Friday 15 December 2017

Drawing insights from Michelangelo's doodles

Nick Squires in Rome

Michelangelo scribbled jokes, thoughts and shopping lists in the margins of his artistic sketches, providing a fascinating insight into his moods and artistic genius, a new book reveals.

The Renaissance artist is best known for works such as the Sistine Chapel ceiling but he also left behind around 600 cartoons and drawings.

The scraps of writing on about a third of the drawings include poetry, memos to his assistants, notes to some of his works and "achingly personal expressions of ambition and despair surely meant for nobody's eyes but his own", according to Leonard Barkan, a professor of comparative literature at Princeton University.


In the margin of one drawing Michelangelo carefully documented the money he had spent on chickens, oxen and his father's funeral.

Prof Barkan spent five years studying Michelangelo's written words and has produced a book, 'Michelangelo: A Life on Paper', with 200 reproductions of the artist's private papers. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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