Dr. Tamara Smithers and “The Violent Lives of Renaissance Artists in Italy”



Dr. Smithers co-organized three panels “The Violent Lives of Renaissance Artists in Italy” at the Renaissance Society of America conference in April 2013 in San Diego. These panels focused on the violence of Early Modern Italian artists—conceived broadly as brawling, murder, bad behavior, sexual violence, intense rivalry, and eccentric behavior. Her paper “Michelangelo’s Suicidal Stone” focused on how Michelangelo elicited a strong reaction from others by bringing out the colorful and unusual temperament in those in his realm (and the things in his realm?). When the stone quarried to be the pendant to David heard it was no longer to be carved by Michelangelo and instead Baccio Bandinelli, it jumped ship into the Arno! On one hand, Michelangelo attracted undying devotion from his admirers and close friends (and apparently his stones), and on the other, drew contempt from some contemporaries, such as Baccio.  Dr. Smithers’ paper explored not only Michelangelo’s reactions to his peers, family, and friends, but also the reactions of others—patrons, collectors, art writers, artists, and stones alike—to him.

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the Department of Art at APSU

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