In addition to teaching her course on Villas and Gardens, Professor and Architect Silvia Catitti is fast becoming renowned for her new research on Michelangelo’s architecture. In 2007 she co-curated an exhibition of his architectural drawings, “Michelangelo at San Lorenzo,” at the Michelangelo Museum of Casa Buonarroti (Florence). In the catalogue she presented a new analysis of the Laurentian Library and of some of the most celebrated architectural drawings by the master.
In October 2008 Professor Catitti was invited to give a talk at the interdisciplinary Symposium “Rethinking Michelangelo,” organized by Syracuse University (New York), on occasion of the exhibition “Michelangelo: The Man and the Myth.” Analyzing a number of autograph drawings of doors and windows, she illustrated Michelangelo’s highly personal use of the language of classical architecture, one free of mathematical formulae and philosophical abstractions.
Three months later, in January 2009 Professor Catitti gave a talk at the conference
“Michelangelo and the Language of Architectural Drawings,” organized by the German Institute of Art History in Florence. On that occasion worldwide specialists on Michelangelo’s architectural drawings had a stimulating opportunity to compare their methodologies. As a architectural historian and practicing architect, Professor Catitti discussed her approach. She considered the role of drawings in Michelangelo’s effort to design and carry out the architectural elements of his buildings, from the initial design idea to the executed piece.
More recently, in May 2009 Silvia Catitti gave a talk at the conference “San Lorenzo: A Florentine Church,” held at Villa I Tatti, the Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies. She illustrated her recent research and findings on the famous Laurentian Library. This conference will lead to an interdisciplinary book for which Professor Catitti will contribute two chapters on
the Canonry of San Lorenzo and the Library.
Her next appointment with Michelangelo will be at the Dutch Institute for Art History in Florence, directed by Palazzo Rucellai professor Michael Kwakkelstein. On June 26 Professor Catitti will speak on “Michelangelo’s Approach to Architecture: From Design to Construction.” When he was working on his earliest architectural projects, was Michelangelo acting as an architect or as a sculptor? The very personal way in which he drew, designed, and organized the building site reveals Michelangelo’s approach to architecture.