Agony and the Ecstasy

The name Michelangelo Buonarroti conjures up visions of “living” marble sculpture, brilliantly colored paintings, and imaginative architecture so inventive it was the marvel of the Renaissance time period and is still universally admired today. Recent research has shown that, although Michelangelo was a genius, he was not solitary, as once believed, nor did he achieve his works in a single day.  Instead, like Hercules, he struggled to fulfill almost impossibly huge tasks that he did not always invite--with results that went far beyond the expected.

In Agony and the Ecstasy you will explore the life and art of Michelangelo and of some of his contemporaries in order to stand in his boots, so to speak, and imagine how he triumphed over adversity time and again—whether it was the threat of assassination, anger from a warrior pope, or the sheer physical weariness of long hours of labor. A poet, sensitive to reform measures in the church, he was devoted to restoring his family name. Not a particularly courageous man—he fled when threats showed themselves on the horizon—Michelangelo lived a long, productive life, and, regardless of personal flaws and foibles, set new standards for what sculptors, painters, and architects could imagine was possible.

ARTH 205: FYE: Topics: Michelangelo: Life & Works – Dr. Margaret D’Evelyn
In this Art History course, you will “get to know” Michelangelo almost on a first-name basis, as you explore the quality of life in Florence, Rome, and even Venice that Michelangelo encountered as he fled various enemies, or followed the opportunities offered by those who were eager to pay for his works. You will grapple with possible answers to questions of “why” Michelangelo’s works turned out as they did, and “why” they have continued to influence artists as well as everyday viewers. In so doing, you will learn to describe and analyze these works systematically, building observational and analytical skills that will enhance every aspect of your life.

In the Integrated Learning Course, you will cultivate these observational and analytical skills, as well as skills in personal organization, working with others, and information literacy. If practiced, these skills will help you succeed in college and beyond. The question underlying your ILC will be, “What is creative genius?” People of the Renaissance understood the idea of genius in a more inclusive sense than we do today—more people were acknowledged as having a capacity for mental creativity to some degree—but still recognized Michelangelo as special, even “divine.”

ARTH 205 AE: FYE: Topics: Michelangelo: Life & Works (GEA)  3SH TR 8:00-9:15 am
GEN 101 AE: Integrated Learning Course  3SH  TR 9:25-10:40 am.