Michelangelo’s Illustrated Grocery List

Michelangelo had to illustrate his grocery list, because his servants were illiterate.

Michelangelo's illustrated grocery list. (Photo: © Casa Buonarroti)
Michelangelo’s illustrated grocery list. (Photo: © Casa Buonarroti)

What’s on the agenda today? Hmm, influence the development of Western art, maybe paint the Sistine Chapel… buy eggs.

Actually, Michelangelo sent someone to buy his groceries, but, because that servant was illiterate, he had to draw each and every item—hence the beautifully illustrated grocery list above.

The master architect, sculptor, painter and more requested “fish, bread, two fennel soups, a herring (un aringa), anchovies and wine (€œun bocal di vino€).” Sounds like a healthy Mediterranean spread. Maybe, the Michelangelo Diet, a herring-heavy regimen, will be a thing now.

The list is archived at the Casa Buonarroti museum in Florence, and was brought to our attention by Open Culture with translation via MSN.

Michelangelo’s Illustrated Grocery List