Michelangelo: Mind of the Master at The Cleveland Museum of Art, September 22, 2019 – January 5, 2020

“The Cleveland Museum of Art displays a selection of some of the finest and most celebrated drawings by Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475–1564) in the extraordinary exhibition, Michelangelo: Mind of the Master.

The centerpiece of the exhibition is a group of drawings with an illustrious provenance from Queen Christina of Sweden (1626–1689), on loan from the Teylers Museum. The museum is the oldest in the Netherlands, having opened in 1784, and its holdings are unique in the world. This collection of Michelangelo drawings has been in the museum since 1790, and many of them have never been shown outside Europe. This marks the first time the drawings have left the Teylers Museum as a group in nearly 15 years and the first time the group of drawings has come to the U.S. 

Drawing was an essential part of Michelangelo’s creative process, and arguably no artist has used it more effectively in the expression of the human form. Given that Michelangelo burned large quantities of his drawings, Michelangelo: Mind of the Master provides an extraordinary opportunity to examine firsthand a key group of sketches that have survived from the artist’s studio in Rome. Through his drawings, the exhibition explores the range of Michelangelo’s work as a painter, sculptor and architect.” — The Cleveland Museum of Art

7. A 019 Striding Male

Study of a striding male nude, to the left; studies of anatomical details (recto), 1504 or 1506. Michelangelo Buonarroti (Italian, 1475–1564). Black chalk, touches of white heightening; 40.4 x 25.8 cm. Teylers Museum, Haarlem, purchased in 1790. © Teylers Museum, Haarlem

1. A 027 Seated Male

Seated male nude, separate study of his right arm (recto), 1511. Michelangelo Buonarroti (Italian, 1475–1564). Red chalk, heightened with white; 27.9 x 21.4 cm. Teylers Museum, Haarlem, purchased in 1790. © Teylers Museum, Haarlem

2. A 027 verso Figures and Limbs

Studies of figures and limbs; figure sketches (verso), 1511. Michelangelo Buonarroti (Italian, 1475–1564). Red chalk, leadpoint; 27.9 x 21.4 cm. Teylers Museum, Haarlem, purchased in 1790. © Teylers Museum, Haarlem

Mannenhoofd  (Ignudo) en figuurstudies

Male head in profile, studies of limbs (recto), 1511. Michelangelo Buonarroti (Italian, 1475–1564). Red chalk; 29.6 x 19.5 cm. Teylers Museum, Haarlem, purchased in 1790. © Teylers Museum, Haarlem

9. 1940.465.a_o3

Study for the nude youth over the Prophet Daniel (recto), 1510–11. Michelangelo Buonarroti (Italian, 1475–1564). Red chalk with black chalk or charcoal; 34.3 x 24.3 cm. The Cleveland Museum of Art, Gift in memory of Henry G. Dalton by his nephews George S. Kendrick and Harry D. Kendrick, 1940.465

The Holy Family (recto); Amorous Putti (verso)

The Holy Family with Saint John the Baptist (recto), 1525–early 1530s. Michelangelo Buonarroti (Italian, 1475–1564). Leadpoint, black chalk, red chalk, pen and iron gall ink; 27.9 x 39.4 cm. The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, 93.gb.51

34. A 025 deposition from the cross

Studies for a deposition from the cross (recto), c. 1530–34. Michelangelo Buonarroti (Italian, 1475–1564). Red chalk over stylus; 27.2 x 19.1 cm. Teylers Museum, Haarlem, purchased in 1790. © Teylers Museum, Haarlem

35 A 025 verso woman bending forward

Woman bending forward; five heads (after Giotto) (verso), c. 1530–34. Michelangelo Buonarroti (Italian, 1475–1564). Red chalk, traces of black chalk; 27.2 x 19.1 cm. Teylers Museum, Haarlem, purchased in 1790. © Teylers Museum, Haarlem

38. A 023 Study Male and Head

Study of a male nude; separate study of his head (recto), c. 1537–38. Michelangelo Buonarroti (Italian, 1475–1564). Black chalk; 24.2 x 18.2 cm. Teylers Museum, Haarlem, purchased in 1790. © Teylers Museum, Haarlem

15. A 029 St. Peter's

Section through the dome of Saint Peter’s with alternative designs for the lantern; figure sketches (recto), 1547–59. Michelangelo Buonarroti (Italian, 1475–1564). Black chalk, stylus; 39.9 x 23.5 cm. Teylers Museum, Haarlem, purchased in 1790. © Teylers Museum, Haarlem

16. A 029 verso lanterns base

Ground plan of the lantern’s base with volutes; figure studies (verso), 1547–59. Michelangelo Buonarroti (Italian, 1475–1564). Black chalk, stylus; 39.9 x 23.5 cm. Teylers Museum, Haarlem, purchased in 1790. © Teylers Museum, Haarlem

Aeneas wordt bevolen Dido te verlaten

Aeneas with Ascanius, summoned to leave Dido; architectural studies (recto), c. 1555. Michelangelo Buonarroti (Italian, 1475–1564). Black chalk; 13.6 x 18.1 cm. Teylers Museum, Haarlem, purchased in 1790. © Teylers Museum, Haarlem

47. A 032 verso a prophet or evangelist

Studies of a prophet or evangelist; architectural studies; sketch of a male torso (verso), c. 1555–58. Michelangelo Buonarroti (Italian, 1475–1564). Black chalk, brush and light brown wash; 13.6 x 18.1 cm. Teylers Museum, Haarlem, purchased in 1790. © Teylers Museum, Haarlem

Portret Michelangelo Buonarroti

Portrait of Michelangelo, c. 1550–51. Daniele da Volterra (Italian, c. 1509–1566). Leadpoint and black chalk, traces of white heightening, outlines pricked for transfer; 29.5 x 21.8 cm. Teylers Museum, Haarlem, purchased in 1790. © Teylers Museum, Haarlem

“This group of drawings encapsulates the various ways Michelangelo drew throughout his long career, from anatomical renderings to sketches for the nude male figures on the Sistine Chapel ceiling to drawings from live models for a sculpture on one of the Medici tombs,” says Emily Peters, CMA curator of prints and drawings. “The Teylers group of Michelangelo drawings is among the best preserved in the world, and the red and black chalks used by the artist retain a vibrancy and freshness that allow visitors to really appreciate the immediacy and power of Michelangelo’s thinking on paper.” 

Organized by the Cleveland Museum of Art and the J. Paul Getty Museum in conjunction with the Teylers Museum, Haarlem, the Netherlands, Michelangelo: Mind of the Master is on view first at the Cleveland Museum of Art from September 22, 2019, to January 5, 2020, before traveling to the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles.

Images courtesy The Cleveland Museum of Art.