My most Illustrious and most Excellent Lord.
Virgin of Your dream: with appearance of nude African woman with so many breasts and
the fish of gold in stead of the Divine Infant stays now in front of my eyes.
Such I made her and he will be right who should call me crazy for accepting such kind of work at these running times. I confess that summing the sin of
heresy up the already sad my soul was full of remorse. Vivid I hold the
memory of the day You came into the atelier of Maestro Giovanni to order your
canvas under condition it must be made by the same hands of the pala in
Sancta Maria and the portraits of Brembati couple. The Maestro pointed to
"el Pota": it was me, the man who passed ten years in the Venetian's galleys, condemned
an iniquitous act. You already knew my story, thus You told reservedly to choose me
artistic talent and because who has experimented the prison is used to hold the
secrets. Nobody has heard neither of my work nor of Your Will, besides the faithful servant Amel,
when I kept from her Our Lady's figure, and God who everything watches. Any way it makes me
worry a lot, the words that brother Paul the capuchin said yesterday evening
while encountered Amel in the street, and that she reported me this morning: "black
face of a bitch", twice he offended her as the Inquisitor is used to name those
who adore the nocturnal witch. For this reason I trouble not to think what will
happen when the painting will be placed into a church under the eyes of many people. I
should want to hope this mother of all men, as you titled her in the castle, keeps
the tribunal guards and the menace of stake away from us. I've already seen many of
them around here. But under Your Authority and in the house of Your knight
Nappo I confide the painted canvas and me, we will pass safe these calamitous times.
Since You have paid me in advance and overabundance the price agreed upon the ended
work, I feel in debt not to have yet delivered it. This is to say You it will be of
You in November, as the colors are quasi dried and there are no more additions to
do on. As so You asked me, I put my name on it but on the contrary of You I
am sure that God, as far as great His goodness is, He will never give me the fame
of posterity as a painter more than the homicide, cause of the vice of wine and
passion I was.
I say any more but I kiss the hands of Your Ex.
The faithful servant of Your
nicknamed "el Pota"
Anno Domini 1 September 1544
a letter's corner
in the manuscript.