Nearly 150 works make up Michelangelo: Divine Draftsman and Designer, now on view at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art Tisch Galleries. Open until February 12, 2018.
After only eight short years, Dr. Carmen Bambach has done the unthinkable and brought Michelangelo to New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art. Indeed, Michelangelo: Divine Draftsman and Designer serves as the new benchmark in expensive curated explorations of the genius known for painting the Sistine Chapel Ceiling (recreated here in a slightly more compact, post-modern backlit edition) and being an expert at human likeness. Dr. Bambach simply “went off” in a way only she knows how (remember, last time she stepped foot in The Met, she brought Leonardo Da Vinci). In this groundbreaking and understated exhibition in the Tisch Galleries, Michelangelo is a vast selection of nearly 150 works, specifically selected to reorient and reevaluate Michelangelo in the context of art during his time. Ultimately, to bring this artist of legendary talent back to earth.
Let me say now: this show is simply no joke. This is not the one to bring the twins to after a playdate. This is the thinking person’s show. A moment to pull out the magnifying glass and wipe off your spectacles. Now is the hour to do some peering, examining, and considering as you have never before. Get very close to these legendary and rarely-shown works by The Master™. Set design is dark and comfortable and arranged in a manner made to be seemingly endless: you’ll find yourself taking for granted the acres of fragments, sketches, sculptures, and paintings that fill the halls.
This show begins with a youthful jaunt through Michelangelo’s early days as a teenager, a lad filling his notebooks with poetry and sophisticated anatomical drawings and the occasional cartoon. In fact, the team at the Met managed to dust off only the oldest known work by Michelangelo on earth, The Torment of Saint Anthony (1487–88). Not only that, you can also see the earliest sculpture by him as well, Young Archer (ca. 1490). Allow us a moment to simply attempt to grasp the age and the necessary precautions so many people must have taken- how long we have collectively accepted the terms and conditions set forth by this visionary… take a moment to examine the markings and cracks or tears; you will find there are few.
Let’s get one thing clear: Michelangelo was no loner. Step to the Met in the event you wish to see some of Michelangelo’s most remarkable collaborations with dear friends and colleagues. Oh yes, we stan Michelangelo’s collaboration with Venetian artist Sebastiano del Piombo (1485/86–1547) and have no doubt we fell for the work Michelangelo made for Tommaso de’Cavalieri in the mind 1500’s. It’s no 7″ split with Mastodon, but these cartoons (full scale) will leave you in tears. Who knew Michelangelo had such a wry sense of humor!
Final facts: Selected from 50 public and private collections in the United States and Europe, Michelangelo: Divine Draftsman and Designer brings together the largest group of original drawings by Michelangelo ever assembled for public display. Make your way to the Metropolitan Museum of Art for, literally, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to feast your eyes upon an exceptional array of work by one of the finest artists of all time.