Photo © President and Fellows of Harvard College
Identification and Creation
Object Number
Copy after Michelangelo Buonarroti, Italian (Caprese, Italy 1475 - 1564 Rome, Italy)
Work Type
16th century
Creation Place: Europe, Italy, Tuscany, Florence
Persistent Link
Physical Descriptions
Black chalk on off-white antique laid paper; wings of eagle incised with stylus and damaged, parts then retouched
36.1 x 27 cm (14 3/16 x 10 5/8 in.)
frame: 53.3 x 41.9 x 3.2 cm (21 x 16 1/2 x 1 1/4 in.)
Inscriptions and Marks
  • inscription: Mount, along lower edge, Brown ink, English: According to Vasari this drawing was made for a young gentleman call'd Tomaso de Cavalieri by Michael Angelo in order to encourage, & teach him to draw.
  • collector's mark: l.r. corner, Black ink: L. 1433 (Sir J. C. Robinson)
  • collector's mark: l.r. corner, Black ink: L. 2771 (H. C. Jennings)
  • inscription: brown ink on brown paper: Property of / Noël Monod / Guinea [?] Road / Cos Cob [?] / Conn. [from old frame backing--now attached to backing board of current frame]
  • inscription: verso of mount, brown ink, center: N 29 [effaced] / AH: E. / Michael Angelo Bona rota
  • inscription: verso of mount, lower left, graphite: 214
  • inscription: verso of mount, upper left, graphite: 37 [crossed out] / Mieff[?]
Henry Constantine Jennings (L. 2771). Thomas Lawrence (without his mark); [Samuel Woodburn]; William II, King of Holland, his sale, Amsterdam, De Vries, Roos, and Brondgeest, 12 August 1850, lot 153, as "attributed to Michelangelo;" sold to Samuel Woodburn, his sale, London, Christie's, 4 June 1860, lot 137, bought by [dealer?] Enson. Sir John Charles Robinson (L. 1433); his son, Charles Newton Robinson, 1914 (presumably inherited in 1913 from his father). John Hemming Fry; Noel Monod, Greenwich, Conn.; sold to Fogg Art Museum for $1200, 1955.
Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, Gifts for Special Uses Fund
Accession Year
Object Number
European and American Art
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Publication History

Henry Thode, Michelangelo: Kritische Untersuchungen über seine werke [3 vols.], G. Grote'sche Verlagsbuchhandlung (Berlin, Germany, 1908), vol. 2, p. 354 [pp. 350-356 indirect reference] and vol. 3, cat. no. (377a)...

Karl Frey, Die Handzeichnungen Michelagniolos Buonarroti [3 vols.], Julius Bard (Berlin, Germany, 1909 - 1911), vol. 3, pp. 11-12 as copy after

Henry Thode, Michelangelo und das Ende der Renaissance, vol. 3: Der Künstler und seine Werke (Berlin, 1912), pp. 512ff.

Bernard Berenson, The Drawings of the Florentine Painters, University of Chicago Press (Chicago, IL, 1938), vol. II, under no. 1614, p. 218, as by Marcello Venusti

Erwin Panofsky, Studies in Iconology: Humanistic Themes in the Art of the Renaissance, Oxford University Press (NY) and Oxford University Press (UK) (Oxford, England, 1939), indirect reference f.n. 144, p. 216 [[discussion of Ganymede pp. 212-218]

Charles de Tolnay, Michelangelo: The Medici Chapel, Princeton University Press (Princeton, NJ, 1948), p. 112; f.n.4 on p. 199; under cat. no. 116, p. 221 [indirect refs to copies]

Baruch D. Kirschenbaum, "Reflections on Michelangelo's Drawings for Cavaliere", Gazette des Beaux-Arts (April 1951 - June 1951), vol. 38, pp. 99-110, f.n. 6, p. 110

Flight: Fantasy, Faith, Fact. A Loan Exhibition Commemorating the Fiftieth Anniversary of Powered Flight 1903-1953, exh. cat., Dayton Art Institute (Dayton, OH, 1953), cat. no. 41, p. 7; repr. pl. VI, n.p., as Michelangelo

Luitpold Dussler, Die Zeichnungen des Michelangelo: Kritischer Katalog, Gebr. Mann (Berlin, Germany, 1959), under cat. no. 498, p. 234

Anxiety and Elegance: The Human Figure in Italian Art, 1520-1580, exh. cat., Fogg Art Museum (Cambridge, MA, 1962), cat. no. 17, p. 6 as Follower of Michelangelo

The Human Figure in Italian Art, 1520-1580, exh. cat., Fogg Art Museum (Cambridge, MA, 1962), cat. no. 17, p. 6 as Follower of Michelangelo

Charles de Tolnay, The Art and Thought of Michelangelo, Pantheon Books (New York, NY, 1964), p. 104 and f.n. 31, p. 141; repr. pl. XLI, n.p., as copy after

Builders and Humanists: The Renaissance Popes as Patrons of the Arts, exh. cat., University of St. Thomas Art Department (Houston, TX, 1966), cat. no. 36 and repr. fig. 36, both p. 78, as follower of

Kenneth Clark, Rembrandt and the Italian Renaissance, New York University Press (New York, NY, 1966), p. 13 as copy after

Frederick Hartt, Michelangelo Drawings, Harry N. Abrams, Inc. (New York, NY, 1970 [?]), under cat. no. 353, p. 249 [indirect reference]

Michael Hirst, "A Drawing of 'The Rape of Ganymede' by Michelangelo", The Burlington Magazine (March 1975), vol. CXVII, no. 864, p. 166, p. 166, repr. fig. 1

John A. Gere, Drawings by Michelangelo in the Collection of Her Majesty the Queen at Windsor Castle, the Ashmolean Museum, the British Museum and other English Collections, exh. cat., British Museum Publications Ltd. and Universe Books (London, England and New York, NY, 1975), under cat. no. 124, p. 105 as Michelangelo or "a faithful old copy"

Charles de Tolnay, Corpus dei disegni di Michelangelo, Istituto Geografico de Agostini-Novara (Novara, 1976), vol. 2, cat. no. 344, pp. 109-110, and p. 13; repr. pl. 344 color, n.p.

Michael Hirst, "A Drawing of the Rape of Ganymede by Michelangelo", Essays Presented to Myron P. Gilmore, vol. II: History of Art. History of Music, ed. Sergio Bertelli, La Nuova Italia Editrice (Florence, Italy, 1978), pp. 253-260, pp. 253 ff.; repr. pls. 1 and 2, n.p.

Christoph Luitpold Frommel, Michelangelo und Tommaso dei Cavalieri; mit der Ubertragung von Francesco Diaccetos "Panegirico all'amore.", Castrum Peregrini Presse (Amsterdam, Netherlands, 1979), pp. 41-45, repr. pl. 3, n.p., as copy after

Gerda Kempter, Ganymed: Studien zur Typologie, Ikonographie und Ikonologie, Böhlau Verlag (Cologne, 1980), pp. 85-90

Michelangelo Buonarroti, Michelangelo: Hundert Gedichte; italienisch und deutsch, ed. Franz Rauhut, Königshausen und Neumann (Würzburg, Germany, 1981), pp. 271-3, repr. as "die beste Kopie"

Howard Hibbard, Caravaggio, Harper & Row (New York, NY, 1983), text and f.n. 11, p. 157; under note 98, p. 310; repr. fig. 180, p. 309

William E. Wallace, "Studies in Michelangelo's Finished Drawings 1520-1534" (1983), Columbia University, pp. 176-184

Anette Kruszynski, Der Ganymed-Mythos in Emblematik und mythographischer Literatur des 16. Jahrhunderts, Wernersche Verlagsgesellschaft Worms (Worms, 1985), pp. 29-30, fig. 6

James M. Saslow, Ganymede in the Renaissance: Homosexuality in Art and Society, Yale University Press (New Haven, CT, 1986), repr. fig. 1.1, p. 20; pp. 19-21 as Michelangelo

Kristin A. Mortimer and William G. Klingelhofer, Harvard University Art Museums: A Guide to the Collections, Harvard University Art Museums and Abbeville Press (Cambridge and New York, 1986), cat. no. 255, p. 220; repr. same page

Rona Goffen, "Renaissance Dreams", Renaissance Quarterly (Winter 1987), vol. 40, issue 4, pp. 682-706, pp. 683-691; repr. fig. 1, p. 685

Michael Hirst, Michelangelo and his Drawings, Yale University Press (New Haven, CT and London, England, 1988), pp. 11 (indirect), 112 and 127, repr. pl. 223, n.p.

Michael Hirst, Michelangelo Draftsman, exh. cat., Olivetti (Milan, Italy, 1988), under cat. no. 43, p. 103 [indirect reference]

Agnes Mongan, Konrad Oberhuber, and Jonathan Bober, The Famous Italian Drawings at the Fogg Art Museum in Cambridge, Silvana Editoriale (Milan, Italy, 1988), pp. 12, 30 and 32; repr. fig. 10, p. 21, as attributed to Michelangelo

Sylvaine Hänsel, Der Spanische Humanist Benito Arias Montano (1527-1598) und die Kunst, Aschendorffsche Verlagsbuchhandlung GmbH & Co. (Münster, Germany, 1991), p. 131, repr. pl. 66 as after Michelangelo

Alexander Perrig, Michelangelo's Drawings: The Science of Attribution, Yale University Press (New Haven, CT, 1991), pp. 31, 43-44, 75, 79; repr. pl. 17, n.p. as Michelangelo

Michelangelo Buonarroti, The Poetry of Michelangelo, Yale University Press (New Haven, CT and London, England, 1991), pp. 16 and 37; f.n. 6, p. 153; repr. TC no. 344, p. 185; f.n. 13, p. 191...

Paul Joannides, "Amputating Michelangelo's Corpus", Apollo (April 1992), vol. CXXXV, no. 362, pp. 265-66, p. 265

David Rosand, "More or Less Michelangelo", Drawing (January 1992 - February 1992), vol. XIII, no. 5, pp. 112-113, p. 113 [indirect reference]

Herwarth Röttgen, Caravaggio: der irdische Amor, oder der Sieg der fleischlichen Liebe, Fischer Taschenbuch (Frankfurt, Germany, 1992), pp. 49-51; repr. fig. 31, p. 50

Pierre Théberge and Pietro Marani, The Genius of the Sculptor in Michelangelo's Work, exh. cat., The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (Montreal, Canada, 1992), pp. 184-186, 343; under cat. no. 108, p. 390; under cat. no. 109, p. 392...

Laurie Adams, Art and Psychoanalysis, Icon Editions (New York, NY, 1993), pp. 91-92, repr. fig. 25

William Griswold and Linda Wolk-Simon, Sixteenth-Century Italian Drawings in New York Collections, exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, NY, 1994), under cat. no. 28, f.n.1, p. 34 as "may be" the original

James J. Wilhelm, ed., Gay and Lesbian Poetry: An Anthology from Sappho to Michelangelo, Garland Publishing, Inc. (New York, NY, 1995), p. 319 and repr. as frontispiece

Corrado Gizzi, Michelangelo e Dante, exh. cat., Electa (Milan, 1995), repr. p. 46

Christopher Reed, "Gay and Lesbian Art", The Dictionary of Art, ed. Jane Turner, Grove's Dictionaries (New York, NY, 1996), vol. 12, pp. 213-220, p. 214; repr. fig. 1, same page, as Michelangelo

James M. Saslow, "The Unconsummated Portrait: Michelangelo's Poems About Art", The Eye of the Poet: Studies in the Reciprocity of the Visual and Literary..., ed. Amy Golahny, Bucknell University Press /Associated University Presses (Lewisburg, PA and London, England, 1996), pp. 79 - 101, f.n. 17, p. 97; repr. p. 85 as Michelangelo

Paul Joannides, Michelangelo and His Influence: Drawings from Windsor Castle, exh. cat., National Gallery of Art/Lund Humphries Publishers (Washington, D.C. and London, England, 1996), under cat. no. 15, pp. 72 and 74; repr. fig. 56, p. 72, as Michelangelo or after

Stefan Grohé, Rembrandts mythologische Historien, Böhlau Verlag (Cologne, Germany, 1996), pp. 127-131 and p. 295; repr. fig. 23, p. 126

Martin Kemp, Behind the Picture: Art and Evidence in the Italian Renaissance, Yale University Press (New Haven, CT and London, England, 1997), pp. 197-98 [indirect reference]

La donation Jacques Petithory au musée Bonnat, Bayonne: Objets d'art, sculptures, peintures, dessins, exh. cat., Editions de la Réunion des Musées Nationaux (Paris, France, 1997), under cat. no. 229, p. 228, as "peut-etre" the original

Anthony A. Hughes, Michelangelo, Phaidon Press Limited (London, England, 1997), p. 235; repr. fig. 156, p. 238; in color as Michelangelo, c. 1533

Sylvia Ferino Pagden, Vittoria Colonna: Dichterin und Muse Michelangelos, exh. cat., Kunsthistorisches Museum (Vienna, Austria, 1997), cat. no. IV.8, pp. 327-329; repr. as Michelangelo (?), p. 328

Ernst-Gerhard Güse and Alexander Perrig, Zeichnungen aus der Toskana: Das Zeitalter Michelangelos, exh. cat., Saarland Museum and Prestel-Verlag (Saarbrücken and Munich/New York, 1997), cat. no. 33, pp. 131-132, and p. 19; repr. color p. 132 and cover

Zeichnungen aus der Toskana: Das Zeitalter Michelangelos [Gallery guide], brochure, Saarland Museum (Saarbrücken, Germany, 1997), repr. color on cover

Richard Rambuss, Closet Devotions, Duke University Press (Durham, NC and London, England, 1998), p. 54, repr. fig. 9

Gilles Néret, Michel-Ange 1475-1564, Taschen (Cologne, Germany, 1998), repr. p. 1 (detail)

Lene Østermark-Johansen, Sweetness and Strength: The Reception of Michelangelo in Late Victorian England, Ashgate Publishing (Aldershot, Hants, England and Brookfield, VT, 1998), pp. 196-200; repr. pl. 56, p.199, as an "autograph modello" (f.n. 20, p. 290)

Terence Maloon and Peter Raissis, Michelangelo to Matisse: Drawing the Figure, exh. cat., Art Gallery of New South Wales (Sydney, Australia, 1999), pp. 33-36, repr.

Gilles Néret, Mikhelag'elo, 1475-1564, Benedikt Taschen Verlag (Cologne, Germany, 1999), detail repr. frontispiece

James M. Saslow, Pictures and Passions: A History of Homosexuality in the Visual Arts, Viking Press (New York, NY, 1999), p. 99; repr. fig. 3.11, p. 100

Barbara A. Simerka, ed., Echoes and Inscriptions: Comparative Approaches to Early Modern Spanish Literatures, Bucknell University Press (Lewisburg, PA, 2000), p. 259, repr. p. 260

Warren Kirkendale, Emilio de' Cavalieri "gentiluomo romano": His life and letters, his role as superintendent of all the arts at the Medici court, and his musical compositions, ed. Lorenzo Bianconi, Leo S. Olschki (Florence, Italy, 2001), f.n. 52, p. 38; repr. pl. 21, n.p.; general refs. to Ganymede pp. 36-38

Lucilla Bardeschi Ciulich and Pina Ragioneri, ed., Vita di Michelangelo, exh. cat., Mandragora (Florence, 2001), p. 92

Roderick Conway Morris, "Aspects of Love in Michelangelo: 'Myth of Ganymede' Exhibit Explores Subtexts of Sexuality", International Herald Tribune, International Herald Tribune (July 20, 2002 - July 21, 2002), p. 8, repr.

Alan Riding, "In Florence, Michelangelo Has His Moment", The New York Times, New York Times (New York, NY, August 20, 2002), pp. B1 and B4, repr. p. B4 in color

David Rosand, Drawing Acts: Studies in Graphic Expression and Representation, Cambridge University Press (Cambridge, 2002), pp. 186-190, 373 (n. 15), repr. fig. 176, p. 188

Marcella Marongiu, Il mito di Ganimede prima e dopo Michelangelo, exh. cat., Mandragora (Florence, 2002), cat. no. 18, p. 74, repr. and on cover [For full citation see public notes]

Maria Ruvoldt, "Michelangelo's Dream", The Art Bulletin (March 2003), vol. 85, no. 1, pp. 86-113, p. 93; repr. fig. 8, same page

Louis Crompton, Homosexuality and Civilization, Belknap Press of Harvard University Press (Cambridge, MA and London, England, 2003), p. 274, repr. p. 275, fig. 50

Paul Joannides, Michel-Ange, élèves et copistes, Réunion des Musées Nationaux (Paris, 2003), pp. 229, 230, 231, 234

Review of Paul Joannides, "Michel-Ange, élèves et copistes", Zeitschrift für Kunstgeschichte (2004), 67, p. 561

Maria Ruvoldt, The Italian Renaissance Imagery of Inspiration: Metaphors of Sex, Sleep, and Dreams, Cambridge University Press (Cambridge, 2004), p. 157-160, repr. fig. 53

Old Master and 19th Century Drawings, auct. cat., Christie's, New York (New York, NY, January 25, 2005), under cat. no. 32, p. 39

"Die Sammlung des Tommaso de' Cavalieri und die Provenienz der Zeichnungen Michelangelos", Römisches Jahrbuch der Bibliotheca Hertziana (2006 (2008)), 37, pp. 163-221, pp. 168-169, ill. 8

Frank Zöllner, Christof Thoenes, and Thomas Pöpper, Michelangelo 1475-1564: Complete Works, Taschen GmbH (Cologne, 2007), pp. 259-260, 589, 752, Cat. D200, repr. pp. 257, 599

Andreas Schumacher, Michelangelos 'teste divine:' Idealbildnisse als Exempla der Zeichenkunst, Rhema (Münster, 2007), pp. 23, 44, 51, 58-60, 67, 73-74, 169-172, 272, fig. 20

Old Master Paintings including Property from the J. Paul Getty Museum, auct. cat., Sotheby's, Amsterdam (Amsterdam, May 8, 2007), under no. 61

Lucy Whitaker and Martin Clayton, ed., The Art of Italy in the Royal Collection: Renaissance and Baroque, exh. cat., Royal Collection, U.K. (London, 2007), p. 96

Edward J. Olszewski, A Corpus of Drawings in Midwestern Collections: Sixteenth-Century Italian Drawings, Harvey Miller/Brepols Publishers (London, 2008), under cat. no. 385, fig. 385a

M. van den Doel, Ficino en het voorstellingsvernogen phantasia en imaginatio in kunst en theorie van de Renaissance (Hoofd-Hart-Handen, 2008), pp. 185-189, 204-207, 218-220, 364, fig. 62

Thomas Ketelsen, "Der Widerstreit der Linien: Zum Status von Zeichnung und Stich(el) bei Vasari und van Mander", Druckgraphik: Zwischen Reproduktion und Invention, Deutscher Kunstverlag (Berlin/Munich, 2010), pp. 205-221, pp. 213-214, pl. 10

Charles Davis, "Michelangelo Drawings" [review of "Michelangelo: The Drawings of a Genius," Albertina], The Burlington Magazine (December 2010), CLII, no. 1293, pp. 828-829, p. 829

Maria Teresa Caracciolo and Isabelle Mayer-Michalon, Lucien Bonaparte: Un homme libre, 1775-1840, exh. cat., Silvana Editoriale (Milan, 2010), p. 248

Bernadine Barnes, Michelangelo in Print: Reproductions as Response in the Sixteenth Century, Ashgate Publishing (Farnham, Surrey, England, 2010), pp. 55, 57, 60, repr. p. 56 as fig. 3.1

Stephanie Buck, ed., Michelangelo's Dream, exh. cat., The Courtauld Gallery (London, 2010), pp. 118-122, cat. no. 3, repr., fig. 63 (detail), fig. 73 (detail), p. 105

Leonard Barkan, Michelangelo: A Life on Paper, Princeton University Press (Princeton and Oxford, 2011), pp. 227, 228, repr. p. 228 as fig. 6-46.

Achim Gnann, Michelangelo: The Drawings of a Genius, exh. cat., Albertina (Vienna, 2011), cat. no. 83, repr., p. 24, repr. p. 24 (detail)

Jeremy Wood, Rubens: Copies and Adaptations From Renaissance and Later Artists: Italian Artists. III. Artists Working in Central Italy and France, Harvey Miller Publishers (London, England, 2011), vol I: under cat. no. 195 p. 202; vol II: p. 7 (no. 86 in list of illustrations), repr. as fig. 86

Patricia Lee Rubin, "Art History from the Bottom Up", Art History (April 2013), 36, pp. 280-309, p. 294, repr. p. 293 as fig. 10

Caravaggesque Italian Painters: Painters of Reality, auct. cat., Galerie G. Sarti (Paris, 2013), p. 43, fig. 1

Alessia Alberti, Alessandro Rovetta, and Claudio Salsi, D'Après Michelangelo, exh. cat., Marsilio Editore (Milan, 2015), pp. 122-125, repr. pp. 122, 125 as fig. 1

Johann Kräftner, ed., Menschenbilder - Götterwelten: The Worlds of Gods and Men, exh. cat., Christian Brandstätter Verlag/Liechtenstein Museum (Vienna, 2016), p. 124, 126, repr. p. 124

Alex Pilcher, A Queer Little History of Art, Tate Publishing (London, 2017), pp. 9-10, repr. p. 10

Carmen Bambach, Michelangelo: Divine Draftsman and Deesigner, exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, 2017), p. 334 note 161

Jean-René Gaborit, Le sculpteur rémois Pierre Jacques et les sculptures de Michel-Ange, Bulletin de la Société nationale des Antiquaires de France (Paris, 2018), p.301-325, pp.312-316; repr. as fig.5 on p.314

Exhibition History

Flight: Fantasy, Faith, Fact. A Loan Exhibition Commemorating the Fiftieth Anniversary of Powered Flight 1903-1953, Dayton Art Institute, Dayton, 12/17/1953 - 02/21/1954

Anxiety and Elegance: The Human Figure in Italian Art, 1520-1580, Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, 05/01/1962 - 05/25/1962

Builders and Humanists: The Renaissance Popes as Patrons of the Arts, University of St. Thomas Art Department, Houston, 03/24/1966 - 05/08/1966

Il mito di Ganimede prima e dopo Michelangelo, Ente Casa Buonarroti, Firenze, 06/18/2002 - 09/30/2002

Michelangelo's Dream, The Courtauld Gallery, 02/18/2010 - 05/16/2010

Michelangelo: The Drawings of a Genius, Albertina, Vienna, 10/07/2010 - 01/09/2011

This record has been reviewed by the curatorial staff but may be incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. For more information please contact the Division of European and American Art at