The statue of Giuliano de’ Medici, created by Michelangelo between 1526-34, is part of the Medici Chapel in San Lorenzo, Florence. An idealised portrait of Giuliano de’ Medici, uncle of the younger Lorenzo, the statue depicts him as a heroic figure dressed in classical attire.
Giuliano de’ Medici was the youngest son of Lorenzo the Magnificent and co-ruled Florence with his brother before he was assassinated in the Pazzi conspiracy. Michelangelo learned sculpture from Bertoldo di Giovanni, who linked him to Donatello’s tradition. The resulting statue shows Michelangelo’s mastery of classicism and Hellenistic sculpture style.
Michelangelo not only sculpted Giuliano’s statue but also created his tomb in 1533 as part of his transformation into Mannerism style. This period marked his transition away from Renaissance art towards a more complex and ambitious artistic expression. His later years saw Michelangelo moving towards architecture while experimenting with more unconventional styles.
While Michelangelo’s Night is now on display on the lid of Giuliano de’ Medici’s sarcophagus, his famous Pietà can be seen in St Peter’s Basilica located within Vatican City. Furthermore, there is a bust attributed to Valerio Cioli and based on Michelangelo’s design that portrays Guiliano situated at Washington DC’s National Gallery Of Art.