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


Marble, height 209 cm
San Pietro in Vincoli, Rome

In 1542 a fifth, and final, contract for the Julius tomb was drawn up, and three years later an unsatisfactory monument was erected in San Pietro in Vincoli. It was the end of the 'tragedy of the tomb'. Only three of the statues, the Moses, Rachel and Leah, were carved by Michelangelo himself.

Rachel and Leah were conceived possibly at different times. They also show inconsistencies: Rachel is noticeably shorter than Leah and has a rectangular rather than a rounded base. It is clear, however, that they represent allegories of the Contemplative Life and the Active Life respectively.