PREVIEW: Michelangelo & Sebastiano, National Gallery

On display to the public from the 15th March, the Gallery will examine the partnership between Michelangelo (1475-1564) and Sebastiano del Piombo (1455-1547). 

The Entombment (or Christ being carried to his tomb), Michelangelo, 1500-1501. (c) The National Gallery, London. 

Featuring pieces of art which have not left their collections for centuries, the National Gallery’s major Spring exhibition examines the working partnership between the two artists.

The seventy pieces of work on display including drawings, paintings and letters; reveal the partnership at every stage.

Michelangelo and Sebastiano’s friendship lasted over 25 years and during that time they created several works that reveal a lot about their friendship and what they were like as individual artists.

Despite this friendship coming to an abrupt halt after Michelangelo’s permanent return to Rome to paint the Last Judgement in the Sistine Chapel, apparently with an argument over painting technique, it also came at a time when Italy was going through a dramatic change including revolution, war and theological schism, but also of great intellectual energy and artistic innovation.

The key loan for the exhibition is the Lamentation over the Dead Christ, also known as the Viterbo Pietà (about 1512–16), which was Sebastiano and Michelangelo’s first collaboration.

Meanwhile, other highlights include: The Risen Christ by Michelangelo, Sebastiano’s Visitation from the Louvre, Paris, and the Lamentation over the Dead Christ from the State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg.

Director of the National Gallery, Dr Gabriele Finaldi, said: “The exhibition introduces us into the very heart of High Renaissance Rome, where a new and heroic art was being forged. Against a background of war and religious conflict Michelangelo and Sebastiano produced works about life, death and resurrection which are among the most powerful and moving ever made. This is a unique opportunity to see an exceptional gathering of masterpieces.”

The Credit Suisse Exhibition: Michelangelo & Sebastiano will be displayed at the National Gallery from the 15th March until the 25th June. For more information and to book tickets visit:



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