The exhibition, Michelangelo: Incontrare un artista universale, covering the life and work of this colossus for all times, is to be held at the Musei Capitolini on the occasion of the 450th anniversary of the death of Michelangelo Buonarroti in Rome on 18 February 1564. In the heart of the city, in that very Piazza del Campidoglio which the genius of Michelangelo made unique in the world, over one hundred and fifty works, of which around seventy by the Tuscan artist, from many of the leading cultural institutions in Italy and elsewhere, are to commemorate the 450th anniversary of the death of an artist who was so magnificent as to have a lasting influence not only on the arts in Italy but also on all universally known culture.
An exhibition which overcomes the objective impossibility of exhibiting “non-transportable” Michelangelo masterpieces (a prime example being the frescoes in the Sistine chapel) by showing works which can be admired together. These works are in fact displayed, in many cases for the first time, facing each other and side by side in an extraordinary compendium of matchless artistic output, from painting to sculpture and from poetry to architecture, the four genres adopted by Michelangelo, which are to be linked up in nine display sections to focus in this way on the crucial themes of his art. One major example is the extraordinary presence in the exhibition of the great work of art by Michelangelo in a political vein, Brut, on view alongside earlier classical busts, the bronze Brut from the Musei Capitolini and the Caracalla from the Vatican museum, at last on display in a direct comparison with two works which, in different ways and circumstances, were its inspiration.
The fil rouge guiding visitors to the exhibition is market by a series of thematic “opposites” used to highlight the difficulties of the man and of the artist in the devising and creating of his works: ancient and modern, life and death, the battle, the victory and imprisonment, rules and freedom, earthly and spiritual love. The contrast of earthly and spiritual love, for example, was particularly felt by Michelangelo, both in art and in life. This is demonstrated by a set of drawings and other works inspired by close friendships and elective affinities such as those for Tommaso Cavalieri and Vittoria Colonna. Each theme, as if mirrored, is to be analysed by comparing drawings, paintings, sculpture and architectural models, as well as a highly select choice of signed writings, i.e. letters and poetry, via Michelangelo’s full personal and artistic career.
From 27 May til 14 August 2014
Piazza del Camplidoglio 1