The Agony and the Ecstasy Author:Irving Stone International Collector's Library. — Florence in the year 1475 was the intellectual and artistic center of the Italian Renaissance. Into this great city-state, ruled by Lorenzo de' Medici, was born one of the greatest geniuses the world has produced - Michelangelo Buonarroti, sculptor, painter, poet, architect, and engineer. To know his life is t... more »o know the history of Italy's glory... and no one else has described it so exuberantly as has Irving Stone in his brilliant biographical novel THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY.
As the book opens, Michelangelo, against his family's ambitions, has become apprenticed to the painter Ghirlandaio. Shortly after, he moves into the fabulous palace of the Medici as the protege of Lorenzo the Magnificent. There, as an intimate of the circle of humanist scholars and future popes, he studies the classics, carves his first sculptures, and falls in love with Lorenzo's young daughter, Contessina.
In these pages the glittering Renaissance comes to vibrant life. We are with Michelangelo as he fights his way through a formidable array of prejudice, jealousy,greed and blind hostility, wins coveted commissions and, through passionate dedication and unbelievable virtuosity, becomes the Renaissance man.
Irving Stone's classic is based on careful documentation - the author actually moved to Italy with his family, worked in a stone quarry and as a sculptor's apprentice, and did exhaustive research work in Florence, Rome, Carrara and Bologna. Bernard Berenson, celebrated art historian, says, "Irving Stone comes closer to the true spirit of Michelangelo than any other writer."« less