Alongside his buxom companion, “Day” rests also atop the tomb of Giuliano de’ Medici, Duke of Nemours. Carved by Michelangelo between 1526 and 1531, this muscular, male nude has been described “as intensely alert as a recumbent form can be.”
“Day” and “Night” are but two of seven sculptures by Michelangelo to be found in the Medici Chapel. While “Day and Night” commemorate Giuliano, his nephew Lorenzo de’ Medici’s tomb is nearby, topped by another male and female pair: “Dawn and Dusk.” These four sculptures symbolize four stages of man’s life: “Dawn” is his youth; “Dusk” is his old age; “Day” represents his life on Earth; and “Night” symbolizes his death and afterlife. Additionally, three other sculptures—including a Madonna and Child—can be found in the chapel, in various stages of completion. They were intended for the grandest tomb of all, that of grand patron Lorenzo the Magnificent. Alas, when Michelangelo left for Rome in 1533, he never returned to complete the project. Papal commissions, like “The Last Judgement” in the Sistine Chapel, diverted him and kept him from returning to his hometown. Nevertheless, he left behind a fairly-complete work or art: a grand mausoleum for a grand family—one in which Michelangelo was responsible for the architecture, design and the sculpture. It is truly a feast for any lover of Michelangelo.
The American bronze-clad bookends above, made by Armor Bronze in the 1920’s, radiate just a touch of the original’s glory. Nevertheless, they would add a bit of Renaissance grandeur to any study, library or office. Please click on the photo above to learn more about them.
LEO Design's Greenwich Village store is now permanently closed. While we contemplate our next shop location, please visit our on-line store which continues to operate (www.LEOdesignNYC.com).
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