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This exhibition brings one of art history's greatest figures to Seattle for the first time. Drawn exclusively from the collection of the Casa Buonarroti in Florence, the show explores Michelangelo's complex personality and different aspects of his life and career. Centered around twelve original drawings by Michelangelo, the exhibition also features portraits of the artist, personal documents, and decorative arts from the Casa Buonarroti.
The primary focus of the exhibition is Michelangelo's preliminary work for the Sistine Chapel in Rome, including a selection of working drawings for the Sistine Ceiling and the Last Judgment. Together, these objects give modern viewers insight into the artist's working process, from sketches to finished studies. This exposure would have appalled Michelangelo, who burned many of his drawings hoping to sustain the idea that divine inspiration, not human labor, was responsible for his celebrated masterpieces.
The Casa Buonarroti was founded in 1612 by Michelangelo's great-nephew as a monument to his famous relative, on the site of the artist's former home. Housing original works of art, including the largest collection of Michelangelo's drawings in the world, it now acts as the protector of the artist's legacy.
–Chiyo Ishikawa, Susan Brotman Deputy Director for Art and Curator of European Painting & Sculpture
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Study of a man's face for the Flood in the Sistine ceiling, 1509–10, Michelangelo Buonarroti, Italian, 1475–1564, red chalk, 125 x 142 mm, Courtesy Fondazione Casa Buonarroti