Belvedere Torso Sketches + Woodcuts

When I was briefly living in London for two years (2014 - 2016) the British Museum received a 3 month loan from The Vatican of The Belvedere Torso. The opportunity to sketch it from life, without the throngs of tourists ordinarily swarming it at The Vatican Museums, was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity I couldn't pass up. I went back again and again; eventually becoming a member of the museum, in order to access the Belvedere... and wound up doing nearly 50 drawings and sketches from various angles on 25+ separate visits. They don't call it "The School of Michelangelo" for nothing!

During my graduate school studies at New York Academy of Art I used a few of those sketches (below) as source material for a series of six woodcuts and linoleum cuts of The Belvedere Torso. The Academy also had a full-size, plaster, cast-copy of the Torso which I returned to like a moth to a flame, throughout my time there. It is, by far, my favorite ancient sculpture.  

"The School of Michelangelo"

 

The Belvedere Torso is a marble fragment - missing arms, legs, a neck and head - of an ancient male nude and it was Michelangelo's favorite sculpture. So much so that in his lifetime (and with his blessing) it was referred to as, "The School of Michelangelo" because he studied it so exhaustively. In fact it so radically affected his core-conception of the male form that scholars say he painted it more than 20 times in the Sistine Chapel alone. So when it was on loan to The British Museum while I happened to be living in London I availed myself of the opportunity to visit it, and sketch it, often.

Sketch of the Belvedere Torso
Sketch of the Belvedere Torso II
Sketch of the Belvedere Torso III
Sketch of the Belvedere Torso IV
Sketch of the Belvedere Torso V
Sketch of the Belvedere Torso X
Sketch of the Belvedere Torso VI
Sketch of the Belvedere Torso VII
Sketch of the Belvedere Torso VIII
Sketch of the Belvedere Torso IX
Sketch of the Belvedere Torso XI
Sketch of the Belvedere Torso XII
Sketch of the Belvedere Torso XIII