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Mosè di Michelangelo a San Pietro in Vincoli

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Moses is one of Michelangelo's most famous sculptures and is located in Rome in the Basilica of San Pietro in Vincoli.

OPENING HOURS OF THE CHURCH
April-September 8.00-12.30 / 15.00-19.00
October-March: 8.00-12.30 / 15.00-18.00
Timetable Hours:
Weekdays: 8.00-12.00 (except for July and August)
Holidays: 8.00-11.00
Pre-holidays: 17.00
Free admission
During the celebration of Holy Mass it is not possible to visit the church

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The church of San Pietro in Vincoli is also known as Basilica Eudossiana, because it was rebuilt (replacing another one of identical dimension, the latter built on Roman ruins), by Eudossia, wife to the Emperor Valentiniano III, to treasure the chains of San Pietro retained in Gerusalemme and entrusted to her by her mother Eudocia. Consecrated by Pope Sisto III in 439, it was restored under teh papacy of Adriano I in 780 circa, and then after the year 1000. Remarkable works were carried out by Sisto IV’s nephew, Cardinal Giuliano Della Rovere, between 1471 and 1503, year in which he was elected Pope under the name Giulio II. In recent excavations, performed on the occasion of the restoration of the pavement, ruins from teh previous buildings were dug out and are now accessible. The façade is preceded and hidden by an elegant porch that rises from a wide stairway. The interior is quite grandiose for the parade of splendid columns that divide it into three naves and confer a theatrical aspect, due to the ceiling with a very low vault, portraying "Il Miracolo delle Catene" by Parodi. According to tradition, the two chains (ties) used to tie up San Pietro are still treasured underneath the altar. It also hold the famous “Mosè” by Michelangelo.

The Moses (Italian: Mosè [moˈzɛ]; c. 1513–1515) is a sculpture by the Italian High Renaissance artist Michelangelo Buonarroti, housed in the church of San Pietro in Vincoli in Rome. Commissioned in 1505 by Pope Julius II for his tomb, it depicts the biblical figure Moses with horns on his head, based on a description in chapter 34 of Exodus in the Vulgate, the Latin translation of the Bible used at that time.

Pope Julius II commissioned Michelangelo to build his tomb in 1505 and it was finally completed in 1545; Julius II died in 1513. The initial design by Michelangelo was massive and called for over 40 statues. The statue of Moses would have been placed on a tier about 3.74 metres high (12 ft 3 in), opposite a figure of St. Paul.

Giorgio Vasari in the Life of Michelangelo wrote: "Michelangelo finished the Moses in marble, a statue of five braccia, unequalled by any modern or ancient work. Seated in a serious attitude, he rests with one arm on the tables, and with the other holds his long glossy beard, the hairs, so difficult to render in sculpture, being so soft and downy that it seems as if the iron chisel must have become a brush. The beautiful face, like that of a saint and mighty prince, seems as one regards it to need the veil to cover it, so splendid and shining does it appear, and so well has the artist presented in the marble the divinity with which God had endowed that holy countenance. The draperies fall in graceful folds, the muscles of the arms and bones of the hands are of such beauty and perfection, as are the legs and knees, the feet being adorned with excellent shoes, that Moses may now be called the friend of God more than ever, since God has permitted his body to be prepared for the resurrection before the others by the hand of Michelangelo. The Jews still go every Saturday in troops to visit and adore it as a divine, not a human thing."
The English translation of Freud's "The Moses of Michelangelo" also provides a basic description of the sculpture: "The Moses of Michelangelo is represented as seated; his body faces forward, his head with its mighty beard looks to the left, his right foot rests on the ground and his left leg is raised so that only the toes touch the ground. His right arm links the Tables of the Law with a portion of his beard; his left arm lies in his lap."
Piazza di San Pietro in Vincoli, 4/a
Roma
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