On November 5, 2013, His Imperial Highness Crown Prince Naruhito of Japan arrived at the National Museum of Western Art in Tokyo to view the special exhibition, Michelangelo Buonarroti: The Making of a Genius and the 500th Anniversary of the Sistine Chapel.
Per the National Museum of Western Art official website regarding the exhibition:
“Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475-1564) represents the pinnacle achievement of the Renaissance and is one of the greatest artists in the history of Western art. Through its introduction of 60 works from the Casa Buonarroti (Florence) collection of Michelangelo’s descendants, this exhibition explores the creative achievement and influence of this artist who has been revered as an almost god-like figure from his lifetime through the present.
Thanks to the full cooperation of the Casa Buonarroti, renowned as a world-leading collection of Michelangelo works and related materials both in terms of quality and quantity, we are able to present this monographic exhibition on the artist known primarily through the frescos and massive sculptures whose format and scale prevent their overseas display.
The “Madonna of the Stairs” is an early period masterpiece of marble relief carving created when the artist was around 15 years old. Rarely viewed outside the Casa Buonarroti, this is the first long-term loan and display of this work. The other more than 30 works by Michelangelo, primarily drawings, present a particularly rare opportunity to delve into this genius artist’s creative process and its secrets.
The exhibition also introduces such previously little-known historical materials as letters and manuscripts written by Michelangelo himself, further illuminating the human side of this larger-than-life artist and the anguish that accompanied his artistic production.”