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A Brief Sojourn

Angel, San Domenico

Michelangelo's story (1475-1564) is of course told elsewhere, in Florence and Rome. His short exile, first in Venice and then Bologna, came in 1494 with the fall of his patrons, the Medici, and the reign of terror of Savonarola in Florence.

The Bolognese put him right to work, commissioning the sculptures in San Domenico that can be seen there today. Bologna made an impression on him too, in the sculptures of the great Jacopo della Quercia on the portal of San Petronio, and critics see an echo of della Quercia's forms in the heroic figures of the Sistine Chapel.

Nevertheless, his stay in the city lasted less than a year, and he returned to Florence as soon as he felt it was safe, even though Savonarola and his partisans were still in power.

Text © Dana Facaros and Michael Pauls

Image by James Steakly