The Story of the Renaissance: The Original Masters

We often associate the flowering of artistic achievement Italy with the two great giant’s artistic production the Renaissance masters, Leonardo and Michelangelo.  But for all their undoubted greatness is this all there is to the Renaissance, where and when does the Renaissance begin and where and when does it end, is this the beginning or are we looking end when we look at these artists?

The events that would come to be called the Renaissance would set in motion a different view of man’s place in the world.  These gradual and eventual changes brought on by social and economic influences will be traced by looking at key works that reflect these changes including the painting, sculpture and architecture of the period.

This lecture aims to provide an insight into the lives of the great Renaissance masters that forged a new path in art and will ultimately aim to gain an understanding of their works through the historical and social context within which these artists worked.  To do this I will be going back to the true beginning of the Renaissance to look at the pioneering artists of this movement, their legacies and how this inspired and informed the work of generations of artists to come including Leonardo and Michelangelo.

General Bibliography:

Bull, George (trans), Benvenuto Cellini (1500-1571) Autobiography (Penguin, 1998)

Bull, George (ed), Giorgio Vasari: Lives of the Artists, (Penguin Books, 1987) Volumes: I & II

Cellini, Benvenuto, Bull, George (trans & intro) Autobiography, (Penguin Classics, 1998)

Franklin, David, (Gen Ed), Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo and the Florentine Renaissance, (Yale University Press, 2005)

Levey, Michael, Florence: A Portrait (Pimlico, 1996)

Rubin, Patricia Lee and Wright, Alison, Renaissance Florence: The Art of the 1470’s, (National Gallery Publications Ltd, 1999)

Thompson Jnr, Daniel V, (trans), Cennino d’Andrea Cennini: The Craftsman’s Handbook – Il Libro dell’Arte (Dover Publications inc, 1960)


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27/10/2009 – ©Leslie Primo