Friday, January 13, 2017

Two great exhibitions in 2017: "Michelangelo and Sebastiano" and "Madonnas and Miracles"

By Adrian Searle, Jonathan Jones, Oliver Wainwright and Sean O'Hagan
Michelangelo and Sebastiano
Two major collaborations, the Pietà for San Francesco in Viterbo (c 1512–16), and the Raising of Lazarus (c 1517–19), painted for the Cathedral of Narbonne, are the centerpieces of an exhibition devoted to the intimate friendship and artistic collaboration between Michelangelo and Sebastiano del Piombo. The younger Venetian artist arrived in Rome in 1511, and their relationship continued, often at long distance, until an acrimonious falling-out in 1534. Art and life, eh?
National Gallery, London, 15 March–25 June.

Madonnas and Miracles
Museums distort the Italian Renaissance by treating its – admittedly gorgeous – creations as pure “art” separated from life. Decorated trays that were made specifically to serve food to women who had just given birth are hung up vertically as “paintings”. Bedroom chests have their paintings stripped off to hang as high-cultural trophies. This exciting exhibition puts Renaissance art back in the homes of merchants and their families with a rich mix of household objects and paintings that portray home life. It is a trip to a time when you might have aBotticelli by your bed and get water from a Donatello fountain.
Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, 7 March–4 June.