This superb drawing ranks among Michelangelo's greatest studies for the Sistine Chapel.

It is the most ambitious of three drawings that survive by him for the reclining figure of Adam reaching out to God the Father, whose touch will infuse him for life. It was fortunate for the Art Fund to have purchased this study as two others by him have been lost to the nation - The Risen Christ sold in 2000 for £2.3 million and The Study of a Mourning Woman sold to an American collector for £7.5 million. Favourably, the Art Fund only paid £600 for the Reclining Nude as its authenticity was then in question.

Provenance

collections of: Richardson, Reynolds, Lawrence, Ottley and Locker-Lampson.


British Museum

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Closed 24 – 26 Dec and 1 Jan