Apart from being a truly delightful person, my friend Meghan comes with an extra benefit — she is a member at our major art gallery, the AGO. Members are allowed to bring guests any time, at no charge, but even more special than that is the fact that they and their guests are invited to exclusive viewings of each travelling collection that comes to Toronto. I’ve been lucky to be invited to many of these evenings, where we’ve had the opportunity to really get a good look at the art, without the crowds that normally flood the gallery for such shows.
So on Friday night, she and I met to see the exhibit called, “Michelangelo : Quest for Genius”, where 29 drawings were on display, loaned by the Casa Buonarroti in Florence. These drawings were from what had been Michelangelo’s own personal collection. It is almost unbelievable that these drawings, created by an artist born 540 years ago, survived to be displayed today. How did that paper hold up for all these years?
Usually, at these shows photography is not permitted, but for this one we were allowed to take pictures without a flash. Nice.
^ Cleopatra, drawn in 1533 ^
Notice how this piece was hung in a cut-out square like that? This is because in 1988 the backing to Cleopatra was carefully removed to reveal a second drawing on the other side. Here’s an interesting article about the piece, which had art historians very excited to have found a secret Michelangelo, but that was subsequently deemed to be too hideous (their word) to have been created by Michelangelo and is thought to have been drawn by one of his friends. But nobody is certain about that.
^ the back of Cleopatra, that may have been drawn by someone else ^
Born 4 centuries later, in 1840, Auguste Rodin, was highly influenced by the work of Michelangelo, and chose him as his mentor even though he had passed away long before. So, in order to demonstrate the connection between the two artists, this show also included 10 of Rodin’s sculptures. These were gathered from the AGO’s permanent collection.
^ Rodin’s Eve, carved from marble, was highly influenced by Michelangelo’s work at the Sistine Chapel ^
After getting our fill of this wonderful show, returning to the beginning to see all the work a second time, we took a quick look at some of the rest of the gallery, before it closed at 8:30.
^ Kent, a painting by Chuck Close, that looks stunningly like it’s a photograph. ^
^ A second Cleopatra, by Warhol ^
Then we hopped into an Uber car and headed over to a bar called The Communist’s Daughter (at 1149 Dundas Street West). Her friend Pam, who has now become my friend too, met us there for some beers, snacks and laughs. We got the last 3 seats in the place and were lucky to get them because we overheard the bartender having to turn people away all night long, because the tiny but very popular bar had reached capacity. It was a good time in there.
From there, Meghan and I were close enough to our respective homes to walk, in spite of the extreme cold.
Thanks very much for checking out my post. I hope you’re having a great week.