A Painter’s Final Feud

I have spent a whole lifetime mastering my craft
Medici, why pit me against this amateur dolt?
My studio is filled with fastidious drafts
I have spent a whole lifetime mastering my craft
To compare me to Piombo is really quite daft
For each of his strokes stem from haphazard jolts
I have spent a whole lifetime mastering my craft
Medici, why pit me against this amateur dolt?

 

Notes:

Today’s prompt was to write a triolet, an eight liner dating back to 13th century France. The theme of this poem was inspired by James Hankins review published in the WSJ last Friday. It’s about Transfiguration, the last painting produced by Renaissance artist, Raphael. In 1516, Cardinal Guilio de Medici, the cousin of Pope Leo X commissioned both Raphael and Sebastiano del Piombo to produce altarpieces for the cathedral in Narbonne, France. Raphael was a far more distinguished painter than Piombo, so the contest was likely a blow to his dignity. Piombo finished his piece by the end of 1519, which was displayed in the Vatican where it garnered a lot of praise. Having to defend his reputation, Raphael scrambled to add finishing touches on Transfiguration, but caught a fever and died on Good Friday in 1520. Even so, Transfiguration went on to become the most famous oil painting in the world for centuries to follow. This one is from Raphael’s perspective upon commission in 1516 – in my head I imagined him as pissed off and slightly arrogant, but who knows if that was actually the case.

 

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