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Michelangelo Buonarroti (Caprese 1475-Rome 1564)

The Fall of Phaeton 1533

RCIN 912766

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Michelangelo befriended the young nobleman Tommaso de’ Cavalieri in 1532. Over the next year he made four highly finished drawings as gifts for Cavalieri, including nos. 19 and 20. This sheet depicts the myth of Phaeton, who begged his father Apollo to be allowed to drive the sun-chariot for a day. Phaeton lost control of the chariot, and had to be knocked from the sky by a thunderbolt from Jupiter. No. 19