The extraordinary story behind Michelangelo's masterpiece in the Sistine Chapel from the author of the acclaimed "Brunelleschi's Dome." King paints a magnificent picture of day-to-day life on the Sistine scaffolding and outside in the upheaval of early 16th century Rome. 46 illustrations.The extraordinary story behind Michelangelo's masterpiece in the Sistine Chapel from the author of the acclaimed "Brunelleschi's Dome." King paints a magnificent picture of day-to-day life on the Sistine scaffolding and outside in the upheaval of early 16th century Rome. 46 illustrations.Read Less
New in new dust jacket. NEW, Hardcover edition as pictured. Sewn binding. Cloth over boards. With dust jacket. 304 p. Contains: Illustrations. Audience: General/trade. NEW, Hardcover edition as pictured.
Publishers Weekly, 2003-04-07 King's historical account of the four years Michelangelo Buonarroti spent frescoing the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in Rome is splendid, thorough and detailed. But its larger appeal lies in the way King (Brunelleschi's Dome) brings out the story's human elements. Listeners learn of Michelangelo's bitter disappointment when a project he was eagerly looking forward to (the construction of the Pope's tomb) was cancelled and that he had little experience with the art of fresco and was reluctant to take on the Sistine Chapel. King explains the craft of frescoing with involving details: for example, fresco dries quickly, so the artist could work only in small sections, and if a mistake was found after the paint dried, the whole day's work had to be chipped away and redone. Listeners also learn of Michelangelo's financial woes and family problems and the political upheavals of the time. Sklar's narration is perfect for the project. His lively and expressive reading add a realistic edge to a centuries-old tale. He speaks passionately and his accent on the Italian names and phrases is flawless. Simultaneous release with the Walker hardcover (Forecasts, Dec. 9, 2002). (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Publishers Weekly, 2002-12-09 When Pope Julius II saw Michelangelo's Piet, he determined to have his grand tomb made by the artist. Summoned from Florence to Rome in 1508, Michelangelo found himself on the losing side of a competition between architects and the victim of a plot "to force a hopeless task" upon him-frescoing the vault of the Sistine Chapel. How the sculptor met this painterly challenge is the matter of this popular account, which demythologizes and dramatizes without hectoring or debasing. Forget cinematic images of Charlton Heston flat on his back-Michelangelo's "head tipped back, his body bent like a bow, his beard and paintbrush pointing to heaven, and his face spattered with paint" is excruciating enough to sustain the legend. King (Brunelleschi's Dome) re-creates Michelangelo's day-to-day world: the assistants who worked directly on the Sistine Chapel, the continuing rivalry with Raphael and the figures who had much to do with his world if not his art (da Vinci, Savonarola, Ariosto, Machiavelli, Martin Luther, Erasmus), including the steely Julius II. King makes the familiar fresh, reminding the reader of the "novelty" of Michelangelo's image of God and how "completely unheard of in previous depictions of the ancestors of Christ" was his use of women. Technical matters (making pigments, foreshortening) are lucidly handled. The 16 color and 30 b&w illustrations were not seen by PW, but should add further specifics to a nicely grounded piece of historical dramatization. (Jan.) Forecast: Walker has been become extremely adept at spotting and packaging books in the Longitude mode-works that focus on a single significant cultural product, be it cod or a work of art. As an alternate selection of Book-of-the-Month, History and Quality Paperback Book Clubs, this should do even better than Brunelleschi's Dome, as its subject is better known in the U.S. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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