(b. 1475, Caprese, d. 1564, Roma)
Slave (rebelling)c. 1513
Marble, height 229 cm
Musée du Louvre, Paris
Following the Pope's death in February 1513, Michelangelo signed a second contract with Julius's executors for a reduced version of the tomb to be completed within seven years. This still massive undertaking, which is recorded in documents and drawings, was for a three-sided structure attached to the wall. There were to be six figures on the cornice, while above the contract specified a 'capelletta', a tabernacle, with a sculpted image of the Virgin and Child. For this scheme he began the Moses as well as the figures known as the Dying Slave and the Rebellious Slave (both in Louvre).
The Rebellious Slave was intended for a niche, but now it is exhibited as a free-standing pendant to the Dying Slave. However, the figures were not created as a pair but as elements in a large sequence, a theme with variations potentially as rich as those provided by the ignudi on the Sistine Chapel Ceiling.