By Livia Lupi

On 27 April 1509 pope Julius II excommunicated the city-state of Venice, with which he was at war for possession of territories in Romagna. Pope Julius II, born Giuliano della Rovere, is famous as the ‘Warrior Pope,’ but he was also a patron of the arts. He demolished Old St Peter’s and began its reconstruction on the basis of new projects, and employed artists and architects like Bramante, Raphael, Michelangelo and Giulio Romano. Several of Michelangelo’s greatest works were commissioned by Julius II, including the Sistine Chapel and the pope’s monumental tomb completed after Michelangelo’s death.

Reference: Alessandro Pastore, “Giulio II.” Enciclopedia dei Papi, Enciclopedia Treccani.

Raphael, Portrait of Julius II, 1511, oil on poplar. National Gallery, London.

Melozzo da Forlì, Sixtus IV Nominates Platina Prefect of the Vatican Library, detail of Giuliano della Rovere as cardinal (left) and his uncle Sixtus IV, 1477, fresco. Vatican Palace, Rome. 

Michelangelo and assistants, Tomb for Julius II, 1505-1545, marble. San Pietro in Vincoli, Rome.

Michelangelo, Sistine Chapel ceiling, 1508-1512, fresco. Vatican Palace, Rome.

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