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Michelangelo Buonarroti
The "Crouching Youth" from the State Hermitage Museum and the Medici Chapel in Florence
September 12, 2000 November 12, 2000

The sculpture "Crouching Youth" created by Michelangelo in c. 1530 - 1534 was intended by the sculptor for the Medici Chapel. In 1520 Giulio de'Medici commissioned Michelangelo to construct a burial-vault for the Medici family called the New Sacristy. The exhibition features one of the earliest drawings of Michelangelo depicting a wall of the Chaple (the British Museum) and two figures of boys resembling the Hermitage statue. The sculpture "Crouching Youth" was purchased by Catherine II in 1785 together with the collection of sculptures of the Director of the Bank of England John Lyde Browne who in his turn bought it in Italy. The "Crouching Youth" was acquired by Browne around 1768 - 1779. The exhibition also offers terracotta replicas of the statues "Day" and "Evening" acquired by the Hermitage Museum in 1800 and a wax model of the river god from the Casa Buonarroti (Florence, Italy).

An important part of the exhibition are also sketches, studies and rough drawings from the Casa Buonarroti, the Uffizi Gallery and the British Museum. Seventeen of these items were executed by Michelangelo and three by other Florentine masters who worked with him in the Medici Chapel. Of special interest are drawings from the Casa Buonarroti "Studies of the Tombs of the New Sacristy". It is a difficult task to interpret the drawings as long as the artist was likely to be absorbed with a number of ideas. He was using one and the same sheet of paper for several different projects at different moments of his life and his creative ideas used to influence each other. Another group of the objects from the Casa Buonarroti are studies of figures ("A Study of a Kneeling Naked Figure" and two studies depicting sitting figures and legs). The style of Michelangelo in these drawings made by pen is one of the most energetic and changeable. The artist draws the figures as if the drawing were made from bare muscles. In addition on display there are sculptures made by the masters who worked together with the great Michelangelo. Among them are two statues from the State Museum of Medieval and Modern Art in Arezzo (Italy) and two statues representing angels from the Dome Museum in Pisa.

Crouching Youth
Larger view

Tomb of Lorenzo de' Medici
Larger view

Terracotta copy from the statue "Day"
Larger view

Terracotta copy from the statue "Evening"
Larger view





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