What key figure is located on the tomb of Pope Julius II?  http://www.michelangelo.com/buon/bio-index2.html

What key figure is located on the tomb of Pope Julius II?



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shakespeareguru eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Pope Julius II was an extremely powerful man, and Michelangeo did his famous work on the Sistine Chapel for him.  Pope Julius was considered a taskmaster and ruthless in his ambition.  The link that you provide above, www.michelangelo.com, describes the Pope this way:

His papacy saw not only intense political, social, and military activity, but also some major artistic commissions, which directly affected the urban fabric of Rome. In his role as a patron, Julius II showed an extraordinary audacity and assurance in the choice of the artistic talents to whom he turned: Bramante and Michelangelo, Raphael and the Sangallos, Peruzzi and Bramantino, Sodoma and Lorenzo Lotto were among the many artists who worked for him.

Michelangelo, being a Catholic, really had no choice but to create art for the Pope, and one of things the Pope commissioned him to create was his tomb.  The tomb was intended by Julius to be ostentatious and costly.  However, the Pope found himself short of funds for the tomb, and this was when Michelangelo went to work on the Sistine Chapel.  When that was complete, he returned to a bit of a scaled-back tomb project.

The central figure, about which you ask is a depiction of Moses. The Moses figure is striking in its muscularity -- a signature of the figures created by Michelangelo.  It also wears two "horns," a curious addition until you realize that "rays of light" was translated from the bible into Italian erroneously as "horns."  Moses, since the creation of this horned sculpture, is often depicted with horns.

For more on Michelangelo and Pope Julius II, please consult the Enotes links below, as well as the informative site that you link above.