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

Project for a Wall Tomb for Pope Julius II

1512-13
Pen and brown ink, light-brown wash over black chalk, 510 x 319 mm
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

This drawing shows one of the unrealised projects for the tomb of Pope Julius II. The three-part wall tomb features two niches on the base in which sculptures of Caritas and Fides are installed. In the relief panel in the centre, people are gathering acorns falling from an oak tree, the emblem of the pope's coat of arms. On the flanking sides of the tomb two other figures standing in niches are visible. The centre panel is occupied by two seated figures at the side, possibly a prophet and a sibyl, while in the zone above them two angels are offering holy water or incense. In the semicircular niche the body of the pope is seen lying on a coffin. Supported by two angels, he is being presented to the Mother of God and the infant Jesus. Step by step a transition takes place from the earthly realm of the base to the heavenly sphere, where the soul of the deceased is granted admission.




© Web Gallery of Art, created by Emil Krén and Daniel Marx.