In 1520, Michaelangelo was giveen a commission by Cardinal Giulio de Medici (to later be Pope Clement VII),
to build a New Sacristy to house the tombs of the "lesser Medici", the nephews of Cardinal Giulio.
This elegant and understated New Sacristy has grandiose wall tombs
for these "worthless Medici" ,(according to at least one prominent Renaissance scholar),
This New Sacristy also holds the remains of Lorenzo the Magnificent and his brother Giulioano
who are buried in a simple wall tomb on the front wall of the room.
Lorenzo the Magnificent died of natural causes in 1492,
but his younger brother Giuliano was murdered in the "Pazzi Conspiracy" in 1478.
The two wall tombs for the "lesser Medici" both carved by Michelangelo,
are symbolic of the passage of time by Day and Night, Dawn and Dusk.
The two tomb figures shown in this image, represent Dawn, the female figure with the chastity belt and veil of mourning,
and Dusk, the male figure, somewhat more rough cut and unfinished looking.
Dawn and Dusk representing the passage of time that brings us to the end of life.
The idealized contemplative seated figure above the sarchophaghi is the younger Lorenzo,
nephew of the Cardinal Guilio di Medici.
Opposite this toomb with Dawn and Dusk, is an identical tomb with older appearing figures of Day and Night,
(see next image)
Michelangelo carved both tombs in the new Mannerist figure style, with awkward, conorted poses
and the appearance that the figures are about to slide off of the top of the sasrchophagus.