Having met in Rome in 1511, as Michelangelo was finishing his decoration of the Sistine Chapel ceiling, Sebastiano and he became friends and began collaborating artistically.
Their meeting sparked a remarkable 25-year friendship and partnership; yielding outstanding works of art that neither could have created without the other – against a backdrop of war and religious conflict, but also of great intellectual energy and artistic innovation.
Central to the exhibition are two of their collaborations: the 'Pietà' for S. Francesco in Viterbo (c.1512–16) and The Raising of Lazarus, painted for the Cathedral of Narbonne in France, and one of the foundational works in the National Gallery Collection.
The exhibition also features the exceptional loan of Michelangelo’s 'The Risen Christ' (1514–15) from the Church of S. Vincenzo Martire in Bassano Romano, Italy, and a cutting-edge recreation of the Borgherini Chapel in S. Pietro in Montorio, Rome – decorated by Sebastiano to partial designs by Michelangelo.
Comprising paintings, drawings, sculpture, and letters documenting correspondence between the artists, this groundbreaking exhibition presents works of striking force and originality.
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