The Divine Michelangelo: The Power and the Glory
Art, Power and Conflict in the work of Michelangelo Buonarroti:
Exploring the life, work and personality of the man they called divine
We have all heard of the great Renaissance master Michelangelo, indeed the recent Michelangelo blockbuster sell-out exhibition at the British Museum only served to confirm the continued interest in this artist. But how much do we really know about his life and work, how did he become such great artists, was he as famous in his own lifetime as he is now, was he rich in comparison to our modern times, and where and how did he learn his craft? How long did it take Michelangelo to fresco the Sistine Chapel ceiling, how did he do it, what was his relationship with the papacy and his contemporaries such as Raphael, indeed how real was the competition and struggle for dominance between artists?
This lecture will explore the life of this long-lived artist from his early career and influences including his training in the workshop of Domenico Ghirlandaio and working methods, from his early fame establish in discipline sculpture to the triumph of ‘David’, his first forays in the medium of paint, thorough to Michelangelo’s ultimate triumph – the Sistine Chapel frescos. Finally this lecture will look at Michelangelo’s late, so-called presentation drawings, his late sculptures, and long life peripatetic existence which finally ended in Florence. Through the exploration of Michelangelo’s extraordinary long life this lecture will aim to provide the listener with an insight into the life of the great Renaissance master and ultimately an understanding of his works through the historical and social context within which this artist worked.
Short Bibliographic Reading List:
Bull, George (ed), Giorgio Vasari: Lives of the Artists, (Penguin Books, 1987) Vol: I & II
Cellini, Benvenuto, (Bull, George, trans & intro) Autobiography, (Penguin Classics, 1998)
Chapman, Hugo, Michelangelo – Drawings: Closer to the Master, (British Museum Press, 2005)
Dunkerton, Jill & Hirst, Michael, Making and Meaning: The Young Michelangelo (National Gallery Publications, 1994)
Levey, Michael, Florence: A Portrait (Pimlico, 1996)
Thompson Jnr, Daniel V, (trans), Cennino d’Andrea Cennini: The Craftsman’s Handbook – Il Libro dell’Arte (Dover Publications inc, 1960)