'Michelangelo & Sebastiano' (ctd.)

March 22 2017

Video: NG

The new exhibition at the National Gallery, Michelangelo & Sebastiano, is very interesting, and worth visiting. In the video above, curator Matthias Wivel gives an introduction to the show.

The exhibition is beautifully presented in the upstairs galleries, in such a way that it almost makes you weep for the shows we have endured in the basement of the Sainsbury Wing. Where before, great shows such as Late Rembrandt and Leonardo have been hemmed in by crowds, bad lighting and airless gloom, in this new exhibition we are treated to seeing wonderful works properly lit, and in plenty of space. Let's hope we see more major exhibitions upstairs from now on. The last one I think was Velasquez some years ago. 

I won't review the show here, but in The Sunday Times Waldemar makes some good points on the relative merits of Sebastiano versus Michelangelo. It may not be considered academically appropriate to consider the exhibition as evidence of a competition, but it's nonetheless the inescapable conclusion as a general visitor. As Waldemar says, our appreciation of Sebastiano here is too often compromised by condition issues. 

Much has been made of the recreation, in 3D printed form, of a fresco from the Borgherini Chapel. Jonathan Jones was recently raving about how good it was, and the makers, Factum Arte, have made big claims about how accurate their creations are. I'm afraid I was underwhelmed. 

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