December 12, 2008

New Michelangelo's masterpiece on show

Yet another good news for art connoisseurs today! A wooden crucifix recently attributed to the young Michelangelo—the carving has been tentatively dated to 1495, when the artist was 20, by the experts—was on display in Rome yesterday, at the Italian Embassy to the Holy See, after being purchased (3.2 million euros) by the Italian State from a Turin arts dealer. It will also be in exhibition at the Italian Parliament on December 23 before finding a permanent home in one of Florence’s main museums.

“Among the elements that it shows is an almost perfect anatomical knowledge of the human body. Its structure, muscles, tendons, skin compose a harmonious and strong image,” said Cristina Acidini, head of the Polo Museale Fiorentino or Florentine Museums group. And not by chance, since the artist “very often used to flay dead bodies in order to discover the secrets of anatomy,” as the Florentine painter and writer Giorgio Vasari, a contemporary of Michelangelo, once wrote. [UPDATE Dec. 23: see here]

Brunelleschi's Madonna di Fiesole, a discovery

An exceptional discovery, dear readers, one of those which will leave their mark: the early 14th-century Madonna di Fiesole, a polychrome terracotta statue by Filippo Brunelleschi! Discovered by chance by the restorers of the Museo dell’Opificio delle Pietre Dure, Florence, the statue (60 cm width x 88.5 cm height) has been under restoration for two years. Presented today, the masterpiece will be in exhibition at the Museo dell’Opificio delle Pietre Dure from December 13 (tomorrow) through February 28, 2009. Go here and here to learn more about the statue (in Italian).