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Michelangelo Sculptures

Rebellious Slave by Michelangelo

Rebellious Slave, which Michelangelo created between 1513 and 1516, is engaged in a far more active struggle than its counterpart.

Michelangelo's Rebellious Slave, Front View
Rebellious Slave by Michelangelo stands 7 feet 1 inch tall
and can be seen in the Musée du Louvre in Paris.

The contrast between Rebellious Slave and Dying Slave skillfully shows human resistance to the chains of bondage and the temptation to submit to the inevitable. Compare also the roughly hewn surfaces of Rebellious Slave to the highly polished finish of Dying Slave.

Michelangelo's Rebellious Slave, Side View
Side view of Michelangelo's Rebellious Slave.

The extraordinarily powerful torso, straining its hulking mass of bone and flesh against bands that tie it back, seems more animal than human. Using sweeping, brushlike strokes made by a three-toothed chisel, Michelangelo created a Rebellious Slave that is lacking the definition of his earlier sculptures and seems instead to express in its coarse surface the very essence of agonized humanity.

Michelangelo started work on several additional slaves for the tomb of Pope Julius II. See the next section of this article to learn about the Crossed-leg Slave.

To learn more about Michelangelo, art history, and other famous artists, see: