Night and Day

Bronze-Clad Bookends After Michelangelo's "Night & Day" Sculptures for Medici Tomb, Florence (LEO Design)

Michelangelo was in high demand.  Just because the Pope had conscripted him for four years to paint the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel (plus another five years to paint The Last Judgement), it did not follow that other rich patrons would surrender their final wish: an impressive, custom-carved, Michelangelo Buonarotti tomb!  Popes, cardinals, bankers and kings stood in-line, waiting for Il Divino to start chiseling.  Michelangelo designed many ambitious (and over-the-top) tombs for his fervent patrons.  Alas, the artist rarely finished many of  his complete original designs.  Nevertheless, just the pieces of tombs which he created are masterpieces—amongst the greatest works of any human hand (ever).  His Pietà—so beautiful it makes the heart race—was carved by the 24 year old artist for the funeral monument of a French cardinal.  Today it is (possibly) the highlight work in Saint Peter's Basilica.

The bronze-clad bookends (shown above) are inspired by Michelangelo's "Night and Day" sculptures the originals which lie atop Giuliano de' Medici's tomb in the Medici Chapel (at the Basilica di San Lorenzo, Florence).  The male—wakeful, alert—is paired with a slumbering woman.  Nearby, the tomb of Giuliano's brother, Lorenzo II, is adorned with another male and female pair of sculptures by Michelangelo: "Dawn and Dusk."

Please click on the photo above to learn more about them.


Though our Greenwich Village store is now permanently closed, LEO Design is still alive and well!  Please visit our on-line store where we continue to sell Handsome Gifts (

We also can be found in Pittsburgh's historic "Strip District" at Mahla & Co. Antiques ( or in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania at The Antique Center of Strabane (

Or call to arrange to visit our Pittsburgh showroom (by private appointment only).  917-446-4248