First the artist turned to drawing, whether he was creating a painting, a sculpture, or architecture, and it is what unified his career
„Michelangelo: Divine Draftsman and Designer“ is an exhibition at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City until February 12, 2018. It presents a stunning range and number of works by the artist: 133 of his drawings, 3 of his marble sculptures, his earliest painting, and his wood architectural model for a chapel vault.
A towering genius in the history of Western art, Michelangelo was celebrated already 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.
The show traces the artist’s life and career, beginning with his training as a teenager in the workshop of Ghirlandaio and his earliest painting, „The Torment of Saint Anthony“ (1487–88), and first known sculpture, „Young Archer“ (ca. 1490), among others.
An entire gallery will be devoted to the Ceiling of the Sistine Gallery with Michelangelo’s original studies for the project.
Other sections will explore his portraiture and the beautiful finished drawings he created for close friends. His last decades in Rome are reflected in the last part of the exhibition.
Michelangelo Buonarroti was born on March 6, 1475 in Caprese (southeast of Florence). Drawing was the first thing he turned to, whether he was creating a painting, a sculpture, or architecture, and it is what unified his career. He was a forceful draftsman and brought a sculptor’s understanding and eye. In the exhibition, „we can see him thinking – almost having a conversation on the sheet of paper – and there is a sense of intimacy and immediacy, as if looking over his shoulder. The exhibition will give visitors an unmatched opportunity to enter the world of this absolute master in the history of art“, according to the MET.
Michelangelo died a wealthy and famous man, on February 18, 1564, in Rome. Although he spent the last 30 years of his life there, his love was always for Florence, and all things Florentine. His art, his training, his methods, and his poetry were, to the last, rooted in Florentine culture.
Michelangelo’s longevity was extraordinary for a person of his time. Also exceptional for an artist of his era, five major biographies were written during his lifetime or soon after his death.
(07.01.2018, USA: 01.07.2018)