After posing for Sharon Sprung’s painting class at the National Academy yesterday, I decided to head over to the Metropolitan Museum and catch the “Drawings of Bronzino” exhibit currently on view. I can sum up my impressions with one word: wow! Absolutely amazing. I’m so glad I dragged my sore, tired art model’s body over there to see it! What a brilliant, masterful artist Bronzino was. As I walked through the show, thoroughly awed and engrossed, I kept thinking, “This guy blows Michelangelo away!”. Now maybe that’s outrageous, even blasphemous, but I don’t care. Bronzino rocks! The sculptural quality of his forms, the volume and anatomical perfection he achieves is simply stunning. It almost takes your breath away.
According to the wall texts, most of Bronzino’s drawings were done directly from life, with many of his studio assistants providing the modeling. Almost all of these drawings were preparatory works for later paintings, particularly a huge fresco commissioned by the Medicis.
As with all special exhibitions at the Met, no photography was allowed. Otherwise I would have been clicking my camera all over the place! So instead I’ll post one drawing from the show that appears on the Met Museum website. Credit link at the bottom clicks to this drawing’s entry in the Heilbrunn Timeline. The male model here is doing a terrifically contorted pose. Very powerful.
New Yorkers, art lovers, drawing aficionados, out of town visitors, students, teachers – go see Bronzino at the Met. It’s there until April 18th. I, for one, will definitely go back for a second look.