My Dear friends

This site not work anymore .I have a new site and you can go there visit me. I dont go put more post here anymore ... If you like this blog go there .. I will be there for you ... Olá meus queridos amigos ... agora tenho um novo blog Este site nao funcionará mais , tive alguns problemas. Agora tenho um novo endereco de blog. Nao irei mais colocar post neste blog .. Todas as atualizacoes e novidades estarao no outro endereco .. Acessem... estarei lá pra vcssss Se vcs gostaram desse blog irao amar o outro .. mais atualizado e lindo ... Vamos láaaa .... visitem-me lá .. Beijinhos Lili

Tank for everything !!!

segunda-feira, 15 de fevereiro de 2010

Michelangelo's Dream at the Courtauld Gallery, review

An exhibition of Michelangelo's drawings at the Courtauld is a curatorial and scholarly triumph. Rating: * * * *

Published: 4:55PM GMT 15 Feb 2010
Cupid strikes: detail from Michelangelo's 'The Dream' (c1533)

During the winter of 1532, the 57-year-old Michelangelo fell heart and soul in love with the Roman nobleman Tommaso de’ Cavalieri, who was probably not yet 20 years old. As well as extraordinary beauty, the young man possessed gentle manners, a cultivated mind, and an intelligence capable of appreciating the honour of being loved by a man of Michelangelo’s genius.

As far as is known, that love was physically unrequited, though that does not mean it was chaste. For Michelangelo expressed his desire for Tommaso openly in letters, poems, and the spectacular gift of five of the most perfect drawings he ever made, known today as the presentation drawings.

Unlike Michelangelo’s working drawings, these highly worked studies in black and red chalk were finished works of art in their own right. Vasari says that Michelangelo gave them to Tommaso 'that he might learn to draw’ but he must have known that they would be framed, displayed, admired and discussed by the sophisticated literary and artistic circle at the court of the Medici Pope Clement VII.

What an inspired idea it was for the Courtauld Gallery to bring these marvels together with one of the most sublime drawings in its own collection, Michelangelo’s The Dream.

There is no evidence that The Dream was among the works Michelangelo presented to Cavalieri. But its date (around 1533), high degree of finish, format and subject (a neo-platonic emblem of the soul awakening from the deceits and follies of the world), closely resembles the five other works associated with Cavalieri.

The series starts with a depiction of the giant Tityus, bound hand and foot to a rock in Hades to punish his lust by having a vulture feed daily on his liver. It continues with a drawing of The Rape of Ganymede, ravished by Jupiter in the form of an eagle. The fall of Phaeton, son of the sun god, follows, and the last drawing in the series, the only one in red chalk, shows a bacchanal of children who represent human sensuality and ignorance unchecked by reason or intellect.

On one occasion Tommaso told Michelangelo that he spent two hours daily contemplating these drawings. If the 'Dream’ was among them, he studied it both as a technical tour de force and as an intellectual exercise, an ideogram communicating ideas and feelings too subtle for words to express.

The drawing shows an idealised male nude awakened from sleep by a winged spirit descending from heaven. With a trumpet blast to the forehead (that is, to the brain, not the ear), the youth rises up from sleep, disengaging himself from a terrestrial globe, symbol of the world to which he has become attached.

In a box at his feet a jumble of theatrical masks signifies worldly deceit, hypocrisy, and falsehood. In a semi circle behind the central figure Michelangelo draws faint vignettes illustrating six of the seven deadly sins – Gluttony, Lust, Avarice, Envy, Anger and Sloth.

The seventh, Pride, is the awakening youth, whose self love is the worst sin of all because it the source of all the others. Awakened to this self -knowledge, he turns away from sin to enter into the full consciousness of life’s true purpose, the love of what is good.

As a draughtsman, Michelangelo worked as though he were chiselling stone, first exerting hardly any pressure on the chalk to lightly sketch in forms, then going over the lines again, this time pressing down harder to create volume and accentuate contour. In the 'Dream’, for example, the outlines of the faintly drawn vignettes illustrating the vices are not reinforced because he intends them to be read as miasmas, but he models the torso of the awakening youth with infinite subtly, using touches of chalk interspersed with the white of the paper.

Vasari tells us that Michelangelo hated outsiders to see his working drawings because they revealed the endless pains he took to attain perfection. But so smitten was he with Cavalieri that when he sent the boy the first of three drawings showing the Fall of Phaeton, he included a message at the bottom of the sheet: 'If this sketch does not please you, say so in time for me to do another tomorrow evening; and if it please you and you wish me to finish it, send it back to me.’.

Incredibly (Michelangelo was, after all, the most famous artist in the world), Tommaso must have criticised the drawing and asked for another. Even more incredibly, he was right in his critical judgement. The final drawing is far more successful – both for the concision with which it tells a complex story, and for the perfect symmetry of composition.

At one level the presentation drawings are moralizing allegories intended for Tommaso’s edification. But whether consciously intended or not, their sexual innuendo must surely be seen as part of his surprisingly public courtship of the youth.

In medieval and Renaissance art, the vices were invariably personified (as opposed to illustrated), lest their explicit representation tempt the viewer to commit the very sin they are being warned against. But in representing the sin of 'Lust’, Michelangelo departs from this convention by including two erect phalluses as well as scenes of heterosexual copulation.

As Matthias Vollmer makes clear in his catalogue essay, the only other place in renaissance art you find this level of explicit detail is in pornographic prints. Likewise, the eagle’s powerful talons grip Ganymede from behind and pull his legs apart, while he appears to swoon with pleasure.

This is not a big show, and yet I have not yet begun to suggest how much it has to tell us. The curator Stephanie Buck has a knack for explaining difficult ideas with the lightest of touches, and the catalogue essays do full justice to the power of Michelangelo’s intellect, as well as to hand and eye.

In every discussion of every drawing Buck acknowledges often thorny questions of attribution before telling us what she thinks. I disagreed with one attribution (the rubbery figure of Christ balancing on tiptoe in the 'Resurrection’ (c 1532) from the British Museum simply could not have been drawn by Michelangelo) but these differences of opinion are inevitable.

The show is supplemented by a selection of Michelangelo’s letters and related drawings, as well as with prints and copies after the 'Dream 'and comparisons with the treatment of similar subjects by other artists. The whole thing is a curatorial and scholarly triumph. I’ll go back again and again.
Until May 16. Information: 020 7848 2526
Michelangelo's Dream at the Courtauld Gallery

Nenhum comentário:

Postar um comentário

Minha lista de blogs