Michelangelo and the Sistine Chapel

The exhibition at MAG, Riva del Garda

SUMMER/AUTUMN 2022 – An immense artist and a colossal undertaking, bringing a work of art of unrivalled beauty into the light. From 6 August to 23 October 2022, MAG (Museo Alto Garda) in Riva del Garda, will host “Michelangelo and the Sistine Chapel, exploring original drawings by the artist from Casa Buonarroti”.

Though a precious selection of original drawings and works of art from Casa Buonarroti in Florence, the exhibition explores the long and complex creative process behind what is considered one of the greatest artistic masterpieces in the world.

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Michelangelo e la Cappella Sistina: la mostra a Riva del Garda

The exhibition “Michelangelo and the Sistine Chapel” at MAG

At MAG, from 23 October 2022, it will be possible to admire original drawings by the artist himself, featuring preparatory studies for the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, with some of the most well-known figures and scenes from the masterpiece in the Vatican City, including the Expulsion from Paradise and gli Ignudi (seated male nudes). These are followed by preparatory drawings for The Last Judgement, with studies for the fresco in its entirety and details of the damned.

The exhibition is completed with sixteenth-century engravings by Ghisi and other accompanying works. These include a precious print depicting the Sistine Chapel before the work by Michelangelo and a precious eighteenth-century etching from the collection of Casa Buonarroti with a view of the Sistine Chapel after his work.

The exhibition, conceived by Vittorio Sgarbi and curated by Cristina Acidini and Alessandro Cecchi has been produced and organised by MAG and Metamorfosi in collaboration with Casa Buonarroti of Florence and with the patronage of the Autonomous Province of Trento.

Michelangelo e la Cappella Sistina: la mostra a Riva del Garda

A masterpiece presenting the life of the artist

The exhibition in Riva del Garda, also tells the story of the artist’s life through the creation of the work, as he completed the Sistine Chapel frescos in two distinct periods of his life.

When Pope Julius II gave Michelangelo the commission to create the frescos for the Ceiling in 1508, the artist was 33 years old. It was an undertaking of immense proportions due to the size of the surface to decorate (40 m long and over 13 metres wide). To create the work, the artist worked for months lying on scaffolding, eating his meals directly under the ceiling. This was exhausting work that lasted until 1512, creating one of the greatest and most important masterpieces of western art.

Two different popes came and went during the creation of the fresco The Last Judgement, located behind the altar of the Sistine Chapel. Pope Clement VII contacted the artist, now sixty years old, to give him the commission, but died before work began. Fortunately, his successor, Pope Paul III confirmed the commission and in 1536 Michelangelo was able to begin his incredible work, which was completed in 1541.


Michelangelo Buonarroti, Studio di testa per il “Diluvio” per la Volta Sistina, 1509-1510 circa, matita rossa, 125 × 142 mm, Firenze, Casa Buonarroti
Michelangelo Buonarroti, Studio di un braccio per una figura nella Volta Sistina, 1509-1510 circa, matita nera, 98 × 131 mm , Firenze, Casa Buonarroti, inv. 8 F

© Associazione MetaMorfosi, Roma. (Foto: Massimo Menghini)


Michelangelo and the Sistine Chapel

Michelangelo and the Sistine Chapel

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Published on 06/06/2023