9. Leonardo Da Vinci Vs. Michelangelo: Pain(ts) In Each Other's Side
Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci
were automatically rivals through living at the same time and
competing for acclaim during the renaissance. These two though, they
really got personal.
Da Vinci, the elder of the two, thought
Michelangelo was an arrogant upstart who didn't show enough respect
to his forebears. Michelangelo meanwhile considered da Vinci stuffy
and out of touch.
The feud really began in 1503, when
they were both commissioned to paint massive battle scenes opposite
each other in the town hall of Florence. Both artists were told by
the commissioner of this work, the mayor of Florence, that they were
in direct competition with each other.
According to a Florentine chronicler, during a debate concerning
Dante (fan theories, one supposes), da Vinci asked Michelangelo if he
could explain the passage under discussion. Michelangelo supposedly
flipped out and taunted da Vinci over his inability to finish his
Meanwhile, in transcripts from a meeting to decide where
Michelangelo's David was to be displayed, da Vinci says that the
statue needed to be placed 'behind the low wall where the soldiers
line up. It should be put there... in such a way that it does not
interfere with the ceremonies of state.’
There are even references in Leonardo's notebooks where he refers
to Michelangelo's paintings as 'wooden'. Neither party would be
pleased to know they are considered equals today.