Spring 2014 - Undergraduate Course Descriptions
Description of Course:
Michelangelo’s Life and Times
The Renaissance in Italy is often seen as a time of a great flowering of the arts and sciences—an era when painting and poetry, sculpture and surveying, architecture and archaeology all flourished. Michelangelo practiced all of these things, brilliantly, even if the man himself remains stubborn and difficult for us to understand. Many issues about his life remain unresolved today—how he learned his art, the details of his sexuality, the reasons for his irascible temperament. The work gives us many clues, but not necessarily all the answers. Yet it is a worthy corpus to get to know, in part because it remains so stubbornly modern. We will look at it in the context of the art of the period, particularly sculpture: his first medium, and the one with the greatest number of surviving works.
Because the majority of CV students will not have had any background in this material, we will move on two tracks. One is to serve as a basic survey of the artist, so that you can grasp the major artistic developments that took place during the period and how his works both fit into that and work against the norms. The other will be to read the texts closely and discuss them in a seminar setting, as well as watch videos and discuss current themes and developments in Michelangelo studies. We will alternate between lectures and discussion, with about half of the time in each meeting devoted to a mini-lecture on a topic, and the other half dedicated to talking over the reading or a specific topic.
Course Requirements/Evaluation Criteria: