“Michelangelo: Divine Draftsman and Designer”
Fri Nov 10, 2017 7:32am

“Michelangelo: Divine Draftsman and Designer” at the Metropolitan Museum of Art is a monument to a monument. With more than 200 works, and a core group of 133 drawings by the beyond-famous artist — the largest number ever assembled — on loan from some 50 front-rank collections, it’s a curatorial coup. More important, it’s an art historical tour de force: a panoptic view of a titanic career as recorded in the most fragile of media — paper, chalk, and ink.

It’s a show with demands: It requires that you be fully present. Snapping it with smartphones won’t do. Drawing is more than a graphic experience; it’s a textural one, about the pressure of crayon and pen on a page; the subliminal fade and focus of lines; the weave and shadow-creating swells of surfaces. Barely seeable, never mind photographable, these effects are, one way or another, the truest evidence of the artist’s hand.

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