Rebellious Slave thumbnail 1
Rebellious Slave thumbnail 2
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Cast Courts, Room 46b, The Weston Cast Court

Rebellious Slave

1513 (sculpted), ca. 1863 (cast)
Place of origin

Object details
Object type
Materials and techniques
Plaster cast, painted plaster
Brief description
Plaster cast, painted plaster, after the unfinished marble the Rebellious Slave, by Michelangelo in Florence, Italy, in about 1513 and now in the Musée du Louvre, Paris. Cast by Monsieur Toquière, in Paris, in about 1863.
  • Height: 229cm
  • Width: 82cm
Gallery label
Michelangelo carved six figures of slaves for the tomb of Pope Julius II. The project to create a vast monument was eventually scaled down. Michelangelo gave two of the figures to a Florentine exile in France, who presented them to the king. In 1794 The Rebellious Slave and The Dying Slave (cast displayed nearby) were bought by the French state. They were placed in the Louvre, where they were fundamental to the appreciation and knowledge of Michelangelo's work outside Italy.(2014)
Object history
Purchased from Monsieur Toquiere in 1863 (sum unrecorded)
Historical context
One of a series of six "slaves" executed by Michelangelo for the tomb of Pope Julius II (Pope 1503-13), of which two are now in the Louvre and four are in the Accademia di Belle Arti in Florence. This figure, together with the Dying Slave (V&A cast museum no. 1863-15), was executed for the second project (1513) for the tomb. In this scheme, Michelangelo planned to place them on either side of the Moses (V&A cast museum no. 1858-278). The project was never completed in this form. Around 1546, Michelangelo gave these two statues to Ruberto Strozzi, a Florentine exile in Lyon, who in turn presented them to King Francois I of France. They were given by King Francois I to Conétable Anne de Montmorency and thereafter passed through the hands of several members of the Montmorency and Richelieu families. In 1794, the Rebellious and Dying Slaves were purchased for the French state, and have been preserved in the Musée du Louvre ever since.
Subject depicted
Accession number

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Record createdJune 28, 2000
Record URL
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