Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Diary Entry by Michelangelo c. 1546

Detail of 'Venus and Anchises, 1597-1600, Fresco, Farnese Gallery, Rome, Italy

 'Fierce burning for surpassing loveliness
need not be always harsh and deadly fault,
if with that heat the heart is made to melt 
in softness that a dart divine can pierce.
   Winged by the power of love, man wakes and soars,
nor is vain passion denied a loftier flight
as the first step to the creator's height,
to which the soul, unsated, seeks to rise.
   The love of which I speak aspires to climb; 
women are not like this, and it ill fits
a wise and manly heart to burn for them.
   One draws to heaven, the other to earth below,
one in the soul, one in the senses sits
and at things vile and worthless draws his bow.'

~Michelangelo (Probably for T.C.)

Annibale Carracci, The Farnese Gallery, Detail of 'Venus and Anchises, 1597-1600, The quotation on the footstool is from Virgil's Aeneid indicates the pair are illusionistic stone 'Atlas Figures' - In front of them are very fleshy figures  based on the Ignudi of Michelangelo's Sistine ceiling.

Buonarroti, M. (2007). Poems and letters (michelangelo). Penguin Classics.

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