photo credit: google images
The Grocery List Sketched by Michelangelo
You can’t sculpt like Michelangelo, but you can eat like him.
In March 1518, Michelangelo feasted on fish and bread.
ACCORDING TO MICHELANGELO’S SHOPPING LIST, genius thrives on a diet of fish, bread, and lots of wine.
Owned by the Casa Buonarroti museum in Florence, Italy, this 500-year-old list was written and illustrated by the sculptor/painter/poet/personality on the back of a letter. Michelangelo’s servant was likely illiterate, so Michelangelo sketched out what he wanted to eat.
And Michelangelo wanted a feast, spread out over three meals. He depicted bread rolls as quickly-drawn circles, and for one meal, Michelangelo wanted two rolls. For another, he wanted six. On the page, an elegant herring floats in the air, while bowls overflow with salad and anchovies. Two dishes of stewed fennel are sketched side by side, and when asking for a smaller amount of dry wine, Michelangelo carefully drew a small wine jug next to a larger one. Sadly, he did not draw two plates of tortelli—he only asked for the ravioli-like pasta pouches in writing.
The menu consists mostly of vegetables, fish, wine, and bread. This might seem particularly healthy, but the letter on the other side of the list is dated March 18, 1518, around the time of Lent. Since eating meat was frowned upon, Michelangelo ate the requisite vegetables. However, Gillian Riley writes in The Oxford Guide to Italian Food that this was definitely an upscale menu. Despite his frugal reputation, the artist was probably used to dining with nobility.
By 1518, Michelangelo had already finished many of his most famous works, including the Pietà, the David, and the Sistine Chapel ceiling. But among all his work, this rough list is perhaps the most down-to-earth glimpse of the artist himself. It’s interesting to imagine the famously mercurial Michelangelo taking the time to illustrate for his servant what he wanted for dinner.
The survival of this list is remarkable, too. Only around 600 of Michelangelo’s sketches still exist. 1518 marked the year that Michelangelo burned many of his early drawings, and 46 years later, he ordered many of his papers to be torched in anticipation of his death. Maybe he wanted to preserve the aura of divine genius that surrounded his art. A list showing his sketched takeout order might not have given the right impression.
“all writing is an act of self-exploration.
even a grocery list says something about you;
how much more does a novel say?”
credits: atlas obscura/gastro obscura, anne ewebank,Casa Buonarroti- Florence, Italy
a day in the life of glenn frey the cat not the rockstar: a one-act play
as written by grandies j and b
in our early morning wakeup writers’ workshop
with a lot of naturalistic dialogue
a wonderful story arc
many plot twists and surprises
suspense until the final moment
a very dramatic ending
that is sure to leave an audience
on their feet and wanting more.
“get into a scene late, get out early.”
– david mamet – the paris review
and upon happening behind
this van covered in peace and love
and words galore
complete with notes
“listen to your mother” – love, mom
“make good choices” – love, dad
and a peace sign and a smile
flashed to me by the driver
when finally side by side
i knew i was at my exit
and almost home.
“there are a thousand thoughts lying within a man
that he does not know till he takes up a pen to write. ”
-william makepeace thackeray
leaves building front door for assignment, september 1948″.
this old news image reflects the one we often had of intrepid reporters, hot on an assignment, giving us the latest news of pinnacle events in the life of ann arbor. there was a certain quality and reliability to the news and its staff, bringing us the best stories and photographs available. the photos still resonate with the innocence and spontaneity of life and those living it here.
“journalism keeps you planted in the earth.”
to all the journos out there, still finding a way to tell the story.
image credits: oldnews.aadl.org, ann arbor townies