ARTYFACTS: Michelangelo Drawings - Tate Britain

Friday, January 12, 2007

Michelangelo Drawings - Tate Britain

British Museum scrum
Another British Museum sqeezebox exhibition. They really don't have the space for this type of show, neither do they have the curatorial expertise. It was so crammed and full that nornmally polite exhibition goers were bumping into and falling out with each other. Michelango needs some room guys. These figures need to stretch and move in the mind. It was like some sort of sordid peep-show in a basement.

Having been to Rome, Florence and Paris within the last year and really gone to town on Michelangelo, I looked forward to seeing these drawings. In Rome we had sought out his Moses, Christ carrying a cross in Rome's baroque churches, as well as the Pieta, St Peter's Dome and the Sistine Chapel. In Florence, David, Tomb of Lorenzo, Bacchus/Tondos in the Bargello, the other Pieta, the Luarentian Library and the medici tomb. In Paris the two dying slaves, the best of six, the other four we had seen in in the Galleria dell'Accademia Florence. These works realy have to be seen to be appreciated as they live on in the memroy.

We're taken on a timeline through the exhibition that works well but an exhibition of drawings keeps you at the level of virtuosity. The execution is exquisite but it doesn't have nearly the same effect as the blazing colour of the now restored Sistine or the presence of the dying slaves and David. We're are indeed peeping behind the curtain here. I came out annoyed at being packed in and having been fleeced.


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