Online catalogue of Michelangelo’s drawings from Casa Buonarroti collection

Michelangelo’s drawings are perhaps the group of works by the great artist that arouse the greatest interest in the public, who want to find in them the most intimate and immediate trace of his genius. They are, however, the most delicate and fragile part of his artistic production, due to the lightness of the paper and the perishability of the chalks and inks, which are particularly sensitive to the degenerating effects of light and variations in temperature and air humidity. For this reason, it is important that they are stored most of the time away from light and in rooms with a stable microclimate.
In order to meet the public’s demand to be able to admire Michelangelo’s masterpieces on paper, Casa Buonarroti has launched a project to digitise the most significant sheets, both figure studies and architectural projects.

The first group of drawings (twenty sheets, many of them occupied by the artist with studies or inscriptions on both sides) is now available in very high resolution digital reproductions, which visitors can admire in the museum in an interactive manner thanks to a multimedia totem, through the free choice of the drawings to admire and the possibility of enlarging the images and selecting details according to one’s interest.
The digitised sheets, which include the most famous masterpieces in the collection – from Cleopatra to the Studies for the Head of ‘Leda’, from the Nude man seen from the back to the Compositional Study for the ‘Last Judgement’, from the designs for San Giovanni dei Fiorentini to those for Porta Pia – have also been the subject of in-depth research, which aims to take stock of many aspects: on the studies of the last fifty years providing the bibliography of the drawings subsequent to Charles de Tolnay’s Corpus, on the restoration work, which in the case of the Cleopatra and the Sacrifice of Isaac led to the discovery of new drawings covered by the backdrop, on modern scientific investigation techniques applied to the in-depth study of certain sheets in the collection.

The results of these studies have been incorporated into an online catalogue, the first batch of which is freely accessible,
together with high-resolution images of the drawings.
Online Catalogue
The online catalogue and the multimedia totem available to the public in the museum were produced as part of the project I disegni di Michelangelo. Fruizione, digitalizzazione, valorizzazione (2023 – 2024), supported by

in the framework of the call for competition Valorizzazione Musei, Biblioteche e Archivi – 2023

and by

Project and coordination by Marcella Marongiu. Texts by Virginia Graziani (catalogue) and Marcella Marongiu (totem)

Digitisation of drawings and application design 
Design of the Multimedia Totem of  , realisation