Artibus et Historiae no. 32 (XVI)

1995, ISSN 0391-9064

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ESTELLE LINGO - The Evolution of Michelangelo's Magnifici Tomb: Program versus Process in the Iconography of the Medici Chapel

There has been much debate in the art historical literature over the iconographic program of Michelangelo's Medici Chapel in San Lorenzo, Florence. However an examination of Michelangelo's studies for the Magnifici Tomb suggest that no unified iconographic program guided the design of the Medici Chapel. From the drawings and documents relating to the commission, the desire for formal unity and functionality emerge as central concerns of the artist and his patrons. The studies record a design process in which iconographic content was selected and elaborated in an ongoing fashion and in dialogue with these concerns.

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