One of the great figures of the Renaissance whose fame has rarely been eclipsed, Michelangelo was among the forces that shaped the style usually called Mannerism. He had been summoned to Rome by Pope Julius II in 1508 to design the pope's tomb for St. Peter's, was also employed on the decoration of the Sistine ceiling and altar wall, and worked for the papacy in Rome for the last thirty years of his long and fruitful career. The Morgan's Annunciation to the Virgin of ca. 1547 and a series of four sketches of David Slaying Goliath superbly demonstrate the artist's consummate skill as a designer of dramatic compositions and draftsman of the human anatomy.
Unlike Raphael, Michelangelo did not keep a large workshop, although he did have a number of associates, artist friends, and followers. Among them was Daniele da Volterra, whose Kneeling Figure of ca. 1550—a study for a fresco in the church of Santissima Trinità dei Monti—is a rare example of his delicate, precise drawing style. A drawing attributed to Giulio Clovio, that is a reprise of Michelangelo's renowned composition The Dream of Human Life (Il Sogno) of the early 1530s, reflects the fame and influence of the great master's highly refined and innovative presentation drawings. The show also includes the Farnese Hours, once the most famous illuminated manuscript, lavishly illustrated by Clovio for Cardinal Alessandro Farnese. Pellegrino Tibaldi's heavily draped Seated Barbarian Prisoners, a further example of the enduring influence of Michelangelo's figure style and draftsmanship, is also on display.
Michelangelo and Michelangelo's Followers