Professor William Wallace's Latest for The Art Bulletin

The essay, titled "Drawing Limits: Michelangelo Grows Old," is featured in the March 2021 issue of The Art Bulletin.


It is frequently recounted that shortly before Michelangelo died, the eighty-eight-year-old artist sat before a fire and burned many drawings. Critical examination reveals various motivations for such a destructive act and elicits suggestions for what Michelangelo might have burned. Mainly because of old age and significant changes in his artistic practice, Michelangelo made far fewer drawings in his final two decades than earlier in his career. Therefore, he may have destroyed less than is usually imagined and nothing that would have impaired the completion of his current projects, most important of which was New Saint Peter’s.

Follow this link to read and download the complete article.

Additionally, his 2019 book Michelangelo, God's Architect: The Story of His Final years and Greatest Masterpiece (Princeton) is now available in affordable paperback from your favorite bookseller, or follow this link to purchase it from the publisher.