The rebellious slave

This masterpiece by the sculptor Michelangelo depicts a shackled slave. Because of his twisted body and expression on his face, he is known as the Rebellious Slave. Michelangelo enjoyed sculpting nude bodies to practice getting the muscles just right. Aren’t they impressive here?

Let’s get a little closer. Look at the slave’s left arm, which is very smooth, and compare it with the slave’s neck, face and hair. How would you describe them?

That’s right! On these parts of the body, the sculptor’s work is not done, and you can still see the marks of his tools. The young slave doesn’t even have a right arm! But this is not really an unfinished work. It’s a way to make the sculpture even more striking. Let’s go to the artist’s studio in Florence, Italy, to find out a secret.

Video transcription

Michelangelo Buonarroti



Room 403