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Video transcript

Grenn musee de louvre and we're looking at Michael Angelo's two slaves these were originally intended for Pope Julius the second tomb and they date from 1513 to 1516 commissioned Michelangelo to sculpt his tomb the original plans were for very elaborate tomb with more than 40 figures Michelangelo was pulled off to paint the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel then the tomb was redesigned and there were three figures made for this next version of the tomb the two slaves that we see here together with Moses who is actually on the current version of the tomb which is in San Pedro and vinkle II in Rome these two figures were not needed for that final version and so here they are in the Louvre immediately I start to try to imagine what these figures would look like with the Moses which is this extraordinarily powerful figure but interestingly is seated whereas these figures aren't ineffectual and yet they're standing there vertical the figure known as the dying slave and of course these aren't titles that Michelangelo gave right they're later attributed to fired is a very internalized figure his eyes are closed he seems to be in a trance-like state he seems to be in another place compared to the figure known as the bound slave that struggles against the ties that bind him and seems to look upward toward God there's a Neoplatonic interpretation of these figures struggling to be free from the earthly realm and struggling to be one with God he does allow those figures to remain bound to the stone bound to the rock and this is a really interesting aspect of Michelangelo's sculpture he's willing to allow the raw stone to remain visible and michelangelo talked about how when he looked at a block of marble he saw a figure struggling to be free from within that marble the figure of the bound slave is bound up in himself his body is really twisted in a serpentine position that's different from the it's also that his actual Anatomy is heavier his muscles are larger he's a more mature figure that makes that yearning to transcend even more powerful if you look at the muscles of the arms they're not as athletically perfect his proportions are wider they are and he's actually distorting his own body you know the way that that arm that you mentioned just a moment ago actually presses against his side actually sort of pushes it out and creates a kind of distortion and faces wider it's more unfinished and the head moves in a most painful way up and back in the opposite way that the shoulders move and then the shoulders move in the opposite direction of the hips if you think about how expressive the body becomes under Michelangelo this is the best example looking at these sculptures for just a moment you forget even though there's raw stones still attached to them you begin to forget very quickly that this is something that was once a block of marble yeah