Exhibition Details

Location: Lila and Joel Harnett Gallery
Dates: January 17, 2016
to March 27, 2016


Twenty-six rare drawings from the renowned collection of the Casa Buonarroti in Florence, Italy, comprise one of the most important Michelangelo exhibitions in America in nearly three decades. The Casa Buonarroti, once owned by the artist, is the world’s largest repository for Michelangelo’s drawings, architectural studies, and memoirs.

The images in Sacred and Profane are memorable figurative studies and architectural drawings by the hand of Michelangelo. Included is one of Michelangelo’s most admired and complete drawings, the large Madonna and Child. Additional images include preparatory drawings for later paintings. The Head of the Madonna is a study for his painting Doni Tondo, and the sublime sketch of the Head of Leda was made for Leda and the Swan, a painting now lost and known today only through copies.

A renowned sculptor and painter in his own time, Michelangelo’s legacy as an architect was no less monumental. Highlighted in the exhibition are several of his innovative architectural plans. Among them are drawings for the Façade of San Lorenzo in Florence, and his innovative Plan for the Church of San Giovanni dei Fiorentini in Rome. These works help demonstrate Michelangelo’s lasting influence on architecture, and scholar Adriano Marinazzo considers these designs to be “among the most fascinating architectural projects of the entire Renaissance.”    

This exhibition is an exceptional opportunity for the Phoenix community and the state of Arizona, as Michelangelo’s works rarely travel outside of Italy. Sacred and Profane exhibited in 2013 at The Muscarelle Museum of Art and the Museum of Fine Arts Boston. 


Michelangelo: Sacred and Profane Masterpiece Drawings from the Casa Buonarroti is included with general admission and free for Museum Members. Not a Member yet, click here

Special policies and fees apply during voluntary donation time on Wednesdays from 3 to 9 p.m., First Fridays from 6 to 10 p.m., and Second Sundays from 12 to 5 p.m. general admission for this special exhibition is reduced to $8 for adults, and $5 for youth ages 6-17 (This price also includes admission to The White Shirt According to Me: Gianfranco Ferré exhibition through March 6, 2016).

Group Sales

Interested in coming as a group? For group sales information, click here.

Image Credits

LeftMichelangelo, Madonna and Child, c. 1524. Black chalk, red chalk, red wash, white heightening and ink. Collection of the Casa Bruonarroti, Florence, inv. 71F. Image credit: © Casa Buonarroti. All rights reserved.
MiddleMichelangelo, Plan for the Church of San Giovanni Dei Fiorentini in Rome, 1559-1560. Black chalk, pen and ink, white heightening and washes. Collection of the Casa Buonarroti, Florence, inv. 124A. Image credit: © Casa Buonarroti. All rights reserved.
Right: Michelangelo, Study for the Head of Leda in Leda and the Swan, c. 1529-1530. Red pencil. Collection of the Casa Buonarroti, Florence, inv. 7F. Image credit: © Casa Buonarroti. All rights reserved.

Exhibition Sponsors

This exhibition is organized by the Muscarelle Museum of Art at The College of William and Mary in Virginia in partnership with Fondazione Casa Buonarroti and Associazione Culturale Metamorfosi.

Title Sponsors: The Dorrance Family Foundation, Men's Arts Council

Presenting Sponsors: JPMorganChase & Co.J.W. Kieckhefer Foundation, Sharron and Delbert R. Lewis Exhibition Endowment Fund, The Kemper and Ethel Marley Foundation,  Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust Exhibition Endowment Fund, The Virginia M. Ullman Foundation

Major Sponsors: APS, Cox Communications, BlueCross BlueShield of Arizona, Friends of European Art

Promotional support provided by The Phoenician