Twenty-six rare drawings from the renowned collection of the Casa Buonarroti in Florence, Italy, comprise one of the most important Michelangelo exhibitions in America in nearly three decades. The Casa Buonarroti, once owned by the artist, is the world’s largest repository for Michelangelo’s drawings, architectural studies, and memoirs.
The images in Sacred and Profane are memorable figurative studies and architectural drawings by the hand of Michelangelo. Included is one of Michelangelo’s most admired and complete drawings, the large Madonna and Child. Additional images include preparatory drawings for later paintings. The Head of the Madonna is a study for his painting Doni Tondo, and the sublime sketch of the Head of Leda was made for Leda and the Swan, a painting now lost and known today only through copies.
A renowned sculptor and painter in his own time, Michelangelo’s legacy as an architect was no less monumental. Highlighted in the exhibition are several of his innovative architectural plans. Among them are drawings for theFaçade of San Lorenzo in Florence, and his innovative Plan for the Church of San Giovanni dei Fiorentini in Rome. These works help demonstrate Michelangelo’s lasting influence on architecture, and scholar Adriano Marinazzo considers these designs to be “among the most fascinating architectural projects of the entire Renaissance.”
This exhibition is an exceptional opportunity for the Phoenix community and the state of Arizona, as Michelangelo’s works rarely travel outside of Italy. Sacred and Profane exhibited in 2013 at The Muscarelle Museum of Art and the Museum of Fine Arts Boston.