The Sleeping Cupid,_giove,_national_gallery_di_londra,_forse_copia_del_cupido_di_michelangelo.jpg

A young Michelangelo once aged a sculpture artificially to bring a higher price. He began working on a sleeping cupid in 1495, at age 20, apparently inspired by a sculpture in the Medici Gardens. At the advice of Lorenzo di Pierfrancesco he aged it falsely to resemble an antique and then passed it on to a dealer, who sold it to Cardinal Riario of San Giorgio. Riario erupted when he discovered the artifice, and Michelangelo offered to take back the sculpture, but the dealer wouldn’t hear of it, and Michelangelo ultimately kept his share of the money.

The work has since been lost, but it helped to establish the artist’s reputation and first brought him to the notice of patrons in Rome.