Portrait of Michelangelo by Daniele da Volterra
"Your sacred Majesty, I am surprised and astonished that Your Majesty has deigned to write to the likes of me and, what is more, to ask me for something that can never be adequate to the dignity of your name. Your Majesty must know that I have always sought to serve you as opportunity allowed. But I am old and fully burdened with commissions from the Pope. However, should I have any time left, I would gladly use my efforts to create a work in marble or bronze or a painting for your Majesty. And should death thwart this desire, I will not fail, if one is permitted to sculpt or paint in the next world, to serve your Majesty where none grows old."
Michelangelo to Francis I, April 1546