Universally considered one of the greatest artists of the Italian Renaissance, Michelangelo devoted four years to painting the vast ceiling fresco in the Sistine Chapel. This preparatory study portrays one of the 20 athletic male nudes, known as ignudi, who serve as supporting figures at each corner of the Old Testament scenes painted down the center of the ceiling. Michelangelo worked out the positioning of the ignudi in red chalk drawings before beginning to paint each section of wet plaster. The energy and monumentality of the figure in red chalk, whose body extends beyond the sheet, suggests the heroic athleticism of Michelangelo’s sculpture.
cma 1945a; cma 1958-59; cma 1960b; cma 1962a; cma 1964; cma 1966-67a; Providence 1967, 12; Cleveland 1971, no. 58 (as Alessandro Allori); Tokyo/Kyoto 1976, no. 22; cma 1978b; Cleveland 1979a, 10, 11, 16, 25, 57, 81-83, no. 55; cma 1980-81; cma 1983c; cma 1983f; cma 1986-87b; cma 1988b; cma 1991f; Cleveland 1997, 111, no. 35.
Cleveland, Ohio: The Cleveland Museum of Art; February 8 - April 12, 1998. "Vatican Treasures: Early Christian, Reniassance, and Baroque Art from the Papal Collections," exh. cat. no. 35, p. 111.
The Cleveland Museum of Art (8/27/00 - 10/17/00); NY, NY: The Pierpont Morgan Library (5/24/01- 8/19/01); Museum of Fine Arts Houston (10/14/01 - 1/6/02); "Master Drawings from The Cleveland Museum of Art", exh. cat. no. 6, color repr. p. 31, pp. 30-33; p. 284.
National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa (5/29/2009 - 9/6/2009): "From Raphael to the Carracci: The Art of Papal Rome" ex. cat. no. 9, p. 93-94.
CMA, "Treasures on Paper from the Collection of the Cleveland Museum of Art" (Mar. 9, 2014-Jun. 8, 2014)