Edited by Liliana Atz
In light of EnneaMediCina we meet Michelangelo Buonarroti.
“On March 6, 1475 ,Michelangelo Buonarroti, the tormented genius,was born in the small town of Caprese, Arezzo,to Ludovico Buonarroti Simoni and Francesca di Neri del Miniato del Sera .
At the age of six, Michelangelo lost his mother. This family wound coupled with the significant relationship difficulties with his father and family members must have contributed to his antisocial and tormented character. Even as a boy he showed a closed, taciturn, very short-tempered and touchy disposition.
His father was a controlling type who never got along with him.
Michelangelo was a whimsical and sometimes overbearing “Tuscan,” who dared, almost in defiance, to measure himself face to face even with the popes, conscious of his own artistic greatness.
His defiant and insolent temperament cost him the deformed nose that scarred him for life A fellow student, also an artist, who worked as a sculptor at the Medici gardens, one day, tired of Michelangelo’s constant criticism of his works, in a fit of rage, punched him right in the nose, leaving him unconscious on the ground.
At his core, however, he was a man torn by conflicting passions that gave him no respite; lonely, shadowy, he spotted enemies everywhere, with disastrous results in his social relationships.
So much courage, so much self-sacrifice in his work was rooted in an original wound, in a sense of fall and social inferiority that the artist suffered and from which he strenuously wanted to redeem himself. His lineage-the Simoni Buonarroti family-had belonged for centuries to the Florentine ruling class of republican faith, in which bankers and merchants of the major arts converged, but had been in the midst of decadence for a couple of generations.
Throughout his life he would obsessively accumulate wealth, buying land and houses for himself, his father and some siblings, always in Florence, his elected homeland, although he now lived in Rome.
Leading moreover a Franciscan life, devoid of luxuries and even major comforts: bent solely on restoring the lost rank to his lineage. Stingy to the point of absurdity, he became instead prodigal, indeed spendthrift, towards his closest friends, very few in truth, and, above all, towards members of his family who, having lost all wealth, took advantage of him, without any qualms, very lavishly.
He channeled his enormous life energy entirely into creation, at the expense of earthly affections and pleasures.
Misanthropic, except for a platonic relationship with the noble Vittoria Colonna, he never married.
Over time, the artist’s alleged homosexuality has also been speculated, examining various verses he wrote and dedicated to a number of men, starting with Tommaso de’ Cavalieri, the one who was close to him until his death. On this topic, however, no certainty has been found.
His true one great love remained work in all its phases, and he never entrusted anyone with tasks he knew how to do himself-from choosing the marble to transporting it to rough-hewing to final fabrication.
More than other masters of his time he had to “turn up his nose” to serve patrons whose political and religious ideals he did not share.
The hard labors to which he subjected his body also had serious repercussions for his health, but he never wanted doctors around him.
And he would forget to eat and sleep for weeks on end when he was in the throes of his creative flair. No one could contradict him in his foibles; if it happened, he would start ranting that everyone was cheating him, and that no one could be given credit.
The brilliant artist died in Rome on February 17, 1564. Before closing his eyes, he wanted to dictate to the few people present his will. He said simply, “I leave my soul to God, my body to the earth, my stuff to my nearest relatives.”(1)(2)(3)(4)(5)
The complex personality of this artist brings one back to Enneatype One of the Enneagram, referred to as the Idealist, characterized by the passion Ira and the fixation on Perfectionism.
This child in childhood was deprived of the possibility of “being a child,” with strict rules and emotional blackmail, accompanied by little personal recognition, conditioning his possibility of free expression of vitality. Emotional frustration was the obvious consequence. The child’s sensitivity to his parents, his need for love, approval and consideration, soon turned into this character type’s willingness to solve problems for them.
The inability to achieve perfection (cognitive fixation) makes him feel guilty for not living up to situations and also fuels his anger (passion), which this type externalizes in the form of impatience, frustration, annoyance, judgmental criticism, toward the imperfections of people and the world. Anger that, the social subtype, for “just cause” allows itself to express.
He tends to correct others by appealing to the correctness of his view of things. Fearing his own unfitness and corruption, he fights to combat the wickedness, corruption and faults of others; thus in the face of infractions he can finally manifest his “righteous anger.”
For this character, wary of levity and pleasure, a controlled affectivity, a real passion for rules, and rigid behavior are evidenced. His strong morality leads him to always act for what “should be done,” ignoring his own deepest desires
Regarding health, a psychoanalytic study of Michelangelo’s life leads back to his works, poems and letters, where he himself tells of his own depressive despondency and leading a joyless life.
Besides that Michelangelo suffered from osteoarthritis in his hands, gout and kidney stones.
For the EnneaSymbolic interpretation of the character click here