Explore highlights
Michelangelo, Studies for a double wall tomb and Studies for a double tomb, black chalk drawings

Studies for a double wall tomb

  • Studies for a double tomb

    Studies for a double tomb

 

Height: 26.400 cm
Width: 18.800 cm

PD 1859-5-14-822

Prints and Drawings

    Michelangelo, Studies for a double wall tomb and Studies for a double tomb, black chalk drawings

    Florence, Italy
    About 1520-21

    Michelangelo (1475-1564) made these dynamic designs for an unrealised double tomb for Lorenzo de'Medici and his brother Giuliano. Lorenzo had been ruler of Florence until his death in 1492, whereas Giuliano was killed during the Pazzi Conspiracy of 1478.

    The tomb was to be built in the Medici chapel in Florence. Michelangelo rejected the idea of a free-standing monument in favour of wall tombs. He designed the structure to be rich with sculpture. He even ingeniously tucked a River God (symbol of the Medici's territory) below the left-hand tomb.

    Studies for a double wall tomb provides one of the best examples of how Michelangelo's creativity was stimulated by the actual process of drawing. The rapid evolution of his thinking is demonstrated most clearly by the left-hand niche, which began as a small rectangle with a triangular pediment. However the verso of the sheet - as well as faint markings on the recto - shows the niche as twice as high with a segmental pediment.

    H. Chapman, Michelangelo drawings: closer (London, British Museum Press, 2005)

    Highlights

    Browse or search over 4,000 highlights from the Museum collection

    Shop Online

    Tales of the god of wine, £7.99

    Tales of the god of wine, £7.99