Collection online

drawing

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    1860,0714.1

  • Description

    Lazarus raised from the dead, supported by two figures and draped in a shroud. He is seated on the side of a sarcophagus, turned to left, his right leg raised, his right arm held across his chest; the upper part of Lazarus' body (drawn with the sheet turned upside down, partly cut away and covered by the principal study) to the front, arms stretched downwards, head turned to left. 1516 Red chalk

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  • Producer name

  • School/style

  • Date

    • 1516
  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 250 millimetres
    • Width: 183 millimetres (sheet made up at l)
  • Curator's comments

    This sketch represents a stage subsequent to that of W16 in the conception of the figure of Lazarus for Sebastiano del Piombo's altarpiece, 'The Raising of Lazarus', commissioned from Cardinal Giulio de' Medici for his archiepiscopal church at Narbonne (now in the National Gallery, London). A third sheet of related studies is at Bayonne (682, Bean, 1960, no. 65; de Tolnay 75). In these three sheets the development of Michelangelo's conception of the figure of Lazarus can clearly be traced. Wilde observes that Sebastiano has fused the studies on the BM sheets in his painting, taking the figures of Lazarus and the man behind him from W16 and that of the man kneeling by the sarcophagus from W17. That W17 was drawn in close relationship to the definitive composition is shown by the vertical line indicating the r. edge of the panel; to the l. a cut off detail of drapery is visible. The two sheets differ significantly in technique, W16 demonstrating the fine use of red chalk in the manner of the latest studies of the Sistine period (cf. W 13), W17 being a concentrated yet rapid sketch in which Wilde observes red chalk is used like pen and ink. The sketch of Lazarus drawn with the sheet upside down pertains to the initial conception of the figure of Lazaurus, and is thus close to the Bayonne sheet. Like W16, Wilde firmly re attributes this drawing from Sebastiano to Michelangelo, a view upheld by J.A Gere and N. Turner (1979). De Tolnay suggests that the head study on the verso of W1 may be a study for the head of Lazarus, an idea which does not convince Hirst (1988). Lit.: J. Wilde, 'Italian Drawings in the BM, Michelangelo and his Studio', London, 1953, no. 17, pp. 29-31 (with previous literature); L. Dussler, 'Die Zeichnungen des Michelangelo', Berlin, 1959, no. 561, p. 258 (apocryphally attributed to Michelangelo); J. Bean, 'Bayonne, Musée Bonnat: les dessins italiens de la collection Bonnat', Paris, 1960, under no. 65; S.J. Freedberg, 'Drawings for Sebastiano or Drawings by Sebastiano?: The Problem Reconsidered', "The Art Bulletin", XLV, 1963, pp. 253-8; C. de Tolnay, 'Corpus dei disegni di Michelangelo', Novara, 1975, I, no. 77; J.A. Gere and N. Turner, in exhib. cat., London, BM, 'Drawings by Michelangelo', 1975, no. 41, p. 45; J.A.Gere and N. Turner, in exhib. cat., New York, Pierpont Morgan Library, 'Drawings by Michelangelo from the BM', 1979, under no. 9 (= W16), p. 56; M. Hirst, 'Sebastiano del Piombo', Oxford, 1981, pp. 67, 69-70; M. Hirst, in exhib. cat, Washington, National Gallery of Art and Paris, Louvre, 'Michelangelo Draftsman', 1988, no. 21, pp. 55-6; A. Perrig, 'Michelangelo's drawings: the science of attribution', New Haven and London, 1991, pp. 10-11, 24, 27, fig. 47 (as Sebastiano del Piombo); H. Chapman, in exhib. cat., BM, 'Michelangelo Drawings: closer to the master', 2005, no. 35, pp. 148 and 150.


    This drawing was issued as a coloured facsimile by the British Museum in 'Reproductions of Drawings by Old Masters in the British Museum', Part I, Published by the Trustees, in 1888 where it was number XVI and described there as 'Michelangelo Buonarroti, Lazarus Rising from the Grave, With Accessory Figures.'

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  • Bibliography

    • Wilde 1953 17 bibliographic details
  • Location

    Not on display (Italian Roy XVIc)

  • Exhibition history

    1964 BM, Michelangelo, no. 18 1975 Feb-Apr, BM, Drawings by Michelangelo, no. 41 1975 Jun-Jul, London, National Gallery, 'The Renaissance', no. 225 1989 May-Jul, Paris, Musée du Louvre, 'Michelangelo', no. 21
    2005/6 Oct-Jan, Haarlem, Teylers Museum, 'Michelangelo Drawings: Closer to the Master'
    2006 Mar-Jun, BM, 'Michelangelo Drawings: Closer to the Master'
    2008 Jun-Sep, Berlin, Staatliche Museen, 'Sebastiano del Piombo'
    2009 Mar-Jun, Frankfurt, Städel Museum, Michelangelo as Draughtsman
    2014 May-Sep, Rome, Capitoline Museums, 'Michelangelo'
    2017 15 Mar-25 Jun, London, The National Gallery, Sebastiano-Michelangelo

  • Subjects

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date

    1860

  • Department

    Prints & Drawings

  • Registration number

    1860,0714.1

Lazarus raised from the dead, supported by two figures and draped in a shroud. He is seated on the side of a sarcophagus, turned to l, his r leg raised, his r arm held across his chest; the upper part of Lazarus' body (drawn with the sheet turned upside down, partly cut away and covered by the principal study) to the front, arms stretched downwards, head turned to l. 1516 Red chalk

Recto

Lazarus raised from the dead, supported by two figures and draped in a shroud. He is seated on the side of a sarcophagus, turned to l, his r leg raised, his r arm held across his chest; the upper part of Lazarus' body (drawn with the sheet turned upside down, partly cut away and covered by the principal study) to the front, arms stretched downwards, head turned to l. 1516 Red chalk

Image description

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