The Easel

He Made Stone Speak

At 71, Michelangelo took on the build of St Peter’s Basilica and its problematic dome. “[It] presented the elderly artist with challenges on every conceivable front, from the declining powers of his own body to the demands of spiritual aesthetics to the physics of construction.” Michelangelo gave this task fully a quarter of his career, well aware he would never see its completion: “God had called him, and he had answered”.