On the 10th of May 1508 I signed a contract to agree to fulfill Pope Julius'commission on painting the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. I had bad feelings about thewhole thing from the day Julius commissioned me to paint instead of sculpt. I am anarchitect and sculptor not a fresco painter. It is not that I doubt my ability's to completesuch a task, but I believe that there are other artists that would be much better suited for the job than I. It is of course an honor to be chosen to paint such a ceiling and Julius isfar to stubborn to find anyone else but myself, so I will paint and I will make it one of thegreatest fresco paintings there will ever be.(Brandes, 254).
The scaffolding that was to be used for the work was horrible. Bramante haddesigned a scaffolding that required holes in my ceiling. How was I to paint a gloriouswork of art with holes in it! The first thing I did was have his scaffolding torn apart. Ithen designed a new structure; my ingenious scaffold increased its strength with the weight that was put on it. I mounted floor boards along obliquely running columns thatwere separated my wedges of wood. Maybe Julius has chosen the right man for the job
I sent to Florence for a number of assistance to help me with the fresco's and thetechnique since I am somewhat hazy with the technique involved. I started my work onthe cartoons for the frescos. These 12 Apostles that I am commissioned to paint are soboring I must find a way around painting them in such a dull fashion. As we started to paint the fresco's I became very uninspired by the idea of the 12 apostles I was upset andconfused. I knew that this was not the right idea for the ceiling.(Redig De Campos, 170).
I talked with Julius today and we discussed the project. I told him that "It wasmuch to poor a thing to paint only the Apostles." And when he asked why I replied"Because the Apostles, too, were poor." He told me to paint as I please, and now I willthe only problem is I...
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