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

Hercules and Cacus

c. 1525
Clay, height 41 cm
Casa Buonarroti, Florence

Only a fragment of this outline for a 5 m high colossus remains in existence. The bozzetto represents either Hercules and Cacus or Samson and the Philistines. It was intended for the Piazza della Signoria as a counterpart for the David. The gonfaloniere of Florence, Pietro Soderini, had commissioned the marble block, which was never to be completed, in 1508 after Michelangelo angrily cut all ties with Julius II. The artist resumed work on this figure in 1525, as demonstrated by this small outline. Bozzetti such as this have been preserved because in Michelangelo's day, the work preceding the finished product began to be appreciated together with the completed work of art.

When Michelangelo the marble block was given to Baccio Bandinelli when Michelangelo was working on the Medici Chapel. From the block Bandinelli produced his Hercules and Cacus which stands now in the Piazza della Signoria in Florence.