News Archive 2017

Professor Michael Hirst (1933-2017)

14 Dec 2017

It is with the deepest sadness that we report the death today (14 December 2017) of Professor Michael Hirst (David Michael Geoffrey Hirst).

Michael Hirst FBA was Professor Emeritus of The Courtauld Institute of Art, where he taught from 1962 until retirement in 1997, initially as Lecturer and subsequently as Reader and Professor.  He was made a Fellow of the British Academy in 1983 and an Accademico d’Onore of the Accademia delle Arti del Disegno in 1991.   He will be remembered as one of the leading authorities on the work of Michelangelo and his followers, a reputation that was secured by seminal publications that have remained standard reference works. In 1981, he published Sebastiano del Piombo with Oxford University Press, followed by Michelangelo and his Drawings in 1988 and Michelangelo: The Achievement of Fame, 1475-1534 in 2011, both with Yale University Press. He also published together with other authors, including, more recently, an important edition of Condivi’s Vita di Michelagnolo Buonarroti (1998) that was edited by Giovanni Nencioni and Caroline Elam, and an exhibition at the National Gallery on Making and Meaning: The Young Michelangelo, together with Jill Dunkerton (1994). Such was his international standing in the world of Michelangelo studies that he was made a member of the Pontifical Commission for the Restoration of the Sistine Chapel’s ceiling in 1987. 

Michael’s death is a great loss to Michelangelo scholarship and is a huge sadness to his family, friends and colleagues. We extend our deepest sympathies to his wife Diane Zervas Hirst.

Professor Hirst’s funeral will take place on 5 January 2018 at 10 a.m. at St. John the Baptist’s church on Holland Road, London  W14 8AH