Update: Vancouver Museum attempts to flip (sell) its 18 models doanted to it for cash on Sotheby's)
Michelangelo made small clay and wax models from which he carved his
statues. The "David" 18 feet high is said to have been carved from a
model 12 inches high. Most of the models have been lost to time.
While most sculptures look stiff, wooden, like they were pieced
together. Whereas, Michelangelo's sculptures look like they are alive. In
reality Michelangelo did a lot of piecing to make his sculptures.
This makes Michelangelo a even more amazing sculptor: he pieced
but made it lifelike.
The proof exists in the models that have survived. The right hand
appearing in the Lorenzo de Medici statue also is the left hand in reverse image.
The same hand also appears in his other sculptures and paintings.
Michelangelo is recorded to have destroyed his work two weeks before
he died so no one would know his methods. He is also known to have
sometimes cast the wax models into bronze and given them away to
admirers. He also gave away his clay models too. It is also recorded
that a thief broke into his studio and stole some of his models.
Then there are the models that Michelangelo gave to his student, Mini,
who took to France. Some of the models were returned to Italy but many
were not. It is probably where the 40 models in the Von Praun
This web page is dedicated to finding Michelangelo's lost models and
liberating from their private safe deposit boxes (the fat cats
probably have them prominently displayed in their homes so they can brag
what they got to their rich friends) and putting them in public
museums where everyone can enjoy their beauty. A secondary mission is
to get museums to attribute the models as by Michelangelo.
This can be accomplished by getting their owners to donate them to
their local Museum or selling them to a fat cat who for a tax break
will then donate the models to a museums where everyone can view them.
A major problem is convincing the museums that they really are by
Michelangelo. The Santa Barbara, CA model, A terracotta plaque , is
unlabeled and displayed next to a sharks tooth. This is ridiculous
since it was part of the well documented Von Praun Collection and was
sold at the Christie's auction in 1938. The paper trail or provenance
of the Von Praun collections goes back to the time of Michelangelo.
This may be a 100 year search. Realistically, at this point in time,
only two of the models may be locatable:
last seen in Vancouver, Canada in 1972 in the private collection of
Edward Halprin 1972.
Any information about the last owner would be appreciate so s/he
can be contacted about selling it to the Vancouver Museum or a local Museum so the public can view it.
Update(5/2012):The Halprin model is in a private collection in Canada.
said to have been resold to a museum in Australia.
Computer copies, using CAT scans, also need to be made and of all the models and distributed to
other museums so you don't have to travel all over the planet to see the models. For example, the Houston
Museum of Fine Arts, in Houston, Texas, only has one. ( The Museum of fine arts in Texas, also claims
that this model is not by Michelangelo. This is ridiculos, since it well documented to be part of the Von
Praun Collection that was sold at the Christies auction in 1938.) model a teracotta of the "Day" It
would be nice if the Museum displayed the computer generated copies of the other models with its model.
Any information about the last owner would be appreciate so he can be
contacted about selling it to a public art museum in Switzerland.