Michelangelo's Poetry and Iconography in the Heart of the Reformation
Contextualizing Michelangelo’s poetry and spirituality within the framework of the religious Zeitgeist of his era, this study investigates his poetic production to shed new light on the artist’s religious beliefs and unique language of art. Author Ambra Moroncini looks first and foremost at Michelangelo the poet and proposes a thought-provoking reading of Michelangelo’s most controversial artistic production between 1536 and c.1550: The Last Judgment, his devotional drawings made for Vittoria Colonna, and his last frescoes for the Pauline Chapel. Using theological and literary analyses which draw upon reformist and Protestant scriptural writings, as well as on Michelangelo’s own rime spirituali and Vittoria Colonna’s spiritual lyrics, Moroncini proposes a compelling argument for the impact that the Reformation had on one of the greatest minds of the Italian Renaissance. It brings to light how, in the second quarter of the sixteenth century in Italy, Michelangelo’s poetry and aesthetic conception were strongly inspired by the revived theologia crucis of evangelical spirituality, rather than by the theologia gloriae of Catholic teaching.
Table of Contents
List of figures
Introduction MATTEO RESIDORI
1 ‘Men must be changed by religion, not religion by men’: Religious culture and spirituality in early modern Italy
2 Vittoria Colonna: Matriarch of Italian Petrarchism and Christiancilla of the Italian Renaissance
3 Michelangelo’s poetry: A religious journey from Neo-Platonism to the credo in sola fide
4 Michelangelo’s poems and drawings for Vittoria Colonna: A sentiment of beauty and equally infinite grace
5 Poetry and theology in Michelangelo’s last frescoes
Ambra Moroncini is Tutorial Fellow and Italian Convenor at the University of Sussex, UK.
"Moroncini writes that the book ‘has aimed to contextualize Michelangelo’s poetry and spirituality within the framework of the religious spirit of sixteenth century Italy [and] to shed new light on the artist’s religious beliefs and unique language of art.’ In my view, she has admirably fulfilled her aim. In the Introduction, Residori called this a ‘beautiful book’. Indeed it is."
- Stephen G. Nuske