"Masterworks by Michelangelo and his contemporaries highlight the artistic legacy of Pope Paul III and the vital role that drawing played in art production throughout Europe in the late 15th and 16th centuries. Michelangelo and the Vatican features drawings, cartoons, paintings, sculpture, and prints by Renaissance master Michelangelo and his predecessors and successors, including Raphael, Rubens, Tintoretto, and Titian.
Largely drawn from the renowned collection of the Capodimonte Museum in Naples, Italy, the exhibition presents some 40 works from the 16th century, many commissioned or completed during the papacy of Alessandro Farnese, Pope Paul III. Remembered for his enthusiastic patronage of the arts in general, and of Michelangelo (1475–1564) in particular, Pope Paul III oversaw the completion of Michelangelo’s stupendous fresco The Last Judgment on the altar wall of the Sistine Chapel. The exhibition features a unique, large-scale copy of The Last Judgment painted in oil by Marcello Venusti.
Additional highlights include two of Michelangelo’s finest monumental drawings: Roman Soldiers and Venus Kissed by Cupid; as well as two iconic portraits of Pope Paul III by Italy’s greatest Renaissance masters: Raphael and Titian. Complementing the Capodimonte Museum loans are works from the Vatican, New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, the University of Chicago Library, private collectors, and the MFAH collections."