Michelangelo: Sketches in Clay

The Spanish Peaks Arts Council in partnership with the Sangre de Cristo Arts & Conference Center presents Michelangelo: Sketches in Clay


September 2, 2017    5 – 7 pm

Guests at the Opening Reception enjoyed an informative talk by Sangre de Cristo Arts and Conference Center CEO Jim Richerson who explained the evolution of the amazing exhibit of cast bronze sculptures replicated from the original “bozzetti” or clay models used by Michelangelo to work out some of his large marble sculptures.

Few artists have been more exalted than Michelangelo Buonarroti. His reputation as a sculptor, painter, draftsman and architect has not only stood the test of time, but his artwork represents some of the world’s most recognizable masterpieces. Without taking a trip to Italy, most of our experience with Michelangelo’s artistic genius is through books.

Now, thanks to the extraordinary partnership between The Muséo Buonarotti in Florence, Italy and the Harry and Karly Spell Foundation, residents of Southern Colorado can personally enjoy this truly unique collection of six bozzetti. Bozzetti are essentially working models for sculptures. They were used to work out issues in the sculpting process or to give patrons or assistants a tangible impression of the final product. By their very nature, fashioned with clay, wax, and wood, they are extremely fragile and have for hundreds of years been kept under a tight lock and key at the museum in Florence. What they represent to the art world are exact replicas of some of the greatest sculptures that have ever existed.

The amazing collaboration of art and technology has now made possible something that has never been attempted before. Casting a bronze from an old clay model (the bozzetti) is simply not possible without destroying it. Thanks to the work of Dr. Harry Spell, of the Harry & Karly Spell Foundation, a limited edition of bronzes have been produced using laser scanning and rapid prototyping technology together with the traditional five-step lost wax process, duplicating the pieces without risking the models. Now, we can actually touch a bronze sculpture originally created by Michelangelo. 

The bozzetti provide insight to Michelangelo’s process and preparation for his sculptures. The pieces which will be on display are Nudo Virile (David), Torso Virile (Louvre Slave), Dio Fluviale (River God), Due Lottatori (Two Wrestlers), Nudo Femminile (Female Nude), and Crocifisso (Crucifix). It is believed that Michelangelo was nearly blind when he created the piece Crocifisso late in his career.

In order to bring this exceptional exhibit to La Veta, we needed to raise $3200. We are still in need of approximately $500. All donations are 100% tax deductible. Any contribution is welcome. Send your donation to SPACe, PO Box 803, La Veta, CO 81055 with a notation “Michelangelo” included, along with your name and mailing address. You may also donate by credit card. Choose a category of contribution below.

Donate Gold Level for Michelangelo Exhibit – $100.00

Donate Silver Level for Michelangelo Exhibit – $50.00

Donate Bronze Level for Michelangelo Exhibit – $25.00