"Michelangelo’s Phenomenology of Love"
An "Embodiment" Paper
In his poetry, Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475–1564) explored the eye from both a physiological and a psychological perspective. This essay demonstrates that for him the organs of vision constituted a gateway to the intellect-soul, the eyes were a means by which lover and beloved, beholder and beheld touched, and the mind was their place of encounter and negotiation. Analyzing descriptions of the eye and the gaze in Michelangelo’s verse and elucidating the roots of his phenomenology of love in theories of Platonic intromission, Galenic-Mondinian anatomy, and Aristotelian-Avicennian psychology, this essay reveals his non-dualist, non-materialist worldview and his understanding of humans as divinely created entities dependent upon the immaterial ground of their being.