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

Genius of Victory

Marble, height 261 cm
Palazzo Vecchio, Florence

It is uncertain whether the statue was planned as part of the tomb of Julius II. The strong manneristic features (exaggerated contortions and complex movements) link this figure to the Slaves, executed for the version of the tomb designed in 1532. The figure of the conquered barbarian fighter is unfinished.

The Victory group has been dated at various times between 1519 and 1530, and its purpose is obscure. The youth kneeling on the body of the bearded old man wears a wreath of oak leaves, and this detail strongly suggests that it is another abandoned work for the Julius tomb. As a model, the Victory had a powerful effect in Florence, where younger sculptors including Vincenzio Danti and Giambologna produced variants. Combining helical motion with a pyramidal construction, the group has been regarded as the epitome of the figura serpentinata.