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

Slave (bearded)

Marble, height 248 cm
Galleria dell'Accademia, Florence

While a certain massiveness characterizes all figures devised for the Julian monument, two in particular, the Bearded Slave and the Awakening Slave, with their grosser proportions, may appear to anticipate the ideal of heroic masculinity that appears in the later frescoes. This view is mistaken. In part the effect is created by Michelangelo's distinctive interpretation of the heavy muscularity that conventionally characterizes older men in antique statuary; in part it perhaps arises because some sections were only roughed out.