Monday, 30th October 2017

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From idea to image on paper

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By The Telegraph Online
  • Published 29.09.06

MICHELANGELO DRAWINGS: CLOSER TO THE MASTER (The British Museum Press, £25) by Hugo Chapman was written to accompany a major exhibition of the work of Il Divino as draughtsman. It brings together the drawings in the British and Dutch collections, with a deeply learned chronological study. These drawings show the labour, intellectual and manual, that produced the sublimity of Michelangelo’s finished masterpieces. The disegno encompasses both the mental formulation of the idea, the design, and the drawing that was the result of this process. The drawings here are of grotesques in red chalk. Michelangelo believed that such whimsical grotteschi were a source of “variation and relaxation of the senses”. The old man on the right, with a goitre and a cap, has a figure suckling from one of his pendulous breasts.