Support: Two sheets (joined) of cream(1) laid paper, with edges (reinforced) laid down on strips (2 cm. wide) of laid paper
Sheet: 55.9 x 41.5 cm (22 x 16 5/16 in.); Secondary Support: 57.7 x 42.9 cm (22 11/16 x 16 7/8 in.)
Gift of Jane and Robert Lewis in memory of Harold Fallon 1990.58
Catalogue raisonné: Lewis&Boorsch 44
During the 1500s Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel ceiling was rarely open to the public and thus for the most part inaccessible. Artists, however, were generally allowed to visit the chapel to study and make drawings from the paintings. Giorgio Ghisi did so in the 1540s and created engravings of six of the chapel’s prophets and sybils. His Prophet Joel accurately reproduces the pose, costume elements, and architectural detail of the figure in a voluminous engraving technique, with dramatic darks and lights that evoke the three-dimensional forms of sculpture. Engravings such as this spread Michelangelo’s inventions throughout Europe, but in pieces: one still had to visit the chapel to see the whole composition.
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