The Cleveland Museum of Art displays a selection of some of the most celebrated drawings by Michelangelo Buonarroti. Organized by the Cleveland Museum of Art and the J. Paul Getty Museum in conjunction with the Teylers Museum, Haarlem, the Netherlands, Michelangelo: Mind of the Master is on view first at the Cleveland Museum of Art before travelling to the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles.
On view in the exhibition is an exceptional loan: “The Teylers group of Michelangelo drawings is among the best preserved in the world, and the red and black chalks used by the artist retain a vibrancy and freshness that allow visitors to really appreciate the immediacy and power of Michelangelo’s thinking on paper.”
The exhibition comprises, in all, 51 drawings by the master, including those drawn on the reverse of other works on view in the show.
The introductory gallery, Drawing in Italy before Michelangelo, provides visitors with examples of drawings made in Florence before Michelangelo’ arrival. Artists in the 1400s primarily used pen and ink, as well as metalpoint, and rarely studied anatomy directly (or for that matter drew nude figures) when planning compositions. This changed markedly around 1500 when Michelangelo came of age.