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Albrecht Dürer

The midnight hour had come and gone in Rome, but Michelangelo was still awake and hard at work on a painting in his studio. Though it was late, a stranger from a German-speaking province entered and said, "Let me be your servant." The famous painter declined.

But the stranger insisted and proceeded to describe in an articulate manner the picture that Michelangelo was painting. In the end, the painter offered the stranger a position as a colour grinder. With that, Michelangelo decided to retire for the night and left the man in the studio alone.


When the painter returned the next day the stranger had gone. Michelangelo stepped up to the painting and brushed off a fly that was on the forehead of one of the angels. He stepped back to look at the painting from a different angle and saw that the fly had returned. Michelangelo swatted the fly more forcefully, but it remained on the picture. "What a stubborn insect!" When he tried yet a third time to remove the offender he recognised that the fly was not real but actually had been painted on the forehead of his angel.

So deceptive was the image that it appeared the fly would take flight at any second! It truly was a masterpiece. He exclaimed, "The only one who could have painted this is the devil or Albrecht Dürer!" But Dürer was already long gone.

Rome now lay behind him in the glow of the morning sun that had gently dispelled the night in which the most famous painter in Germany encountered the most famous artist in Italy. Dürer made his way home, singing as he approached his home town of Nuremberg, where three black ravens awaited his return on the chimney of his house.

The house of the great painter Albrecht Dürer (1471 - 1528) is situated in "Tiergärtnertorplatz" near the castle. The smallish fly and Dürer´s "Hare" is in room 33.