The Biography of Michelangelo's Inspiration

The Biography of Michelangelo’s Inspiration

with Andrew Wolpert

About this seminar

Michelangelo’s Grail Quest was to affirm the Human Form created in the image of God. In his poetry he reveals the anguish of how far he felt himself to be from that divine origin, and as architect, sculptor, and painter he strove to overcome that separation.

This seminar will explore Michelangelo’s journey from the perfection of the early finished works, such as the first Pieta and the David, to the subtle truths of the unfinished works, such as the late Pietas.  We will observe the principal works and endeavour to discern the thematic as well as artistic development they reveal. An integral part of that will be to recall the scriptural events that his work depicts, as well as the nature of the specific commissions he received.

It is in the context of our unfinished human evolution that Michelangelo’s work allows us to acknowledge our state of having “fallen” into matter, and the yearning for a redemptive dynamic with others. with another.   At one stage Michelangelo explores the possibility of going back to the lost paradisal condition.  Then at around his third Moon Node his whole impulse goes through a turning point, and the energy of the aging master excels in a new direction.

Michelangelo was primarily a sculptor, and we will concentrate on his sculpture and painting. This contrast allows us to see how differently he took up the chisel after he had been using the brush; how colour made up for the loss of the third dimension, and how having painted, he then sculpts differently.  The architecture and sonnets will also be a part of our consideration.

The biography of Michelangelo’s inspiration is inseparably connected with his longing for redemption.  Whatever religious disposition he may have had, his art is an affirmation of a spiritual quest for what Blake called the Human Form Divine.  This develops from dependence, through independence to the recognition of our social interdependence in that striving to become human.

Rudolf Steiner’s lectures From Jesus to Christ (GA 131) offer an esoteric background to what is unmistakably the Grail Quest that lives in Michelangelo.  It is out of that context that this seminar is conceived.  No familiarity with the work of Rudolf Steiner is necessary to participate in this seminar, just an open-minded interest in an approach that recognises art as spiritually inspired.  It is a spiritual rather than a religious understanding of the meaning of the Christ event, both in the Renaissance and now in our time that will accompany our work.   Michelangelo had an unconventional relationship with his ecclesiastical patrons.  They did not notice the hidden content, the open secret,  in his work that went beyond their received dogma.  It is indeed a question how much the artist himself was aware of the  radical and glorious evolutionary impulses that poured through him. He served his inspiration with determined will more than with conscious intentions.

In addition to working from images, we will explore our relationship to some of the sculptures by inhabiting their gestures and dynamics through “living installations”.  Sketching will also augment this process and we are delighted that artist Richard Heys will join us to facilitate this session.  We will spend a day in London looking at the The Taddei Tondo in the Royal Academy, at two early paintings in The National Gallery, and at other contemporary works as comparative material.

Free Zoom Taster Sessions

If you are interested in participating in the workshop and would like the opportunity to meet our Course Leader, find out more about the workshop, and ask questions, we will be holding the following FREE ZOOM TASTER sessions:

Please click the time/date of the session you wish to attend to register.  You will then receive zoom link.

Support with Funding

Bursaries and concessions are available for this seminar, for further information, please contact Chiara Carones at registrar@emerson.org.uk

Accommodation & Meals

Emerson is delighted to offer onsite accommodation and meals (at additional cost).  These are available by selecting ‘book stay’ underneath the calendar.  Please ensure you select the correct dates for the course you require and your visit.

 

Organised by:

Andrew Wolpert

Organiser: Emerson Venue Hire
Event Details:
27 May 2024 - 31 May 2024
Monday - Friday
10:00 Start
17:00 End 

Course Price: £385 (bursaries are available - please contact the registrar for details by emailing registrar@emerson.org.uk).

Accommodation:
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The Biography of Michelangelo's Inspiration
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About this seminar Michelangelo’s Grail Quest was to affirm the Human Form created in the image of God. In his poetry he reveals the anguish...
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Detailed Timings:

10am on 27 May to 5pm on 31 May 2024

Venue:

Emerson College
Emerson College, Hartfield Road

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