Michelangelo: Gateway to Early Modern Italy (ARTHIST 218A, ARTHIST 418A, ITALIAN 337)
Revered as one of the greatest artists in history, Michelangelo Buonarroti's extraordinarily long and prodigious existence (1475-1564) spanned the Renaissance and the Reformation in Italy. The celebrity artist left behind not only sculptures, paintings, drawings, and architectural designs, but also an abundantly rich and heterogeneous collection of artifacts, including direct and indirect correspondence (approximately 1400 letters), an eclectic assortment of personal notes, documents and contracts, and 302 poems and 41 poetic fragments. This course will explore the life and production of Michelangelo in relation to those of his contemporaries. Using the biography of the artist as a thread, this interdisciplinary course will draw on a range of critical methodologies and approaches to investigate the civilization and culture of Italy in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Course themes will follow key tensions that defined the period and that found expression in Michelangelo: physical-spiritual, classical-Christian, tradition-innovation, individual-collective.