Michelangelo. 'The Ignudi. Ignudo 18', 1510. Sistine Chapel, Rome.

study days

Michelangelo: Man and Master of the Italian Renaissance

  • Tuesday 16 July 2019
    (11am-4.15pm. (NB: no entry before 10.30am))
  • Linnean Society of London, Burlington House, Piccadilly, London W1J 0BF
  • Lecturer: Caroline Brooke

Michelangelo the Man: his Life and his Work

The day begins with an overview of Michelangelo’s life and work. We consider what is known about the artist’s personality in an attempt to gain some understanding the man behind what are arguably the greatest achievements of the Italian Renaissance.

Michelangelo’s Disegno and the Making of Art

Michelangelo once advised a young artist struggling to learn his craft – ‘Draw Antonio, draw Antonio, draw and don’t waste time’. We focus on the profound importance of drawing to Michelangelo, and consider his graphic practices as not only the foundation of his creative approach, but also as a means of self-expression.

The Tragedy of the Tomb

For more than thirty years Michelangelo struggled to produce a tomb for his patron Pope Julius II. He himself once referred to the project as a ‘tragedy’. We consider the origins and progression of the Pope’s tomb in order to highlight the often-complex nature of relationships between artist and patron.

Michelangelo and the Medici

In the final session, we continue on the theme of patronage to explore the intriguing relationship between Michelangelo and the Medici in Florence. The contradictory nature of Michelangelo’s persona, as both a proud Republican and a favoured artist of the city’s ruling dynasty, highlights the difficulties and tensions encountered by some Renaissance artists trying to build and sustain a successful career.


Caroline Brooke is an art historian specialising in Renaissance art. She lectures at the National Gallery, the V&A and teaches courses at the Courtauld. Caroline is an Art Society lecturer and has completed a lecture tour of Australia. Her publications include articles for the Burlington Magazine, Master Drawings and book reviews for The Art Newspaper and Art Quarterly.

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