The Fall of Phaeton, after Michelangelo
49.4 cm x 33.3 cm (19 7/16 in. x 13 1/8 in.)
(Thionville or Lunéville, France, 1507 or 1515 - circa 1565, Rome)
Medium and Support:
Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas at Austin, Jack S. Blanton Curatorial Endowment Fund and through the generosity of Faith and Dewayne Perry, 2009
Michelangelo created three highly finished drawings of mythological subjects as gifts for Tommaso de’ Cavalieri, a young Roman nobleman with whom he had fallen in love. Preserved in the English royal collection at Windsor Castle, The Fall of Phaeton shows Jupiter striking down Apollo’s son, who had dared take the reins of the his father’s chariot, the sun, but was unable to control it. His sisters mourn below. Famed for their inventiveness and craft, these “presentation drawings” were each engraved by Beatrizet. This impression is so brilliant that it conveys not just the composition but the sculptural forms and lustrous surface of the drawing.