The Second Annual Joseph and Elda Coccia Centennial Celebration
of Italian Culture at the University of Pennsylvania
Center for Italian Studies

Confrontations: Leonardo, Michelangelo,
and the Sala del Maggior Consiglio

April 1 - 2, 2005

Michelangelo Buonarroti and Leonardo da Vinci belonged to different generations, and their careers barely intersected. Yet for one brief moment, in the first decade of the sixteenth century, the two great Florentine painters worked not just in the same city, but on the same room. Assigned to paint two large murals in the great council chamber in Florence's city hall, the artists spent months planning large compositions that, had they been completed, would have crystallized their different artistic priorities and their different approaches to their work. Though both artists' undertakings, in the end, proved abortive - Michelangelo left Florence for Rome in 1505, Leonardo for Milan in the following year, and both artists' cartoons were destroyed - the episode was of lasting consequence both to them and to their contemporaries.

Participants in the conference, which commemorates the five-hundredth anniversary of the artists' work in the Salone, will speak on Michelangelo's and Leonardo's planned murals, on surviving drawings, prints, paintings, and other works related to them, and on the importance of the Salone projects both within the two artists' careers and within the broader history of Italian art. Papers will discuss the significance of the contact between the painters that the mural assignments occasioned, as well as the importance of Leonardo's and Michelangelo's projects for the work of other artists who encountered them.

This conference is sponsored by the Joseph and Elda Coccia Institute and by the Center for Italian Studies, the Department of the History of Art, the Department of Romance Languages, and the School of Arts and Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania.

Michael Cole, Assistant Professor, History of Art, University of Pennsylvania
Millicent Marcus, Director, Center for Italian Studies, University of Pennsylvania
Nicola M. Gentili, Associate Director, Center for Italian Studies, University of Pennsylvania

The conference is open to the public. Admission is free.