Michelangelo: Divine Draftsman and Designer

Exhibition Overview


Michelangelo, Archers Shooting at a Herm
Michelangelo, Archers Shooting at a Herm (c. 1530), red chalk. Royal Collection Trust © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2017
Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475–1564), a towering genius in the history of Western art, will be the subject of this once-in-a-lifetime exhibition. During his long life, Michelangelo was celebrated for the excellence of his disegno, the power of drawing and invention that provided the foundation for all 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 exhibition will present a stunning range and number of works by the artist: 133 of his drawings, three of his marble sculptures, his earliest painting, his wood architectural model for a chapel vault, as well as a substantial body of complementary works by other artists for comparison and context. Among the extraordinary international loans are 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. Selected from 50 public and private collections in the United States and Europe, the exhibition will examine Michelangelo's rich legacy as a supreme draftsman and designer.

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