Michelangelo. Punishment of Tityus. Black chalk on paper, 1532. Royal Collection. CC-Public Domain.

study visits

Curator’s Tour of Michelangelo: The Later Years

  • Wednesday 10 July 2024
    (Group A: 11am/Group B: 2.30pm Room 35 - The Joseph Hotung Great Court Gallery, Upper Floor, Level 1)
  • British Museum, Great Russell Street, London WC1B 3DG.
  • Guide: Grant Lewis

NB: As many members have British Museum or Art Fund membership, we propose that everyone is responsible for booking their own exhibition ticket. We recommend that you check timed ticket availability before booking your place on the Tour on our website and that you then immediately book your exhibition ticket. If you decide to enter the exhibition before the Tour starts, please let me know so that I can register your attendance.

We will meet outside Room 35 at 10.50am for the 11am tour or at 2.20pm for the 2.30pm tour.
The guided tour will last around 1 hour.

The visit will give us an opportunity to explore in greater detail a range of works from the last 30 years of Michelangelo’s life, after he had been re-called to Rome by Pope Clement VII to paint the fresco of the Last Judgment in the Sistine Chapel.

Despite his age, it was an incredibly fruitful period for him during which his Christian faith, intellectual engagement and hope for salvation inspired him to produce some of the most striking works of his career.

Dynamic preparatory drawings for the Last Judgment as well as the recently conserved Epifania (one of only two surviving cartoons by Michelangelo) are displayed alongside studies for his grand architectural projects as well as drawings, poems and intimate letters that reveal his personal passions and anxieties. Rather than showing an artist in decline, this exhibition shows the astonishing dynamism that Michelangelo brought to his work in the final decades of his life as he explored salvation and confronted his mortality.


 Grant Lewis is Milein Cosman Project Curator for Late Michelangelo at the British Museum. He has a MPhil (Cantab.), a MA – Corpus Christi College, Cambridge and is doing his PhD at The Courtauld on the patronage of the Loredan family in Venice and the terraferma in the early sixteenth century. He is a Guest Lecturer at Cambridge University and The Courtauld. He was Getty Curatorial Fellow, Old Master Drawings, British Museum 2018-21 and worked in Prints and Drawings, British Library 2015-18.

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