Reproducing, representing, copying, or filming an artwork is the inevitable result of an interpretation, which can reveal neglected aspects of the original model, as well as disguise or change others. This is due both to the intentions of those involved in making or in requesting a copy and to the intrinsic difficulties of the translation from one medium to another. Within the frame of these general and methodological premises, the ten essays contained in this book examine reproductions and copies in different media of Michelangelo Buonarroti’s sculptures, exploring and investigating their visual historiography from the 16th century to the present days. Michelangelo’s peculiar way of dealing with materials – his habit of overtly exposing the traces of his working process, his uneven treatment of the surfaces, and his use of fragmented or sketched elements, as described by the well-known poetics of the non finito – raised specific problems and made it necessary to ‘re-mediate’ the originals’ materiality. Because of Buonarroti’s uninterrupted legacy, the volume considers the continuous mutation of his works’ reception over time: from 16th century copies to the miniaturized, decorative, reproductions made in Rodin’s time; from the illustrations of Sigmund Freud’s essay on the Moses to the photographs published by Erwin Panofsky in his studies on Michelangelo; from video footage in films to worldwide exhibitions, where replicas of the Vatican Pietà are often displayed and admired almost like new originals.
Toward a visual historiography of Michelangelo’s sculpture: an introduction, Giulia Daniele, Daniele Di Cola - Some considerations on the reception of Michelangelo’s Bandini Pietà in 16th-century roman painting, Valentina Balzarotti - Stampe dalle sculture di Michelangelo. Una riflessione sul loro utilizzo nella Milano di Giovan Paolo Lomazzo, Camilla Colzani - Tra Gian Lorenzo Bernini e Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux: il ‘non finito’ michelangiolesco spiegato da Eugène Guillaume, Lucia Simonato - Michelangelo sul comò: bronzi, calchi e copie dell’artista negli interni dell’Ottocento, Sara Vitacca - «Ein Materialfanatiker wie wenige». Note su Erwin Panofsky e le riproduzioni di Michelangelo, Giovanna Targia - Movement without beginning or end: Sigmund Freud’s der Moses des Michelangelo and his visual sources, Marc Michael Moser - Michelangelo’s Pietà: replica, relic, and reception, Emily A. Fenichel - Controfigure eloquenti. Il ‘calco Mercatali’ e il ruolo delle copie della Pietà Vaticana tra esposizioni universali e restauro (1942-1975), Rosalia Pagliarani - Commemorating Michelangelo in film: cinematic explorations of the artist’s sculptures during the 1964 Michelangelo celebrations, Joséphine Vandekerckhove - Michelangelo’s Pietà and Moses : filming violence and delicacy, Tommaso Casini - Index of names.