Paper, Profile, Petrarch: Michelangelo's poetry on architecture

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Resumé

Following definitive publications in Italian (Girardi, 1960) and English (Saslow, 1991), Michelangelo's poetic oeuvre has remained largely uncontested, particularly among architectural historians, for whom the poems are largely cited, if at all, as static support for the artist's otherwise muted commentary on his own creative process. A curious clue emerges, however, where poetic verse appears on three of Michelangelo's 1:1 scaled template drawings, known generally as modani. The tantalizing image of the artist reaching for a left-over architectural template while scratching lines of poetry begs the question of what might be discovered by looking closer at these three paper modani (Corpus 536, 538, 539).

The verses on the modani are merely fragments and revisions, part of a lineage of multiple and incomplete sources. At the same time, as 1:1 scaled templates, the modani empowered in a unique way Michelangelo's well-known propensity toward the fragmentation and re-assembly of the profile line. What emerges is how the paper enabled parallel processes of iteration, cutting and substitution, each operating within rather strict formal boundaries (for the poem, the Petrarchan sonnet; for the architecture, the antique lexicon). By working them out together on the same sheet, the boundaries erode between whittling lines of poetry and carving blocks of stone.

Unlike previous attempts to connect Michelangelo's architecture and poetry, this paper focuses on the materiality of the paper as a meeting point between the written word and the architectural imagination. Building on recent scholarship that has exposed the non-arbitrary role of paper in connecting Michelangelo's drawing and writing, it introduces the three modani as unique cases of this crossover. Being products of disengo as well as direct translations for construction, the modani already offered a singular connection between drawing and building. Now, by composing verse on the modani, he was, by extension, sketching poetry on the architecture itself.
OriginalsprogEngelsk
Publikationsdato18 apr. 2018
Antal sider1
StatusUdgivet - 18 apr. 2018
BegivenhedSociety of Architectural Historians Annual Meeting - Society of Architectural Historians, USA
Varighed: 18 apr. 201821 apr. 2018

Konference

KonferenceSociety of Architectural Historians Annual Meeting
LokationSociety of Architectural Historians
LandUSA
Periode18/04/201821/04/2018

Kunstnerisk udviklingsvirksomhed (KUV)

  • Nej

Citer dette

Foote, J. (2018). Paper, Profile, Petrarch: Michelangelo's poetry on architecture. Abstract fra Society of Architectural Historians Annual Meeting, USA.
Foote, Jonathan. / Paper, Profile, Petrarch : Michelangelo's poetry on architecture. Abstract fra Society of Architectural Historians Annual Meeting, USA.1 s.
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Foote, J 2018, 'Paper, Profile, Petrarch: Michelangelo's poetry on architecture', Society of Architectural Historians Annual Meeting, USA, 18/04/2018 - 21/04/2018.

Paper, Profile, Petrarch : Michelangelo's poetry on architecture. / Foote, Jonathan.

2018. Abstract fra Society of Architectural Historians Annual Meeting, USA.

Publikation: KonferencebidragKonferenceabstrakt til konferenceForskningpeer review

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Foote J. Paper, Profile, Petrarch: Michelangelo's poetry on architecture. 2018. Abstract fra Society of Architectural Historians Annual Meeting, USA.