News Post - JPW

Shows of a Lifetime: Michelangelo @ The Met

“Devine Designer & Draftsman”


I worried I wouldn’t be intellectually & cosmically up for this show, which is one of the deepest & widest examinations of this protean’s drawings ever mounted anywhere.  I mean, being in the presence of an artistic god (albeit a disheveled &, usually, “Jeez Mike, will you take a bath?” man) sounds exhausting.


But no: Being slack-jawed & stunned drawing by drawing was, actually, blissful. We may be sketchy as a species, but if we could be judged by only the sketches of Michelangelo, humanity would be assured of a permanent cosmic seal of approval.


Below, evidence of just how valuable paper itself was five centuries ago.  Various studies in anatomy were first—but, then, the sheet was rotated ninety degrees for some architectural detailing.


This explosion of 3D creativity highlights the show:


The comparison of two ancient-Rome busts with Michelangelo’s Brutus is almost overwhelming, both in sheer visual power as well as accompanying curatorial insights.