Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Michelangelo's Little-known Love of Poetic Verse

"As when, O lady mine / with chisell'd touch / The stone unhewn and cold / Becomes a living mold, / The more the marble wastes / The more the statue grows."

Michaelangelo was a poet and philosopher on top of all else he accomplished.

"Michelangelo scribbled jokes, thoughts and mundane shopping lists in the margins of his artistic sketches, providing a fascinating insight into his moods and artistic genius." Noted in the book: Michaelangelo, A Life on Paper

He worked from the theory of "concetto" (pronounced con-CHET-oh), the Italian word for the English word "concept." Michaelangelo understood it as the notion that the art form (or concept) exists within (in his case) the marble, and the artist is intended to set it free.  

Photo: Getty
 Michaelangelo's poetry captures in verse a glimpse of what he achieved in marble:"Just as in pen and ink / There is high or low or intermediate style, / There are in marbles rich or base images / So far as our genius can draw them out."

"Michelangelo’s ardour is eloquently described in the poems which the artist composed for Cavalieri, mainly in the early phase of their friendship.  Five handwritten sonnets are included in the exhibition; most of these are here shown for the first time."  
From The Courtauld Gallery