Sunday, April 09, 2006

Sunday Short: I Wanna Draw Like Mike, II

It's the first nice day we've had in NYC for a while, so I've got to get outside, but I wanted to point you to this interesting essay by Karl Zisper on the Michaelangelo drawing exhibition we dicussed a while back here. This link is to a summary of the essay, but you can see the whole thing here. Karl did the work the Museum didn't apparently want to make easy, and came up with a short list of the most 8 likley non-Mike drawings in the show:

  1. A seated male nude twisting around 10%
  2. Last Judgment: A flying angel and other studies 15%
  3. Three figures in adoration 75%
  4. Two figures leaning forward 75%
  5. Head of a man in profile 75%
  6. Sketch for a battle-scene 75%
  7. Study for the drapery of the 'Erythraean Sibyl' 75%
  8. Christ at the column 75%
None of Karl's top eight were among the five I posted for your consideration, though, and it's not easy to match up the ones I posted with his master list, but the essay is a fascinating read all the same.


Blogger Karl Zipser said...

My average authenticity-confidence rating was 92%. The median was 95%. The median value is less affected by outliers. Let's look at my ratings for the drawings that Edward Winkleman presented for 'I wanna draw like Mike' (part I):

1. Josophat: London only
I won't give Josophat a numerical percentage rating, because I did not see it in person in Haarlem.

2. Design for Laurentian library door: 95% -- at median confidence

3. Lazarus, red chalk: 85% -- below average and median confidence
I gave this drawing a below average confidence rating in part because of the context for which it was made: a design for another painter's work. In a collaborative situation, authorship of any given drawing can be confused easily.

4. Study for Day: 98% -- above average and median confidence
The 'Study for Day' fits seamlessly into a series of seven drawings. I think this is as solid an attribution as we can ever expect to find. It looks crumby in the photo, but that is a limitation of photography, not of the artwork.

5. Crucifixion: 95% -- at median confidence
This is one of the most intriguing drawings in the exhibition, in my view. It is not apparently a direct life study of a figure, (for which Michelangelo typically did not make complete figures). It fits rather in the class of imaginary compositions, although these of course could be based on life-studies.
The drawing is far above the average quality, especially in the combination of the development of face and figure. The face is unusual for a Michelangelo drawing, I think. Thus, to me the entire drawing stands out as unusual, which necessarily raises a question about authenticity. However, the drawing is described as of unusually high quality in correspondence between Michelangelo and a friend, which supports the attribution. It is certainly worth studying further.

4/11/2006 03:49:00 AM  
Blogger Karl Zipser said...

Tens of thousands of visitors to the 'Michelangelo Drawings' exhibition were presented with the statement:

"With his goose quill, Michelangelo was able to convey a more convincing suggestion of relief and a more expressive vitality of the human figure than any artist before him."

This (remarkable) interpretation of Michelangelo seems to be based on the one
drawing "A seated male nude twisting around". If it is a copy by another artist, then the exhibition's
interpretation of Michelangelo is not valid.

4/12/2006 05:05:00 AM  

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