(b. 1475, Caprese, d. 1564, Roma)
Model for the dome of St. Peter's1560
Lime wood, 500 x 400 x 200 cm
Musei Vaticani, Vatican
The picture shows the original wood model for the dome of St Peter's.
In keeping with his conviction that architecture must originate from sculpture and painting, Michelangelo initially produced a clay model in order to test the plasticity afforded by his architectural creation. Subsequently, this wooden model was made by a carpenter. Alterations were made to the model in the course of the century, probably by Giacomo della Porta, who modified the external structure, and by Luigi Vanvitelli (1700-1773), who carefully copied damage encountered by the real dome onto the model.