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

St Petronius

Marble, height 64 cm with base
San Domenico, Bologna

In 1494 Michelangelo worked on the shrine of St Dominic, for which he carved this statue of St Petronius which echoes Donatello and Jacopo della Quercia. (The companion statue of St Proculus testifies to Michelangelo's studies of Masaccio and Donatello.)

St Petronius, the patron saint of Bologna, holds a simple model of the town in his hands. Deep carving creates the locks of his beard, the eye sockets are rather deep, the arches of the eyebrows throw a strong shadow. Despite a clear standing motif, the shadows thrown by the garments give such an effect of life that it appears as if the saint is about to stride off.