Catholic News Service reports that it is believed the 1563 drawing may be the last surviving example of the Renaissance artist’s work before his death in 1564.
Dark-red-chalk lines show a sketch of a partial plan of one of the radial columns of the cupola drum of the basilica, Italian newspaper L'Osservatore Romano reported.
“The sureness of the marks, the expert hand used to making decisions before unfinished stone leave little room for doubt the sketch is by Michelangelo," the newspaper wrote.
“Sculptors and stonecutters at the time commonly worked with red-oxide chalk because its marks were more visible than graphite or charcoal pencils against the black veins of the white travertine marble used for the basilica's construction.”
The torn sketch was found recently in the archives of the Fabbrica di San Pietro, the office of the Vatican's chief engineer.
The sketch will be presented today (10 December) to the Fabbrica's president, Cardinal Angelo Comastri, and other Vatican officials in a private ceremony Dec.
It will be unveiled to the public at an unspecified future date.
http://www.catholicnews.com/data/stories/cns/0706994.htm (Catholic News Servive, 09/12/07)
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10 Dec 2007