro Michelangelo, statuary of Florence, that the said Maestro shall at his own proper costs make a Pieta of marble ; that is to say, a draped figure of the Virgin Mary with the dead Christ in her arms, the figures being life-size, for the sum of four hundred and fifty gold ducats in papal gold (in oro papali), to be finished within the term of one year from the beginning of the work. And the said Most Reverend Cardinal promises to pay the money in the manner following: that is to say, imprimis he promises to pay the sum of one hundred and fifty gold ducats in papal gold before ever the work shall be begun, and thereafter while the work is in progress he promises to pay to the aforesaid Michelangelo one hundred ducats of the same value every four months, in such wise that the whole of the said sum of four hundred and fifty gold ducats in papal gold shall be paid within a twelvemonth, provided that the work shall be finished within that period: and if it shall be finished before the stipulated term his Most Reverend Lordship shall be called upon to pay the whole of the sum outstanding.

And I, Iacopo Gallo, do promise the Most Reverend Monsignore, that the said Michelangelo will complete the said work within one year, and that it shall be more beautiful than any work in marble to be seen in Rome to-day, and such that no master of our own time shall be able to produce a better. And I do promise the aforesaid Michelangelo on the other hand, that the Most Reverend Cardinal will observe the conditions of payment as herein set forth in writing. And in token of good faith I, lacopo Gallo, have drawn up the present agreement with my own hand the year month and day aforesaid. Furthermore be it understood that all previous agreements between the parties drawn up by my hand, or rather, by the hand of the aforesaid Michelangelo are by this present declared null and void, and only this present agreement shall have effect.

The said Most Reverend Cardinal gave to me, Iacopo Gallo, one hundred gold ducats of the chamber in gold (ducati d'oro in oro di Camera) some time ago, and on the aforesaid day as above set forth I received from him a further sum of fifty gold ducats in Papal gold.

Ita est IOANNES, CARDINALIS S. DYONISII. Idem Iacobus Gallus, manu proprio.

(1) This Madonna della Pieta was carved for Jean de la Groslaye, Cardinal di San Dionigi, and seems to have been contemplated, though not actually begun, some months before the drawing up of the final contract under which the work was executed.

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The moon was waning gibbous that night.

Source: Primary

Buonarroti, Michelangelo, trans. Robert W. Carden. "Michelangelo. A Record of His Life", Constable & Company Ltd, 1913: p. 10-12

1624

125 years, 5 months, 27 days later

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

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1624

Luigi Bernini works on the The Baldacchino.

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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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1657

17 years, 5 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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1671

December

11 months, 4 days later

The actual construction of the Tomb of Pope Alexander VII beings with a wooden and clay framework or the full scale model of the tomb.

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1672

April 9

on Saturday

4 months, 10 days later

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

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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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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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