Tags: michelangelo | bronze | sculptures

Michelangelo Bronze Sculptures? Clue Shows Works May Be His

Image: Michelangelo Bronze Sculptures? Clue Shows Works May Be His
Dr Victoria Avery, Keeper of Applied Arts at the Fitzwilliam museum in Cambridge examines two Bronze sculptures thought to be works by Michelangelo. (Chris Radburn/PA Photos/Landov)

By    |   Monday, 02 Feb 2015 08:36 PM

Two bronze sculptures may be Michelangelo creations, which would make them the artist's only known bronze work still in existence.

If the two related pieces, which depict naked men riding on panthers, were made by the famed Renaissance artist, it would solve a centuries-old mystery.

"It has been fantastically exciting to have been able to participate in this ground-breaking project, which has involved input from many art historians in the U.K., Europe and the States, and to draw on evidence from conservation scientists and anatomists," Dr. Victoria Avery, keeper of the applied arts department at the Fitzwilliam Museum, told BBC News.

The sculptures are scheduled to go on display at the Fitzwilliam.

The two bronze statues are being credited to Michelangelo after a clue was discovered that connects the figures to an unfinished sketch from the artist's workshop.

Michelangelo's two other bronze works — a figure of Pope Julius II and a version of David — have been destroyed.

Art critic Martin Gayford told The Telegraph that the chance of finding a surviving bronze is one of the "most intriguing possibilities in art history."

These statues were previously attributed to Michelangelo in the 19th century, but were dismissed at an 1878 Paris exhibition. During the next century, they were tied to multiple sculptors before going on display at the Royal Academy in 2012.

There, scholars decided to re-examine the statutes, when Professor Paul Joannides, Emeritus Professor of Art History at the University of Cambridge, recognized the similarities from the shape of the bronzes to a sketch in a drawing by one of Michelangelo's apprentices.

The researchers compared the statues against other Michelangelo works and discovered consistencies in style and anatomy to his works of 1500-10, according to BBC News. Using X-ray, the cast were found to be thick and heavy, which was common for works in the late 15th or early 16th Century.

"The bronzes are exceptionally powerful and compelling works of art that deserve close-up study," Avery said.

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Two bronze sculptures may be Michelangelo creations, which would make them the artist's only known bronze work still in existence.
michelangelo, bronze, sculptures
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2015-36-02
Monday, 02 Feb 2015 08:36 PM
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