Michelangelo: Divine Draftsman and Designer

Michelangelo Buonarroti (Italian, 1475–1564).  Studies for the Three Labors of Hercules, ca.  1530.  Red chalk, 10 11/16 x 16 5/8 in.  (27.2 x 42.2 cm).  Royal Collection Trust / © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2017, www.royalcollection.org.uk
Michelangelo Buonarroti (Italian, 1475–1564). Studies for the Three Labors of Hercules, ca. 1530. Red chalk, 10 11/16 x 16 5/8 in. (27.2 x 42.2 cm). Royal Collection Trust / © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2017, www.royalcollection.org.uk
  • Michelangelo Buonarroti, Italian, Caprese 1475-1564 Rome.  Portrait of Andrea Quaratesi, 1532.  Drawing, black chalk.  The British Museum, London.

    Michelangelo Buonarroti, Italian, Caprese 1475-1564 Rome. Portrait of Andrea Quaratesi, 1532. Drawing, black chalk. The British Museum, London.

  • Michelangelo Buonarroti, Italian, Caprese 1475-1564 Rome.  Unfinished cartoon for a Madonna and Child, 1525-30.  Black and red chalk, white gouache, brush and brown wash.  Casa Buonarroti, Florence.

    Michelangelo Buonarroti, Italian, Caprese 1475-1564 Rome. Unfinished cartoon for a Madonna and Child, 1525-30. Black and red chalk, white gouache, brush and brown wash. Casa Buonarroti, Florence.

Michelangelo: Divine Draftsman and Designer, on view at The Metropolitan Museum of Art from November 13, 2017, through February 12, 2018, will present a stunning range and number of works by the artist: 128 of his drawings, 3 of his marble sculptures, his earliest painting, and his wood architectural model for a chapel vault. A substantial body of complementary works by his teachers, associates, pupils, and artists who were influenced by him or who worked in collaboration with him will also be displayed for comparison and context.

A towering genius in the history of Western art, Michelangelo was celebrated during his long life for the excellence of his disegno, the power of drawing and invention that provided the foundation for all of the arts. For his mastery of drawing, design, sculpture, painting, and architecture, he was called Il divino ("the divine one") by his contemporaries. His powerful imagery and dazzling technical virtuosity transported viewers and imbued all of his works with a staggering force that continues to enthrall us today.

"This is an exceptionally rare opportunity to experience first-hand the unique genius of Michelangelo," said Daniel H. Weiss, President and CEO of The Met. "The exhibition will display the magnificent beauty of Michelangelo's works in order to deepen our understanding of his creative process."

Selected from 50 public and private collections in the United States and Europe, the exhibition will bring together the largest group of original drawings by Michelangelo ever assembled for public display. Many of the drawings rank among the greatest works of draftsmanship produced. Extraordinary and rare international loans will include the complete series of masterpiece drawings he created for his friend Tommaso de'Cavalieri and a monumental cartoon for his last fresco in the Vatican Palace.

Dr. Carmen C. Bambach, curator of the exhibition, commented: "This selection of more than 200 works will show that Michelangelo's imagery and drawings still speak with an arresting power today. Five hundred years seem to melt away in looking at his art."

 

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