The Secret Room of Michelangelo
Many years went by without anyone knowing about its Michelangelo secret room. In 1975, a tiny room was found beneath the Medici Chapels in the Basilica of San Lorenzo in Florence. It is believed that this room was Michelangelo’s hidden location for a short period in 1530 so that he could keep from being discovered to be a target of the Medici.
In the room where he was seated, Michelangelo was armed with only chalk and charcoal, sketched figures from his previous and upcoming works, including The head of Laocoon and various revisions of David as some sketches taken from the Sistine Chapel, and even self-portraits.
This room was undiscovered until 1975, when the director at the Medici Chapels Museum, Paolo dal Poggetto, discovered it by accident. The walls were plastered, but meticulous restoration work was able to bring Michelangelo’s charcoal drawings to light.
There is a report that the room, which was in the past only accessible to experts in art, could be made accessible to the public in 2020.
What is Michelangelo hiding? The Medici Chapels, currently an art museum, were once mausoleums, the burial site for those belonging to Medici beginning in the second quarter 1500s. In 1519, Michelangelo received the task of building the New Sacristy, which he had worked on for about ten years. It was to become one of his most important architectural works. At the time of his creation, Michelangelo was, therefore, a protector of the noblest family; however, when a popular revolt was launched to overthrow them, the artist joined with the Medici. But the Medici clan quickly returned to power, and Michelangelo had to leave.
He didn’t travel very far, but after working on it for a long period and he was familiar with the Medici Chapels as well as that of the San Lorenzo complex, and it was there that he found his refuge in a large and narrow basement that was under the same sacristy that which he built. It is what is now called Michelangelo’s secret room’, which will soon be available to visit. Keep an eye on the site for updates.