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XVIII-XIX century, Personification of the Alabaster Day,

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XVIII-XIX century, Personification of the Alabaster Day,
XVIII-XIX century, Personification of the Alabaster Day,-1
XVIII-XIX century, Personification of the Alabaster Day,-2
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Detailed Description

XVIII-XIX century
Personification of the Day
Alabaster, cm 11,5 x 17,5 x 5 - cm with base 14,5 x 20,8 x 11,7

Il Giorno is a marble sculpture (160x150 cm) that Michelangelo creates between 1526 and 1531 in the New Sacristy in San Lorenzo in Florence. In particular, it is one of the four allegories of the Parts of the Day, and is on the right on the sarcophagus of the tomb of Giuliano de 'Medici, Duke of Nemours. Giuliano de 'Medici, Duke of Nemours, the first character of the Medici family to obtain a noble title, died in 1516 at the age of thirty-seven. Three years later his nephew, the same age Lorenzo, Duke of Urbino, disappeared, extinguishing the legitimate lines of descent of the main branch of the family, with great consternation of Pope Leo X (at the time Giovanni de 'Medici, respectively brother and uncle of the two duchi), who had spent so much for the ascent of his family. In these circumstances the decision was made to entrust Michelangelo with the construction of a princely tomb for the two dead scions, to be inserted in the family church, San Lorenzo in Florence and which later took the name of the New Sacristy. Established to make a twin environment to Brunelleschi's oldest Old Sacristy, it was decided to bury the two "Magnifici", Lorenzo (1492) and Giuliano (1478), respectively father and uncle of the pope, in this new monumental shrine. . The redesign of the New Sacristy started already around 1519, and the works began in 1521. After the interruption for the Pope's death, they resumed in 1524, when the artist, for the new Medici pontiff Clemente VII, definitively established the architectural structure of the complex. The models for the sepulchers of the two "dukes" were prepared that year. The work lasted a long time and Michelangelo arrived at a solution with fewer statues than planned: only three instead of five or seven. The Day was probably begun in 1526, when Lorenzo's tomb was finished and that of Giuliano started. The statue had to be completed after the resumption of the work following the forced break of the siege of Florence and its consequences, being left to a state of showy "unfinished" at the artist's departure for Rome in 1534. The Day is represented as a masculine personification, semidistesa and naked, like the other statues of the series. It had as a model, perhaps, the river divinities of the arch of Septimius Severus, the Torso di Belvedere, of which he resumed the powerful anatomical structure in tension. The installation of the Child in the youthful Madonna della Scala and that of one of the bronze nudes in the vault of the Sistine Chapel were also filmed. It is the only one, among the series of allegories, to give the back to the spectator, in a pose opposite to that of the nearby Night. The left elbow is bent in support, while the right arm stretches backwards to look for something: only the forearm is actually sculpted, while the hand is lost in the not sculpted part. The legs are crossed in the opposite direction to the rotation of the torso and this screwing is also highlighted by the rotation of the head towards the viewer. The bearded face, barely sketched, shows only a mysterious expression, highly evocative and emblematic because of its incompleteness. The work has received numerous interpretations: a political symbol of the rebellion from slavery, or an autobiographical theme of the momentum towards freedom; symbol of Christian light or personification of life; allegory of fire or of the choleric temperament; personification of action, pain, anger, contempt or revenge. The work in question is taken from the famous statue of Michelangelo and is located between the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century at the height of the Grand Tour during which the noble scions went to Italy to explore the beauty and build collections Like those of the famous Charles Townley (1737-1805), who came to Italy four times, he accumulated an incredible quantity of classical works among vases, bronzes and coins, to which was added a vast library with manuscripts and prints. The artist traces the features of the statue without that sense of non-false that pervades Michelangelo's work, and fixes the plastic tension in a noble material such as alabaster, which gives exemplary high quality and preciousness.

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