The British Museum is poised to launch its first Michelangelo exhibition for 30 years, with a Renaissance-inspired design created by its in-house team in collaboration with Metaphor.
The exhibition layout is designed to be reminiscent of a Renaissance library or chapel and will display up to 95 Michelangelo studies, as well as paintings, sculptural models and letters.
The drawings will be displayed on free-standing lecterns, grouped in alcoves, each of which reflects a key period of the artist’s output. These are mounted so as to appear ‘frameless’, with their labels positioned at the base of the lecterns to make viewing easier. The collection is supported by a 60m-long timeline, which skirts the perimeter walls of the exhibition.
The gallery also includes a full-size projection of each of the figures from the Sistine Chapel, displayed at the approximate height of the scaffold on which Michelangelo would have painted, to give a sense of scale to his endeavour.
‘We set out to create a powerful physical space that resembles a Renaissance library or chapel. The gallery aims to generate a mood of reverence and study, providing suitable gravitas for this once-in-a-lifetime experience,’ says Stephen Greenberg, director at Metaphor.
The exhibition, Michelangelo Drawings: Closer to the Master launches on 23 March and runs until 25 June.