Historicizing Michelangelo's Medici Chapel: The Medici and the Republic of Florence
Dugan, Maureen Kimble
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This thesis examines closely the republican imagery in the Medici Chapel in relation to the tradition of Medici patronage and Florentine Medici affairs in the tumultuous period leading up to the republic's dissolve in 1532. It argues that imagery is present that represents both the legacy of the republic and the Medici, but that since the interests of the republic and the Medici conflicted in the period in which the Chapel was designed, Michelangelo preferred to leave the Chapel’s content ambiguous instead of finalizing the representations. Rather than calling the Medici Chapel unfinished, my research suggests that finishing the Chapel would have jeopardized its significance to the conflict between the republic and the Medici.