Italy has become the home to countless treasures from the Renaissance ages. Michelangelo alone left behind an impressive legacy of architecture, painting, and sculpture. While most art lovers are familiar with his most famous works, such as the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel and the Statue of David, other works of art are less commonly known. On November 15th, the Bargello Museum will open a previously secret room in the basement of Florence's San Lorenzo Basilica, where Michelangelo himself once lived. He left a collection of charcoal and chalk drawings on the walls.
Michelangelo is thought to have lived in this vault after becoming embroiled in a political dispute with the Medici family. In 1527 he took part in a populist uprising that eventually led to the expulsion of the Medici family from the city, and then joined the republican government. When the Medici family returned in 1530, the current Pope, also a Medici family, finally sentenced Michelangelo to death. It is speculated that in such a tense situation, Michelangelo took refuge in his tomb and ended up spending two months there. This room is 32 feet long and 6.5 feet wide, with ceilings reaching up to 8 feet. He also has one window facing the road below. Michelangelo poured his creative energy into painting the walls of the vault, creating sketches for his paintings and sculptures, including Leda and the Swan and David. "This very small environment is truly unique because it has extraordinary and exciting possibilities," Francesca De Luca, curator of the Medici Chapels Museum, said in a statement. “Its walls do not appear to contain numerous human sketches, mostly in monumental form.”