When Michelangelo died in Rome at the venerable age of 88, the first priority of the Buonarroti and Medici families in Florence was to bring his body back in order to honor one of the greatest artists of all time. To this day, his magnificent sculpted and painted tomb in Santa Croce is a destination for art lovers from around the world seeking knowledge and some contact with the master.
The impressive tomb of Michelangelo is a multi-media project that extends to the family altar next to it. After the artist’s death in 1564, Duke Cosimo de’ Medici commissioned Giorgio Vasari to coordinate and create the memorial, which was finished in 1578. Alongside the artist, 66 members of the Buonarroti family are buried here. The tomb itself is an elaborate combination of marble sculpture and fresco painting, with a bust of Michelangelo and three figures representing the arts in which Michelangelo excelled: painting, sculpture and architecture.
Vasari’s altarpiece represents Christ Meeting Veronica on the Way to Calvary, in which there is a newly-discovered portrait of Michelangelo who pointingly looks towards his own tomb, affirming that the altar and tomb are meant to be read together. This image of Michelangelo, and indeed most of the figures in this painting, is hidden beneath centuries of grime and yellowed varnish that obscure Vasari’s once-colorful, drama-filled painting. The work’s surface was further damaged in the devastating 1966 Florence Flood, leaving cracks and bubbling in the paint. Now its structure is at risk due to an invasion of termites in the wooden support. This restoration has been long called for and has become urgent.
OSC will call upon expert restorers to start cleaning and consolidation as early as November 1, 2017. A clean altarpiece will give this work a renewed legibility that will allow it to be studied as well as admired by all. But first, funding for this task must be secured.
In addition to the painting, which has received too little attention over the years, the famous marble tomb also requires attention. The last time it was cleaned was over 20 years ago. At this time, it requires preventative cleaning and diagnostics intended to delay the need for more extensive interventions in the future. We require €100,000 ($119,000) to carry out this restoration. The hope is to collect these funds by October 30, 2017. Work is to start immediately and should be finished by March, 2018, in time for the anniversary of Michelangelo’s birth.
All contributors will receive the following benefits:
Circle-level donations are named after extraordinary individuals who constitute the legacy of the Santa Croce Monumental Complex.
Circle level donors will:
In addition to above listed benefits Giotto and Michelangelo Circle donors will:
Michelangelo Circle donors, all the above, plus:
“One can spend hours in Santa Croce, pondering a great past of artists, writers, philosophers, politicians and bankers. We are happy to be able to make a small contribution to Santa Croce for the restoration of the tomb of the Buonarrotis, in the name of Michelangelo. If we have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.”
President, Morgan Stanley, New York, USA
"I am pleased to support the Opera di Santa Croce in their efforts to restore the tomb of Michelangelo and the Buonarroti Family Altarpiece. Morgan Stanley is sponsoring a major exhibition of Michelangelo's work at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York in 2017, and the restoration of his family tomb is another way for us to celebrate the genius and innovative spirit of a man who continues to inspire us today. "
"For those who love art, Santa Croce is a Holy place. Michelangelo’s Tomb and the Buonarroti altarpiece are a kind of 'Stages of the Cross' for those who wish to pay homage there, and they deserve restoration and preservation."
Michele Bilodeau, USA
Jim Chamberlain, USA
Sally Cornelison, USA
Joan Cremin, USA
Pat and Jennifer DiCapo, Canada
Anne Farrell, USA
Hannah Fritshner, USA
Kate Graham, USA
Tony and Anne Gully, USA
Meryl and Jeanne Haber, USA
Colm Kelleher, USA
Elizabeth Hove, USA
James and Sharon Madura, USA
Donna Malin, USA
Eugene McBurney Family Foundation, Canada
Morgan Stanley Limited, UK
Robert and Corinne Rooney, USA
Elaine Ruffolo, Italy
Domenico and Cristina Siniscalco, Italy
Heather Spiva, USA
Richard Surface, UK
Josephine Vaccaro, USA
Nancy Vaughan, USA
Claudyne Wilder, USA
Opera di Santa Croce has partnered with King Baudouin Foundation USA, named after the late king of Belgium and established in Brussels in 1976.
This Foundation makes it possible for Europe-based entities like OSC to offer 100% tax-deductible giving for US taxpayers.
For gifts by check in the USA: Write your check to KBFUS, write "American Fund for Opera di Santa Croce - In the Name of Michelangelo" in the memo section of the check, and send it to KBFUS, 10 Rockefeller Plaza, 16th Floor, New York, NY 10020.
Please write to email@example.com for more information on how to give.