The Divine at the MET: Michelangelo as an art student... (Part II)


Torment of Saint Anthonyby Michelangelo
Technique: egg tempera on poplar wood
Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth
We continue our tour around this extraordinary exhibition atthe MET Museum dedicated to Michelangelo impressive draftsmanship... 
It’s impossible not to mention a painting from his youth, dated in 1487-88, when he was a student in a time in which you learned by copying the masters. Devilish figures attack Saint Anthony and different biographers believe that Michelangenlo improved Martin Schongauer’s original panel, by visiting the local market, to see the colors of Nature up close.
Study after Saint Peter by Masaccio, with Arm Studies, by Michelangelo
Techniques: Pen and Brown ink, red chalk, stylus underdrawing
Staatliche Graphische Sammlung, Munich
This exhibition proved to be a great chance to revisit the pages of Giorgio Vassari’s “The Lives of the Artists”, where he dedicated a long chapter to Michelangelo. There he pointed out that the artist had a deep interest in Masaccio’s work. For the drawing above he copied the St Peter of Brancacci Chapel’s fresco “Tribute Money”. Done between 1493-94, the image shows his skill in the use of the pencil as well as other daring touches. Masaccio’s sculptural monumentality and his style of painting interested Michelangelo all through his life.
Study of a Kneeling Man in a Cloak Seen from the Rear, by Michelangelo
Technique: pen and Brown ink
Albertina, Vienna
It’s not clear if it’s because of the many times we’ve seen the copy of this image, or because of its qualities, but we can’t deny that this drawing has Michelangelo written all over it. It’s unknown whether he invented the features of the figure or if they were taken from a model, but it was suggested that the kneeling man with the strange hat is Cosmas or Damian, the patron saint to the Medici family. His true identity still remains unknown.
Study of Masaccio’s Adam and Eve after the Expulsion from Paradise, by Michelangelo
Technique: red chalk
Musée de Louvre, Paris
The drawing above is an obsessive study in red chalk of Masaccio’s fresco in the Brancacci Chapel, in Florence (1503-4), which was favoured by the fact that Michelangelo was living in Florence at that time, what contributed deeply in his formation as an artist.

(To be continued...) 

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Liliana Wrobel

Production & Translation

Carla Mitrani