Michelangelo Buonarroti, “Study of a Mourning Woman,” circa 1500, pen and brown ink heightened with white, 26 x 16.5 cm., Getty Museum, Los Angeles

For a limited time — now through October 29 — the Getty Museum in Los Angeles is exhibiting a rare drawing titled “Study of a Mourning Woman” by this creative genius.

In July 2017, the Getty Museum in Los Angeles, California, made a landmark acquisition of a group of 16 drawings and one painting. One of the drawings is an exceptionally rare study of a woman by Michelangelo Buonarroti, circa 1500. The museum is now exhibiting the drawing to the public through October 29 — its first time on view since being rediscovered in the collection at Castle Howard in 1995. Before then, the drawing had been hidden among other treasures in the family collection, unknown to scholars for hundreds of years.

Timothy Potts, director of the museum, said, “Michelangelo’s drawing is the supernova among a collection of some 16 extraordinarily rare and important drawings recently acquired by the Getty. Michelangelo is rightly regarded as one of the very greatest painters, sculptors, architects, and draftsmen in history, and it was important to me that the people of Los Angeles and other visitors to the Getty have the opportunity to view this exquisite addition to our collection before it is shown elsewhere.”

The museum added, “The drawing represents the pinnacle of a group of pen and ink drawings made early in Michelangelo’s career, at a pivotal moment when his fame as a sculptor was also spreading to dramatic painted compositions. While there is no known Michelangelo project that includes this figurethe design was nevertheless known to a number of the artist’s contemporaries. Examples of figures directly inspired by ’Study of a Mourning Woman’ can be found in a manuscript page in the Farnese Hours by Giulio Clovio (1498-1578), and drawings by Lorenzo Sabatini (c. 1530-1576) and Francesco Salviati (1510-1563).”

To learn more, visit the Getty.

This article was featured in Fine Art Today, a weekly e-newsletter from Fine Art Connoisseur magazine. To start receiving Fine Art Today for free, click here.

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Andrew Webster is the former Editor of Fine Art Today and worked as an editorial and creative marketing assistant for Streamline Publishing. Andrew graduated from The University of North Carolina at Asheville with a B.A. in Art History and Ceramics. He then moved on to the University of Oregon, where he completed an M.A. in Art History. Studying under scholar Kathleen Nicholson, he completed a thesis project that investigated the peculiar practice of embedded self-portraiture within Christian imagery during the 15th and early 16th centuries in Italy.


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