Today is the closing of a special exhibition in Rome which has featured since last December 14, 2018 a sculpture attributed to Michelangelo Buonarroti, the Crouching Boy, extraordinarily lent by The State Hermitage Museum and displayed for the first time in the Eternal city at Alda Fendi’s new “Esperimenti” arts foundation, located in front of the Arch of Gianus Quadrifrons.
Even if this lesser-known statue is commonly entitled as “Crouching Boy”, the subject masterfully sculpted by Michelangelo depicts a young man whose posture is folded up in a spherical mass. He seizes his foot in a spatial concept recalling the classical Spinario, that is Greco-Roman Hellenistic sculpture of a boy withdrawing a thorn from his foot, represented by the bronze masterpiece at the Capitoline Museums.
As in several sculptures by Michelangelo, the Crouching Boy is characterized by the energy of the plastic forms in constant flux and the material vibrancy of the surfaces not completely polished, which show the marks of the sculpting tools such as the chisel, reminiscent of the strength of the artist’s gestures. The Crouching Boy still carries in itself an innate connection with the marble. In his creative process also arisen from his poems, in fact, Michelangelo intended to release the plastic image perceived as imprisoned inside the marble block, to be sculpted only to remove the superfluous material.
The Crouching Boy was part of Lyde Browne’s collection, which was moved to Saint Petersburg in spring 1784. The empress of Russia Catherine II, also known as Catherine the Great, probably examined the collection and decided to acquire the sculpture together with other art pieces. The Crouching Boy could be identified with the statue which was set up in the Grotto pavilion in Catherine park of Tsarskoe Selo and mentioned in the inventory of 1787.
You find it here
Title: "The Crouching Boy by Michelangelo"
Type: Renaissance art
Timetable: 14 December 2018 - 10 March 2019.
Organization: Il Cigno GG Edizioni Roma, in collaboration with Ermitage Italia, Villaggio Globale International and with the support of Regione Lazio.
Curator: Sergej Androsov, director of the Department of Western figurative arts at the Hermitage Museum.
Catalogue: Il Cigno GG Edizioni Roma
It has been suggested that Michelangelo statue was executed around 1530 in Florence and expressed all the tragic threat felt by Michelangelo who took shelter in the monastery of San Lorenzo during that tumultuous period brought by the republican Florentine government destined to surrender to the Medici power.
The setting of this extraordinary display is the 17th century Palazzo Roccagiovine, renamed “Palazzo Rhinoceros” and renovated by Jean Nouvel, where Alda Fendi’s arts foundation, Fondazione Alda Fendi - Esperimenti, born in 2001, has decided to place its new seat open to the public since October 13, 2018, in order to create multimedia artistic experiments, patronize restoration and promote cultural initiatives.
A selection of architectural and project drawings by Michelangelo, borrowed from the Casa Buonarroti in Florence, has completed the exhibition.