Tags for: Michelangelo: Mind of the Master
  • Special Exhibition

Seated male nude, separate study of his right arm (recto) (detail), 1511. Michelangelo Buonarroti (Italian, 1475–1564). Red chalk, heightened with white; 27.9 x 21.4 cm. Teylers Museum, Haarlem, purchased in 1790. © Teylers Museum, Haarlem

Michelangelo: Mind of the Master

Sunday, September 22, 2019–Sunday, January 5, 2020
Location:  003 Special Exhibition Hall
The Kelvin and Eleanor Smith Foundation Exhibition Hall

About The Exhibition

The name of the Italian Renaissance painter, sculptor, and architect Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475–1564) is synonymous with creative genius and virtuosity. The exhibition Michelangelo: Mind of the Master presents an unprecedented opportunity for museum visitors to experience the brilliance of Michelangelo’s achievements on an intimate scale through more than two dozen original drawings. Michelangelo’s genius is especially evident through his breathtaking draftsmanship on sheets filled with multiple figures and close studies of human anatomy. These working sketches invite us to look over the shoulder of one of Western art history’s most influential masters and to experience firsthand his boundless creativity and extraordinary mastery of the human form. These drawings demonstrate Michelangelo’s inventive preparations for his most important and groundbreaking commissions, including the Sistine Chapel ceiling fresco, sculptures for the tomb of Giuliano de’ Medici, and the dome of Saint Peter’s Basilica. 

Michelangelo: Mind of the Master brings to the United States for the first time a group of drawings by Michelangelo from the remarkable collection of the Teylers Museum (Haarlem, The Netherlands), which was formed in the 18th century in part from the collection of Queen Christina of Sweden (1626–1689). Additional drawings from the collections of the Cleveland Museum of Art and the J. Paul Getty Museum round out the display. A fully illustrated catalogue accompanies the exhibition and includes essays by Emily J. Peters (Cleveland Museum of Art), Julian Brooks (J. Paul Getty Museum), and Carel van Tuyll van Serooskerken (Teylers Museum) that explore Michelangelo’s working methods and major projects, as well as the fascinating history of the ownership of his drawings after his death.

Because drawings can be damaged by light, the light levels must be kept low in the galleries. After you enter, give your eyes a moment to adjust. 

In the last gallery, we invite you to sit and enjoy a selection of touchable reproductions of drawings from the exhibition.

An audio tour and large-print labels are available at the exhibition entrance.


Pop-Up Drawing Lounge Through January 5, 2020, Tuesday and Sunday, 11:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m., Parker Hannifin Corporation Donor Gallery. Drop in for a weekly pop-up drawing lounge related to Michelangelo: Mind of the Master. Whatever your skill level, we invite you to spend some time engaging your creative side. The lounge will be closed Tuesday, December 24 and 31.



Organized by the Teylers Museum in collaboration with the Cleveland Museum of Art and the J. Paul Getty Museum

This exhibition is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities.

Major Sponsors
Josie and Chace Anderson
Sam J. Frankino Foundation
Bill and Joyce Litzler

Supporting Sponsors
In Honor of Helen M. DeGulis
Stephen Dull
David A. Osage and Claudia C. Woods
Dr. and Mrs. Gösta Pettersson
Dr. Linda M. Sandhaus and Dr. Roland S. Philip
Anne H. Weil