Freedom of Invention
After they learned drawing as a discipline, many sixteenth-century Italian painters, sculptors, and architects used the practice as a springboard for their imaginations. Formerly a training ground for diligent copying, paper became a brainstorming surface for artists’ experimental and exploratory ideas, swiftly set down with marks and strokes in different media. Michelangelo’s musings, made decades apart on a double-sided sheet, capture the scope of his inventive spirit, encompassing poetic fantasy and architectural design.
x1948-606 Head of a Putto, 1527–37
x1948-607 Head of a Young Woman, 1527–37
y1958-127 Holy Family, 1540–1549
x1948-667 Seated Madonna and Child and Various Studies, ca. 1570–71
x1953-1 Figure Studies, ca. 1609–22
x1947-134 Bust of a Youth and Caricature Head of an Old Man, Both in Left Profile, ca. 1530