How the Genius of Michelangelo Unfolded
Curator Carmen Bernbach took eight years to put together this unique exposition of how this most celebrated artist of the physically and spiritually sublime put it all together in his extraordinary 88 years, attaining the ideal of beauty so perfectly from prodigious inspiration in conception and drawing to execution in paint, marble and even verse, inspiring others with his designs to work with him or follow him as he achieved the greatest figure representations in history of male nudes, always his obsession as he loved and befriended the finest gentiluomini amici, or young gentlemen of the Florentine aristocracy, and fellow artists with work that redirected Western art toward more expression in a life that was ruled by mind and heart, including faith in God, for Michelangelo notoriously paid no attention to food or any other bodily appetite, according to contemporaries, as he shared his genius.
Description from the Met: Michelangelo: Divine Draftsman and Designer, on view at The Metropolitan Museum of Art from November 13, 2017, through February 12, 2018, will present a stunning range and number of works by the artist: 128 of his drawings, 3 of his marble sculptures, his earliest painting, and his wood architectural model for a chapel vault. A substantial body of complementary works by his teachers, associates, pupils, and artists who were influenced by him or who worked in collaboration with him will also be displayed for comparison and context.
A towering genius in the history of Western art, Michelangelo was celebrated 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. 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 is an exceptionally rare opportunity to experience first-hand the unique genius of Michelangelo,” said Daniel H. Weiss, President and CEO of The Met. “The exhibition will display the magnificent beauty of Michelangelo’s works in order to deepen our understanding of his creative process.”
Selected from 50 public and private collections in the United States and Europe, the exhibition will bring together the largest group of original drawings by Michelangelo ever assembled for public display. Many of the drawings rank among the greatest works of draftsmanship produced. Extraordinary and rare international loans will include 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.
Dr. Carmen C. Bambach, curator of the exhibition, commented: “This selection of more than 200 works will show that Michelangelo’s imagery and drawings still speak with an arresting power today. Five hundred years seem to melt away in looking at his art.”