Friday, October 14, 2005

Peasant Christ Restored...

From - Florence, October 13 - A figure of Christ at the centre of a celebrated tiff between Donatello and Filippo Brunelleschi returned to its home in the Florence Basilica of Santa Croce on Thursday after a major clean-up .
According to Vasari, after finishing the work, Donatello anxiously asked his close friend Brunelleschi what he thought of it .
He was mortified when the architect blasted his realistic Christ figure as "peasant" like .
In Vasari's words, "Filippo said that it seemed to him that Donatello had put the body of a peasant on the cross, not the body of Jesus Christ." Angered by the comment, Donatello challenged Brunelleschi to do better, reportedly saying "you get some wood and try to make one yourself." Brunelleschi went home and secretly started work on a crucifix, determined to show Donatello what he thought a Christ should look like .
When he had finished the cross, the architect invited Donatello to lunch .
Vasari then recounts that "going into the hall, Donatello paused to study Filippo's crucifix and found it so perfect that he was completely overwhelmed and dropped his hands in astonishment; whereupon his apron fell and the eggs, cheeses and the rest of the lunch tumbled to the floor and smashed." "Your job is making Christs and mine is making peasants", Vasari quotes Donatello as humbly telling Brunelleschi .

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