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Books And Arts: Heaven on earth; Michelangelo's drawings

MICHELANGELO was so afraid that his drawings would reveal the secrets of his art that he hid them from all but a close circle of intimates and had many of them burned before his death. The Renaissance master would be deeply shocked by a new exhibition at the British Museum, for it delivers squarely on its promise of bringing the viewer into intimate contact with his creative genius.

This show--the first in a generation--is possible only because Michelangelo's drawings had become collectors' items even during his lifetime. Not that many became available. In order to preserve the uniqueness of his drawing, the artist refused to have his compositions engraved. Furthermore, as the most celebrated artist of his day--three b...

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