Exhibition: ‘Michelangelo: The Drawings of a Genius’ at Albertina, Vienna

Exhibition dates: 8th October 2010 – 9th January 2011


Michelangelo Buonarroti. 'Male Nude Seen From the Back With a Flag Staff' c. 1504


Michelangelo Buonarroti (Italian, 1475-1564)
Male Nude Seen From the Back With a Flag Staff
c. 1504
© Albertina, Vienna



The delineation of the body, the curvature and compression of muscles, the texture like that of rubbing the thumb and fingers together, the colour, the tension between form and space – all glorious!


Many thankx to the Albertina for allowing me to publish the fabulous drawings in the posting. Please click on the drawings for a larger version of the image.



Michelangelo Buonarroti. 'Standing Male Nude Seen From Behind' 1501-04


Michelangelo Buonarroti (Italian, 1475-1564)
Standing Male Nude Seen From Behind
© Albertina, Vienna


Michelangelo Buonarroti. 'Pietà' around 1530-36


Michelangelo Buonarroti (Italian, 1475-1564)
around 1530-1536
© Albertina, Vienna


Michelangelo Buonarroti. 'The Risen Christ' c. 1532


Michelangelo Buonarroti (Italian, 1475-1564)
The Risen Christ
c. 1532
The Royal Collection
© 2009, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II


Michelangelo Buonarroti. 'Study of a Seated Young Man and Two Studies of the Right Arm' (Recto), around 1511


Michelangelo Buonarroti (Italian, 1475-1564)
Study of a Seated Young Man and Two Studies of the Right Arm (Recto)
around 1511
© Albertina, Vienna



In a major exhibition scheduled for autumn and winter 2010, the Albertina will present around one hundred of the most beautiful drawings by Michelangelo. Precious works from the Graphic Arts Collection of the Albertina, as well as important loans from museums and private collections in Europe and the United States, will offer a hitherto unparalleled overview of the great Florentine’s entire oeuvre. 
The focus will be on the figural drawings by Michelangelo, who will be introduced here as the genius of a period of change, with his versatile talents as a draftsman, painter, architect, and sculptor. 
The show traces Michelangelo’s career from the artist’s juvenile works and designs for The Battle of Cascina to the world-famous frescoes in the Sistine Chapel, the ingenious drawings he presented to Tommaso de’ Cavalieri, and the Crucifixion scenes dating from the artist’s late period, when he was almost eighty years old. At the same time, new clues as to the dating of individual works will be provided. Projections of the monumental ceiling frescoes, the incorporation of plaster casts of Michelangelo’s sculptures, as well as paintings by other artists based on the master’s designs are meant to illustrate the dimensions and impact of his art. New paths of didactic presentation will be forged through a documentation of contemporary history and the artist’s environment.

Between 8 October 2010 and 9 January 2011, the Albertina presents the first major Michelangelo exhibition in more than twenty years. This display of 120 out of the artist’s most precious drawings offers a comprehensive insight into the work of this great genius. The sheets come from the Albertina’s own holdings, as well as from important European and American museums – the Uffizi and the Casa Buonarroti in Florence, the Louvre in Paris, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Teylers Museum in Haarlem, the Royal Library in Windsor Castle (property of the British monarch) and the British Museum in London – and private collections.

It was three years ago that curator Dr Achim Gnann began his preparations for this exhibition. His goal is to review those datings of Michelangelo’s drawings that have sometimes been considered controversial and elaborate on the evolution of the artist’s style with utmost clarity.

Text from the Albertina website


Michelangelo Buonarroti. 'Studies for the Libyan Sibyl' (recto) 1511-12


Michelangelo Buonarroti (Italian, 1475-1564)
Studies for the Libyan Sibyl (recto)
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
© 2007. The Metropolitan Museum of Art/Art Resource/Scala, Florence


Michelangelo Buonarroti. 'Madonna and Child' 1520-25


Michelangelo Buonarroti (Italian, 1475-1564)
Madonna and Child
© Casa Buonarroti, Florence


Michelangelo Buonarroti. 'Half-Length Figure of Cleopatra' (recto) c. 1533


Michelangelo Buonarroti (Italian, 1475-1564)
Half-Length Figure of Cleopatra (recto)
c. 1533
© Casa Buonarroti, Florence


Michelangelo Buonarroti. 'Study of a Male Nude, Separate Study of his Head' (recto) 1534-1536


Michelangelo Buonarroti (Italian, 1475-1564)
Study of a Male Nude, Separate Study of his Head (recto)
© Teylers Museum, Haarlem



Albertinaplatz 1
1010 Vienna, Austria
Phone: +43 (0)1 534 83-0

Opening hours:
Daily 10am – 6pm
Wednesday and Friday 10am – 9pm

Albertina website


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2 Responses to “Exhibition: ‘Michelangelo: The Drawings of a Genius’ at Albertina, Vienna”

  1. December 31, 2012 at 7:02 pm

    I have to thank you for the efforts you’ve put in writing this website. I really hope to see the same high-grade content by you later on as well. In fact, your creative writing abilities has inspired me to get my own, personal site now 😉

  2. February 23, 2012 at 2:00 am

    A beautiful selection & display of Michelangelo’s drawings. They are a pleasure to study at this size & quality!

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Dr Marcus Bunyan

Dr Marcus Bunyan is an Australian artist and writer. His art work explores the boundaries of identity and place. He writes Art Blart, an art and cultural memory archive, which posts mainly photography exhibitions from around the world. He holds a Doctor of Philosophy from RMIT University, Melbourne, a Master of Arts (Fine Art Photography) from RMIT University, and a Master of Art Curatorship from the University of Melbourne.

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