Michelangelo’s Crouching Boy Visits Rome

For the first time, Michelangelo’s ”Crouching Boy” is visiting Rome on loan from the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia. Crouching Boy’s visit is the fruit of an on-going collaboration between the Hermitage Museum and the Fondazione Alda Fendi. 

If the name of the foundation rings a bell, that may be because Alda is the youngest child of Edoardo Fendi and Adele Casagrande, the creators of the luxury Italian fashion brand Fendi. The temporary home of the Crouching Boy will be in the foundation’s relatively new art space called ”Rhinoceros.” The gallery is on Via dei Cerchi, just a stone’s throw from the Circus Maximus in the very center of Rome.

The sculpture, called ”L’Adolescente” or ”Ragazzo accovacciato” in Italian, was created in 1524, possibly as a funerary decoration or as an ode to a young soldier.  In a state just shy of Michelangelo’s usual polished finish, the Crouching Boy is about 22 inches tall, and depicts a naked young man crouching down, most likely attempting to remove a thorn from his foot. The statue has rough carvings of facial features, but even though incomplete in some areas, it shows the touch of a true master. The back of the statue details the sinewy muscles of a young man’s frame and perfectly mimics real human flesh. It is difficult to believe it is sculpted from a hunk of marble.

The sculpture will be on display at the Rhinoceros in Rome through March 10, 2019. The gallery is open daily from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., admission is free, and reservations are recommended. For more information and to make reservations, visit fondazionealdafendi-esperimenti.it — Danielle Abbazia

Photo by Richard Mortel on flickr