When Michelangelo was an old man, all the the younger artists worshipped him. If they had ever even talked to him they bragged about it. Benvenuto Cellini came up with this letter and put it proudly in his Autobiography.
Benvenuto Cellini’s statue of Perseus, in Florence, Italy (Photo released into the public domain by its author, Jrousso at wikipedia)
Since he never produced the original, and he was known to fib, many people doubt its authenticity.
I’ve recognized you for many years as the greatest goldsmith of whom we have ever heard, and now I shall recognize you equally as a sculptor. I must tell you that Messer Bindo Altoviti took me to see a portrait head of his in bronze and he told me that it was by your hand. It pleased me very much, but I only regret that it had been placed in a bad light, because if it had been given its proper light, it would be seen to be the beautiful work it is.
Here is the bust of Altoviti Michelangelo is writing about. It is easy to see how its simplicity COULD please Michelangelo, especially as a surprise after he had heard it was by Cellini, who usually covered everything with decoration. Pity about that lion.
Bindo Altoviti, 1549, by Benvenuto Cellini
Bronze, 105.4 cm high. See enlarged version here