Michelangelo: Divine Draftsman and Designer
by Carmen Bambach
METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART
Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni is widely appreciated as one of the most influential artists of the Italian Renaissance as he did not limit his work to one discipline but pursued a holistic approach to the arts tackling painting, sculpting, the written word and architecture with equal measure. Born as part of the Medici family, his works are weaved into the fabric of what comes to mind when one thinks of the more prominent pieces of the Vatican Museum’s exhibits.
So far for the basics and historical facts.
If you would like to enrich your library with a tome on the man, Michelangelo: Divine Draftsman and Designer is not the worst start.
What made Michelangelo the Renaissance man he was is that his intricate emissions encapsulated a range of styles, concepts and drawings. He managed to consolidate the spectrum of the arts of his time in an unprecedented and unique manner.
The fact that only time eventually told how far ahead of his times he was goes without saying.
The book, which was originally released as a companion to the exhibition at the MET, features more than 200 drawings, arranged thematically, as well as paintings, sculptures, and architectural plans.
Framed by narrations of Carmen C. Bambach, who is thecurator in the Department of Drawings and Prints at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, highlight and document the times and trials of Michelangelo’s long career, which ultimately culminated in his world renowned work as the architect of St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican, apart from drawings and other references that have entered popular culture, e.g. from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to references by T.S. Eliot, that are testament to how integral Michelangelo’s work is to the DNA of what inspired art after him.
Carmen Bambach manages to not only state facts but she subtly illuminates facets of Michelangelo’s creative process and underlying ideas as well as their impact on the manifestation of his art, which makes it an interesting and engaging read for anyone interested in creative processes – be it music, design or the performing variation – as the man had a unique angle both inspiring and challenging when it came to channeling his alchemy.