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
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