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

Piccolomini Altar: St Peter

Duomo, Siena

Only after Cardinal Francesco Todeschini-Piccolomini had been pope for a brief period as Pius III, is it likely that any attempts would have been made to complete his tomb, which had been inscribed by Andrea Bregno as early as 1485 and which was also an altar in the form of a triumphal arch. After the building itself was completed in 1485, Michelangelo was commissioned to design four statues, whose execution he shared with Baccio da Montelupo (1469-1535).

Michelangelo's most individual contribution is the figure of St Peter; the intensity of his look and the way he clasps his garment can be seen as a study anticipating the Moses on Julius II's tomb. And the same time it is also clear how far the artist still had to go to reach that stage.

The picture shows St Peter, one of the four niche figures by Michelangelo.