Platonisk kärlek under renässansen: Michelangelo och Marsilio Ficino

  • Göran Söderström


A new very good Swedish translation of Michelangelo's Love poems by Sverker Åström has given occasion to this article about Michelangelo and his teacher in philosophy Marsilio Ficino. Ficino, employed by Lorenzo de Medici in Florence, translated the Symposium of Plato into Latin. He also composed a lengthy Commentary (1469) that praised love between males: The man enjoys the physical beauty of the youth with his eyes; the youth enjoys the mans beauty with his mind. The youth, who is beautiful in body only, by this practice becomes beautiful in soul; the man who is beautiful also in soul only, feasts his eyes upon bodily beauty. But Ficino, who made it his lifes task to reconcile Platonism with Christianity, rejected physical expression. In this Platonic mode, Ficino loved Giovanni Cavalcanti, a younger member of the new Academy, and wrote him love letters, published in Latin. In this atmosphere, where male beauty was worshiped as a divine gift reflecting the supernal beauty of God, the teenage Michelangelo learned about male love.


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How to Cite
Söderström, G. (1). Platonisk kärlek under renässansen: Michelangelo och Marsilio Ficino. Lambda Nordica, 11(3), 36-42. Retrieved from