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Organization, Regulations, and Courses 2022-23

ARTH 48.07 Michelangelo’s Modernism

In 1837 Eugène Delacroix named Michelangelo Buonarroti the “father of modern art.”  What led the great 19th century Romantic painter and critic to identify the Florentine sculptor, painter, architect, and poet as the origin of the modern school? Declared “divine,” during his lifetime, he has been celebrated as the non plus ultra of artistic genius, or vilified as the very epitome of artistic excess ever since. Enthusiasts and detractors alike have viewed Michelangelo as the model of the self-conscious artist. This course will trace ‘il divino’s’ role in the formation of the cult of the modern artist through examining artworks and texts ranging from the artist’s lifetime and afterlife in art, literature, and film. Beginning with the construction of Michelangelo’s persona by early biographers, we will consider why he came to embody the tension between the demands of tradition and innovation like no other artist. Each week we will closely investigate artworks in dialogue with primary sources in English translation. Secondary texts selected from the superb scholarly literature on Michelangelo and his afterlife will be used to supplement primary materials. Throughout the course we will consider the idea of Michelangelo and the Michelangesque functioned through five centuries of cultural production.

Degree Requirement Attributes

Dist:ART; WCult:W

The Timetable of Class Meetings contains the most up-to-date information about a course. It includes not only the meeting time and instructor, but also its official distributive and/or world culture designation. This information supersedes any information you may see elsewhere, to include what may appear in this ORC/Catalog or on a department/program website. Note that course attributes may change term to term therefore those in effect are those (only) during the term in which you enroll in the course.