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


Marble, length: 194 cm
Sagrestia Nuova, San Lorenzo, Florence

The picture shows the figure of Night, a detail of the tomb of Giuliano de' Medici.

The New Sacristy is also of interest because it contains Michelangelo's only two sculptured female nudes. Unlike comparable figures by other artists, they have been conceived without a trace of eroticism, and it is the absence of obvious sexuality that gives these works their uneasy power. Appropriately, the skin of Dawn is sleek and unmarked while the figure of Night has a more aged body, marked by greater experience. A similar, less marked contrast is apparent in the two male figures.