Online Lecture: Art and Internal Anatomy – Michelangelo, Bronzino, and Mannerist Bodies, 8th February 2022, 5:00-6:30pm (CET)

Christian Kleinbub – Ohio State University
Building on the speaker’s research on Michelangelo’s investment in internal anatomical matters, this talk proposes that other artists of his time, especially Bronzino, paid particular attention to the meaning of the internal organs like the liver, heart, and brain, referencing those organs to explain the internal states of represented bodies. Although such references were only occasionally systematic, this talk contends that they contributed to something like an elite visual language of the body that depended on a long tradition in Tuscan poetry with special reference to Dante. Anatomy is featured throughout the practice and theorization of Italian art in the sixteenth century. Yet, almost without exception, the textual and pictorial evidence has been taken to suggest that artists were concerned only with superficial anatomy, those parts of the body visible on its outsides such as muscles, bones, and sinews. These findings emphasize that the Mannerist body cannot be easily dismissed as a matter only of arbitrary or ornamental form, and they cause us to rethink what “artificiality” means in discussing the art of the period.

The event is free to attend but registration is required. To register click here.
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Published by Ellie Wilson

Ellie Wilson holds a First Class Honours in the History of Art from the University of Bristol, with a particular focus on Medieval Florence. In 2020 she achieved a Distinction in her MA at The Courtauld Institute of Art, where she specialised in the art and architecture of Medieval England under the supervision of Dr Tom Nickson. Her dissertation focussed on an alabaster altarpiece, and its relationship with the cult of St Thomas Becket in France and the Chartreuse de Vauvert. Her current research focusses on the artistic patronage of London’s Livery Companies immediately pre and post-Reformation. Ellie will begin a PhD at the University of York in Autumn 2021 with a WRoCAH studentship, under the supervision of Professor Tim Ayers and Dr Jeanne Nuechterlein.

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