Infinitely greater as a designer was Alfred Stevens, whose influence on English craftsmen might be regarded as almost comparable to that of Michelangelo on that of his Italian contemporaries.
Here he took a house and after a while entered upon his own characteristic style of art, that of battle-painting, in which he has been accounted to excel all other old masters; his merits were cordially recognized by the celebrated Cerquozzi, named Michelangelo delle Battaglie.
Its church of St Pierre (14th and 15th centuries) contains a skilfully-carved effigy in white stone of a half-decayed corpse, the work of Ligier Richier (1500-1572), a pupil of Michelangelo - erected to the memory of Rene de Chalons (d.
Raphael, Michelangelo and Pinturicchio all worked for him, and a curious contrast, characteristic of the age, is afforded by the fact that a family so steeped in vice and crime could take pleasure in the most exquisite works of art.
His principal architect was Domenico Fontana, who, in conjunction with Guglielmo della Porta, completed the uniquely beautiful cupola of St Peter's which had already been designed by Michelangelo in a detailed model.
To the young Michelangelo was presently entrusted a rival battle-piece to be painted on another wall of the same apartment; he chose, as is well known, a surprise of the Florentine forces in the act of bathing near Pisa.
A body called the Nove della Milizia, of whom Michelangelo Buonarroti was a member, was charged with the defence of the city, and Michelangelo (q.v.) himself superintended the strengthening of the fortifications.
The Opera del Duomo contains models and pieces of sculpture connected with the cathedral; the Etruscan and Egyptian museum, the gallery of tapestries, the Michelangelo museum, the museum of natural history and other collections are all important in different ways.
The pope, travelling by way of Florence and discussing there the great new scheme of the Laurentian library, entertained the idea of giving the commission to Leonardo; but Michelangelo came in hot haste from Rome and succeeded in securing it for himself.
In 1547 Michelangelo was further entrusted with the superintendence of the reconstruction of St Peter's.