Studies in architectural and artistic imitation during the time of Raphael and Michelangelo

Hemsoll, David E. (2015). Studies in architectural and artistic imitation during the time of Raphael and Michelangelo. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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The work collected together here examines the distinctive conceptual approaches taken by Renaissance architects, during the period c. 1480-1550, towards the designing of their buildings. It analyses the designs of a wide range of buildings from the period by architects including Raphael, Michelangelo and numerous others. The conclusion reached is that many of these architects adopted approaches based, ultimately, on ways of thinking (about art as well as architecture) that had surfaced in late fifteenth-century Florence; and that their approaches were not just similar in many key regards but also corresponded closely with theories of language and literary imitation being aired at around the same time. The essays also explore how certain differences in approach, especially between Raphael and Michelangelo, were directly paralleled by differences in literary theory. Also proposed is that the design methods formulated specifically by Raphael in the years before his death (1520) became the template for those followed by many subsequent ‘High Renaissance’ architects; and that the architectural term ‘order’, which was coined by Raphael before becoming commonplace in architectural theory, had its origins in literary theory. As for the design methods taken up by Michelangelo, it is argued that these were initially comparable to those followed by Raphael, but that they gradually diverged in a way that was very much in line with his conceptual thinking about sculpture and painting, until they became, at a fundamental theoretical level, incompatible with those of his later contemporaries.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
School or Department: School of Languages, Cultures, Art History and Music, Department of Art History, Curating and Visual Studies
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DE The Mediterranean Region. The Greco-Roman World
N Fine Arts > N Visual arts (General) For photography, see TR
N Fine Arts > NA Architecture


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