Michelangelo Sketch Turns Up at Vatican

Long-lost drawing is detailed plan for St. Peter's Basilica
By Zach Samalin,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 7, 2007 4:25 PM CST
View from the dome of St. Peter's.   (
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(Newser) – A red chalk drawing, possibly Michelangelo's last before his death at 88, has been found in a Vatican archive after nearly 500 years. The sketch is a plan for the dome of St. Peter's Basilica, which Michelangelo was put in charge of in 1546, the BBC reports. A researcher "happened upon this little sketch, which he believes is by the hand of Michelangelo," the head of the archives told the AP.

"The sureness in the stroke, the expert hand used to making decisions in front of unfinished stone leave little doubt, it is Michelangelo's," the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano reports. Towards the end of his life, the artist destroyed many of his plans; this one is thought to have survived as a piece of scrap paper for a construction supervisor, who made notes on the back.