Artists and authorship: the case of Raphael
The Life and Works of Renoir; In Search of Rex Whistler: His Life and Works; The Life and Works of Rennie Mackintosh; Turner: His Life and Works in 500 Images. These are all titles of books about artists and there are plenty more in the same vein. In fact, there are often multiple variations of the same title: Michelangelo: Life and Work; The Life and Works of Michelangelo; Michelangelo: His Life and Work in 500 Images; Life and Works of Michelangelo Buonarroti, and so forth. Some of these are introductory or popular books, while others are scholarly tomes. A variant form might be Leonardo Da Vinci in His Own Words or Alvar Alto in His Own Words.
If we stop to question what these titles attempt to describe and define, we run up against two highly vexed relationships: first, between the biography of the artist and art-historical writing, and second, between the life of the artist and his or her ‘work’. This free course, Artists and authorship: the case of Raphael, examines both problems, as well as related questions of authorship as a form of explanation in art history, taking Raphael as a case study. The goal will be to initiate debates and discuss issues with regard to approaches that might be characterised as the life-and-works model.
This OpenLearn course is an adapted extract from the Open University postgraduate course,.