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Monday, May 22, 2017

“Michelangelo Life Drawings”, by Michelangelo Buonarroti

48 pages, Dover Art Library, ISBN-13: 978-0486238760

Throughout his long life, Michelangelo Buonarroti never ceased to practice drawing with pen, pencil, or chalk, and in Michelangelo Life Drawings over sixty years of creative activity have been reproduced, with the artist producing scores of sketches, drawings, and studies: nudes, heads, figure studies, Madonnas, anatomical drawings, studies of children and animals, mythical representations, and religious works. This book reproduces 46 of his finest drawings, embodying most of his artistic themes and techniques and executed in his characteristic media of pen and ink, and red and black chalk. The extraordinary strength, grace, and clarity of his renderings are beautifully illustrated on every page. The compositions range from youthful studies modeled after ancient sculpture and early Renaissance frescoes to the otherworldly religious creations of his old age. Many are preliminary drawings executed in connection with some of his most important commissions: the marble David; the famous cartoon for the projected fresco in the Palazzo Vecchio, The Battle of Cascina; the paintings on the vaulted ceiling of the Sistine Chapel; the imposing fresco of The Last Judgment in the same chapel; as well as several of the more highly finished allegorical presentation drawings of the early Sixteenth Century.

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