Thursday, February 4, 2010

Progress: Master Copy

OK, so remember my copy of Michelangelo's only surviving portrait, his drawing of Andrea. I've spent some more time working on it with my new knowledge and skill ? from my classes at Gage.

And just in case you can't tell...On the left is Michelangelo's. On the right is my copy, still not quite finished. Double click on the image for a larger detailed pic.

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.

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