Art and Anatomy in Early Modern Italy

The capacity to competently draw the human figure involves a knowledge of anatomy. Follow the evolution of the study of anatomy, from its origins in classical antiquity to its artistic flourishing in sixteenth century Italy. Much of the science of anatomy will be shown to have its definitive origin within the visual arts. We will then compare the artistic evolution of anatomy in the visual arts to its account within the realm of natural philosophy (science). In conclusion, we will examine the anatomy of the human body ourselves via a visual analysis of drawings and other art works of the period.

DELIVERY MODE

  • Face-to-Face

SUGGESTED READING

  • Bredekamp, Horst. (2019) Galileo’s Thinking Hand: Mannerism, Anti-Mannerism and the Virtue of Drawing in the Foundation of Early Modern Science, De Gruyter, ISBN-13 9783110520064
  • Canalis, Rinaldo and Ciavolella, Massimo. (2018) Andrea Vesalius and the ‘Fabrica’ in the Age of Printing: Art, Anatomy, and Printing in the Italian Renaissance, Brepols Publishers, ISBN-13: 978 2503576237
  • Clayton, Martin and Philo, Ron. (2012) Leonardo da Vinci: Anatomist, Royal Collection Trust, ISBN 978 1 909741 03 4
  • Laurenza, Domenico. (2012) Art and Anatomy in Renaissance Italy: Images from a Scientific Revolution, Yale University Press, ISBN 978 0 300 17957 6
  • Moe, Harold. (1995) The Art of Anatomical Illustration in the Renaissance and Baroque Periods, RHODOS, ISBN 13: 9788772455969
  • Hale, Robert Beverley. (2000) Anatomy Lessons from the Great Masters, Watson-Guptil, 0823002810
  • Vasari, Giorgio. (1987) The Lives of the Artists, Volume 1, Penguin Classics, ISBN: 9780140444605
  • Vasari, Giorgio. (1987) The Lives of the Artists, Volume 2, Penguin Classics, ISBN: 9780140445008

COURSE OUTLINE

  • From Hippocrates and Galen to fifteenth century Florence – We will begin with an analysis of the study of anatomy from antiquity until the fifteenth century, when artists began to research and dissect human cadavers.
  • Leonardo da Vinci – Between 1510 and 1511, Leonardo dissected over ten corpses at the University of Pavia. In a matter of years, this number had been trebled. We will examine Leonardo’s knowledge of both human and comparative anatomy, chiefly via his surviving notebooks and collected portfolios of drawings.
  • Michelangelo – At aged seventeen, Michelangelo began dissecting cadavers from the hospital at the Monastery of San Spirito in Florence. His biographer, Condivi, recounts that over his lifetime, Michelangelo dissected more than ‘those who are professional in the field.’ We will see via example, how Michelangelo employed his knowledge of anatomy to give the figures in his sculptures and paintings, “herculean” proportions.
  • Andreas Vesalius – We will examine Vesalius’ De humani corporis fabrica (On the Fabric of the Human Body) both as a demonstration of the inaccuracies of the Greek physician, Galen, and within the context of the evolution in the anatomical depiction of the human body in print.
  • Anatomy and the Art Academy – We will explore the role of anatomy within the teaching programs of the newly created art academies in both Florence and Rome.
  • Ludovico Cardi il Cigoli – We will examine the sculptured écorché of this Florentine artist, whose concern with the scientific accuracy of anatomy, was linked to the movement of art away from Mannerism and the exaggerated depiction of the human body in art.
  • Anatomy and the Artist – We will conclude with our own observations of anatomy based upon drawings, sculptures and paintings from the period.

LEARNING OUTCOMES

By the end of this course, students should able to:

  1. Gain an understanding of the evolution of the study of human anatomy from antiquity until the sixteenth century.
  2. Understand the pivotal role artists played in expanding our knowledge of the human body.
  3. Recognise the central role printing played in propagating the study of anatomy at the scientific level.
  4. Begin to recognise how the skeleton, bony landmarks and muscle groups of the figure, define the artistic anatomy of the human body and other animals.
$67 Limited

<p>The capacity to competently draw the human figure involves a knowledge of anatomy. Follow the evolution of the study of anatomy, from its origins in classical antiquity to its artistic flourishing

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17 Mar

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