In 1505 Pope Julius II called upon Michelangelo to come to Rome and construct his tomb. Michelangelo was a well known artist at the time and although he was hesitant to take the job, he knew it was a chance for him to built a monument that he hoped would be remembered not only as tomb for a great leader, but as a representation of his genius as a sculpture. Little did he know that it would be a project that would take him over forty 5and Julius II were both men with forceful personalities, big plans, and personal goals which they hoped to accomplish throughout the construction of the tomb . The two men came into conflict over the plans of the tomb and there were many times when the project was suspended because Michelangelo became so frustrated that he returned back to Florence where he wanted to complete the project on his own . Michelangelo worked on many other projects while he continued work on the tomb and it was not completed for over 30 years after the death of Julius II. Today the tomb not only stands as a representation of the change in artistic style of Michelangelo but is also a reflection of the character and sentiment of Michelangelo during the time in which he worked on the Tomb. Figures like that of Moses and the slaves act as a representation of the frustrated sentiment that Michelangelo felt towards the project and its patron. The figures reflect his growth as an artist during the forty years of the tomb and those of Leah and Rachel stand as a representation of the mature sentiment and style that Michelangelo grew into over time. The tomb was no longer a grand monument but a personal battle for Michelangelo who did not finish it for the people, but for himself, as he believed that the “masses were without judgment and always liked that which they should despise and criticize that which is highest of worth” . It is a reflection of his pure sentiment, growth, and inner struggle as an artist during this time. …
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