The name of the Italian Renaissance painter, sculptor, and architect Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475–1564) is synonymous with creative genius and virtuosity. The exhibition Michelangelo: Mind of the Master presents an unprecedented opportunity for museum visitors to experience the brilliance of Michelangelo’s achievements on an intimate scale through more than two dozen original drawings.
Michelangelo’s genius is especially evident through his breathtaking draftsmanship on sheets filled with multiple figures and close studies of human anatomy. These working sketches invite us to look over the shoulder of one of Western art history’s most influential masters and to experience firsthand his boundless creativity and extraordinary mastery of the human form. These drawings demonstrate Michelangelo’s inventive preparations for his most important and groundbreaking commissions, including the Sistine Chapel ceiling fresco, sculptures for the tomb of Giuliano de’ Medici, and the dome of Saint Peter’s Basilica.
Michelangelo: Mind of the Master brings to the United States for the first time a group of drawings by Michelangelo from the remarkable collection of the Teylers Museum (Haarlem, The Netherlands), which was formed in the 18th century in part from the collection of Queen Christina of Sweden (1626–1689). Additional drawings from the collections of the Cleveland Museum of Art and the J. Paul Getty Museum round out the display. A fully illustrated catalogue accompanies the exhibition and includes essays by Emily J. Peters (Cleveland Museum of Art), Julian Brooks (J. Paul Getty Museum), and Carel van Tuyll van Serooskerken (Teylers Museum) that explore Michelangelo’s working methods and major projects, as well as the fascinating history of the ownership of his drawings after his death.