The Medici Garden of San Marco in Florence: masters and fellow students of the young Michelangelo

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The course is intended principally for students of the two undergraduate programmes (regardless of their enrolment years). However, some of the topics covered can also be useful for doctoral students.


The course will introduce the students of the two undergraduate courses to the events of art in Florence in the transition from the Early Renaissance to the so-called “Maniera Moderna,” focusing especially on the environments and personalities that were decisive for that transition, and that, at the same time, accompanied Michelangelo Buonarroti’s training and early successes. Architecture, sculpture, paintings, drawings and prints will be approached from the widest possible viewpoint, considering their original functions, destinations and/or locations, types, iconographic choices, styles of execution, artists, patrons and their social and cultural roles.

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The aim of the course is to provide the students of the two undergraduate programmes with advanced critical tools to tackle the ‘mute’ language of works of art of the past, and in particular of sculpture, both by practising directly on the figurative corpus and by examining the different methods of reading and interpretation utilised in modern studies.

Riferimenti bibliografici

Joachim Poeschke, Die Skulptur der Renaissance in Italien, 2 vols., Munich, Hirmer, 1990-1992, vol. 1, Donatello und seine Zeit, 1990 (English edition: Joachim Poeschke, Donatello and His World: Sculpture of the Italian Renaissance, New York, Abrams, 1993); and vol. 2, Michelangelo und seine Zeit, 1992 (English edition: Joachim Poeschke, Michelangelo and His World: Sculpture of the Italian Renaissance, New York, Abrams, 1996);

Il Giardino di San Marco. Maestri e compagni del giovane Michelangelo, exhibition catalogue (Florence, Casa Buonarroti, 30 June - 19 October 1992), edited by Paola Barocchi, Milan, Silvana Editoriale, 1992;

Michael Hirst, Michelangelo. I. The Achievement of Fame: 1475-1534, Yale University Press, New Haven - London 2011.

Other in-depth texts will be indicated during the course.