Michelangelo, Antonio Begarelli’s art, and the “Deposition from the Cross”
Here is the “Deposition from the Cross”, created by Antonio Begarelli (1499-1565) for the Church of Saint Francis in his hometown, Modena.
A 19th-century art critic claimed that – with this group of thirteen terracotta figures, sculpted between 1530 and 1531 – the artist surpassed his fellow citizen and master Guido Mazzoni (1450-1518) “by a great measure”.
It has also been recorded that Begarelli’s masterpiece was one of the works that impressed Michelangelo, who according to Giorgio Vasari’s biography once stopped in Modena and appreciated the beauty of these beautiful sculptures painted to resemble marble. According to Vasari, since Begarelli was not able to work on marble, Michelangelo exclaimed,
“if this land turned into marble, woe betide the statues of the ancients”.