Michelangelo: Art and Writings


Michelangelo’s thriving artistic production covers sculpture, architecture and painting. Understand the differences between the Roman and the Florentine Pietà or between the Classical David and the Baroque terribilità of Moses. Discover Michelangelo’s architecture for St Peter’s at the Vatican and the Eternal City.

Indulge into the nudity of the frescoes, he painted for the Sistine Chapel, for which he was so much criticised. Explore Michelangelo’s writings, not as celebrated, maybe, as the notebooks of Leonardo, still facets of his talent. His letters & sonnets betray his feelings - his psyche.

Michelangelo’s genius might as well embody the Renaissance ideal of ‘Universal Man’.

Programme details

Session 1

Introduction: The Universal Men of the Renaissance

Session 2

Michelangelo’s Sculpture I: sculptural masterpieces covering the length of his career: the Pietà, the David etc.

Session 3

Michelangelo’s Sculpture II: the sculptural schemes for the Monument of Julius II and for the Medici Chapel

Session 4

Michelangelo's Paintings I: the wall paintings of the Sistine Chapel ceiling

Session 5

Michelangelo's Paintings II: the wall paintings of the Sistine Chapel ceiling & the Last Judgement

Session 6

Visit: Western Art Print Room, Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford 

Session 7

Visit: Western Art Print Room, Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford 

Session 8

Michelangelo’s Architecture I: Florence & Rome

Session 9

Michelangelo’s Architecture II: Vatican 

Session 10

Michelangelo's Writings I: his letters and other writings mostly

Session 11

Michelangelo's Writings II: his poetry mostly

Session 12

Conclusion: Michelangelo, a Universal Man?



Description Costs
Programme Fee (No Accommodation - inc. Tuition, Lunch & Dinner) £850.00
Programme Fee (Standard Single Room - inc. Tuition and Meals) £1485.00
Programme Fee (Standard Twin Room - inc. Tuition and Meals) £1245.00
Programme Fee (Superior Single Room - inc. Tuition and Meals) £1600.00
Programme Fee (Superior Twin Room - inc. Tuition and Meals) £1345.00


All fees are charged on a per week, per person basis.

Please be aware that all payments (and refunds) are subject to exchange rates at the time of processing.

Payment terms

  • If enrolling online: full payment by credit/debit card at the time of booking

  • If submitting an application form: full payment online by credit/debit card or via bank transfer within 30 days of invoice date

Cancellations and refunds

Participants who wish to cancel must inform the Programme Administrator in writing: by email to oussa@conted.ox.ac.uk or by post to OUSSA, OUDCE, 1 Wellington Square, OXFORD, OX1 2JA, UK.

The following cancellation and refund policy applies in all cases:

  • Cancellation within 14 days of online enrolment / payment of fees – full refund of all fees paid

  • Cancellations received up to and including 31 May 2021 – OUDCE will retain an administration fee of £100 per week booked; all other fees paid will be refunded.

  • Cancellations received between 1-30 June 2021 – OUDCE will retain 60% of the fees paid; the remaining 40% of fees paid will be refunded.

  • Cancellations received on and after 1 July 2021 - no refunds will be made.

    Important note: You need to take out travel insurance to cover the programme fee and travel costs.


Dr Manya Pagiavla


Manya holds a PhD in history of art/architecture, she teaches at the Department for Continuing Education, University of Oxford and at the Victoria & Albert Museum, while in the past, she taught at the University of Cambridge. Her latest publication is on the library of Leonardo da Vinci, co-authored with Martin Kemp, University of Oxford.

Course aims

This course aims to examine the ‘universal’ genius of Michelangelo, his sculpture, his architecture, his paintings and his writings.

Teaching methods

All summer school courses are taught through group seminars and individual tutorials. Students also conduct private study when not in class and there is a well stocked library at OUDCE to support individual research needs.

Learning outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be expected to understand:

  • Michelangelo’s art in the historic background of Renaissance Humanism
  • How to effectively visually analyse, compare and contrast and learn how to evaluate the sculpture, painting and architecture of Michelangelo
  • The artistic personality of Michelangelo as manifested in his writings
  • How to correlate, synthesise and assess aspects of Michelangelo’s art and writings in order to gain a better insight of the artist’s creative output

Assessment methods

Students are assessed during the summer school by either a 1500 word written assignment or a presentation supported by individual documentation. To successfully gain credit (10 CATS points) students should attend all classes and complete the on-course assignment. There is also a pre-course assignment of 1000 words set. Although this does not count towards credit, it is seen as an important way of developing a student's ideas and therefore its completion is mandatory.


To enrol online, click 'Book Now', above.  To enrol by post, please see details of the application process.

Covid-19 guidance for summer school participants

Ensuring the safety and wellbeing of participants is our highest priority. We've introduced a range of measures to protect you when you are in university and college buildings, in accordance with University and UK government guidelines. These measures may include: enhanced cleaning regimes and additional facilities for hand washing and hand sanitising; spaces adapted to support social distancing with clear signage and markings; a requirement for the wearing of face coverings during in-person teaching and in indoor shared spaces.

You'll be required to follow University and UK government guidelines whilst in Oxford, and to sign a ‘Student Responsibility Agreement’ in advance of the course, confirming that you will do so (this will be similar to the version for University students, which you can review online).  Further information is available at https://www.ox.ac.uk/coronavirus/health. You should particularly review the University’s Face Coverings policy, which you will need to comply with at all times on University property.

If UK government regulations require you to quarantine on arrival in the UK, then you will need to arrange this yourself at your own expense. Unfortunately, we aren’t permitted to let you quarantine in University accommodation. Travel is not encouraged – and may not be permitted – if you are travelling from or through a country on the UK government’s ‘red list’.

If we have to cancel your course

Should it be necessary to cancel your course, we will make every reasonable effort to give you as much notice of cancellation as possible, and we will refund all course fees paid by you (including the cost of accommodation, if booked through us as part of your course). Where course fees have been paid in currencies other than in pounds sterling, refunds will be subject to the exchange rate on the date they are processed.

The Department cannot be held responsible for any costs you may incur in relation to travel or accommodation bookings as a result of a course cancellation, or if you are unable to attend the course for any other reason. You are advised to check cancellation policies carefully and to purchase travel insurance.