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REVIEW: Michelangelo: the last decades

Updated: May 30

Returning to Rome aged 59 the last few decades of Michelangelo's life were arguably his finest.

This landmark exhibtion delves into the genius of this Renaiassance master examining his illustrious life and career in his last 30 years. With a big focus on his art and faith through letters, poems and artistc designs the exhibtion provides a snapshot into his innermost and most trusted circle of friends. From the Last Judgemnet to the dome of St Peter's the variety of work he produced in his final years is staggering.

Portrait of Michelangelo (1509-1566)

Highlights include two metre high 'Epifania' displayed for the very first time after a pain staking 6 year renovation ensuring the cartoons preservation for future generations. Created on 26 joined sheets of paper these 'cartoons' were full-scale prep drawings used to then transfer a composition onto another service. This is the only complete one that exists from Michelangelos entire career.

The Epifania

We were most touched by one of his final pieces, The Virgin and Child, completed with trembling lines as he was finding it harder to control his hands.

The Virgin and Child

With over 100 works in total the drawings on display are some of the most beautful we have ever seen. It's powerful stuff. For any child studying GCSE/A Level art history this show is a MUST!

Explore what life was like in Michelangelo's Italy through a specially designed, creative family exhibition trail.

By Julia Colls 1 May 2024

British Museum

2 May-28 July

Adult tickets £18

Under 16's free


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