The marble block used by Michelangelo was originally excavated for a statue to be carved by another sculptor in 1464, but the block was not fully carved. When Michelangelo received his commission in 1501, he was presented with the challenge of using the block which had already been worked upon to some degree. He had to work with what he was given, and in this case it meant that the figure he carved would not project outward beyond the preset block of marble.


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