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Week 12 March 24 Art, honor and competition in Medicean Florence.docx

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University of Toronto St. George
Betsy Bennett Purvis

Week 12 March 24 Art, honor and competition in Medicean Florence Readings: • Campbell & Cole, 479-81. • Benvenuto Cellini, Autobiography, trans. George Bull, London 1998, 328-53. • Michael Wayne Cole, "The 'Figura Sforzata:' modelling, power and the Mannerist Body," Art History 24.4 (2001): 520-51. (journal is available online through the UofT catalogue and Scholar's Portal) Changes in Florentine Government 1513: Return of the Medici 1527: Final Return of the Florentine Republic 1530: Florence became a duchy 1569: Florence becomes a Grand Duchy Baccio Bandinelli took advantage from these political shift Competition Michelangelo, he wants to surpass him, He not is liked by its fellows but very much like by the Medici family Cellini wrote an autobiography which details his rivalry with Bandinelli (this week’s reading) - In this, he advises Medici not to let Bandinelli go abroad because he is so “puffed up” (Full of himself, thinks he will give foreign contacts a bad impression of Florence - Cellini motivated by his hatred for Bandinelli - He will later admit to wanting to murder Bandinelli Vasari discusses another point of view: - discussed Bandinelli (referred to here by his first name, Baccio) and his destruction of Michelangelo’s Cascina cartoon - Several motivations of Bandinelli’s destruction offered - Bandinelli presented as artist of limited skill, and this limitation as the reason for his animosity - presented in very negative light Bandinelli, “St. Peter, 1515 - In Florence cathedral - Medici-backed, he is seen as Medici artist and supporter - He left city in 1525, gaining him political enemies - aspired to be new Michelangelo in Florence - However Michelangelo still alive and practicing - Michelangelo therefore his constant point of contention - was sculptor, wanted to work with marble, specifically in life size proportions - Here, Bandinelli imitates Donatello’s “St. Mark” (from Orsanmichele, 1411-13) He borrows the poses from Donatello, the posture is indeed very similar to Donatello’s work, particularly in arm pose. He tries to show here that he can rival and surpass the great Donatello and Michelangelo early work Vasari Fresco commemorating the entry of Leo X in 1515 Hercule, idea is to surpass the David from Michelangelo Bandinelli, “Orpheus and Cerberus”, 1520 - For Medici palace - Model was Donatello’s “David” (which was, in fact, in Medici palace at this time, therefore works seen as a pair) - Medici seal (coat of arms) present at sculpture’s base - Difference between two: material (bronze vs. marble) “Laocoon”, 1st century - excavated from Rome - Vasari discusses all of the artists going to Rome to copy this during the renaissance Bandinelli’s copy of “Laocoon”, 1520 - meant to be sent to France - his earliest life-size work in marble - Important as technical exercise (especially due to above point) - never sent to France, stayed in Florence, as locals enjoyed so much, remained in
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