The Life and The Work: The Artist as a Cultural Ideal from Michelangelo to Picasso

Theatre 2, Roland Levinksy Building, Plymouth University

01752 585050
[email protected]

Tuesday 25 October 2016
Admission Fee: 6/4.20

The idea of ‘the artist’ as an identifiable social type has its roots in the Italian Renaissance, when it first took shape in Giorgio Vasari’s classic text, The Lives of the Most Eminent Painters, Sculptors and Architects (Florence, 1568).  

Vasari’s colourful biographies of Leonardo, Raphael, Michelangelo and others had enormous influence on later artists, from the French Romantics to Cézanne and Picasso. So too, did Vasari’s notion of the ideal artist – godlike, brilliant, preoccupied with matters beyond the mortal ken and, above all, driven by an insatiable appetite for art, for life, for love – cross over into fiction and biography.  

From Frenhofer, Balzac’s obsessive-compulsive artist in The Unknown Masterpiece (1831), whose work is so original it disappears from the canvas, to the Modernist machismo of ‘the life and the work’ model still colouring our perception of Cézanne, Picasso or Jackson Pollock, join Dr Jenny Graham for an exploration of artistic genius in cultural history.

Back to events

Other Events

Fabric Africa: Stories told through textiles

Bristol Museum & Art Gallery, Queens Rd, Bristol, BS8 1RL

Saturday 30 June 2018 – Sunday 19 May 2019

Dorset Art Market

The Avenue Stadium, Weymouth Avenue, Dorchester DT1 2RY

Saturday 29 June 2019

Stewart Geddes exhibition

Andelli Art, Mendip House, Upper Breach, South Horrington, Wells BA5 3QG

Saturday 27 April 2019 – Wednesday 15 May 2019

Visual Arts South West

Working towards a South West where talented artists thrive, and a resilient and connected visual arts ecology that inspires more engaged and diverse audiences to value and advocate for its work.

Part of the Contemporary Visual Arts Network

Supported by: