Art Alert! Michelangelo’s Room Of Paintings Opens Up For Visitors

With the opening of the long locked chamber of Michelangelo’s drawings, discover all you need to see at the Basilica of San Lorenzo
Michelangelo's room of drawin at the
Michelangelo's room of drawin at the designboom/twitter

Michelangelo Buonarroti was a famous artist of the Renaissance era, known for his iconic works such as the Sistine Chapel ceiling and the statue of David. He also had a hidden collection of charcoal and chalk sketches that were kept in a cellar beneath the Basilica of San Lorenzo in Florence, Italy which is an essential place of worship related to the powerful Medici family.

A portrait of Michelangelo
A portrait of MichelangeloShutterstock

The drawings remained a secret for centuries until they were discovered in 1975 by a museum director during a renovation project. The director found a trapdoor leading to the chamber where the sketches were kept. After being held in the dark for so long, the room will finally be opened to the public on November 15, allowing art enthusiasts to see these valuable sketches for the first time.

"La Pieta" by Michelangelo
"La Pieta" by MichelangeloShutterstock

Michelangelo had a complex relationship with the Medici family. Lorenzo the Magnificent initially supported Michelangelo's talent, but their relationship strained over time. Despite the tensions, Michelangelo created masterpieces for the Medici family, shaping his career and legacy. He sought refuge in a tiny chamber, the room about to be open for visitors, beneath the Medici Chapels in the Basilica of San Lorenzo in 1530, hiding from the Medicis upon their return to Florence after being banished into exile in 1527.

The Basilica of Saint Lorenzo

The Basilica of Saint Lorenzo
The Basilica of Saint LorenzoShutterstock

Basilica di San Lorenzo in Florence is a large church in the market district, where all the principal members of the Medici family are buried. Designed by Brunelleschi and Michelangelo, it is a prime example of Renaissance architecture.

Currently, the structure is emblematic of Rome as well as associated with the artistic genius, Michelangelo, and is visited voraciously by tourists. Check out the things to see and explore around this magnificent parish architecture.

Things To See

The Old Sacristy

Inside the Old Sacristy
Inside the Old SacristyWikimedia Commons

The Old Sacristy, a masterpiece of early Renaissance architecture, was designed by Filippo Brunelleschi and is known for its perfect geometry and rich decoration. Its plan is a perfect square with a smaller square altar, called Scarsella, on the south side. The Old Sacristy is the final resting place of Giovanni di Bicci, the man who brought the Medici family to fame.

The New Sacristy

Inside the New Sacristy
Inside the New SacristyWikimedia Commons

Michelangelo's New Sacristy is an impressive display of his sculpting prowess, containing some of his most iconic works, including the allegorical statues of Day and Night, Dawn and Dusk. It is situated adjacent to the Basilica di San Lorenzo and is a part of the museum complex called the Medici Chapels. The chamber containing Michelangelo's drawings, soon to be opened for tourists and art enthusiasts, is located beneath this New Sacristy.


Cloisters at the Basilica
Cloisters at the BasilicaShutterstock

The Basilica of San Lorenzo boasts cloisters that display a harmonious blend of Renaissance and Gothic architecture. The tranquil atmosphere of the cloisters makes it a perfect spot for relaxation and contemplation.

Facade of the Basilica

Facade of the Basilica
Facade of the BasilicaShutterstock

The facade of the Basilica of San Lorenzo, although unfinished, is a testament to its historic significance and architectural ambition. It embodies the transition from mediaeval to Renaissance architectural styles.

Main Chapel

The Basilica of San Lorenzo's main chapel showcases remarkable artworks and architectural elements contributing to the church's grandeur and historical significance. 


Crypt at the Basilica
Crypt at the BasilicaShutterstock

The crypt, also known as the Cripta, of the basilica is a fascinating underground area with great historical significance. It is thought to house the remains of several members of the Medici family and provides visitors with a glimpse into the rich heritage of the basilica.

The Information

Timings: 10 am to 5:30 pm

Ticket Price: INR 800 (EUR 9)

Address: Piazza di San Lorenzo, 9, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy

Outlook Traveller