Tomb of Pope Julius II
by MICHELANGELO

When, by the will of Pope Julius della Rovere (1503-13), Michelangelo went to Rome in 1505, the Pope commissioned him to build in the course of five years a tomb for the Pope. Forty life-sized statues were to surround the tomb which was to be 7 meter wide, 11 meter deep and 8 meter high; it was to be a free-standing tomb and to contain an oval funerary cell. Never, since classical times, had anything like this, in the West, been built for one man alone.

According to the iconographic plan, which we are able to reconstruct from written sources, this was to be an outline of the Christian world: the lower level was dedicated to man, the middle level to the prophets and saints, and the top level to the surpassing of both former levels in the Last Judgement. At the summit of the monument, there was to have been a portrayal of two angels leading the Pope out of his tomb on the day of the Last Judgement.

Michelangelo immediately began his preparations for this task, but the capricious Pope, in doubt of finding an appropriate place in which to erect his tomb, planned something even more grandiose: the restoration and remodelling of St Peter's. Thus Michelangelo was ordered to make other commissions, first in Bologna then in Rome, the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.

After the death of the Pope in 1513 Michelangelo and the Pope's heirs reached a new agreement concerning the tomb. It was decided that the tomb was to be smaller and placed against a wall. After several further changes and simplifications the tomb was finally set up in San Pietro in Vincoli in Rome in 1545.

The slaves (four in Florence and two in Paris) were intended to the lower level, while the Moses for the middle level.

Preview Picture Data File Info Comment
Tomb of Julius II
1545
Marble
San Pietro in Vincoli, Rome

1100*1288
True Color
238 Kb



Moses
1515
Marble, height 235 cm
San Pietro in Vincoli, Rome

654*950
True Color
108 Kb



Moses (detail)
1515
Marble
San Pietro in Vincoli, Rome

831*1100
True Color
99 Kb



Rachel and Leah
1545
Marble, height 197 and 209 cm, respectively
San Pietro in Vincoli, Rome

1100*1321
True Color
220 Kb



Slave (Atlas)
1519-36
Marble, height 208 cm
Galleria dell'Accademia, Florence

596*1332
True Color
81 Kb



Slave (Atlas)
1519-36
Marble, height 208 cm
Galleria dell'Accademia, Florence

810*1165
True Color
84 Kb



Slave (bearded)
1519-36
Marble, height 248 cm
Galleria dell'Accademia, Florence

592*1500
True Color
100 Kb



Slave (awakening)
1519-36
Marble, height 267 cm
Galleria dell'Accademia, Florence

625*1346
True Color
97 Kb



Slave (awakening)
1519-36
Marble, height 267 cm
Galleria dell'Accademia, Florence

807*1165
True Color
85 Kb



Slave (young)
1519-36
Marble, height 235 cm
Galleria dell'Accademia, Florence

600*1326
True Color
63 Kb



Slave (young)
1519-36
Marble, height 235 cm
Galleria dell'Accademia, Florence

500*909
True Color
26 Kb



Slave (dying)
c. 1513
Marble, height 229 cm
Musée du Louvre, Paris

1000*1762
True Color
151 Kb



Slave (dying)
c. 1513
Marble, height 229 cm
Musée du Louvre, Paris

405*1119
True Color
45 Kb



Slave (dying)
c. 1513
Marble, height 229 cm
Musée du Louvre, Paris

900*1267
True Color
86 Kb



Slave (dying), detail
c. 1513
Marble
Musée du Louvre, Paris

720*1041
True Color
78 Kb



Slave (rebelling)
c. 1513
Marble, height 229 cm
Musée du Louvre, Paris

1000*1750
True Color
152 Kb



Slave (rebelling)
c. 1513
Marble, height 229 cm
Musée du Louvre, Paris

700*1759
True Color
117 Kb



Tomb of Julius II
-
Drawing
Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence

923*750
True Color
147 Kb




Summary of works by Michelangelo
Sculptures | Paintings | Sistine Chapel | Drawings | Architecture
Sculptures
-1501 | 1502- | David | Julius II's Tomb | Medici Tomb | Pietàs
Sistine Chapel
Last Judgment | Genesis | Prophets | Sibyls | Ignudi
Spandrels | Lunettes | Triangles | Medallions