Young man crouching, Michelangelo

Young man crouching, Michelangelo
Young man crouching, Michelangelo

Miguel Ángel Buonarroti is one of the best-known artists of all time, admired from the beginning of his career by his contemporaries, the passion for the work of the Italian artist crossed time and borders and even today Today he is considered one of the greatest geniuses that art has bequeathed us. Michelangelo was the prototype of humanist genius, he practiced different artistic disciplines (painting, sculpture, architecture or even poetry) standing out in each and every one of them, his artistic style became a seal of quality that many tried to imitate giving rise to in the well-known miguelangelesque style with muscular and well-studied bodies.

In this sense we can point out how the work of Michelangelo is not strange neither for the experts nor for the less understood in the artistic field –few are the people who today have never heard of the famous David, Pietà or the Vatican frescoes- however, in today's post we present a sculpture by the artist that, while artistically very interesting, is not too well-known to the general public in general, The Young Man squatting.


The Crouching Young Man is a free-standing sculpture or a round bust that is unfinished but even so, the artist's sculptural characteristics are easily recognizable. It is aA piece of white Carrara marble measuring just over half a meter in height in which the artist has represented a young, beardless boy who stops on his way and bends down to remove a thorn from his foot. The boy's stance seems reallycomplicated to represent by bending the knees fullyto reach his foot

The piece belonged to the Medici family until Catherine II of Russia sent the then trusted man, the banker John Bowne, to expand his art collection by buying pieces in Italy, that's when the banker acquired the work by Michelangelo. In reality, it was not until the 20th century when the piece was reliably attributed to the Italian sculptor. It was a German historian who was able to link the sculptural piece with some preparatory drawings of it that were kept in the British Museum in London, thus eliminating any type of of conjecture about the work.

According to these studies the sculptural piece should have been part of the well-known Tombs of the Medici family,the tombs of Lorenzo and Giuliano, located in the Chapel of the Basilica of San Lorenzo. In this way, Michelangelo's work had to acquire a deeper meaning by interpreting it as the soul of an unborn or an unbaptized child waiting in limbo. Some critics have given it a less mystical meaning by referring to a guardian or warrior of the Medici tombs.

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