Established in 1994, The Course offers exciting lectures in Art History, Literature and Music.
From the earliest times, there has been criticism of art, both positive and negative. A substantial body of text survives and this series will look at a wide variety of European art works in the context of their critical reception. Concentrating on major works and significant artists from 1300 to 1900 and beyond, we will observe the impact on the public’s appreciation of art and how that might be influenced by critical analysis including the vagaries of fashion. What impact did these commentaries have on art practice and the artists themselves and can critics be seen to be responsible for influencing and thus changing the course of art history?
Giorgio Vasari and ‘The Divine Michelangelo’
The Signature Projects and their critical reception (1494-1564)
In his time, Michelangelo was the most written about artist and also the first to have literature published about him in his own lifetime. We will look at the uneasy relationship between Michelangelo, the artist and Giorgio Vasari, the art historian, as well as others who wrote about him. How did such adulation affect him and his work? We will also look at the development of the man through his most iconic works and evaluate their criticism through writing that survives and is still in publication.