In the beginning of April last year I went to London to study drawings by Michelangelo Buonarroti. I have this group where we study Italian drawings and that semester and the one before we had been studying this great draughtsman. We were very privileged as our professor had made a wonderful and dense program including a visit to The British Museum before opening hours, talks with leading scolars of Michelangelo and Italian art as such. To top it all we ended our stay in Windsor where we entered the marvelous print room of the Royal Collection. I did ask if I could take a group picture in there but they wouldn’t let me so you’ll just have to imagine two large spaces with wooden ornamented ceilings and glass cases lining the walls. Inside the cases were tons of boxes with hand written signs reading “Leonardo da Vinci”, “Raphael”, “Michelangelo”, “Guercino”, “Germany 15th Century” etc. etc. And the names I refer to were not written on one or two boxes, no, no there were at least fifteen of each. Such wealth.
We were there for Michelangelo and we saw some of his most famous drawings and among them the ones he drew for his love Tommaso de’ Cavalieri. One of them, The Archers, is a wonderful red chalk drawing showing a group of young people aiming at a herm. The funny thing about the drawing is that none of the archers have a bow and yet you complete the image in your mind.
After leaving the print room walking out into the sun I convinced the group (not hard at all) to do a staged photo. They were to pose as The Archers. Our professor generously played the role of herm and the rest positioned themselves as archers and putto. I have a love for staged photos and this is already a treasured one.
First the original (sorry I could only find a high definition in black and white, you must imagine the red chalk):
(if you are dying to see the red chalk look here )
And now our version: