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Michelangelo Madonna Child

Pitti Tondo
Michelangelo 1503
Bargello, Florence

Michelangelo's Pitti Tondo | John Robinson

Michelangelo’s Bar

This story began about ten years ago during a trip to Italy to inspect some of my bronzes that were being cast in the medieval town of Pietrasanta at Fonderia Mariani. Inside the walls of the town there is a marvellous piazza, church, campanile and a café that has the evocative name of Bar Michelangelo. On the outside wall of the bar there is a plaque commemorating the fact that Michelangelo lived in this house for a year in 1518 and signed a contract for the quarrying of some blocks of Carrara marble.

Bargello Museum

Located next to the fifteenth century gates of the old town is an atelier that specialises in carving marble. On passing the entrance my wife Margie inveigled me to step inside to have a look around and on doing so we spotted a circular plaster leaning against a wall in one of the workrooms. It was about three feet across and although covered in cobwebs it looked interesting, so I asked the proprietor of the workshops about it. When he obligingly pulled away some rubbish and brushed down the surface, we found ourselves looking at a plaster cast of the Pitti Tondo carved by Michelangelo that now hangs in the Bargello Museum in Florence. We were delighted by what we saw and I determined then and there to persuade someone to have a copy carved in Carrara marble.

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