The sketches drew by Michelangelo on the walls of the secret room can be understood as a form of ‘meditation about meaningful moments of his past life’. Indeed, all of 56 sketches represent artworks that he produced in the previous years, or that belonged to other artists. Being trapped in a room with nothing but charcoals and a candle, in fact, might have brought Michelangelo thinking about significant moments of his past life which he expressed through his sketches. Based on this concept, I decided to create a collection of his flashback – the ‘in between’ between the sketch and the related past artwork.
In order to create and present this collection, I went back to the idea of the secret room’s structure (the book cover embraces the concept of ‘unaccessible room inside the Medici chapel’ – the figure on the front is the Medici’s symbol). In these terms, I made a catalogue inside of which there are three booklets, each of which contains Michelangelo’s memories in relation to the sketch produced.
By analysing the sketches of the secret room, I picked three which seemed to represent important stages of the artist’s life, and therefore it might explains why he went back to those memories:
- The discovery of ‘Laocoon and his sons‘ in 1506 (not one of his artworks, but a Greek sculpture which truly influenced Michelangelo’s work)
- The enormous work that Michelangelo did for the Sistine Chapel between 1509-12
- The planning for Lorenzo and Giuliano de’Medici tombs in the Medici chapel between 1516-34