The Easel

Archives: The British Museum

5th March 2024

Introduction to ‘Michelangelo: the last decades’

At 60, Michelangelo might have opted for a genteel retirement. Instead, he headed for Rome and produced a late-career burst of creativity. In addition to a fresco in the Sistene Chapel he completed other religious paintings and, of course major architectural commissions. Such were the demands for his work that he collaborated with painters who executed paintings based on his sketches. Perhaps overwhelmed by papal demands, he scribbled on the back of some plans “I am not an architect”. Nobody listened.