Michelangelo’s Brilliance Exhibited At The Met


“Michaelangelo: Divine Draftman and Designer” is on display at the MET now through Feb. 12, 2018. (Courtesy of Julia Boron)

By Julia Boron

“Michaelangelo: Divine Draftman and Designer” is on display at the MET now through Feb. 12, 2018. (Courtesy of Julia Boron)

Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475-1564), arguably one of the greatest artists both of the Renaissance and of all time, currently has an exhibition in his honor at the Metropolitan Museum of Art titled, “Michelangelo: Divine Draftsman and Designer.” He was a master of drawing, design, painting, sculpture and architecture. He was better known by his contemporaries as il Divino, “the Divine One”.

Michelangelo is best known for his famous sculpture of David, his tremendous work on the Sistine Chapel ceiling and his meticulous attention to the human form and its anatomy (maybe only my fellow art history nerds would know this last one).

The exhibit in The Met allows you to see the train of thought behind many of his greatest ideas. It is set up like a maze and guides you through 133 of his drawings, his earliest painting, some sculptures and a wooden architectural model he crafted for a chapel ceiling. As you wander through the exhibit, you will also see complementary artworks by other artists that are meant for the viewer to use in order to compare and contrast. All of the artworks in the exhibit come from 48 collections from all throughout Europe and the United States, both public and private.

As you enter the exhibit, the walls are plain and the lighting is dim to allow for a deeper focus on his artwork and perhaps most importantly, to aid in its preservation.

The exhibit is composed mostly of his drawings. These drawings served as the sketch pad of his initial ideas for his works that would be completed on a much larger scale. Considering his most famous works were completed at the beginning of the 16th century, the fact that these sketches and drawings still exist is astounding. The exhibit showcases Michelangelo’s diversity as an artist of every medium and his sheer brilliance.

The path leads you through until you are standing underneath a projection of the Sistine Chapel ceiling. Based on the state of my bank account, this is the closest I am going to get to the real thing for a long time. I would never think to compare it to the real thing, but it is a nice taste of Michelangelo’s genius that I hope everybody will be able to see during their lifetime.

Standing in the room with the Sistine Chapel ceiling projection are some of Michelangelo’s sketches that correspond with his paintings on the chapel ceiling. You can see the drawing of his initial idea for the famous scene in the “Creation of Adam” where God reaches his outstretched hand to meet Adam’s. Being able to put the idea of the partial sketch together with what is shown on the ceiling adds to the overall experience.

Today, Michelangelo’s legacy as a draftsman and a designer lives on, but the exhibit will not.Admission to The Met is donation based, so while the suggested amount for a student is $12, you are free to pay whatever you wish. The exhibit is included for free with your museum ticket. This once in a lifetime exhibit is only available until Feb 12, 2018.