(portrait housed in Musée Bonnat of Bayonne, Aquitaine, France, year unkown)
Tommaso dé Cavalieri, Tommaso Dei Cavalieri: Born circa 1509 (Rome, Italy) - Died circa 1587; Nobleman, muse of Michelangelo Buonarotti
So little is known of the young man who became the object of such legendary affection. Tommaso was sole possessor of intimate art pieces present-day scholars refer to as Michelangelo’s “presentation drawings” as well as hundreds of dedicated love sonnets and poems penned by the master of all arts himself.
Some findings have denoted Tommaso to be as young as 12 when meeting Michelangelo for the first time in 1532 in Rome. However, if mathematics serve to the accuracy of Tommaso’s birth year, the leading evidence proves he would have been 23 years old and Michelangelo 57 years old.
While there is no conclusive evidence of ever reciprocating Michelangelo’s affection (some articles claim Tommaso distanced himself due to anxiety caused by Michelangelo’s all-consuming infatuation), Tommaso remained friends with Michelangelo until the artist’s death.
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