Michelangelo: Divine Draftsman and Designer

There are shows and then there are blockbuster shows that only a major museum, like the Met, can envision, research, organize, and finance. Michelangelo: Divine Draftsman and Designer is one of those “once in a lifetime” blockbuster exhibitions.

Carmen C. Bambach, Curator

Eight years in the planning, with rarely seen works drawn from 50 public and private collections in the U.S. and Europe, it brings together “the largest group of original drawings by Michelangelo ever assembled for public display,” according to Carmen C. Bambach, the show’s curator.  So rare and delicate are these 200 works –among them 133 drawings — that the exhibition will not travel. So, for those eager to deepen their knowledge of this towering genius, it cannot be missed.

Sculpture, Young Archer

This is not a flashy exhibition bursting with familiar images. In fact, it’s a quiet and demanding show for connoisseurs and students of art who respect the enormous research, scholarship and point of view behind each image, take pleasure in learning about the artistic and historic world in which Michelangelo flourished, and are fascinated by the hand of the master as he thinks on paper.

Michelangelo thought of himself mainly as a sculptor – and one can see that even in his drawings, which are remarkably sculptural – but in fact he was a master of sculpture, painting and architecture. His genius was immediately recognized and in his time he was sought after by the rich and famous, and revered as “the divine draftsman and designer.”

Below, are a few highlights from this rich and rewarding exhibition.

Three Marble Busts

The Torment of St. Anthony, Michelangelo’s First Painting

Study of Adam and Eve

Sketches of Male Heads, Helmets for Soldiers Facial Features

Study of a Standing Male Nude

Study of the Torso of a Male Nude

Portrait of Andrea Quaratesi

Photographic reproduction of The Sistine Chapel at One-Quarter Scale

The Archers

Wood Model of the Vault of the Chapel of the King of France

Photos: Eleanor Foa Dienstag

Michelangelo: Divine Draftsman and Designer
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
November 13 – February 12, 2018

About Eleanor Foa Dienstag (35 Articles)
Eleanor Foa Dienstag is a veteran author, journalist, photo-journalist and award-winning corporate writer. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Harper's, the New Republic, the New York Observer, Ms., Travel & Leisure, and many other websites and publications. Eleanor is the author of three books. Her most recent, available on Amazon and Centro Primo Levi is MIXED MESSAGES: Reflections on an Italian Jewish Family and Exile. It is a multi-layered memoir about Eleanor’s personal journey, her father’s exile from Fascist Italy and the Foa Family journey, whose Italian-Jewish roots go back to the 1500s in northern Italy where her ancestors were famous printers. WHITHER THOU GOEST: The Story of an Uprooted Wife, also a memoir, was acclaimed by Business Week for its insights into corporate life. Her third book, In Good Company: 125 Years At The Heinz Table, offered a unique view of a quintessential American company. Eleanor served as staff speechwriter to the Chairman and CEO of American Express. In 1983, she founded Eleanor Foa Associates (www.eleanorfoa.com). It provides a wide variety of corporate writing and marketing services. Eleanor is past president of the American Society of Journalists and Authors (ASJA), received speechwriting awards from IABC, and was awarded literary residencies at Yaddo, and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts (VCCA). She resides in Manhattan.