[PAST EVENT] Michelangelo: Sacred and Profane

February 9, 2013 - April 14, 2013
Muscarelle Museum of Art
611 Jamestown Rd
Williamsburg, VA 23185Map this location
The purpose of the new exhibition with its unprecedented theme, "Sacred and Profane", is to investigate the artist's innermost philosophy as revealed in his original, often astonishingly beautiful, drawings.

Throughout his career, Michelangelo (1475-1564) alternated between interpretations of the divine and the worldly, or profane. The master's powers to evoke the sacred are fully displayed in the large drawing of the Virgin and Child, which is one of Michelangelo's most admired images. The statuesque figures of the Child is contrasted to the expressive freedom of the Madonna's face, which appears to see the future with foreboding.

The imaginary portrait of Cleopatra is considered one of the Renaissance genius's most poetic conceptions, which he made as a gift for his friend, Tommaso Cavalieri. The serene refinement of the ancient seductress on the front side of the drawing is surprisingly contrasted on the reverse by an expressionistic rendering of the same woman in a state of anguish.

A renowned sculptor and painter, Michelangelo's legacy as an architect was no less monumental. The Casa Buonarroti holds by far the most extensive and important collection of Michelangelo architectural drawings in the world, from which a selection of highlights has been chosen. The twenty-five drawings selected for Michelangelo: Sacred and Profane are divided between studies for paintings and designs and plans for churches and military fortifications, including several major sheets never previously exhibited in the United States.

During this exhibition, there is an admission fee of $15. Admission is free for Museum members, William & Mary faculty, staff and students, as well as children under 12.

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