|Musei Capitolini Exhibits Michelangelo's Most Mysterious Work of Art|
Michelangelo Buonarroti, "Madonna and Child", circa 1525. Black pencil, red pencil, white lead, and ink on paper, 541 x 396 mm. Inv. 71F
ROME.- This drawing on a support made by gluing two sheets together, has often been called a small cartoon. However there is no evidence that this piece represents a preparatory phase of any work by Michelangelo or by artists connected to him. It is instead enlightening to think of this piece, without comparison in the corpus of Michelangelos drawings, as a meditation continually recurring in the artists mind- on a maternity that is too painful for the mother to fully express her love for her son. It is no accident that the most notable pentimento on this page shows that Michelangelo had first drawn the Madonnas face in profile, with downcast eyes looking at the Child. Here and very often elsewhere, we find reminiscences of a tradition of maternal-filial tenderness that the artist was not able to accept from his predecessors, arriving instead at a dramatic absence of communication between mother and child.
The image of the mother has a pose and an expression that are completely disconnected from The Child at her breast; her gaze is lost in the foreboding of future tragedy. In terms of the pieces content and psychology, the youthful Michelangelo had already dealt with the enigma of this gaze in his Madonna of the Steps.
But over time the idea would evolve stylistically until it reached its highest expression in the mysterious "Madonna of the New Sacristy" in San Lorenzo, whose undeniable similarities to this drawing support the date we have accepted here.
A number of pentimenti can be seen in The Child as well. His head is traced with a delicate use of chiaroscuro that makes it similar to the Madonnas.
His body, sketchy and finished with effects of painterly illusion, is completely void of holiness, as Paola Barocchi effectively summarizes when she speaks of the puttos concrete plasticity.
The expressive disparity and technical rendering of the two figures make the general reading of the drawing problematic. This does not explain, however, why this disparity should be cited by several scholars of the stature of Berenson or Dussler to deny the attribution of the work to Michelangelo.
Michelangelo the Younger had recognized the excellent quality of the small cartoon. Placing it in the Room of the Angels, that is in the (even spiritual) center of the seventeenth century rooms that he had set up on the second floor of the Casa. The drawings fame reached its apex during the nineteenth century, especially on the occasion of the four-hundredth anniversary of Michelangelos birth in 1875, when the Casa Buonarrotis exhibition of drawings made the collection famous in Italy and abroad . In fact, an intervention discovered during a recent restoration probably dates from that time: the upper part of the page shows the signs of a cut, probably made for framing purposes but which, at the center, has removed part of the Madonnas veil.
December 11, 2009
Exhibition at National Museum in Taiwan Showcases 70 Works of Art Made by Van Gogh
Chinese Artist Ai Weiwei Transforms the Mies van der Rohe Pavilion
Marble Sarcophagus Relief Sells for $1.5 Million at Sotheby's
Rijksmuseum Purchases Most Expensive Furniture Ever
Nobel Bust Acquired by the Nationalmuseum in Stockholm
Sir Thomas Lighton Appointed New Chief Executive at Agnew's
Thomas Hoving, Ex-Director of Metropolitan Museum, Dies
Francis Alys Awarded Biennial Award for Contemporary Art
Musei Capitolini Exhibits Michelangelo's Most Mysterious Work of Art
The National Portrait Gallery Presents Two Exhibitions on Elvis Presley in 2010
The Powerhouse Museum is Rewinding the 80s with a Spectacular New Exhibition
The Cucci Cabinet - A Royal Gift - Sells for 4.5 Million Pounds
Pennsylvania Police: Artist's Son Swipes $20M in Paintings
MCA Presents First Solo Exhibition in Australia of Danish-Icelandic Artist Olafur Eliasson
The Carter Gets Modern with Exhibition Schedule for 2010
Wadsworth Atheneum to Present Exhibition of its Modern American Works on Paper
Arts Survey Finds Drop in Movie, Museum Attendance
Strong Results for Bonhams & Butterfields' November Antique Arms Sale
Exhibition Focuses on Three of the Most Original Painters of the Late 19th and Early 20th-Centuries
Benjamin Vargas, FAIA, Selected as 2010 Recipient of the Whitney M. Young Jr. Award
RIBA President's Medals Student Awards 2009 Winners Announced
Most Popular Last Seven Days
1.- 'Feeling Van Gogh' makes art accessible for visually impaired visitors
2.- Art lovers get naked for new exhibition tours at the National Gallery of Australia
3.- Broken in life, Billie Holiday enjoys revival on the 100th anniversary of her birth
4.- Research reveals significantly different composition in Jean-Honoré Fragonard's Young Girl Reading
5.- Retrospective exhibition of photographs by Luke Smalley opens at ClampArt
6.- Jewish teenager Anne Frank died at least a month earlier than thought, new study says
7.- Archaeologists find items that attest to the existence of an Egyptian administrative centre
8.- 'All the Rage in Paris: Diaghilev's Ballets Russes' on view at the McNay Art Museum
9.- Exhibition illustrates the fascinating creativity of Gustave Doré in an era of great changes
10.- Cynthia Lennon, British first wife of John Lennon, dies aged 75: Julian Lennon
Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .
|Royalville Communications, Inc|