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Albertina Opens Michelangelo: The Drawings of a Genius

The Albertina presents the first major Michelangelo exhibition in more than twenty years, open 8 October 2010 and 9 January 2011.

This display of 120 out of the artist’s most precious drawings offers a comprehensive insight into the work of this great genius. The sheets come from the Albertina’s own holdings, as well as from important European and American museums – the Uffizi and the Casa Buonarroti in Florence, the Louvre in Paris, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Teylers Museum in Haarlem, the Royal Library in Windsor Castle (property of the British monarch) and the British Museum in London – and private collections.

The exhibition spans from Michelangelo’s earliest surviving drawings, his designs for the Battle of Cascina, and his studies for the vault frescoes and The Last Judgement in the Sistine Chapel to the refined drawings the artist presented to Tommaso de’Cavalieri and a number of late treatments of the Crucifixion.

Michelangelo’s drawings will be juxtaposed to examples of works by artists from the master’s immediate surroundings (Giulio Clovio, Sebastiano del Piombo, and Daniele da Volterra), which is meant to demonstrate how clearly Michelangelo’s drawings distinguish themselves in terms of style and ingenuity.

It was three years ago that curator Dr Achim Gnann began his preparations for this exhibition. His goal is to review those datings of Michelangelo’s drawings that have sometimes been considered controversial and elaborate on the evolution of the artist’s style with utmost clarity.

Michelangelo Symposium at the Albertina (19 – 20 Nov. 2010)
Within the framework of the exhibition, the Albertina, in cooperation with the Art History Department of the University of Münster, will hold a symposium entitled Michelangelo as a Draughtsman. Experts of international repute will participate in the two-day conference. The symposium will be devoted to Michelangelo’s figural drawings and aims to discuss and review the scientific methods employed in the identification of the artist’s characteristic stylistic features.

Image: Michelangelo Buonarroti Three Men Standing in Wide Coats Turned Towards the Left, around 1492-96

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