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Michelangelo Buonarotti (1475-1564), Study for Adam
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This beautiful drawing of a male nude was drawn by Michelanglo when he was planning the figure of Adam to be painted on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, Rome. At the lower left is a study for his right hand.

Michelangelo has exploited the qualities of the red chalk to create a warmth of tone as he drew from the life model. He concentrated on the torso and upper legs of his model whose ideal anatomy is indicated by shading, especially on the chest and stomach areas. The figure appears to be as much like a sculpture as a painting, and Michelangelo considered himself primarily a sculptor.

Michelangelo spent 1508-12 decorating the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. He painted the figure of Adam around 1511 and the pose as painted in the fresco is almost unchanged from this working drawing. Michelangelo would have used a full-size cartoon (preliminary drawing) to transfer the final design to the ceiling itself.

Michelangelo Buonarotti (1475-1564), Study for Adam


From Italy; c. ad 1510-11
Ht 19.3 cm
Gift of the Art Fund with contributions from Sir Joseph Duveen and Henry Van den Bergh



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