A series of drawings which Michelangelo made for a younger man he is thought to have fallen in love with, have gone on display at London's Courtauld Gallery.
The exhibition is built around his masterpiece The Dream (Il Sogno), bequeathed to the gallery in 1978.
It depicts a naked young man, thought to represent Tommasso de Cavalieri, being roused from sleep by a spirit.
The Michelangelo Dream exhibition, which also features handwritten sonnets to Cavalieri, will run until 16 May.
The series of works created for Cavalieri were described in 1568, by artist and Michelangelo biographer Giorgio Vasari, as "drawings the like of which have never been seen".
Drawings portray Michelangelo's love
In a letter to Michelangelo, also featured in the exhibition, Cavalieri said the drawings had been admired by "the Pope, the Cardinal de Medici and everyone".
Curator Stephanie Buck said Cavalieri was thought to have been "an adolescent of 17 or under" when Michelangelo fell in love with him.
"It was a deep and serious friendship which was to last until Michelangelo's death in 1564," she told the BBC News website.
"The two men met in the winter of 1532 and Michelangelo fell passionately in love with Tommaso de Cavalieri, who was praised for his outstanding beauty, gracious manners and intellect."
When Michelangelo created the drawings for Cavalieri he was "the most famous living artist of his day, at the height of his career, and praised as 'the divine'", Ms Buck said.
"These extremely complex and beautiful works show Michelangelo's power of invention, the immense creativity and mastery in the medium.
"They also show him engaged with concepts of love and beauty."
A group of drawings by Michelangelo of Christ's resurrection, based on a "heroic nude figure of the reborn Christ leaping free of the tomb and the bondage of life on earth", is also featured.
The gallery said the drawings offered "close thematic and formal comparisons with The Dream".