Michelangelo Bronzes at the Fitzwilliam (…perhaps)

Extraordinary news from the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, where they are confident they have unearthed two Michelangelo bronzes. If the ascription is accepted by the art world in general, they will become (as it were) the only two Michelangelo bronzes in existence.

The bronzes represent followers of Bacchus on matching felines, and look like nothing so much as a pair of bookends. They are known as the Rothschild Bronzes from their nineteenth century owner. In the nineteenth century, in fact, they were commonly attributed to Michelangelo, but for one reason or another were subsequently credited to Sansovino, Cellini, or others. The Fitzwilliam has now had a fresh look at them, and in particular has associated the composition with a sketch held in Montpellier, known to be by Michelangelo. Here Keeper of the Applied Arts at the Fitzwilliam, Dr. Victoria Avery, explains the reasoning behind the fresh attribution.

The bronzes are held in a private collection, but will be on display at the Fitzwilliam from today, the 3rd of February, through to the 9th of August. Why not pop along and make your own stylistic determination?


From one towering genius to another. Yesterday was James Joyce’s birthday – he would have been 135. It was also the birthday of Ulysses, published 2nd February, 1922. Here in celebration is a recording of him reading from Ulysses.


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