Centre for Continuing Education

Art History Course: Michelangelo meets Sinan

History. See the future. It’s in the past.

COVID-19 update: arrangement of our courses

We are now delivering courses online and in-person. Please check the delivery format of each class before enrolling.

Please note that course materials (excluding prescribed texts) are shared electronically within 48 hours of course commencement. Printing is not available.

Join us for an exploration of early modern Ottoman art compared with the artwork of the Renaissance in Italy. We will particularly focus on the works of Michelangelo and of Sinan, looking at the artists' thematic representations in their major works, including the Last Judgement and Rustern Pasha Mosque.

We will also look at how the work of each artist inspires spiritual and inward contemplation, and establishes a connection between the individual and the Divine.


This course aims to provide you with alternative readings of the major works of Michelangelo and Sinnan, looking at the allegorical message they convey. Such a comparison reveals a convergence of Renaissance mindset in their artistic works.


By the end of this course, you should be able to:

  • recognise the revisionist and global perspectives of the term 'Renaissance'
  • discuss the major artistic works of the two Renaissance contemporaries: Michelangelo’s Last Judgement and Ottoman imperial architect Sinan’s Iznik tiles in the Mosque of Rustem Pash
  • develop and extend your knowledge and understanding of the cultural and artistic convergence of the early modern period between the Ottomans and the Latin West
  • critically analyse the art historical symbolisms of the early modern Christian and Islamic aesthetics.


  • Introducing Michelangelo and Sinan – the two Renaissance masters.
  • The Mediterranean Zeitgeist: contextualising Michelangelo and Sinan.
  • The technology of the fresco and tile making in the Renaissance.
  • Michelangelo and Sinan in their own words.
  • Michelangelo and Sinan: Between Prophet Muhammad’s 'Mi’raj' and Dante’s ‘Divine Comedy’.
  • Influence of the story of the 'Mi’raj' on Dantean thought.
  • Michelangelo meets Sinan: Anagogical and Eschatological Readings of the Last Judgement and the Iznik Çini of the Rustem Pasha Mosque.
  • Aesthetics of Michelangelo and Sinan: Representations of Salvation.
  • Aesthetics of Michelangelo and Sinan: art as metaphors for self-reflection.
  • Aesthetics of Michelangelo and Sinan: the act of Judgement.
  • Aesthetics of Michelangelo and Sinan: Predestination.

Intended audience

  • Anyone interested in extending their knowledge of the global nature of the Renaissance and how cultural interactions contribute to great works of art.
  • People of any age with an interest in art.

Delivery style

  • Lecture with audio-visual presentation
  • Discussion with interactive Q&A
  • Analysing written and visual sources
  • Researching materials and images of art works when required


Please bring a notebook, pen and laptop/tablet for the research tasks and note taking.

Recommended reading

Denny, Walter B. 2010. Iznik: The Artistry of Ottoman Ceramics. London, Thames and London.

Hall, Marcia B., 2005. Michelangelo’s Last Judgment, New York, Cambridge University Press.

Necipoğlu, Gülru, 2005. The Age of Sinan: Architectural Culture in the Ottoman Empire, London, Reaktion


  • Expert trainers
  • Central locations
  • Course materials – yours to keep
  • CCE Statement of Completion

Art History Course: Michelangelo meets Sinan

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