Royal Cambrian Academy

Exhibition On Screen - June 2017

13 Jun 17 at 19:00 until 21:00

Michelangelo: LOVE AND DEATH

Programme Notes:
FROM PHIL GRABSKY, EXECUTIVE PRODUCER

I was surprised recently to see in a poll of who is considered the greatest artist of all time that it wasn’t Monet, Leonardo or Van Gogh but Michelangelo.  I remember watching Agony & Ecstasy as a kid and loving both the
documentary start to the film (bizarre by Hollywood standards but great) and the core story of Michelangelo
and Pope Julius II. But I didn’t feel he was the greatest artist. Nor when I actually visited the Sistine Chapel
did I feel that. The endless queues and crowds took the edge off it, as, to be frank did the overwhelming and
therefore rather underwhelming paintings on the ceiling and wall – I couldn’t focus, couldn’t appreciate.  But
I also went to see the Pietá in St. Peter’s. For me, it was one of those breath-taking moments, literally where I
forget to breathe so overawed am I by the extraordinary nature of the art I am witnessing. It left me wanting,
one day, to make a Michelangelo film for the cinema. That’s what we have now done. We were inspired by
London’s National Gallery exhibition about Michelangelo and his relationship with fellow artist Sebastiano
but that particular show didn’t seem big enough to justify a film – what we wanted to make was a broader
biographical film. To show you as much of his art as possible – and explain the whys, whens and whos.

I think I had always fallen in to the Leonardo camp when weighing up who was the greater of these Florentine masters – I find Leonardo’s paintings life the Lady with Ermine or the Ginebra de Benci simply aweinspiring. But this film – directed by my good friend and colleague David Bickerstaff – gave me the opportunity to look again at familiar works like the Sistine Chapel, David, the Pietá and also lesser known works like the Crouching Boy or even the Laurentian Library and its amazing staircase. My conclusion – having worked on this film, having watched this film many times, is that, actually, maybe he deserves to be considered the greatest artist of all time. You can make your own mind up – and certainly let us know via Facebook or Twitter – but one thing I dare to bet on is that there will be at least one, hopefully more than one, moment where you are so stunned by the quality of his art that you might just, for a second, forget to breathe.

Micgelangelo Jpeg 2

I think I had always fallen in to the Leonardo camp when weighing up who was the greater of these Florentine masters – I find Leonardo’s paintings life the Lady with Ermine or the Ginebra de Benci simply aweinspiring. But this film – directed by my good friend and colleague David Bickerstaff – gave me the opportunity to look again at familiar works like the Sistine Chapel, David, the Pietá and also lesser known works like the Crouching Boy or even the Laurentian Library and its amazing staircase. My conclusion – having worked on this film, having watched this film many times, is that, actually, maybe he deserves to be considered the greatest artist of all time. You can make your own mind up – and certainly let us know via Facebook or Twitter – but one thing I dare to bet on is that there will be at least one, hopefully more than one, moment where you are so stunned by the quality of his art that you might just, for a second, forget to breathe.