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As early as 1508, the Signoria in Florence planned to commission from Michelangelo a counterpart to his David outside the Palazzo Vecchio. Since at that time Michelangelo had gone to to Rome to work on the ceiling frescoes for the Sistine Chapel, the project was postponed. It was not revived until 1525, and now, however, it was to Baccio Bandinelli that the commission for the colossal sculpture was given. The Berlin wax group is thought to be the first model for the monument. Bandinelli’s treatment of Hercules’ victory over the hulking monster Cacus is marked by a truly baroque pathos. After the Medici, who had commissioned the work, were expelled from Florence in 1527, the sculptor was obliged to abandon his project. Once again the Florentine city fathers turned for a monumental sculpture to Michelangelo, who likewise submitted a model on a similar subject.

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