Favorable review published in the Wall Street Journal highlighting the first-ever international loan exhibition of Botticelli’s works in the U.S. (curated and organized by the Muscarelle Museum of Art).
Read the full article on artnet here.
“A Venus painting by Italian master Sandro Botticelli will go on view in the United States for the first time as part of a touring exhibition featuring sixteen paintings from throughout his oeuvre.”
“Botticelli and the Search for the Divine: Florentine Painting between the Medici and the Bonfires of the Vanities” will go on view at Muscarelle Museum of Art in Virginia before traveling to Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. As one of the highlights, the exhibition will feature one of only two isolated depictions of Venus ever painted by the much-loved artist.”
When “Leonardo da Vinci and the Idea of Beauty” opens at the Museum of Fine Arts (MFA) in Boston on 15 April, it will justifiably attract enormous public and critical attention. It features 15 drawings by Leonardo and his followers, borrowed fr om the Biblioteca Reale in Turin, as well as the Codex on the Flight of Birds, around 1505, from the same institution; seven Leonardo drawings from the Galleria degli Uffizi in Florence; and eight drawings by Michelangelo from the Casa Buonarroti in the Tuscan capital.
It is not surprising to see such an important show at the Boston museum, one of the world’s great encyclopedic collections. But the institution behind the show and its first venue, the Muscarelle Museum of Art, part of the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, though renowned and respected in the museum community, is far less widely celebrated. Yet with this and two previous shows of Italian art which traveled to Boston, on Michelangelo and Caravaggio, the Muscarelle has made a name for itself as an organizer of eye-catching, scholarly shows and for managing to secure loans of some of the world’s great art objects.
The drawings were shipped with armed guards, the travel schedule kept secret, in frames equipped with their own precise micro-climates and sensors linked to computers in Italy. Once at their destination – a small museum on a Virginia college campus – more than a thousand students lined up on a cold night for their chance to spend time, up close, with Leonardo da Vinci’s drawings.
“It’s incomparable, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” said Aaron de Groft, director of the Muscarelle Museum of Art at the College of William & Mary. “They’re 500 years old and produced by one of the greatest artists in history.” He remembered his own experience, as a student, watching a curator take out a Michelangelo drawing and marveling. “How did I get here?” he remembers thinking. “Someone of great genius touched this. … It’s a very humbling experience.”
After its extremely successful exhibition “Michelangelo: Sacred and Profane, Masterpiece Drawings From the Casa Buonarroti” last year, the Muscarelle Museum of Art at the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Va., is turning its attention to another Renaissance giant. “Leonardo da Vinci and the Idea of Beauty” will open at the Muscarelle on Feb. 21, where it will be on view through April 5. Like the Michelangelo show, it will then travel to the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, where it will open on April 15.
Michelangelo was a notorious miser. He drew on every scrap he found around his studio, only on rare occasions beginning a drawing on a fresh sheet (typically when the sheet was intended for a patron’s eyes). He drew incessantly, so that while the drawings that are most widely reproduced suggest absolute mastery and polish, they are not representative of the many more that show him in the often awkward or halting process of working out an idea…
WILLIAMSBURG, Va. — Twenty-five drawings by Michelangelo begin a two-city U.S. exhibition in Virginia on Saturday, including some works never before seen in the United States and many that offer a glimpse into the mind of the master and the tumultuous times in which he lived.
“Michelangelo: Sacred and Profane, Masterpiece Drawings from the Casa Buonarroti” will be on view at the Muscarelle Museum of Art at the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg through April 14, then move to the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston where it will run from April 21 through June 30.
Camilla Blaffer calls it her “best find.” A grimy old-master painting of a saint gazing upward, his hands crossed on his chest and a skull perched on a rock in the foreground. A friend of Ms. Blaffer’s bought the canvas, without realizing who painted it, on her behalf about 20 years ago at a small Paris auction. That canvas, along with hundreds of other artworks and decorative objects, languished in a warehouse outside Paris….