Michelangelo in the Nineteenth Century


The Casa Buonarroti houses a vast range of documentation on Michelangelo and the nineteenth century, made up of significant testimonies and works of artistic value, some of which are assembled in this room, relating both to the myth that grew up around the artist in that century and to the celebrations staged in Florence in September 1875 to mark the fourth centenary of his birth. The plaster busts were brought to the house for that occasion, with the declared intent of embellishing its entrance hall. The Casa Buonarroti, which had been made a body corporate in April 1859, played an enthusiastic part in the celebrations: the bronze bust of Michelangelo made by Clemente Papi was installed over the entrance, the family’s coat of arms set on the corner of the building and all the drawings by Michelangelo in the collection of the Casa Buonarroti put on show. Finally a great stone eagle, believed at the time to date from, the Roman era, which now stands in the middle of the adjoining small room, was set up in the courtyard. But the most ambitious project, the graffito decoration of the facade, proved impossible to carry out. Here we can see its detailed preparatory drawing, donated to the Casa by its authors.