Flesh or Stone?
Michelangelo’s Statue of Lorenzo in the Medici-Chapel
Tuesday, December 9th
Location: Deutsches Haus at NYU
42 Washington Mews
New York, NY 10003
Deutsches Haus at NYU and NYU’s German Department present a talk by Professor Luca Giuliani.
Michelangelo’s seated statue of Lorenzo de’ Medici created for the nobleman’s grave in the Sagrestia Nuova of San Lorenzo supports it’s left elbow on an object that scholars generally call a casket. Closer inspection however reveals that it depicts neither a casket nor any other object of use; it is quite simply a carefully smoothed ashlar block decorated with a mask. This detail has consequences for the way Michelangelo transformed his material, stone, into a subject of his art. Although Michelangelo completed this particular statue, it thus leads to a better understanding of all the sculptures he left unfinished – a phenomenon that struck his contemporaries as a conspicuous characteristic of his art and that since then has provided the occasion for a wide range of interpretations.
For more than ten years, Luca Giuliani has been a curator in the Antikenmuseum, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin. Since 2007, he is Rector of the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin – Institute of Advanced Study and Professor for Greek and Roman Archaeology at the Humboldt Universität, Berlin (1998-2007).