Michelangelo Buonarotti: His Art, Influences & Rivals
3 June 2021 - 1 July 2023
90 mins duration
£55 – £225
Sessions are recorded and 90 minutes duration, accessible on the dates published. Joining instructions on acceptance of booking.
During the Renaissance just one artist achieved immeasurable fame within his lifetime and would tower over all others for centuries thereafter. He was Michelangelo Buonarotti.
No artist had ever been so naked in his ambition. He would invent the modern superstar celebrity, setting the standard so high that all subsequent artists would struggle to emerge from his vast shadow.
This series of lectures will unpack his long and extraordinary life and shed light on how his early childhood and family circumstances fuelled his relentless work ethic and fierce hatred of rival artists. It will conclude with the triumph of the Sistine Chapel, the tragedy of the Papal Tomb of Julius II, and his intimate personal relationships played out through his ‘Presentation Drawings’ concluding with the legacy of his art.
“Leslie is so good at offering courses that sound challenging and then makes them interesting and accessible”
First Works: The Emergence Of The Painter
We will look at Michelangelo’s emergence as a painter, (both his earliest pieces are in the National Gallery, London) and compare the influences he gleaned from artists of an earlier generation as well as his fast‐emerging use of different mediums and growing confidence in this area of work.
The Fame Establishing Sculptural Works
We will not only look at two of Michelangelo’s greatest sculptural works ‐ The Pieta and David ‐ and the circumstances surrounding their commission, but also at the early works that led up to these iconic masterpieces. We will examine the prodigious output that ran concurrently with these extraordinary endeavours.
Rivalry, Competition And The Battle Of Cascina
With surviving drawings, we take an in‐depth look at Michelangelo’s great battle project, their place, use and varied mediums in the proposed fresco and how these drawings were used in competition against his rivals in both Florence and Rome.
The Sistine Chapel Projects
The Sistine Chapel projects were the most significant of Michelangelo’s career, but how did the circumstances come about to enable him to gain such lucrative work, what was his relationship with the notorious Julius II ‐ the famed Pope who commissioned this iconic ceiling? We will also examine the later part of this project ‐ the back wall Last Judgement fresco ‐ and the subsequent controversy surrounding this.
Final Days And Final Works
At the very end of Michelangelo’s life, he returned to his first love ‐ sculpture ‐ he produced a few pieces, some of which were left in an unfinished state at the time of his death. This session will examine those pieces and their relationship with his late drawings.