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The E-Sylum:  Volume 9, Number 4, January 22, 2006, Article 21

EXHIBIT: MICHELANGELO, MONEY AND MEDALS

A January 19 Bloomberg article describes a new British
Museum exhibit:  "Michelangelo, who painted the ceiling
of the Sistine Chapel, made more money than his rivals,
Titian and Da Vinci, according to an exhibition at the
British Museum.

"Michelangelo: Money and Medals," which runs through
June 25 in London, is a rare move by a museum to talk
about the market value of art in history."

"By the time he died in 1564, Michelangelo had an estate
worth more than 24,000 florins. Beside his deathbed was
a chest filled with gold coins weighing nearly 30 kilograms
(66 pounds). He liked to have money at hand.

The show assembles rare coins and medals from across Italy,
including a lead-medal profile from 1560 of the artist --
angular, bearded, with a deep-set eye -- by a contemporary,
Leone Leoni. In gold, silver and bronze, the coins and medals
tell the story of Michelangelo's patrons, and sharply rising
rewards as he worked for the Medicis in Florence and then
for the popes in Rome.

Six shiny gold florins clustered in a display case represent
Michelangelo's wages when he started work as an apprentice
in 1488, at age 13. A servant at the time would have earned
10 florins a year, according to the British Museum.

By 1497, he was being paid 133 1/3 florins just as a first
installment, to carve his ``Pieta'' sculpture in Rome. In
1501, he got 400 florins for the three-year job of carving
the statue, ``David,'' perhaps his most famous sculpture.
In 1505, Pope Julius II gave him 100 florins just to move
from Florence back to Rome, equivalent to a university
professor's salary for a year."

To read the complete article, see: Full Story

For more information on the exhibit, go to: Full Story

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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