Get Up Close and Personal with Michelangelo

Don’t miss the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get up close and personal with the drawings of this master! The holidays would be a great time for a visit with family or friends.

Michelangelo: Mind of the Master will be at the Cleveland Museum of Art thru January 5, 2020.

Seated male nude, separate study of his right arm (recto), 1511. Michelangelo Buonarroti (Italian, 1475–1564)

I visited the exhibit earlier this month and truly enjoyed it. It was amazing to think I was viewing Michelangelo’s 500 year old drawings from about 18 inches away! His own sketch pad with partial figures and studies of a shoulder or the expressive bend of the torso.

Many drawings are shown in association with finished works such as the Sistine Chapel and the sculpted tomb of Giuliano de’ Medici. This allows you to see how Michelangelo prepared and planned his paintings, sculptures and architecture.

I’ve always found artist’s sketches to be more lively and interesting than paintings. You can see underlying structures and the artist’s thought process. Sketches also take me back to art school days when we had time to enjoy the feeling of chalk and charcoal on paper as our mind translated poses onto the page. 

The exhibit, showing 25 drawings from the Teylers Museum in Haarlem, the Netherlands, is the first time the works have been on view in the United States. The drawings are so rare because Michelangelo destroyed many of his drawings to keep others from stealing his ideas. Can you imagine what he produced in his 88 years that we haven’t seen?

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