Marco Pallotti

Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475-1564), was an influential artist during the Italian Renaissance, and a new exhibition at the Getty Center — “Michelangelo: Mind of the Master” — brings together over 28 of his drawings, many of which have never been seen outside of Europe.

A new exhibition at the Getty Center, “Michelangelo: Mind of the Master”, opened on Tuesday, Feb. 24. It was organized by the Getty in conjunction with the Cleveland Museum of Art and the Teylers Museum based in Haarlem, Netherlands.

Upon entering the exhibition, the lit pedestal displays illuminated the drawings in an otherwise dark room. Many of the double-sided displays are placed above freestanding pedestals throughout the room, effectively showcasing the beauty and genius of Michelangelo’s work.

The exhibition cohesively captured Michelangelo’s essence, however there were a few pieces in particular that really stood out. The intricately composed The Holy Family with Saint John the Baptist, reveals the artist’s devotion to his craft.

Additionally, an architectural drawing of a section through the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica shows the quality of the master’s draughtsmanship, even when not rendering the human form.

In the last room, wall-sized copies of the Creation of Adam and The Last Judgment, originally from the Sistine Chapel, demonstrate Michelangelo’s command of his craft on a large scale. The sheer majesty of these large images communicates to the viewer what words could not.

It’s believed Michelangelo drew prolifically, however, he burned many of his drawings throughout his life. Analysis included at the Getty exhibit poses the possibility that he did this because he was distrustful of his rivals and colleagues, and didn’t want his ideas stolen.

When he died, only a few drawings were found in his home, locked in a wooden chest, protected by wax seals. More were found at his other home in Florence but the number of drawings that survived are but a fraction of his original output. Seeing so many of his drawings in one place, and displayed so creatively, is a truly unique experience.

The exhibition will be open to the public through June 7 at the Getty Center.

Marco Pallotti is a student at Santa Monica College and a member of the SMC Corsair staff

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *