One of the Largest Collections of Michelangelo’s Art is Coming to the Met This November

A sculpture of a very fit man. The sculpture is called "David" by famed artist Michelangelo.

David by Michelangelo.
Photo credit: Shutterstock

We all know the work of Michelangelo. From David and the Pieta, those marble masterworks which marry white austerity to a luxury of sculpted detail, to the incredible visual opulence of the Sistine Chapel murals, his art is one of the first things we think of when we hear the word. The Florentine lived from 1475 to 1564, a long life of creative passion. But he had other passions as well; he was renowned for having quite the temper.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City has three of his works in their permanent collection. Two drawings and a sculpture, all on loan from the French government. Delicate with age and sensitive to light, none are typically on display. But big plans for a future exhibition at the museum will include all three and much, much more.

Carmen C. Bambach, one of the Met’s curators, is currently organizing what will be the largest exhibit of Michelangelo’s art in that museum’s history. Over 150 drawings, three more sculptures, and numerous paintings, borrowed from collections across Europe and the United States will be on display.

The temporary collection, titled “Michelangelo: Divine Draftsmen and Designer,” will include some of the drafts, or cartoons, of Michelangelo’s Vatican Palace. But it won’t only contain his religious commissions. Also featured will be a more intimate series of drawings that he made for Tommaso de’Cavalieri, believed by many to be the artist’s lover.

This collection represents scarcely a sliver of the worldwide collection of Michelangelo’s surviving body of art. Hundreds of sculptures in marble and granite. Thousands of murals, frescos, and paintings. Volumes of verse, letters, and journals. No other artist in history is as well-documented, not even his contemporary and rival, Leonardo da Vinci.

The exhibition will open on November 13th and run through February 2018.

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