Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475 - 1564): Study for the figure of Day
Black chalk over some stylus indications on off-white paper, 25.8 x 33.2 cm.
Michelangelo began in 1520 the project of designing a funerary chapel (the ‘New Sacristy’) for the Medici church of S. Lorenzo in Florence to commemorate the Capitani, the brother and nephew of Pope Leo X, and the Magnifici, Lorenzo de’ Medici and his brother Giuliano, the Pope’s father and uncle. The marble figures of Day, Night, Dawn and Dusk which recline in pairs on the lids of the sarcophagi of the Capitani were mainly carved in 1524-25, with Day probably the first figure to be made. This drawing is one of a number of life-studies for this large-scale sculpture, which would have required more preliminary work than a painting. This, like the Ashmolean's other Michelangelo drawings, came to Oxford from Sir Thomas Lawrence's collection, in 1845/6. [Presented by a Body of Subscribers. WA1846.55, PII 309]
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