How to Change a Critic’s

When Michelangelo was putting the finishing touches on his “David” masterpiece, his patron, Piero Soderini, was standing by and gave it great praise. However, noted Soderini, the nose of the statue was too large. 

Michelangelo noticed that the patron was standing directly beneath the colossal statue and couldn’t possibly see the sculpture properly. Rather than argue the point, the artist climbed up the scaffolding, armed with his chisel and a handful of marble dust he’d grabbed. Once he reached the nose, Michelangelo began to tap his chisel lightly and delicately sprinkled the marble dust a little at a time—pretending to work but all the while making no change to the nose at all. 

Finally, Michelangelo called down to Soderini. “Look at it now!” 

“I like it better,” replied the satisfied patron. “You’ve made it come alive.”

November 2008 Newsletter