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The business manager of St. Peter's:
‘Well, young man, our boss, Pope Julius II, recommended you as being quite gifted. You know we are in difficulties in building the cupola; those architects don't know how to proceed. How many cupolas have you built?’
‘Cupolas? None, I am a painter and sculptor, Sir, but…’
‘What? A painter and a sculptor? Oh my dear fellow I am sorry, we want an expert cupola-builder’.
This conversation would have happened if Michelangelo were alive today; but he was wise enough to have lived in the sixteenth century. And so he built the cupola, without ever having studied architecture; because the confidence of Pope Julius II in an ...