Michelangelo built his career on lucrative forgeries, although he went beyond mere imitation. He often borrowed drawings to make copies of them, keeping the original and passing off the copy as the real thing to the owner. In 1496, when he was only 21, he copied the marble sculpture Sleeping Eros. Through an art dealer, Michelangelo sold the fake for a large sum of money to Cardinal Raffaele Riario, a Roman antiquities collector. Instead of becoming angry when he learned of the forgery, Riario became the artist’s first patron.