Michelangelo’s Chamber of Secrets: A Treasury of Wonders Open to the Public

Florence, November 15, 2023 – A unique emotion. After almost 50 years since its discovery (it was in 1975), from today in Florence Michelangelo’s Secret Room open to the public.

It is a small room containing a series of drawings attributed to Buonarroti, accessible from the New Sacristy, inside the Medici Chapels Museum, part of the Bargello Museums.

The opening will be done on an experimental basis and reservations will remain open until March 30. The long-awaited opening is also possible thanks to the monitoring carried out in agreement with the Opificio delle Pietre Dure and is allowed for small groups of a maximum of 4 people at a time, up to a limit of 100 people per week, for the sake of protecting the drawing and maintaining the appropriate conservation conditions that are necessary for the protection rare artefacts, due to the need to alternate LED exposure time with extended periods of darkness.

The maximum stay in the room is 15 minutes. And since you have to go down a narrow staircase to access the room, the room is not accessible to disabled persons and children under 10 years old. “A place of extraordinary charm, but very delicate due to the location of a narrow space in the museum’s itinerary and the protection of the charcoal drawings on the walls”, said the general director of the museums, Massimo Osanna. ‚ÄúThis little environment is really unique to you exceptional evocative potential. Its walls hardly seem to contain numerous sketches of figures, mostly of monumental format, traced signs that testify to the great clarity of design – the words of Francesco de Luca, curator of the Museum of the Medici Chapels -. These are accompanied by studies, variously precise or summary, of anatomical details, faces and unusual poses. Not all drawings show the same persistent qualitative tension of Michelangelo’s graphics, which, according to the reconstruction by Paolo dal Poggetta, the discoverer of this room in 1575, could have been applied here in 1530 during his in hiding to save himself from the wrath of Pope Clement VII Medici thanks to his work as chief of fortifications for the republican government, which expelled the family in 1527. This place allows today’s visitors the unique experience of coming into direct contact not only with the master’s creative process, but also with the perception of the formation of his myth of the divine artist who they took as their model contemporary colleagues and young people enrolled in the Academy of Drawing Arts, of whom Michelangelo was named ‘Father and Master’, who established his seat in the sacristy in 1563″.

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