Michelangelo: Divine Draftsman and Designer

Exhibition Website

Nov 13 2017 - Feb 12 2018

Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475–1564), a towering genius in the history of Western art, will be the subject of this once-in-a-lifetime exhibition. During his long life, Michelangelo was celebrated for the excellence of his disegno, the power of drawing and invention that provided the foundation for all the arts. For his mastery of drawing, design, sculpture, painting, and architecture, he was called Il Divino ("the divine one") by his contemporaries. His powerful imagery and dazzling technical virtuosity transported viewers and imbued all of his works with a staggering force that continues to enthrall us today.


This exhibition presents a stunning range and number of works by the artist: approximately 150 of his drawings, three of his marble sculptures, his earliest painting, his wood architectural model for a chapel vault, as well as a substantial body of complementary works by other artists for comparison and context. Among the extraordinary international loans are the complete series of masterpiece drawings he created for his friend Tommaso de' Cavalieri and a monumental cartoon for his last fresco in the Vatican Palace. Selected from 54 public and private collections in the United States and Europe, the exhibition explores Michelangelo's rich legacy as a supreme draftsman and designer.

Text Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website
Image credits:  1. Michelangelo Buonarroti, Italian, Caprese 1475-1564 Rome. Portrait of Andrea Quaratesi, 1532. Drawing, black chalk. The British Museum, London. / 2. Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475-1564), A drawing of Three Labors of Hercules, c.1530 Red chalk 27.2 x 42.2 cm. Royal Collection by c.1810 (Inventory A, p. 45, Michelangelo, II,1.)

Whether you go or not, Michelangelo: Divine Draftsman and Designer is a comprehensive and breathtakingly-illustrated presentation of the genius of Michelangelo by a leading expert on the artist. Featuring more than 200 drawings as well as paintings, sculpture, and architectural plans and views, this authoritative examines Michelangelo as “the divine draftsman and designer” whose work, according to Giorgio Vasari, embodied the unity of the arts. Carmen C. Bambach delivers a thorough and engaging narrative of the artist’s long career, beginning with his training under Ghirlandaio and Bertoldo and ending with his 17-year appointment as chief architect of St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican.

In each thematic chapter, related drawings and other works are illustrated and discussed together, many for the first time, to provide new insights into Michelangelo’s creative process. In addition to St. Peter’s, other featured projects include the Sistine Chapel ceiling, the Tomb of Pope Julius II, and the architecture of the Campidoglio in Rome. Michelangelo’s theories of art are also explored, and new consideration is given to his personal life and affections and their effect on his creative output. Magnificent in every way, this book will be the foremost publication about this remarkable artist for many years.

Select Michelangelo: Divine Draftsman and Designer to learn more or to place this book in your Amazon shopping cart.

  • Various Media
  • European
  • 15th - 17th Century
  • Michelangelo
  • and others

Exhibition Venues & Dates