Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

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Copy after Michelangelo's "Aurora"
  • Italy
  • Copy after Michelangelo's "Aurora", circa 1550
  • pen, brown ink, red chalk
  • Lent by the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Missouri (Purchase: William Rockhill Nelson Trust) 39-37
  • Not on display
  • EL2012.024
  • Loan: Not in the Spencer's collection
Label Text

Exhibition Label:
"Giorgio Vasari and Court Culture in Late Renaissance Italy," Sep-2012, Sally Cornelison and Susan Earle
The reclining figure at the center of this lovely drawing is Dawn (pictured below), one of the four allegorical Times of Day Michelangelo carved for the Medici Chapel at San Lorenzo in Florence between 1519 and 1534. The drawing is an excellent example of the formative role Michelangelo’s figures played in the development of younger artists’ skills. The studies of a single head and many feet delineated in red chalk and ink that surround the dreamy-looking Dawn are among Passarotti’s numerous figural and anatomical studies, several of which are based on works by Michelangelo. It has been suggested that the Bolognese artist drew the Dawn while standing on the floor of the Medici Chapel and looking up at the marble figure. However, Passarotti represented the statue as seen from above, not below, which suggests that he may have sketched from a cast or a sculpted copy of Michelangelo’s statue.