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Hellenistic sculpture Laocoön and His Sons, or Laocoön Group represented, in condensed form, all the aesthetic properties that Michelangelo was striving to create in the Italian renaissance context. The original attribution by the Roman author Pliny the Elder is that it was the collaborative project of three sculptors from the island of Rhodes, namely Agesander, Athenodorus and Polydorus, and probably dates from around 42 - 20 BC. It was found in 1516, in Rome, near the town of Nero's Domus Aurea or the Golden House. This sculpture is housed in the Vatican Museum in Rome.

The sculpture Laocoön and His Sons, also called the Laocoön Group, was unearthed in a vineyard on the Esquiline Hill near Roman Emperor Nero's Domus Aurea complex and the Colosseum in 1506. This discovery made a great impression on Italian artists and continued to influence Italian art into the Baroque period. 31-year old Michelangelo, who was working for newly elected Pope Julius II, and his arch-rival Giuliano da Sangallo were called in to take a look and give their opinion. The young Michelangelo immediately recognized and admired the quality of the sculpture convincing Pope Julius II to buy it for the expanding Papal art collection.

Ponedeljak, 31 Maj 2021 11:05

Dying Slave by Michelangelo

The statue of the Dying Slave is one of six statues of slaves sculpted by Michelangelo for the tomb of Pope Julius II between 1513 and 1516. In 1546, Michelangelo gave this statue along with its companion statue, the Rebellious Slave, to Ruberto Strozzi, who in turn presented them to King François I of France. In 1794, the Rebellious and Dying Slaves were purchased for the French state, and have been preserved in the Museum Louvre in Paris ever since.

Subota, 29 Maj 2021 10:41

Rebellious Slave by Michelangelo

In 1506 Pope Julius II invited Michelangelo to Rome and gave him the task of drafting and constructing his tomb. For the tomb, Michelangelo also worked on a group of statues from 1513 to 1536. initially titled Prisoners, renamed the "slaves" only in the 19th century. He sculpted the most famous pair of slaves between 1513 and 1516. commonly referred to as the Rebellious Slave and the Dying Slave due to their respective revealing demeanors. The other four slaves were only partially carved by Michelangelo and still trapped in a block of marble. The Rebellious Slave was intended for a niche, but now it is exhibited as a free-standing pendant to the Dying Slave in the Louvre Museum in Paris.

Auguste Rodin himself wrote about his intention to use a heroic figure à la Michelangelo to represent Thinking as well as Poetry: "The Thinker has a story. In the days long gone by I conceived the idea of The Gates of Hell. Before the door, seated on the rock, Dante thinking of the plan of the poem behind him... all the characters from The Divine Comedy. This project was not realized. Thin ascetic Dante in his straight robe separated from all the rest would have been without meaning. Guided by my first inspiration I conceived another thinker, a naked man, seated on a rock, his fist against his teeth, he dreams. The fertile thought slowly elaborates itself within his brain. He is no longer a dreamer, he is a creator."

One of Auguste Rodin's most famous works, Le Penseur, or The Thinker was intended to be a part of Rodin's The Gates of Hell and represent an early Italian Renaissance poet Dante Alighieri pondering The Divine Comedy, his epic story of Paradise and Inferno. However, in 1889 Rodin exhibited the sculpture independently of The Gates, giving it the title The Thinker, and in 1902 he embarked on this larger version. Sculpture The Thinker exists in many marble and bronze editions in several sizes were which were executed in Rodin's lifetime and after. The most famous version is the bronze statue cast in 1904 that sits in the gardens of the Rodin Museum in Paris.

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