London - Exhibition

Bill Viola / Michelangelo: Life Death Rebirth

The Royal Academy of Arts

26 Jan 201931 Mar 2019

The exhibition brings together two iconic artists, born centuries apart, such as Bill Viola and Michelangelo to investigate the affinities between their artistic researches, exploring the same universal themes. In particular, in 2006 Viola had the chance to admire a collection of Michelangelo’s drawings at Windsor Castle and was inspired by the master’s expressive representation of human body in order to convey its emotions and inner world. In fact, Michelangelo’s statues and frescoes distinguish themselves for their grandeur as much as his drawings explore the emotional world of the portrayed subjects. Through a totally different medium, namely the video, Viola as well addresses fundamental themes such as birth, life and death.

“Bill Viola / Michelangelo: Life Death Rebirth” presents a selection of Michelangelo’s most poignant works, including Michelangelo’s only marble sculpture in the UK, the “Virgin and Child with the Infant St John” (the ‘Taddei Tondo’). Besides them, 12 major installations by Viola are on view, spanning his entire career and including “Tristan’s Ascension (The Sound of a Mountain Under a Waterfall)”, a five-metre-high projection depicting the ascent of the soul after death.


  • Bill Viola, Bill Viola, "Tristan’s Ascension (The Sound of a Mountain Under a Waterfall)", 2005, Courtesy Bill Viola Studio, Photo: Kira Perov

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Contacts & Details

mon, tue, wed, thu, sat, sun 10:00 am - 6:00 pm; fri 10:00 am - 10:00 pm


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