Capitoline Museum Presents Leonardo e Michelangelo. Capolavori della grafica e studi romani

Capitoline Museum presents Leonardo e Michelangelo. Capolavori della grafica e studi romani an exhibition of sixty-six drawings that aims to provide a detailed comparison between two great masters of the Italian Renaissance. Exhibition on view through 12 February 2012.

For the first time, an exhibition of sixty-six drawings from the collection of the Biblioteca Ambrosiana in Milan (Leonardo) and from the Casa Buonarroti Foundation in Florence (Michelangelo) that aims to provide a detailed comparison between two great masters of the Italian Renaissance.

This is an event of high scientific interest, which started last spring with the major exhibition “La scuola del mondo” (The School of the World) of twenty drawings by Leonardo and Michelangelo at Casa Buonarroti. The title of the Florentine exhibition referred to the frescoes depicting the Battle of Anghiari and the Battle of Cascina, which were commissioned to the two artists for the Hall of Great Council (now Salone dei Cinquecento) in Palazzo Vecchio in Florence.The two works were not completed, but preliminary studies were much appreciated and admired, so that Benvenuto Cellini defined them: “the school of the world.”

The exhibition in Rome presents graphic masterpieces from both collections and sheds a light on the life, work and passions of two masters such as Michelangelo and practice site for the optics to Leonardo. Opening section of the exhibition is “Capolavori tra Capolavori”, a mirror presentation of the works by two artists who are often considered “rivals”, actually each of the two artists tried to learn from the other and admired the other’s work.

Nine masterpieces by Leonardo document his mechanical inventions, as well as his interest for military art and architecture, hydraulics, geometry, flight mechanics, providing an over-arching overview of his researches. These will be counterbalanced by nine popular drawings from the Casa Buonarroti collection, such as “Sudy for a Nude” for the Battle of Cascina, the enigmatic Cleopatra, the Head of Leda (perhaps one of the most interesting face in Michelangelo’s drawings). “Appunti su Roma e studi romani di Leonardo” (Notes on Rome and Roman studies ) is a section dedicated to various aspects during Leonardo’s stay in Rome, with the following sub-sections: the love for the “Old” and the “Architecture”, his interest in “Mirrors, Optics and Geometry”, a particular attention to “Figure Drawing”. The work of Michelangelo is explored through the sub-sections “Michelangelo: Utopia and practice”, “Michelangelo anatomist” and “Michelangelo, the Sistine Chapel and the Pauline Chapel.”

The two “A seguito del genio” (After the genius) sections are decicated to works of art by followers or by artists who trained on their workshops. – museicapitolini.org

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