Leonardo, Michelangelo, Raphael
Instructor: Professor Campbell
This course will take a new look at the three most celebrated artists of the Italian Renaissance, who have become indispensable to the very notion of a "Western Tradition" in the visual arts, and who can also claim a place in the history of science. It will focus on the relation between their achievements in architecture, sculpture, and painting, and the crisis-ridden historical conditions in which their works were produced. It will be shown how artists exploited contemporary circumstances, and drew upon ideas of genius and divine inspiration their own reputations of universal mastery and originality. Through these figures, modern myths of artistic autonomy and individuality can be subjected to a critical scrutiny. Lectures will deal with the interpretations of the works themselves, as well as the artists' careers, their interactions and rivalries, their relations to patrons and to other artists. We will also consider some of the best of recent scholarship on the High Renaissance, together with writings by the artists and their contemporaries. Some of these texts, which present each artists as a "universal genius", continue to influence the perception of these artists down to the present day.
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