During a restoration, “The Sacrifice of Isaac” was discovered, an unpublished work by the painter Michelangelo that was first exhibited to the public last April in Rome. Along with the unpublished was another drawing, “Cleopatra”, created as a special gift for a friend and discovered thirty years ago in the same circumstances.
“It is really a beautiful story to discover this drawing,” said the Italian Minister of Culture, Dario Franceschini, during the inauguration of the exhibition in the Capitoline Museums.
“The Sacrifice of Isaac”, made around 1530, is a sketch of the same work done in pencil by the Florentine master in the back of the drawing dedicated to the episode of the Bible.
“Pina Ragionieri, president of the Buonarotti Foundation, specialized in the works of Michelangelo (1475 to 1564), explained that creations were protected from the end of the 19th century and beginning of the 20th century.
“But now we know that this technique constitutes a danger for the preservation of the work,” he said. The ability of the restorers to detach the carton allowed the second drawing to appear.
The artist had initially produced a sketch on one side of the sheet and then traced a red pencil line still visible on the back. It was the same thing that happened in 1988 with the famous drawing of “Cleopatra”, given in 1535 to his lover Tommaso Cavalieri.