It would seem that a dreadful mistake was made.

Cellini once told the tale of how Michelangelo’s nose came to be broken, a tale he heard from the man who did it – Pietro Torrigiani. Alas, it seems he jumped to a large conclusion… When Torrigiani said he had to flee Florence afterwards for fear of what the ruler, Lorenzo de’ Medici might do to him, Cellini¬†assumed he meant Lorenzo the Magnificent. Alas, no. He meant Lorenzo the Magnificent’s grandson, also called Lorenzo, and also ruler of Florence, but a generation later.

As a result, 500 years of art historians have assumed that the nose was flat from 1492 on, and never thought to look for perfect-nosed Michelangelos between the ages of 17 (his age in 1492), and 41 (his age in 1516, when it really happened). So we missed a great many treats… something that at last can be put right! Here is Michelangelo’s nose, then, in all its glory, both before and after, and both flattened – and flattered!!