Febo di Poggio

For the Dutch fast food chain, see FEBO

Febo di Poggio was an Italian model, with whom the artist Michelangelo had a sexual relationship. Michelangelo called Febo "that little blackmailer." Febo adopted him as his "honorary father" and sought money, clothes and gifts. The relationship lasted through 1533-34, and ended when Michelangelo found out that he had betrayed him.

References in Michelangelo's Poetry

In Michelangelo's poetry G.99, he alludes to Febo as Phoebus and further puns on his surname "del Poggio" which means "of the hill." This is clearly seen in the first stanza:

I truly should, so happy was my lot,
While Phoebus was inflaming all the hill,
Have risen from the earth while I was able,
Using his feathers and thus make my dying sweet.

Furthermore, Michelangelo shows his grief with Febo when he states in the second stanza:

Now he left me. And if he vainly promised
To make me happy days go by less quickly.

The allusion of the bird is further re-iterated in the third stanza or the start of sextet:

His feathers were my wings, his hill my steps,
Phoebus was a lamp for my feet. To die then
Would have been my salvation and pleasure.

Michelangelo was so affected by Febo that he ends the poem with references to classical death:

Now dying without him, my soul won't rise to Heaven.

In the poem G.100, Michelangelo alludes to Poggio as Apollo when he states:

To me Heaven was surely merciless,
Fusing your live beam on two eyes alone,
when, with its rapid and eternal motion,
The journey it gave to you, the light to us[1]


  1. "The Passions of Michelangelo". Rictornorton.co.uk. 2008-06-14. Retrieved 2014-05-14.
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