Monday, October 9, 2017

Michelangelo: Divine Draftsman and Designer


Exhibition Dates: November 13, 2017–February 12, 2018
Exhibition Location:
The Met Fifth Avenue


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,

Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475–1564), a towering genius in the history of Western art, will be the subject of a once-in-a-lifetime exhibition opening at The Metropolitan Museum of Art this fall. 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.  

Michelangelo: Divine Draftsman and Designer will present a stunning range and number of works by the artist: approximately 150 of his drawings, three of his marble sculptures, his earliest painting,

 (“The Torment of Saint Anthony”),

his wood architectural model for a chapel vault, as well as a substantial body of complementary works by other artists for comparison and context.

 Currently, the Met has three works by Michelangelo: Two drawings (“Studies for the Libyan Sibyl,” “Design for the Tomb of Pope Julius II della Rovere”) and a sculpture, “Young Archer,” which is on loan from the French government. A spokeswoman for the museum said the two drawings were typically not exhibited because of their sensitivity to the light, but they will be part of the show.

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 54 public and private collections in the United States and Europe, the exhibition will examine Michelangelo’s rich legacy as a supreme draftsman and designer.

Michelangelo: Divine Draftsman and Designer

  • Michelangelo Buonarroti, Italian, Caprese 1475-1564 Rome. Portrait of Andrea Quaratesi, 1532. Drawing, black chalk. The British Museum, London.
Michelangelo: Divine Draftsman and Designer is organized by Carmen C. Bambach, Curator in The Met’s Department of Drawings and Prints.

Michelangelo: Divine Draftsman and Designer

  • 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.
“Archers Shooting at a Herm” is one of the 150 drawings by Michelangelo that will be on display this fall at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Credit ROYAL COLLECTION TRUST/HER MAJESTY QUEEN ELIZABETH II 2017,

The exhibition will be accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue written by Carmen C. Bambach that will include essays by a team of leading Michelangelo scholars. It will be published by The Metropolitan Museum of Art and distributed by Yale University Press.