Tommaso de' Cavalieri

Michelangelo met Tommaso de' Cavalieri 1532 in Rome. He wrote him flaming love declarations which pretty embarrassed Cavalieri. He felt he wasn't worthy to be adored by the greatest Italian artist of his time. But Cavalieri was worth it as three contemporary biographers - Varchi, Condivi and Vasari - stressed. Because "with him united unmatchable physical beauty with the grace of moral, a noble mind and such an amiable manner, that he was worthy to be loved the more you know him." Cavalieri remained faithful until Michelangelo's final hour, where he was present. He was the one and only man who had influence on Michelangelo. Michelangelo's friendship was like an insane love. He wrote Cavalieri enraptured letters. He made him big presents - mostly drawings and sonnets. Some of them were quoted soon in literary circles and were known in whole Italy:

"Mit deinen schönen Augen schaue ich
Ein holdes Licht, das, blind, ich selbst nicht sehe.
Wenn lahm ich unter einer Last vergehe,
Mit deinen Füßen trägt ganz leicht sie sich,

Mit deinen Flügeln unbeschwingt flieg ich.
Dein Geist hebt stets mich zu des Himmels Höhe.
Bleich werd ich, rot, willst du, daß es geschehe,
Frier in der Sonne, Frost erwärmet mich.

Dein Willen schließt den meinen völlig ein.
Aus deinem Herzen all mein Sinnen sprießt.
Aus deinem Atem meine Worte quellen.
Dem Monde gleich ich wohl für mich allein,
Der sich dem Blick am Himmel nur erschließt,
Soweit der Sonne Strahlen ihn erhellen."

With your fair eyes a charming light I see,
Stayed by your feet, the burden I sustain
Which my lame feet find all too strong for me;
Wingless upon your pinions forth I fly;

Heavenward your spirit stirreth me to strain;
E'en as you will, I blush and blanch again,
Freeze in the sun, burn 'neath a frosty sky.
Your will includes and is the lord of mien;

Life to my thoughts within your heart is given;
My words begin to breathe upon your breath:
Like to the moon am I, that cannot shine
Alone; for, lo! our eyes see naught in heaven
Save what the living sun illumineth.