(b. 1475, Caprese, d. 1564, Roma)

St Matthew

Marble, height 271 cm
Galleria dell'Accademia, Florence

Michelangelo arrived to Florence right after Florence was declared a Republic in 1501 and he spent four years there being busy with commissions (starting with the commission for creating the David). The last commission which he received was a collection of twelve Apostles for the niches of the Choir of the Cathedral. Although we have the drawing for another statue, St Matthew was the only one he managed to complete before the contract was annuled when he moved to Rome in 1505.

The figure of St Matthew is torqued around its central axis, a spasm of movement far different from the quite traditional pose of Michelangelo's David.Even in its unfinished state, Matthew's massive musculature suggests a deep reservoir of pent-up energy and divine inspiration.

Suggested listening (streaming mp3, 8 minutes):
Johann Sebastian Bach: St. Matthew Passion BWV 244 (excerpts)