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Michaelangelo’s House 02/06/2011

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c. 1850

There are many other religious buildings in Florence of the kinds just described, to which attaches the deepest interest for their treasures of ancient art upon their walls, and their associations with political and Christian history. Structures of another kind in Florence, made famous by the residence of remarkable men, such as the Medici, Dante, Michael Angelo, Galileo, possess an interest of the highest kind; and not a building of that sort would one omit to visit and explore, if time – that sore trouble to the poor traveller – did not interpose its ban. One only will I notice – the family mansion of Michael Angelo, built by himself, which has been religiously preserved unaltered, and is at this day inhabited by one of his lineal descendants, a Buonarroti, an acting counsellor of law in Florence. It is an awkward building in its interior, and shows that though he could build St. Peter’s, he could not build his own house. The principal story consists of a long suite of apartments, six or eight of them in a line, of various dimensions, opening into each other by small doors, the walls and ceilings of every one of them, in every square inch, adorned by paintings illustrative of his long and glorious career; and contributed by his admirers, or followers, as mementoes of affection and reverence. Of all these apartments, richly decorated as they are, the most lifelike was the mere closet, six or eight feet by three, furnished only with a fixed chair and a fixed table, with a single pane of glass for light, where the great man withdrew for study; where he wrote, and where he threw off those first pencil sketches, the original conceptions of his mind, which were then elaborated into those famous works which have compelled the admiration of successive centuries, and made his name immortal.

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