Michelangelo’s drawings on tour in the USA

PRESS RELEASE | Teylers Museum loans out complete set of drawings

It’s unique in the history of Teylers Museum in Haarlem, the Netherlands: all 25 drawings by Michelangelo owned by the museum will go on tour to the USA for the first time. This major art collection, which has been owned by Teylers Museum since 1790, will be exhibited in The Cleveland Museum of Art from the end of September 2019 and in the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles from the end of February 2020. This is one of the ways in which Teylers Museum raises funds to restore Pieter Teyler’s residence and to open it to the public.

Odescalchi collection

These drawings by Michelangelo are part of the art collection owned by Queen Christina of Sweden who died in Rome in 1689 after a turbulent life. Her exquisite art collection partly ended up in the hands of the noble family Odescalchi who sold several albums with drawings to Teylers Museum in 1790. This is the story of how the brand-new Teylers Museum, which opened its doors in 1784 in Haarlem, came to own the major collection of 1700 Italian drawings from the Renaissance and Baroque eras. The 25 Michelangelos in this collection mostly have drawings on both sides of the sheets of paper. They include sketches for the frescoes in the Sistine Chapel and the first design for the dome of the St Peter’s Basilica in Rome.

The director of Teylers Museum Marjan Scharloo explains: “The Odescalchi drawings form the basis of our collection of drawings. It’s exceptional that the complete set of drawings has now temporarily left the museum to go on tour. But there’s an exceptional reason for us to do so. We are restoring the residence of our founding father.” It is the house where Pieter Teyler lived on Damstraat in Haarlem, right next to the museum, which is expected to open to the general public in 2021.

Michelangelo: Mind of the Master

Michelangelo: Mind of the Master clearly shows how important drawing was to Michelangelo. It is in his drawings that his creativity in portraying people can be witnessed most closely. This exhibition shows how important his drawings were for his work as a painter, a sculptor and an architect. Michelangelo: Mind of the Master will be on display in the Cleveland Museum of Art from 22 September 2019 to 5 January 2020 and in the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles from 25 February to 7 June 2020. This exhibition has been organized by the American museums and was initiated by Teylers Museum.

Image: Daniele Ricciarelli da Volterra (ca. 1509-1566), Portrait of Michelangelo Buonarotti (c. 1550-1551), collection Teylers Museum

Message to the editors / Not intended for publication: For more information and / or images, please contact: Heleen van Halsema, hvanhalsema@teylersmuseum.nl, Department of Public Affairs T. +31 (0)23 516 09 71 (her direct line) or T. +31 (0)23 516 09 60 (her department).