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Michelangelo’s Eating Habits

Michelangelo lived a life which is described as being abstemious. Ascanio Condivi, Michelangelo’s apprentice and biographer said that Michelangelo was indifferent to food and ate “more out of necessity than of pleasure.” He was content with a little wine and bread while he worked.

The Last Judgment

The Last Judgment

While working on The Last Judgment he waited to eat until evening when he was done painting for the day. Michelangelo was so intent on his art that he sometimes went without eating.

According to Fred Plotkin, author of “Italy for the Gourmet Traveler”,

“Michelangelo lived almost 89 years, so he must have done something right in terms of his nutrition. I think that he probably would not be called a gastronome. He liked pears…a lot. His standard gift was to send 33 pears to someone – 33 for the 33 years of the life of Christ. He also had a cheese cellar, and in that cellar he kept several types of sheep’s milk cheese, one of them called marzolino. Marzolino for the month of March. It was only made in March, and he particularly loved that cheese. He had a vineyard and he produced some wine—1503, I discovered, was a good vintage. He produced some olive oil, and he ate bread. And that really was about it. There was not much more. He lived on pears, cheese, oil, wine, and bread. The book, when I do finish it…will really cover Michelangelo in terms of Italy.”

Michelangelo had such a passion for his work that he suffered great fatigue, he recognized his exhaustion yet couldn’t stop, or wouldn’t stop. He wrote to his brother, Buonarroto, and said, “I have not even time to eat as much as I should.”

Plotkin quote source: http://blog.usapears.org/?p=3487

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