I am going to Italy in May, and am really looking forward to it! In honor of that trip, I will be periodically posting "today in history" items that relate to what I will see when I am there.
On this date in 1513, Pope Julius II died. He is the man who commissioned Michelangelo to paint the Sistine Chapel. According to an article by Brad G. Kauffman, their relationship was rather rocky.
Michelangelo was not interested in painting - he considered himself a sculptor. But when Pope Julius II gave him free reign to paint it how he wanted, Michelangelo agreed. He took his time, which annoyed the Pope, and the Pope was in no hurry to make his payments, which annoyed the artist!
The painting took four years to complete, and was unveiled in November, 1512. It is interesting to discover that the famous depiction of Adam receiving the touch of life is technically not Michelangelo's work. The ceiling at that part of the painting cracked in the mid-16th Century and was repaired by another artist. Talk about pressure!
It is also interesting to note that Pope Julius II lies under a tomb sculpted by - you guessed it - Michelangelo!