During the pontificate of the Medici Pope Leo X (1513-1523) Michelangelo was charged with the task of building the Medici Chapel next to San Lorenzo and, in 1524, the Laurentian Library. These plans were interrupted for many years, after the Medici were driven out of Florence in 1526. A task quite new in the history of art was entrusted to Michelangelo when the Medici asked him to build the Laurentian Library. At first this commission was given little opportunity of development, for the year 1526 marked, for the time being at any rate, the end of the Medici rule. Only four years later was the artist able to continue his work. The columns, deeply set in the walls, with their anthropomorphically gigantic appearance, and the organic élan of the staircase show that, even as an architect, Michelangelo never began from abstract geometrical laws, but only from the human body.
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