Although neither Michelangelo nor Sebastiano were Roman, both established their careers in the city. Writer Paul Strathern discusses the Rome that awaited their arrival: a place of grand palaces and homes belonging to popes, noble families and senior cardinals.
Yet outside these palaces lay a city of squalor and hovels. Dens inhabited by footpads, tawdry brothels and cockroach-ridden taverns had sprung up amongst the moss-covered former grandeur of ancient Rome, which now lay in ruins.
What impact did the city have on these two artists?
Paul Strathern is a writer and academic. He is author of ‘The Medici: Godfathers of the Renaissance’, ‘The Artist, the Philosopher and the Warrior: Leonardo, Machiavelli and Borgia – a Fateful Collusion’, and ‘The Spirit of Venice: From Marco Polo to Casanova’.
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