Press Release  March 28, 2019

Getty Announces Major Exhibition of Michelangleo Drawings

The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles

Michelangelo Buonarroti (Italian, 1475-1564), The Holy Family with the Infant Saint John the Baptist (recto); Amorous Putti at Play; Head of a Bird (verso), about 1530. Black and red chalk with pen and brown ink over stylus (recto); Pen and black and brown ink (verso)

Los Angeles – Michelangelo (1475-1564) is widely acknowledged as one of the most creative and influential artists in the history of western art. He was an exceptional draftsman and the up-close study of Michelangelo drawings is an unparalleled experience. An extraordinary exhibition coming to the U.S. this fall will bring that experience to museumgoers in Cleveland and Los Angeles.

Organized by the Cleveland Museum of Art and the J. Paul Getty Museum in conjunction with the Teylers Museum, Haarlem, the Netherlands, Michelangelo: Mind of the Master will bring an important selection of nearly 30 exquisite Michelangelo drawings of the highest quality to the United States in 2019 and 2020.  The centerpiece of the exhibition is a group of drawings with an illustrious provenance from Queen Christina of Sweden (1626-1689), loaned from the Teylers Museum. Many of these rare drawings have never before been shown outside of Europe.

Teylers Museum, Haarlem

Michelangelo Buonarroti (Italian, 1475-1564), Seated male nude; separate study of his right arm (recto); Studies of figures and limbs; figure sketches (verso), 1511. Red chalk, heightened with white.

The Teylers Museum opened its doors in 1784 and is known as the oldest museum in the Netherlands, with a collection that is unique in the world. The collection of Michelangelo drawings has been in the museum since 1791 and this will be the first time the drawings will leave the Teylers Museum as a group.

Drawing was a key creative process for Michelangelo and arguably no artist has used it more effectively in the expression of human form. The exhibition will explore the range of Michelangelo’s work as a painter, sculptor, and architect through drawings, including designs for celebrated works such as the Sistine Chapel ceiling, the Last Judgement, the Medici Chapel tombs, and the cupola of Saint Peter’s basilica, Rome.

Given that Michelangelo burned large quantities of his drawings, the exhibition provides an extraordinary opportunity to witness firsthand a key group of sketches that survived from the artist’s Roman studio, coming down to us via the magnificent collection of Queen Christina of Sweden, a fascinating and unconventional art-loving monarch who abdicated the throne and moved to Rome.

The Cleveland Museum of Art will publish an accompanying catalog with contributions from leading art historians including Emily Peters, Julian Brooks, and Carel van Tuyll van Serooskerken.

Michelangelo: Mind of the Master is organized by the Teylers Museum in collaboration with the Cleveland Museum of Art and the J. Paul Getty Museum.

This exhibition is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities. 

The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles

Michelangelo Buonarroti (Italian, 1475 - 1564), Study of a Mourning Woman, about 1500-1505. Pen and brown ink, heightened with white lead opaque watercolor.

About the Cleveland Museum of Art

The Cleveland Museum of Art is renowned for the quality and breadth of its collection, which includes more than 61,000 objects and spans 6,000 years of achievement in the arts. The museum is a significant international forum for exhibitions, scholarship and performing arts. One of the top comprehensive art museums in the nation and free of charge to all, the Cleveland Museum of Art is located in the dynamic University Circle neighborhood.

The Cleveland Museum of Art receives funding from a broad range of individuals, foundations and businesses in Cleveland and northeast Ohio. The museum is supported in part by residents of Cuyahoga County through a public grant from Cuyahoga Arts & Culture and made possible in part by state tax dollars allocated by the Ohio Legislature to the Ohio Arts Council (OAC). The OAC is a state agency that funds and supports quality arts experiences to strengthen Ohio communities culturally, educationally and economically. For more information about the museum and its holdings, programs and events, call 888-CMA-0033 or visit  

About the Teylers Museum

Teylers Museum opened its doors in 1784 and is now known as the oldest museum in the Netherlands, with a collection that is unique in the world. From the start it fostered interest in both the arts and sciences – charting our knowledge of planet earth and life itself: by studying rocks and fossils, by conducting experiments using scientific instruments, and by collecting books and works of art. Almost everything you see here was once part of a laboratory collection. They were not placed here just to be admired, but mainly to encourage new discoveries. Teylers was a place of endless wonder. And it still is.

The museum owes its existence to Pieter Teyler (1702–1778), a wealthy native of Haarlem. He was intent on making the general public better informed about art and science, which he believed would lead to a better society. He bequeathed a fortune that made it possible to build the museum, one stage at a time, and to purchase its various collections.

The J. Paul Getty Museum collects Greek and Roman antiquities, European paintings, drawings, manuscripts, sculpture and decorative arts to 1900, as well as photographs from around the world to the present day. The Museum's mission is to display and interpret its collections, and present important loan exhibitions and publications for the enjoyment and education of visitors locally and internationally. This is supported by an active program of research, conservation, and public programs that seek to deepen our knowledge of and connection to works of art.

Visiting the Getty Center

The Getty Center is open Tuesday through Friday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Admission to the Getty Center is always free. Parking rates vary. No reservation is required for parking or general admission. Reservations are required for event seating and groups of 15 or more. Please call (310) 440-7300 (English or Spanish) for reservations and information. The TTY line for callers who are deaf or hearing impaired is (310) 440-7305. The Getty Center is at 1200 Getty Center Drive, Los Angeles, California.

Same-day parking at both Museum locations (Getty Center and Getty Villa) is available for one fee through the Getty's Pay Once, Park Twice program. Visit the Museum Information Desk at the Center or the Villa to obtain a coupon good for same-day complimentary parking at the other site.

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