Tracing Michelangelo's 'modani' at San Lorenzo

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This paper opens an inquiry into Michelangelo’s unusual, yet highly ordered exercise of the classical vocabulary through a close examination of his natural scale paper modani for San Lorenzo. Following a re-examination of these documents, new assertions are made about how Michelangelo generated his modani via a complex taxonomy of physical operations, thereby using the modani themselves as paper tracing devices to produce new, altered modani. In doing so, he relied on techniques such as flipping, transposition, and sliding to enable a creative manipulation of the antique lexicon based on substitution,
reversal, and stretching. Up until now, the practice of making modani and Michelangelo’s idiosyncratic approach to the profile line have not been directly connected. However, in positing a stronger link, remarkable findings emerge. What arises from the present analysis is that his modani, as paper object-models, encroach on the technical domain normally associated with sketching, while, at the same time, the sketching process mimics the physical operations of template usage, such as flipping and substitution. A re-assessment of the modani leads to a new understanding of their central role in the artist’s unconventional development of the architectural profile.
TidsskriftMitteilungen des Kunsthistorischen Institutes in Florenz
Udgave nummer1
Sider (fra-til)45-74
Antal sider30
StatusUdgivet - 15 jul. 2019

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