Michelangelo, beneath it all, was a miser.
That is one conclusion of a recently published book, ”The Wealth of Michelangelo,” by a professor of art history here who found in Renaissance archives a surprising financial profile of unacknowledged wealth and unwarranted thrift.
Although Michelangelo bellyached aplenty about deprivation and has often been cast as somewhat poor, he died in 1564 with the modern equivalent of tens of millions of dollars, according to the professor, Rab Hatfield, an American who teaches at the Syracuse University program in Florence.
That money was not some late-in-life windfall. Professor Hatfield’s research shows that for most of Michelangelo’s nearly 89 years, he was marginally, moderately or massively rich. But he often refused to show it, and often declined to share it.