The "Crouching Youth" from the State Hermitage Museum and the
Medici Chapel in Florence
September 12, 2000 – November 12, 2000
The sculpture "Crouching Youth" created by Michelangelo in
c. 1530 - 1534 was intended by the sculptor for the Medici Chapel. In
1520 Giulio de'Medici commissioned Michelangelo to construct a burial-vault
for the Medici family called the New Sacristy. The exhibition features
one of the earliest drawings of Michelangelo depicting a wall of the Chaple
(the British Museum) and two figures of boys resembling the Hermitage
statue. The sculpture "Crouching Youth" was purchased by Catherine
II in 1785 together with the collection of sculptures of the Director
of the Bank of England John Lyde Browne who in his turn bought it in Italy.
The "Crouching Youth" was acquired by Browne around 1768 - 1779.
The exhibition also offers terracotta replicas of the statues "Day"
and "Evening" acquired by the Hermitage Museum in 1800 and a
wax model of the river god from the Casa Buonarroti (Florence, Italy).
An important part of the exhibition are also sketches, studies and rough
drawings from the Casa Buonarroti, the Uffizi Gallery and the British
Museum. Seventeen of these items were executed by Michelangelo and three
by other Florentine masters who worked with him in the Medici Chapel.
Of special interest are drawings from the Casa Buonarroti "Studies
of the Tombs of the New Sacristy". It is a difficult task to interpret
the drawings as long as the artist was likely to be absorbed with a number
of ideas. He was using one and the same sheet of paper for several different
projects at different moments of his life and his creative ideas used
to influence each other. Another group of the objects from the Casa Buonarroti
are studies of figures ("A Study of a Kneeling Naked Figure"
and two studies depicting sitting figures and legs). The style of Michelangelo
in these drawings made by pen is one of the most energetic and changeable.
The artist draws the figures as if the drawing were made from bare muscles.
In addition on display there are sculptures made by the masters who worked
together with the great Michelangelo. Among them are two statues from
the State Museum of Medieval and Modern Art in Arezzo (Italy) and two
statues representing angels from the Dome Museum in Pisa.
Tomb of Lorenzo de' Medici
Terracotta copy from the statue "Day"
Terracotta copy from the statue "Evening"