Michelangelo, Lambert Lombard, and the Inalienable Gift of Drawing

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In two exceptional drawings, the Netherlandish artist Lambert Lombard responded to the famous studies of Christ’s Passion that Michelangelo produced as gifts for the Roman noblewoman Vittoria Colonna between circa 1538 and 1541. This article investigates the nature of the drawing as gift in the work of both artists, with respect to practices of giving, reciprocity, and the gift of talent. In the context of his participation in the circle around the embattled English cardinal Reginald Pole, Lombard’s drawings engage with the theological and artistic significance of Michelangelo’s studies, particularly in their depiction of salvation as a gift beyond recompense. Lombard’s response to Michelangelo reflects his position as a northern European artist working in a period of intense crisis about the function of art in systems of belief.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-49
JournalZeitschrift für Kunstgeschichte
Issue number1
Early online date9 Mar 2023
Publication statusPublished - 28 Mar 2023


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