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"Hercules and Cacus" by Baccio Bandinelli, Piazza della Signoria

The figure of "Hercules and Cacus" was carved by Baccio Bandinelli as a companion piece for "David". While the "David" was commissioned by Florence's republican council to celebrate the brief defeat of the Medici, among others, Bandinelli's statue was commissioned by the Medici to celebrate the defeat of their enemies; it was also a riposte to Mechelangelo's "republican" masterpiece. For once the Medici was outclassed, for Bandinelli's work was ridiculed from the moment it was unveiled. One fellow sculptor, Benvenuto Cellini, described the muscle-bound figures as resembling a "sackful of melons". What is more tantalizing, the piece of marble had originally been offered to Michelangelo.

Last Revised October 5, 2007

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