Theses Doctoral

Michelangelo between Florence and Rome: Art and Literary Culture in Sixteenth-Century Italy

Carlson, Raymond Edward

This dissertation considers how the artistic output of Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475-1564) was related to his poetic development and associations with different communities in Florence and Rome. The author of more than 300 poems, Michelangelo was arguably the most prolific artist-poet of the Renaissance. Still, no study has scrutinized the dynamic relationship between his work across media in relation to contemporary shifts in Italian literary culture. Centered on the decades surrounding Michelangelo's permanent move to the Eternal City in 1534, this dissertation shows how he used his creative production to achieve stability in an era buffeted by war and political upheaval. The fortunes of Florence and Rome were inextricably bound, and this dissertation uses surviving visual and written evidence to reconstruct Michelangelo's links to dense intellectual and homosocial networks in these cities. Michelangelo wrote poems to build social ties at a time when the status of artists was in great flux, and this dissertation demonstrates why his poetry, drawing, painting, sculpture, and architecture cannot be and would not have been understood apart from one another.

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More About This Work

Academic Units
Art History and Archaeology
Thesis Advisors
Cole, Michael
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
August 4, 2020