Michelangelo: From Apprenticeship to Early Acclaim (1475-1505)

Tuesday, 11 September 2018

7:00 PM

Joseph D. Carrier Art Gallery, Columbus Centre, 901 Lawrence Ave. West

The first in a series of four public lectures on “Michelangelo, Gateway to the Renaissance” sponsored by Villa Charities, this talk considers Michelangelo Buonarroti’s real and mythic origins, from his birth in the town of Caprese in eastern Tuscany to his rise to acclaim with the Pietà in Rome and the David in Florence. This presentation will include a discussion of Michelangelo’s Florentine family and its history in the context of the times as well as the artist’s early schooling and professional beginnings, from his first apprenticeship in the workshop of Domenico Ghirlandaio to his studies in the Medici sculpture garden at San Marco. Tracing the major moments of Michelangelo’s life in the period, including his residence at the Medici palace and his precipitous flight from Florence at the beginning of the Italian Wars, this talk will provide a brief overview of the artist’s early works and a detailed look at the creation and reception of the sculptures with which he first rose to prominence: the Pietà and the David.




“Women of the Italian Renaissance” (a four-part series). Columbus Centre, Toronto ON, Jan. 15, 22, 29, and Feb. 5, 2018 (forthcoming).

“Michelangelo: Gateway to the Renaissance” (a four-part series). Columbus Centre, Toronto ON, Sept. 11, 18, 25, and Oct. 2, 2018.

“Michelangelo and the Bible: Religious Reading and Writing in Sixteenth-Century Italy.” Lauro de Bosis Fellowship Lecture, Harvard University, Cambridge MA, Apr. 27, 2017.

“Vittoria Colonna, Spiritual Patron and ‘Living Instrument.’” Southern Connecticut State University, New Haven, CT, Mar. 9, 2015.

“Michelangelo: His Poetry and His World.” Istituto Italiano di Cultura, Toronto, Nov. 19, 2014.

“Michelangelo: Quest for Freedom” Toronto Renaissance and Reference Colloquium, University of Toronto, Oct. 7, 2014.

“Michelangelo and the Bible: A Digital Edition with Social Media Functionality.” Celebration of Early Modern Studies Day, Victoria University, Toronto, Mar. 7, 2014.

“Dante’s Homage to Arnaut Daniel.” School of Languages and Literatures, University of Guelph, Nov. 15, 2010.



Personal interview with Kate Wheeler and Sharon Caddy on the radio release of the title track to my 2015 album, Dark Angel. Aired on What She Said, Sirius XM, Canada Talks, Channel 167 on Mar. 11, 2016.

Speech. Book Launch: Friulians in Canada. JD Carrier Gallery, Columbus Centre. Feb. 25, 2015

“20 Moves” (TV documentary on Rubik’s cube reproductions of Michelangelo. Aired on ROGERS (Toronto) July 1, 2015; personal interview filmed on Mar. 14, 2014.

“Italian Renaissance” OMNI NEWS FOCUS (TV): Italian Edition, Jan. 17, 2011.



“Hosting the Enemy: Accommodating the French King and his Troops in Florence, 1494.” Conference: “Early Modern Cultures of Hospitality.” Toronto Renaissance and Reformation Colloquium, Toronto, Oct. 26-27, 2018 (forthcoming).

“Female Exemplarity, Identity and Devotion in Lucrezia Marinella’s Sacre Rime (1603).” Canadian Society for Italian Studies (CSIS), Ottawa, May 11-13, 2018 (forthcoming).

“Religious Desire in the Poetry of Vittoria Colonna: Insights into Early Modern Piety and Poetics.” Conference (by invitation): “La prima donna del Rinascimento?” Vittoria Colonna (1490-1547): Poetry, Religion, Art and Impact.” Villa Sassetti – NYU, Florence, Italy, Apr. 20-21, 2017.

“Michelangelo, the Brucioli Bible (1532) and the Language of Reform Spirituality.” Renaissance Society of America (RSA), Chicago, Mar. 30-Apr. 1, 2017.

“Lover’s Eye Meets Pilgrim’s Gaze: Vision and Visuality in Michelangelo’s Rime.” Society of Italian Studies (SIS), Trinity College, Dublin, Apr. 29- 30, 2016

“Bridging Boundaries, Human and Divine: Material Culture and Religious Experience in Early Modern Italy.” Conference: “Un)human Relations/Relazioni (dis)umane.” University of Toronto, Toronto, May 5-6, 2015.

“The Creation of Adam: Michelangelo’s Hidden Allegory of Mystical Ascent.” Renaissance Society of America (RSA), New York, Mar. 27-29, 2014.

Vat. Lat. 3211: Michelangelo’s spiritual aesthetics?” Sixteenth Century Society Conference (SCSC), Cincinnati, Oct 25-28, 2010.

“The Ecclesia viterbiensis, or The Church as Inspired Instrumentality.” Conference: “Italian Literature and Religion.” University of Toronto, Toronto, Oct. 11-13, 2012.

“Goldoni’s Metatheatrical Masterpiece.” Canadian Society for Italian Studies (CSIS), Waterloo, May 26-28, 2012.

“Intersubjectivity and Historical Imagination in the Late Poetry of Alda Merini.” American Association for Italian Studies (AAIS), Charleston, May 3-5, 2012.

“Michelangelo, Dante and the Augustinian Intellectual Tradition.” Conference Title: “Dante and the Christian Imagination” St. Michael’s College (SMS), Toronto, March 9-11, 2012.

“Friendship as Accessory to Grace: Vittoria Colonna, Michelangelo and the amicus sponsi.” Conference: “Friendship in Premodern Europe.” Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies (CRRS), Toronto, Oct. 14-15, 2011.

“‘Conveniva partorirlo in qualche opera per amore’: Michelangelo’s G151-154 in light of Vittoria Colonna’s Letters to Marguerite de Navarre.” Canadian Society for Italian Studies (CSIS), Venice, June 24-26, 2011.

“‘Il mare e ’l monte e ’l foco colla spada’: Michelangelo’s Augustinian Soteriology?”American Association for Italian Studies (AAIS), Pittsburgh, April 7-9, 2011.

“Michelangelo and the Italian Mystical Tradition.” Renaissance Society of America (RSA), Venice, April 8-10, 2010.

“Dante’s Homage to Arnaut Daniel.” American Association for Italian Studies (AAIS), Manhattan, May 7-10, 2009.

“The ‘Devil’ in Michelangelo’s Last Judgment.” Conference: “The Devil in Society in the Pre-Modern World.” Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies (CRRS), Toronto, Oct. 17-18, 2008.

“Heresy and Confraternal Associations in Cinquecento Italy.” Conference: “Brotherhood and Boundaries/Fraternità e barriere.” Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa (SNS), Pisa, Sept. 24-26, 2008.