Drawings in Michelangelo' secret hideout under the Medici Chapels in Florence.

Michelangelo’s secret hideout opens this month

By Region Central Italy Culture News

A small room located beneath the Medici Chapels in Florence that is thought to have served as Michelangelo’s secret hideout briefly in 1530 is due to open to the public on a regular basis from November.

Until now the room, containing a number of charcoal drawings attributed to the Renaissance master, has been opened to the public only sporadically.

The alleged hideout was discovered in 1975 after the then-director, Paolo Dal Poggetto, of the Medici Chapels museum instructed a restorer to carry out cleaning tests in a narrow corridor beneath an apse.

Dal Pogetto theorised that Michelangelo sought refuge here from the fury of the Medici pope Clement VII after he acted as supervisor of the city’s fortifications for the short-lived republican government (1527-30).

Are the drawings on the wall Michelangelo’s?

On the walls of the small room are ‘doodles’ or drawings, which are purported to be those of the Master. The existence of the charcoal and chalk drawings remained unknown until 1975. The only light by which Michelangelo could see by came from a tiny hatched window which offered glimpses of the street above.

The current director of the Bargello Museums, which includes the Basilica di San Lorenzo, Paola D’Agostino says, “Even though I have been in the room so many times, I am still amazed by this mesmerising set of drawings.”

Until now, the chamber was mostly only accessible to art scholars. As of 15th November, the room will be open until 30th March, 2024 on an experimental basis to up to four visitors at a time. Visits require prior booking.

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