“ANGEL WITH CANDLESTICK” or “ANGEL WITH CHANDELIER”
On Gianfrancesco's recommendation Michelangelo was given the task of carving three statuettes for one of Bologna's most famous artistic monuments, the Tomb of St Dominic.
Angel with Candlestick
The tomb was left unfinished by the death of Niccolo del Arca in 1492. The young sculptor's contribution to this giant of a tomb are the Angel with a Candlestick, and the Saints Petronius and Proculus.
The completed work on these three pieces had been produced in a little under a year. It was in 1496 that a marble of cupid (now lost) by Michelangelo was sold as an ancient piece to Cardinal Raffaele Riario. The cardinal discovered the fraud but was so impressed by the quality of the carving that he invited the artist to Rome.
From the draped folds to the powerful swell of the wings, a more graceful composition of a kneeling angel doesn't exist. Sculpted at the beginning of his career, he adapted the style of master artist Jacopo della Quercia's great portal in the Basilica of San Petronio. Even at this early age, the fundamental ideas concerning figural composition for which he later would become famous - "Using the judgment of his eye" - were firmly in place.