The Daily Mail reports that the Vatican restorers have discovered a self-portrait of the Renaissance master, Michelangelo among the figures in the Pope’s private rooms in the Sistine Chapel. The restoration work was painstaking with 20 persons laboring for five years on the project:
But it was well worth the effort as the discovery that we have made is I believe of extraordinary significance – as far as I am concerned and a panel of Michelangelo experts the figure with the blue turban is a self portrait of Michelangelo Buonarroti.
‘You just have to compare the face of the man in the background, with the turban to other contemporary images of Michelangelo from the time to see the striking resemblance. Initially art experts always thought the man dressed in brown with a cap on his head, who resembles an executioner is Michelangelo. But myself and the international commission involved in the restoration are convinced it is the turbaned figure.’
Mr De Luca, who has 42 years experience, added: ‘If you compare that figure with Daniele da Volterra’s image of Michelangelo or Giambologna’s bust the similarity is striking and really jumps out. Put a mirror to da Volterra’s work or draw a turban on the head of Giambologna’s bust and you get he same figure that is in The Crucifixion of St Peter.’
Michelangelo began work on the pair of frescoes in the Cappella Paolina within weeks of finishing his masterpiece, The Last Judgment in the Sistine Chapel.