Michelangelo and Sebastiano: An alliance of opposites

Date and time

Monday 3 April, 1–1.45pm

Sainsbury Wing Theatre

Martin Gayford


Admission free

Even more than Van Gogh and Gauguin, Michelangelo and Sebastiano are the odd couple of art.

In many ways their abilities and temperaments were opposite - and that indeed was the foundation of their alliance. Their correspondence - an exchange of many letters between two major artistic figures of the 16th century - is unique. Even more extraordinary is the collaboration between them: a working partnership which lasted for over 20 years.

Martin Gayford will talk about Sebastiano's place in Michelangelo's life and work.


Martin Gayford is an art historian and writer. He is art critic for 'The Spectator' and author of several books including ‘Michelangelo: His Epic Life’ and ‘A History of Pictures: From the Cave to the Computer Screen with David Hockney.'

Lunchtime talks

Focus in on one painting with our talks in the Gallery, or explore wider themes in the collection at our in-depth theatre talks.

Supported by the John Armitage Charitable Trust

Image above: Detail from: Sebastiano del Piombo, 'The Visitation', 1518-1519. Paris, Musée du Louvre, Département des Peintures (Inv. 357) © RMN-Grand Palais (musée du Louvre) / Hervé Lewandowski