2022 I Tatti Mongan Prize Lecture - “Nunc Denique Vives”: Thoughts on Posterity in the Lives of Leonardo, Michelangelo, and Raphael by Paolo Giovio


Tuesday, June 14, 2022, 6:30pm to 8:00pm


I Tatti / Zoom
Portrait Medal of Paolo Giovio

Speaker: Carmen C. Bambach (The Metropolitan Museum of Art

The refined Lombard humanist and physician, Paolo Giovio (1486-1552) wrote short Lives of Leonardo, Michelangelo, and Raphael (c. 1525-28), which he intended for his Dialogi de viris et foeminis aetate nostra florentibus, although he himself very probably decided against their publication. It is worth asking why. Giovio’s succinct biography of Leonardo, entitled Leonardi Vincii vita, is particularly precise about historical details, and is therefore the most well known in the scholarly literature. As Carmen Bambach will argue, the biographies of Michelangelo and Raphael merit much greater attention than they usually receive — for a variety of reasons. Especially when considered together, the Lives of Leonardo, Michelangelo, and Raphael reveal Giovio’s own preoccupation with fame, as well as his belief that the dimensions of these artists’ character as teachers ultimately shaped their legacy. In situating these themes, and in tribute to Agnes and Elizabeth Mongan, Carmen Bambach will closely examine the drawings of Leonardo, Michelangelo, and Raphael. 

Carmen C. Bambach is the Marica F. and Jan T. Vilcek Curator of Drawings and Prints at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. A Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, she received the inaugural 2019 Vilcek Foundation Prize for Excellence for her contribution to U. S. society and culture as an immigrant. Carmen Bambach has organized various exhibitions at The Met and published several prize-winning books, including Drawing and Painting in the Italian Renaissance Workshop: Theory and Practice, 1300-1600 (“Premio Salimbeni 2000”). Accompanying the eponymous exhibition at The Mether Michelangelo Divine Draftsman and Designer won the Phyllis Goodhart Book Prize of the Renaissance Society of America in 2019 as well as a prize from the Association of American Museum Curators in 2018. Her Michelangelo exhibition 702,514 visitors to The Met in 3 months. Her four-volume study on Leonardo da Vinci Rediscovered (Yale University Press, 2019) was awarded the first prize of the Premio Internazionale Leonardo da Vinci and the R.R. Hawkins Award from the Association of American Publishers in 2019 as well as the Medáille Louis Fould from France’s Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres de France in 2020. Carmen Bambach was Andrew W. Mellon Professor at the National Gallery of Art’s Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts in 2010-12 as well as Francesco E. De Dombrowski Visiting Professor at I Tatti in spring 2019.

The I Tatti Mongan Prize is given to a distinguished scholar of Renaissance art or connoisseurship who carries into a new generation the qualities of imaginative scholarship, personal generosity, and devotion to the institutions of art history that were exemplified in their own generation by Agnes and Elizabeth Mongan. Founded by a gift from Melvin Seiden, the prize was first conferred in 1988 on Sydney Freedberg, and successively on Craig Hugh Smyth (1992), Sir Ernst Gombrich (1996), Caroline Elam (2003), Paola Barocchi (2006), Elizabeth Cropper (2011), Hans Belting (2013), Marvin Trachtenberg (2016), and Miguel Falomir Faus (2018).



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