Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Promise 65: Copy of Michelangelo's Drawing, Day 5

I got up at midnight to work on little Andrea. And today, thanks to Karen, I've decided to leave well enough alone and to quit.

I googled Andrea because it occurred to me that maybe he was a girl, not a boy. Here's what I found. Incredibly interesting:

Michelangelo Buonarroti

"Portrait of Andrea Quaratesi" a drawing - Around AD 1532

His only surviving portrait drawing.

According to Giorgio Vasari, one of Michelangelo's biographers, he was most reluctant to make portrait drawings 'unless the subject was one of perfect beauty'. This is the only surviving portrait drawing by Michelangelo. Drawn in black chalk, it shows the head and shoulders of a young man, Andrea Quaratesi (1512-85) who was one of several noble youths much admired by Michelangelo. Though from a noble Florentine family, it is possible that Michelangelo tried to teach this young Florentine how to draw, as the artist wrote on a drawing now in Oxford: 'Andrea, have patience'. The young man wears contemporary dress, a cap flat on his head, as he looks out to his left. The drawing is lit from the left so that the delicate shadows are formed by small, careful parallel strokes of chalk.

Michelangelo rarely gave his drawings away, other than to close friends or pupils. He presented these carefully finished 'presentation drawings' only to those whom he admired and loved. In his own words, they were carried out 'for love rather than duty'.

Information provided by the British Museum.

1 comment:

Karen Appleton said...

How interesting to know the history behind this portrait and to hear his quote about portrait drawings, thank you for sharing this info!

PS, glad you decided to stop working on this beautiful drawing of yours, I think it captures a quiet and ethereal feeling. Very well done!!