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Dublin: 24°C Wednesday 10 August 2022

This is what Michelangelo's weekly shop in 1518 looked like

Herring, salami and a fair amount of wine features on the ancient shopping list.


(Image: Casa Buonarroiti)

HAVE YOU EVER wondered what famous Italian artist Michelangelo ate? It might be hard to imagine him abandoning one of his masterpieces to go out and to the weekly shop but this shopping list from a collection of his papers in 1518 show fish, bread and wine were favourites with him.

The shopping list, which comes from the collection of the Florence museum Casa Buonarroti, is accompanied by illustrations that were most likely drawn to help guide Michelangelo’s illiterate assistant while browsing the market.

It’s separated into three days by horizontal lines, and one clever Redditer has translated it to show bread, herring, anchovies, salami and fennel soup were all purchased by the artists. He also intended to buy a good bit of wine.

The 1518 list with ideograms is a part of a collection of Michelangelo’s drawings and loose papers that have toured around America in recent years, from Seattle to Boston. The papers, which range from letters and poems to sketches of his most famous work, offer a glimpse into the daily life of one of the greatest masters in all of art history.

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- Megan Willett with additional reporting by Michelle Hennessy.

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