font-awesome-load
material-design-icons-load

Visualizing the Invisible in Michelangelo's Drawings at Casa Buonarroti

Plan drawing: Pisa / Hill with river (?)

Papers AB,II-III,82 contain a territorial sketch by Michelangelo drawn in red chalk with the same rapidity as the previous sketch of Rome. Here we are looking at the eastern part of the city of Pisa, around the New Fortress. We can make out the road system outside the walls and the main religious buildings in the surrounding area, with the roads around and the Fortress bridge drawn twice, revealing some rethinking, as in the previous case. Straddling the river we see Michelangelo's proposal with large bastions drawn slightly staggered with respect to the New Fortress in order to avoid, it would seem, graphically overlapping them. Paola Barocchi had already compared these papers to the Pisan fortifications thanks to the recollection contained on the first page, referring to the inspection carried out in Pisa by Michelangelo together with his collaborator Stefano di Tommaso Lunetti on 3-4 June 1529 to “see the damage the Arno had done to the town and elsewhere.” Until now the drawing was barely legible due to the binding in the volume of the Buonarroti Archive (AB,II-III). The disassembly of the paper carried out on this occasion attempted to restore full legibility to the pages, as highlighted by the comparison with the previous image taken from the Tolnay Corpus. During the restoration phase it then emerged that the present-day bifolio was originally a booklet containing two sheets glued and then cut, traces of which remain in the flap on the fold.
The least understood sketches by Michelangelo include that contained on the verso of sheet AB,I,9. However, once all the traces of ink migrated from the previous page have been erased it does not seem untoward to glimpse a bird's eye view of a mountain with a river in the valley.


Buonarroti Archive, II-III, 82 b-c, comparison of the papers before (from “Corpus” 599) and after restoration.

Buonarroti Archive, II-III, 82 a-d, restoration of the papers after detachment from the binding of the codex: note the traces of another two papers forming part of an original booklet now reduced to a bifolio.

Buonarroti Archive, II-III, 82 b-c, Plan drawing of Pisa, 3-7 June 1529; red chalk (292 x 427 mm with bifolio open); visible light.

Buonarroti Archive, II-III, 82 b-c, Plan drawing of Pisa; highlighted rendering of the red chalk marks.

Comparison between Michelangelo’s plan drawing and the corresponding area of a map of Pisa from the Catasto Generale della Toscana, 1832-1835 (Archivio di Stato di Pisa, Catasto Terreni, Mappe, Comunità Pisa, Sezione C, digital composition of sheets 1, 3, 4, 5).

Buonarroti Archive, II-III, 82 d-a, Recollection by Stefano di Tommaso Lunetti of the inspection carried out in Pisa with Michelangelo, 3-7 June 1529; pen and ink (292 x 427 mm with papers open); visible light.

Buonarroti Archive, II-III, 82 d-a; backlit.

Catasto Generale della Toscana, 1832-1835 (Archivio di Stato di Pisa, Catasto Terreni, Mappe, Comunità Pisa, Sezione C, digital composition: sheets 18, 40, 41, 44, 64, 97, 98, 102, 103, 116; Allegati 2-9)

Buonarroti Archive, I, 69 recto, Recollection by Michelangelo from Venice, 10 September 1529; pen and ink (318 x 205 mm); visible light.

Buonarroti Archive, I, 69 verso, Sketch of hill with river and marks left by the bottom of a glass, 1529 (?); pen and ink (318 x 205 mm); visible light.

Buonarroti Archive, I, 69 verso, Sketch of hill with river and marks left by the bottom of a glass; rendering of pen and ink drawing.

Buonarroti Archive, I, 69 verso, Sketch of hill with river and marks left by the bottom of a glass; rendering of pen and ink drawing, rotated with respect to the previous one.




© KHI in Florence | 09.07.2020 12:40:05