Date of Award
Bachelor of Arts
Art & Art History
During the sixteenth century, Michelangelo designed a library at the Florentine monastery of San Lorenzo that was, even during its time, quite unlike any other from the Renaissance era. Though the master clearly sought to produce something dramatically different from what had already been done, library design had a long history that he would have known. Although today’s libraries are most closely related to their medieval European precursors, many of the canonical elements of ancient Roman libraries have survived into the modern era. Like their medieval counterparts, ancient libraries often had separate quarters for Greek and Latin volumes and were nearly always placed in close proximity to churches and temples.1 As Catholicism became the primary religion throughout Europe during the medieval period, the relationship between libraries and the churches and monasteries near which they were constructed was fortified significantly.
Arbusto, Kaitlin, "The Materiality of Wood in Michelangelo’s Biblioteca Laurenziana: The Laurentian Staircase" (2016). Art & Art History. 3.