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Who are artists? We each have different answers to this question, but our responses would probably share some common assumptions about human individuality and the centrality of the self to artistic creation. In this tutorial, we will take a critical lens to these ideas by studying the life, work, and passions of the Italian artist, Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475-1564). Michelangelo is a towering archetype of the autonomous artistic self: the distinctive personality who telegraphs individual beliefs, feelings, and desires through the creative act. His lifelong engagement with the physicality, beauty, and sensuality of the (male) human body has encouraged the connection between the man and his work on the most intimate levels of pleasure and desire. Ironically, Michelangelo would not have understood our modern conceptions of artistic selfhood or sexuality, but his own Renaissance moment was obsessed with questions surrounding the nature of human identity and subjectivity. His artistic practice–from painting to poetry–wrestles with them in countless, fascinating ways. Students’ writing and critical conversation will venture into the spaces between man and myth, selfhood and self-fashioning, artist and patron, past and present.
Format: tutorial; Tutorial meetings will take place primarily on Zoom, with the hopeful possibility of some in-person meetings for students in residence on campus.
Grading: no pass/fail option,
no fifth course option
Five 5-7 page essays, five 1-2 page responses to partner's essays, critical conversation
Any ARTH course
ARTH majors and WGSS concentrators (or sophomores intending to pursue the ARTH major or WGSS concentration)
This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
ARTH pre-1800 Courses