In 1503, Julius II became Pope of the Roman Catholic Church. He immediately began a building program to beautify the Vatican. In 1509, he commissioned Michelangelo to paint the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. Michelangelo reluctantly agreed to paint the fresco, though he insisted he was a sculptor only.
Shortly afterward, the Pope commissioned Raphael to paint the frescos in the papal study. Raphael was eight years younger than Michelangelo and had become a master painter at age seventeen. At age twenty, he moved to Florence and for four years studied under Leonardo Da Vinci, Michelangelo, and others.
During the work at the Vatican, a rivalry erupted between Michelangelo and Raphael. Michelangelo later said of Raphael, "All that he ever knew of art he learned from me." That was not quite true, although Michelangelo did help in Raphael’s development as an artist. Michelangelo envied the easier work given to Raphael and the kind treatment Julius showed him. Raphael was envious that Michelangelo had received the most honored spot to paint, and he had to settle for a lesser area.
Their envy toward one another degenerated until they refused to speak to one another. And all of this took place while they were supposed to be working "for the glory of God."
(From a sermon by Terry Blankenship, The Woe Everyone Knows, 5/29/2012)
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