Three Lives of Michelangelo: Entrepreneur, Aristocrat, Octogenarian

Three lectures by William E. Wallace, the Barbara Murphy Bryant Distinguished Professor of Art History at Washington University in St. Louis.

How does Michelangelo Buonarroti become the greatest artist and architect of all time? These lectures trace three distinct phases in his 90-year life. The young artist, confident that he could do anything and everything, carved the Pietà, David, Moses, painted the Sistine Ceiling, and then became an Entrepreneur who supervised 300 persons to build the Medici Chapel and Laurentian Library. As demands for his artwork increased, Michelangelo embraced his Aristocratic lineage, offering his precious works only to a select few. Then ready to retire at age 70, Michelangelo was ordered by the Pope to become supreme architect of St. Peter’s in Rome. Michelangelo the Octogenarian not only rode his horse to the St. Peter’s worksite every day, but he was consulted on every papal project. He now worked for a higher purpose, as God’s architect.

All lectures at 4:30 p.m. in the Umrath Lounge.

Entrepreneur: September 30th
Aristocrat: October 1st
Octogenarian: October 4th

William E. Wallace is an internationally recognized authority on the Renaissance painter, sculptor and architect, Michelangelo Buonarroti. He was one of a select group of scholars, curators, and conservators from around the world invited to confer with the Vatican about the conservation of Michelangelo’s frescos in the Sistine Chapel. Professor Wallace has published extensively on Renaissance art: in addition to more than 90 articles and essays (including two short works of fiction), he is the author and editor of seven different books on Michelangelo, including the award winning, Michelangelo: The Complete Sculpture, Painting and Architecture (1998), Discovering Michelangelo (2012), and a biography of the artist, Michelangelo: The Artist, the Man and his Times (2010). He also authored an audio-visual course, The Genius of Michelangelo, for “The Teaching Company.” His most recent book, Michelangelo, God’s Architect will appear in October with Princeton University Press.