Night is an allegorical sculpture (155x150 cm) by the Italian Renaissance sculptor Michelangelo Buonarroti. Dating from 1526 - 1531, it is part of the decoration of Michelangelo's Sagrestia nuova (New Sacristy) in the Basilica di San Lorenzo in Florence, Italy.
Night is part of an allegory of the four parts of the day, situated to the left of the tomb of Giuliano di Lorenzo de' Medici, Duke of Nemours.
Along with his 'Dawn', Michelangelo drew from the ancient Sleeping Ariadne for his sculpture's pose. Her muscular body reflects Michelangelo's habit of working from a male model even for his female nudes. In fact, several of the artist's sketches for Night, using a male model, are still preserved. The work is the only one of the four allegorical figures identified by her attributes - Night is accompanied by an owl, a mask, and a clutch of poppies.
Michelangelo imbued the figure of Night in the tomb of Giuliano de' Medici with dramatic intensity by contrasting the serenity of her face with the contorted pose and muscular realism of her torso.
In his poem "L'Idéal" from Les Fleurs du Mal, French Romantic poet Charles Baudelaire references the statue:
Ou bien toi, grande Nuit, fille de Michel-Ange,
Qui tors paisiblement dans une pose étrange
Tes appas façonnés aux bouches des Titans!
Or you, great Night, daughter of Michelangelo,
Who calmly contort, reclining in a strange pose
Your charms molded by the mouths of Titans!