Michelangelo Drawings

Michelangelo, born the Florentine Republic 1475, died Rome 1564

 

 

A large exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum, New York,  to which a little more than 50 institutions and people have loaned works, has carried us through this winter of our discontent.

The exhibitions’s focus is the influences on Michelangelo’s work and his on others’.

 

These influences are traced through drawings for the Sistine Chapel ceiling with a reproduction of the ceiling in one quarter magnification.  Also, there are drawings for commissioned paintings and statuary.  And for architecture and for the tombs of popes (not represented here). The museum identified drawings as they pertained to the artist’s spiritual life also, and that  of one of his patrons.

There are portraits also.

 

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The musuem’s notes are:  that influences on Michelangelo included his study and copy of the work of his predecessors, Masaccio, Donatello and Giotto.

He was the student of  Domenico Ghirlandaio in the workshops of the latter’s family in Florence.  Domenico Ghirlandaio was a master of metalpoint, black chalk and pen and ink.  Michelangelo himself became, among other things, the first to use red chalk for drawing.

Francesco Granacci, also a student in this workshop, was a lifelong friend and collaborator of Michelangelo.

There were other workshops in Florence and the work of their artists were both in co-operation and competition with Michelangelo’s native one.  The artist moved to Rome in 1530 and remained there for the rest of his life. 

 

A second and long-standing (1546-1564) protege of Michelangelo was Marcello Venusti.  To him the artist gave many drawings to translate into paintings, especially religious ones. 

The museum notes that the artist became a collaborator with the Venetian genius,  Sebastiano del Piombo (1485-1547),  in 1516.  To him he provided drawings to create paintings to compete with Raphael (1483-1520) working in Rome. Their close collaboration ended abruptly in 1533 or 1534 when Sebastiano del Piombo insisted that the Sistine Chapel ceiling be painted rather than worked in the traditional fresco. 

I have separated the drawings on secular themes from those of religious ones for coherence of viewing.  The works were hung intermingled.

 

 

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Light and sound are muted.  You can hear shuffling feet and little children announcing “Goodbye, goodbye” in an effort to get their minders to move more quickly.

The greatest courtesy obtains between visitors, all straining and stretching not to miss anything and all all but bumping into everyone else. 

 

 

 

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Mural Fragment of a Male Nude in Three Quarter Length, and detail, charcoal on rough, porous plaster, c.1501-05.  Michelangelo.  Loaned from a villa in Settignano to the Metropolitan Museum, NY in 2017/2018.

The museum notes that this was originally on a wall of one of the artist’s former homes, this is the only surviving monumental wall painting from his early work period.

 

 

 

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Study of the Head of an Old Woman, metalpoint on pinkish ochre prepared paper.  Domenico Ghirlandaio, 1448/9-1494, Florence, Italy.  Loaned by HM Queen Elizabeth II to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY in 2017/18

 

 

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Cartoon of a Woman in Bust Length, black chalk, outlines pricked for transfer. Domenico Ghirlandaio, 1448/9-1494, Florence, Italy.  Loaned by the Trustees of the Chatsworth Settlement to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2017/18

 

 

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Portrait Study of a Woman in Half Length, metalpoint (silverpoint?) with lead-whit.e gouache highlights on brownish gray prepared paper.  Domenico Ghirlandaio, 1448/9-1494, Florence, Italy.  Loaned by the Galerie degli Uffizi, Florence, Italy to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY in 2017/18

 

 

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Studies for a Standing Draped Figure and Heads of Two Youths, metalpoint with lead white gouache highlights, on pale ocher prepared paper.  Francesco Grannacci, 1469/70-1543, Florence, Italy.  Grannacci was also a student of Domenico Ghirlandaio. Loaned by the Uffizi, Florence to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY

 

 

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Studies of Two Youths in Bust Length; metalpoint with lead-white gouache highlights, on ocher paper.  Davide Ghirlandaio, 1451/52-1525, Italian, Florence.  Loaned by the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY

 

 

 

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An engraving of the Battle of the Ten Nudes by Antonio des Pollaiullo, 1432-1498. 

Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY whose notes said that this sculptor designer was the undisputed master draftsman of his time and that the young Michelangelo could not but have known this.

 

 

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Study of the Torso of a Male Nude Seen from the Back, black chalk with lead-white gouache highlights.  Michelangelo.  Loaned by the Albertina, Vienna to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY.

Thought to be a cartoon for a painting of the Battle of Cascina:  the center towards the top of a copy of this painting below.

 

 

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A copy made in 1542 by Bastiano (Aristotile) da Sangallo, 1481-1581, of the central episode of Michelangelo’s The Battle of Cascila which is lost. Loaned by the Earl of Leicester and the Trustees of the Holkham Estate to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY in 2017/18.

The museum notes that Bastiano and Michelangelo were friends from their days working in the Ghirlandaio workshop.

 

 

 

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A study in black chalk by Daniel da Volterra, 1509-1566, of a nude sleeping female (Dido for Mercury commanding Aeneas to leave Dido, and detail, for a lost painting, the Queen of Carthage).

Private collection on loan to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY in 2017/18. A partial copy of a figure by Michelangelo.

 

 

Dido’s Lament from Henry Purcell’s opera, Dido and Aeneas; libretto by Nahum Tate.  Henry Purcell, 1659-1695, British.  Nahum Tate, 1652-1715, Irish, English poet laureate

Trevor Pinnock, British born 1946, with the English Concert, Anna Sophie Otter, Swedish, born 1955 singing.

Recitative
Thy hand, Belinda, darkness shades me,
On thy bosom let me rest,
More I would, but Death invades me;
Death is now a welcome guest.

Aria
When I am laid, am laid in earth, May my wrongs create
No trouble, no trouble in thy breast;
Remember me, remember me, but ah! forget my fate.
Remember me, but ah! forget my fate.

 

 

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Studies of a Standing Nude Male and a Young Boy (Aeneas and Mercury) for Mercury Commanding Aeneas to Leave Dido; black chalk.  Daniele da Volterra, 1509-1566, Italian.  Musee Fabre, Montpellier on loan to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2017/18

These studies were for a commission for a painting, c. 1555, now lost. Both da Volterra and Michelangelo made preparatory drawings.

 

 

 

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Portrait of Andrea Quaratesi, and detail, 1531-34, black chalk with losses on the design surface delicately integrated with brush and gray wash.  Michelangelo.  The British Museum on loan to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY in 2017/18.

The museum notes that Michelangelo loved this young man, the son of an aristocrat;  and that this is one of his only confirmed portraits.

 

 

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Study of a Man in Half Bust, red chalk, c. 1525-28.  Michelangelo.  Loaned by the Ashmolean, Oxford to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2017/18

 

 

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Young Man in Bust Length in Exotic Costume (‘Persian Boy’), and detail, red chalk.  Michelangelo.  Loaned by the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY, in 2017/18

 

 

 

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Study of a Seated Woman and Child with other figures; black chalk.  Michelangelo.  Loaned by the Gallerie dell’Accademia Gabinetto dei Disegni e Stampe, Venice to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY in 2017/18

 

 

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Study of a Standing Male Nude seen from the back, pen and brown ink over traces of black chalk. Michelangelo.

The museum  notes that that this study was done in the first phase of the artist’s preparation for The Battle of Cascina, meticulously modelling figure by figure; and that one of his friends or assistants probably was the model for this.

 

 

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The Dream of Human Life, black chalk, and detail.  Michelangelo.  The Samuel Courtauld Trust, London, on loan to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY in 2017/18.

The museum’s notes are that the flying angel is genius and, with the sound of a trumpet is awakening the imagination (spirit) of the young man.  The man is surrounded by the ‘ether of dreams with the personifications of vices’.  It is thought that this may have been intended as a gift.

 

 

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Rape of Ganymede, black chalk. Giorgio Giulio Clovio, 1498/1500-1578, Italian.  Loaned to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2017/18 by HM Queen Elizabeth II.

This is a copy of a Michelangelo drawing.  The original does not survive and the museum says that the disappearance may have been an act of censorship for the bold rendering of a subject usually portrayed with passivity.

 

 

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Exercise sheet: Heads and Torsos of Various Figures, red chalk of various hues, incidental doodle in black chalk or leadpoint.  Michelangelo and pupils.  Loaned by the Stadel Museum, Frankfurt am Main to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY in 2017/18

 

 

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Sketch for Horsemen for the Battle of Cascina, and detail, black chalk.  Michelangelo.  Loaned by the Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2017/18.

 

 

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The Archers, red chalk, and detail.  Michelangelo.  Loaned by the HM Queen Elizabeth II to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY in 2017/18 (with light interference).

The museum notes that the meaning and context of this sketch of archers both male and female and without bows advancing towards a herm is not known.

 

 

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Bacchanal of Children, red chalk (with some light interference).  Michelangelo.  Loaned by HM Queen Elizabeth II to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY in 2017/18

 

 

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Venus Kissed by Cupid, oil on wood, c. 1555.  Michele di Jacopo Tosini, 1503-1577, Florence, Italy.  Loaned in 2017/18 to the Metropolitan Museum, NY in 2017/18 by the Galeria Colonna, Rome.

The museum notes that this is one of at least 32 paintings created by various artists based on a drawing by Michelangelo of this subject.  This was painted by the artist who inherited the Ghirlandaio workshop where Michelangelo himself had trained.

 

 

 

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The Young Archer, unfinished, carrara marble, databale to 1496-87.  Michelangelo.  Loaned by the French State to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY in 2017/18

 

 

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Study for God the Father, black chalk with two hues with lead-white gouache highlights.  Sebastiano del Piombo, 1486/87 – 1547.  Loaned to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY om 2017/18 by HM Queen Elizabeth II.

 

 

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A Prophet Addressed by an Angel for the Borgherini Chapel, and detail, black chalk with gray and brown wash above four stylus arcs at bottom right, heightened with white squared with red chalk, further with white heightening on blue paper.   Sebastiano del Piombo, 1486/87 – 1547.  Loaned by the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY. 

The Borgherinis were Florentine and this commission was said to have come to the Venetian Sebastian del Piombo through the intercession of Michelangelo.

 

 

 

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Study of Adam and Eve after The Expulsion from Paradise of Masaccio, red chalk, c. 1503-04.  Michelangelo.  Loaned by the Louvre, Paris to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY in 2017-18

 

 

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Study for Samson and Delilah, red chalk with stylus indentation on off-white paper, begun c. 1525-30, red chalk. Michelangelo. Ashmolean Museum, Oxford on loan to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2017/18

 

 

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Above, Composition Study for the Marriage of the Virgin Fresco, pen and brown ink, slight touches of brush and brown wash.   Domenico Ghirlandaio, 1448/9-1494, Florence, Italy. Loaned by the Gallerie degli Uffizi, Florence, Italy to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2017/18.

 

Below is an illustration provided by the Museum of Marriage of the Virgin, 1485-90, a fresco made by Domenico Ghirlandaio in the Tornabuoni Chapel, Santa Novella, Florence, Italy.

 

 

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The Annunciation, black chalk, ruling in stylus and black chalk on thick paper.  Michelangelo.  Loaned to the Metropolitan Museum, NY in 2017/18 by the Uffizi, Florence.

 

 

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At the top, The Annunciation, black chalk, a drawing by Michelangelo for Cardinal Frederico Cesi for the altarpiece in his family chapel in Rome.  The drawing was to be painted by Marcello Venusti.  Loaned by the Morgan Library, NY to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY in 2017/18.

At the bottom, the painting by Marcello Venusti, c. 1512-1579, The Annunciation, oil on poplar wood completed before 1546..  Loaned by the Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Antica di Palazzo Corsini, Rome to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2017/18

 

 

 

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Studies of the Virgin and Child with St. Anne, Studies of a Standing Male Nude with Head in profile, pen and brown ink with touches of black chalk.  Michelangelo.   Loaned by the Louvre, Paris to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY in 2017/18.

 

 

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Unfinished cartoon of the Virgin and Child, c. 1524-26, black chalk, red chalk, traces of brush and brown wash.  Michelangelo.  Loaned by the Casa Buonarotti, Florence to the Metropolitan Museum, NY in 2017/18

 

 

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Virgin and Child with the Infant St. John, egg tempera on poplar wood.  Piero d’Argenta, active 1496-1529.  Loaned by the Samuel H. Kress Foundation to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY in 2017/18.

The museum notes that this painter is thought to have been in Michelangelo’s circle but not a Florentine and that this indicates the extent of Michelangelo’s influence when he was still quite young.

 

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A study for the Virgin and Child (the Burgos Holy Family) by Sebastiano del Piombo, 1486/87 – 1547, black chalk with lead-white gouache highlights on blue paper. Loaned by the Beaux Arts de Paris to the Metropolitan Museum, NY in 2017/18

 

 

 

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The Virgin and Child with the Infant St. John the Baptist, black chalk.  Michelangelo.  Loaned by HM Queen Elizabeth II to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2017/18

 

 

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Studies for the Christ Child and the Infant Saint John the Baptist, black chalk on blue paper.  Sebastiano del Piombo (1485-1547, Italian, Venice) The Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY

 

 

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Sketches of the Virgin, the Christ Child Reclining on a Cushion, and Other Infants, pen and brown ink.  Michelangelo.  Loaned by the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY in 2017/18.

The museum notes that this is believed to be the artist’s most inventive work in his early years.  His cross-hatching in the Virgin’s face and neck produce very subtle shading.  The figures are articulated as though they are sculpture.

 

 

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Study by Sebastiano del Piombo, (1485-1547, Italian, Venice)  for Reclining Apostle in the Transfiguration, black chalk, brush with brown wash, highlighted with white gouache separated in red chalk on blue paper.  Loaned by the Trustees of the Chatsworth Settlement to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY in 2017/2018

 

 

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Study for a Reclining Nude for the New Sacristy of San Lorenzo, black chalk.  Michelangelo.  Loaned by the Ashmolean, Oxford to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY in 2017/2018

 

 

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Study for Martha and the Onlookers in The Raising of Lazarus, black chalk with white gouache highlights with some reworking by the artist in pen and brown ink, partly over preliminary stylus work on grayish blue paper, c. 1517.  Sebastiano del Piombo  (1485-1547, Italian, Venice).

  Loaned by the Stadel Museum, Frankfurt am Main to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY in 2017/18

 

 

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Fragment of a Study for the Virgin for a Crucifixion, black chalk.  Michelangelo.  Loaned by the Louvre, Paris to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY in 2017/18

 

 

 

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Fragment with Study of Christ on the Cross, black chalk, 1557.  Michelangelo.  Loaned by the Louvre, Paris to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY in 2017/18. 

The museum notes that, unusually, Christ is not yet dead in this rendering.

 

 

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Study of a Crucifixion, black chalk, brush and lead-white gouache, over ruling in black chalk, some stylus ruling.  Michelangelo. Loaned by the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford to the Museum of Modern Art, NY in 2017/18

 

 

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I have lost the Museum’ s notes on this rendition of the Crucifixion by Michelangelo.

 

 

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Study of a Kneeling Man with a Cloak Seen from the Rear, pen and brown ink.  Michelangelo.  Loaned by the Albertina, Vienna to the Metropolitan Museum, NY in 2017/18

 

 

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Study for The Descent from the Cross (or Entombment), red chalk. Michelangelo.  Loaned by the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY in 2017/18

 

 

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Study for Christ in the Pieta of Ubeda, and detail.  Michelangelo drawing for Sebastiano del Piombo, black chalk.  Loaned by the Louvre, Paris to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY in 2017/18

 

 

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Pieta, red chalk over black chalk and stylus incisions.  Michelangelo.  Loaned the Albertina, Vienna to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY in 2017/18

 

 

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Study of a Pieta (Entombment), red chalk over traces of black chalk.  Michelangelo. Loaned by the Albertina, Vienna to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY in 2017/18

 

 

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Study of a Male Nude (Risen Christ), black chalk, pen and ink.  Michelangelo. Loaned by the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford to the Metropolitan Museum, NY in 2017/2018

 

 

 

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Study for Christ the Redeemer, and detail, with other anatomical motifs, from Santa Maria Sopra Minerva.  Michelangelo.  Private collection on loan to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY in 2017/18.

These two images are of the second version of the sculpture of 1521 for which the drawings, commissioned in 1512 were completed.

 

 

 

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Roman Soldiers cartoon fragment for  a depiction in fresco of the crucifixion of St. Peter,  charcoal with black chalk, outlines pricked for transfer on 19 sheets of paper pricked for transfer.  Michelangelo.  Museo Nazionale di Capodimonte, Naples on loan in 2017/18 to the Metropolitan Museum, NY

The largest surviving cartoon of the artist, prepared for the Pauline Chapel (Vatican Palace) finished in 1550.

 

 

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Study for a Male Nude in the Resurrection of the Dead in the Last Judgement, black chalk.  Michelangelo.  Loaned by the British Museum to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY in 2017/18

 

 

 

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Study after St. Peter by Masaccio (from Masaccio’s Tribute Money) with arm studies, pen and brown ink, red chalk with stylus underwriting, 1493/94.  The young Michelangelo studied Masaccio and Giotto as part of his training.  Loaned by the Staatliche Graphische Sammlung, Munich to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY in 2017/18

 

 

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Sketch for a Standing Male Figure (St. John the Evangelist), pen and dark brown ink over soft grayish black chalk.  Michelangelo.  Loaned by the Louvre, Paris to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY in 2017/18.

The museum notes that this sketch, designed never resulted in a sculpture.  One such, planned for Florence Cathedral, of St. Matthew was executed.

 

 

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Studies, with detail, after Two Figures in the Ascension of St. John the Evangelist by Giotto and detail, pen and two hues of brown ink over stylus underdrawing.  Michelangelo. Loaned by the Musee de Louvre, Paris to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY in 2017/18.

 

 

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Torments of Saint Anthony, c. 1470-75, engraving trimmed to plate mark.  Martin Schongauer, 1435/50-1491, Germanic states.   National Gallery, Washington DC loaned to the Metropolitan Museum, NY in 2017/2018

 

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The Torment of St. Anthony, egg tempera on poplar wood, c. 1487/88.  Michelangelo.  On loan by the Kimbell Art Museum to the Metropolitan Museum, NY in 2017/18

 

 

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Baptism of Saint Augustine by Saint Ambrose, pen and brown ink over traces of black chalk, 1480-82.  Domenico Ghirlandaio, 1448/9-1494, Florence, Italy.  Loaned by the Staatliche Graphische Sammlung, Munich to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY in 2017/18

 

 

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Composition of a Sketch for St. Lawrence before the Emperor, pen and brown ink partly over red chalk.  Michelangelo.  Loaned by The Courtauld Gallery, London to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY in 2017/2017.

The museum notes that this is one of two narrative reliefs which the artist planned for the facade of San Lorenzo.

 

 

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Study for the head of the Cumaean Sibyl on the Sistine Chapel; black chalk with touches of white gouache highlight. Michelangelo.  Black chalk with touches of white gouache highlight

 

 

 

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Study of a Seated Nude (Ignudo) on the Sistine Chapel; red chalk over traces of black chalk.  Attributed to Michelangelo.  Loaned by the Cleveland Museum of Art to the Metropolitan Museum, NY in 2017/18.

The museum notes that the Ignudi, athletic male youths, were a device created by Michelangelo to frame and link the narrative scenes in the Sistine Chapel ceiling. There are 20 of them.

 

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The Sistine Chapel ceiling figure for which the drawing above is preparatory.

 

 

 

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Study of a seated male nude on the Sistine ceiling; two studies for an arm; red chalk with white gouache highlights. Michelangelo.  Loaned by the Albertina, Vienna to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY in 2017/18

 

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The Sistine Chapel ceiling figure for which the drawing above is preparatory.

 

 

 

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Confirmation Study for the Composition of the Franciscan Rule by Pope Honorius III Fresco, and detail, pen and brown ink, brown and brown wish, with lead-white gouache highlights over black chalk, ruling, compass work and stylus underdrawing.  Domenico Ghirlandaio,  1448/49-1494, Italian, Florence.  Loaned by the Staatlische Museen zu Berlin to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2017/18

 

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Michelangelo-113 Decorating the Facade of the Pallazo Mattei by Taddeo Zuccaro (1539/41-1609, Italian) and detail; pen and dark brown ink, brush and brown wash, black and some red chalk, ruling and in pen and brown ink.  Loaned by the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY in 2017/18. 

The museum notes that it is Michelangelo on horseback on the left, there to offer approval to the young artist’s work.

 

 

 

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Portrait Head of Michelangelo, 1446-66, bronze, black patina on black marble plinth.  Daniel da Volterra, 1509-1566, Italian.  Loaned by the Louvre, Paris to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY in 2017/18.

It is not known why Daniel da Volterra, a student of Michelangelo, executed this bust or whether it was made from a death mask posthumously.

 

 

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Unfinished Portrait of Michelangelo, oil on poplar wood (mentioned in Vasari’s 1568 biography of Michelangelo).  Jacopine del Ponte, 1510-1598, Italian, Florence.  Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY

 

 

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Portrait of Michelangelo as Moses, and detail, oil on leather.  Federico Zuccaro, 1531-1609.

  The artist shown with the tools of draftsmanship and portrayed in the guise of his own image of Moses on the tomb of Julius II.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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