From a review of the show, “Michelangelo, Vasari and Their Contemporaries: Drawings From the Uffizi” which runs through April 20 at the Morgan Library & Museum in New York City.

The Punishment of Titius by Poppi

Michelangelo was a terrible kvetch. His back forever ached; popes were slow with the paychecks; the local food was always an insult, a disgrace. No one worked half as hard as he did, and slacker artists made him nuts. “Draw, Antonio; draw, Antonio; draw and don’t waste time,” he scrawled on a sketch he gave to a lackadaisical young pupil and studio assistant, Antonio Mini, in 1524…

For Michelangelo drawing was the most practical and personal medium; it was a laboratory, a diary, an end in itself. If you could do a perfect drawing, he came to think, why bother to turn it into a painting or sculpture? Perfection in any form was the goal…

The matter of influence is important. It is one reason that 16th-century Florence is usually cast in art history books as something like the Age of Michelangelo and the Michelangelettes, or Michelangelini if you prefer, referring to the many students and emulators who toiled in his shadow. The title of the Morgan show seems to echo this interpretation, though the curator, Annamaria Petrioli Tofani, a former director of the Uffizi in Florence, has done something more interesting. Through her selection of artists she has drawn a picture of Florentine art not as a heroic, strictly top-down hierarchy but as a collective endeavor.

Holland Cotter
New York Times

This post is in honor of my daughter Kellin, now a resident of Florence and in the process of becoming an expert on all things Mannerist.