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Michelangelo and Moses:

Michelangelo Buonarroti
o Born on March 6th 1475 in Caprese a town in Tuscany
o Parents: Lodovico Buonarroti simony the podesta/mayor of
Caprese and Francesca di Neri (who died when he was 6 )
Buonarroti family descended from Florentine nobility;
Michelangelo entrusted to wet nurse in Florence soon after
birth (1mnth)
1485, father remarried
o 13 yr became apprentice in studio of Dommenico and David
Ghirlandaio (fresco painting and sketching)
o 1489 left the brothers studio to enroll in Bertoldo di Giovannis
school of sculpture
o 1490 (15 yrs old) Lorenzo de Medici invited him to live in his
Lived there until April 1492 when Lorenzo died; continue
academic education and exposed to champion of NeoPlatonism Marsilio fico, Girolamo Savonarola, greatest
detractor and religious fanatic
1492 invited back to Medici palace by Piero Medici until
1494 invaded by the French and fled to Venice and Bologna
Returned in 1495 to work at Medici palace
o 1496 moved to Rome; avoid political situation
Stayed until 1501; early Bacchus, and pieta
o 1501 returned to Florence; commissioned to work on marble David
Completed 1504; did not finish other commissions
o 1505 Pope Julius II summoned Michelangelo to Rome to begin
work on his tomb
Original plan: outline of the Christian world
Lower level= man
Middle level= prophets and saints
Top= those surpassing of both former levels in the
Last Judgment.
o Summit = two angels leading the pope out of
his tomb on the day of the Last Judgment.
1506 left Rome for Florence to work on unfinished mural
o Then Bologna: bronze bust of pope
1508 back to Rome to paint ceiling of Sistine Chapel finished 1512
1512 Julius II died, Michelangelo stayed in Rome until 1516 ironing out
contract terms
o Finished sculpture of Moses 1515
8ft tall sitting; enormous, muscular arms and angry intense look
o Carrying tablets of law under arm w/ 10 commandments received
from God on Mt. Sinai

o Not really sitting; left leg pulled back ot the side of his chair; hips
also face left and pull beard right
Torso faces his right; Moses turns his head to left and pulls
o Is he about to rise in anger after seeing the Israelites worshiping
the golden calf?
Horns= mistranslation of Hebrew word of having light of rays
coming out of his head
1516 returned to Florence; work for Pope Leo X; Medici
o Worked on faade of San Lorenzo cathedral
o Worked intermittently on this and Juliuss tomb in Rome until 1520.
1520 to 1524 beginning of Reformation worked for Medici but family fled in
1529 when papal seat of Rome sacked by mercenaries of the Holy Roman
1529 employed by Florentine Republic on fortifications to defend city from
o Fled to Venice b/c of conflict btwn deposed pope clement VII and
Florentine republic
1530 Florence occupied by imperial troops (control of Clement VII)
o Offered immunity to Michelangelo if continued work on Medici
Until 1532
1532 returned to Rome for tomb contract negotiations
1534 Pope Paul III succeeded Clement VII halt construction of tomb of
Julius and begin Last Judgment altarpiece in Sistine chapel in Rome
o Finished 1541
Began work on St. Paul and St. peter frescos for Paul III
Began work on Pope Juliuss tomb
1545 The final tomb is completed and installed in San Pietro in Vincoli
originally intended for St. Peters Basillica

Michelangelos Moses along with

o Leah and Rachel (probably completed by Michelangelo's

assistants) on the lower level by Raffaello da Montelupo
o Several other sculptures (definitely not by Michelangelo) on the
upper level.

Other statues, Dying slave and the rebellious slave not included in
reduced design (completed 1513)
o Now in Louvre

o Others in Florence

Genius of Victory sculpture (1532-1534) now in Palazzo Vecchio in

Florence also not included