Book Reviews of Michelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling

Michelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling
Michelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling
Author: Ross King
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ISBN-13: 9781572703063
ISBN-10: 1572703067
Publication Date: 1/2003
Edition: Abridged
Rating:
  • Currently 2.5/5 Stars.
 1

2.5 stars, based on 1 rating
Publisher: Audio Partners
Book Type: Audio CD
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

21 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed Michelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling on + 15 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
Excellent narrative and history of Michelangelo's struggles and triumph in painting the Sistine Chapel. A well written, detailed account of the interplay between Raphael, Michelangelo and Pope Julius II.
reviewed Michelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling on + 32 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
This is a nonfictional accounting that reads like a novel, compelling and full of illuminating writing. It was one of our group's best book club discussions in the nonfiction category. Ross King's version recounts the four extraordinary years Michelangelo spent laboring over the vast ceiling in the Sistine Chapel while the power politics and personal rivalries that abounded in Rome swirled around him. A panorama of illustrious figures converged around the creation of this magnificent work - from the Dutch scholar Erasmus to the young Martin Luther - and Ross King skillfully weaves them through his compelling historical narrative, offering uncommon insight into the intersection of art and history. Read this, then rent "The Agony and the Ecstasy" (starring Charlton Heston) for a truly unforgettable journey into art history.
reviewed Michelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling on + 11 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
This one was okay. It certainly didn't read like a novel, as promised in many amazon reviews. It could have used more broad historical context. The author really concentrated on Michelangelo, which makes sense, given the title and intention of the book, but I think a little more general history would have been great.
reviewed Michelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling on + 471 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
A wonderful book. In 1508, despite strong advice to the contrary, the powerful Pope Julius II commissioned Michaelangelo to paint the ceiling of the newly restored Sistine Chapel. With little experience as a painter (though famed for his sculpture David, Michaelangelo was reluctant to begin the massive project.
Michaelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling recounts the four extraordinary years he spent laboring over the vast ceiling while the power politics and personal rivalries that abounded in Rome swirled around him. Battling against ill health, financial difficulties, domestic problems, the pope's impatience, and a bitter rivalry with the brilliant young painter Raphael, Michaelangelo created scenes so beautiful that they are considered to be among the greatest masterpieces of all time. A panorama of illustrious figures converged around the creation of this magnificent work-from the great Dutch scholar Erasmus to the young Martin Luther-and Ross King skillfully weaves them through his compelling historical narrative, offering uncommon insight into the intersection of art and history.
reviewed Michelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling on
Helpful Score: 2
An account so fascinating you forget it is history. My only regret is there are not enough reproductions of the Sistine Chapel in the book and those that are are way too small. That's a minor quibble. A great read.
Suggest you find more pictures of the Sistine Chapel while/after you read this book.
reviewed Michelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling on + 10 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Wow! The history lesson on the Sistine Chapel contained in this book is amazing. Ross King also informs the reader about many different historical events happening in the world at the time Michelangelo paints the ceiling. I want to go to Rome now and stare at the ceiling!
reviewed Michelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling on + 27 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
lots of important history
at the same time well written & interesting
reviewed Michelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling on + 22 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Very good book; about Michelangelo and Italian history during the time period when Michelangelo was painting the Sistine Chapel (1510). Includes the Papal politics and Artistic background and history on how fresco painting was done. Good Michelangelo biography material, too.
ASC
reviewed Michelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling on
Helpful Score: 1
After reading this book you will never see or think of the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel the same way again. What fascinated me the most was Michelangelo's artistic progression as he worked his way across the ceiling from one end to the other. If you study the color illustrations (included in the paperback edition) you can see the increased complexity of his vision even as his hand grew more assured in the technique of fresco. A incredible story of an artist wholly consumed by his art.



Product Description
In 1508, despite strong advice to the contrary, the powerful Pope Julius II commissioned Michelangelo to paint the ceiling of the newly restored Sistine Chapel. With little experience as a painter (though famed for his sculpture David), Michelangelo was reluctant to begin the massive project.

Michelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling recounts the four extraordinary years Michelangelo spent laboring over the vast ceiling while the power politics and personal rivalries that abounded in Rome swirled around him. Battling against ill health, financial difficulties, domestic problems, the pope's impatience, and a bitter rivalry with the brilliant young painter Raphael, Michelangelo created scenes so beautiful that they are considered one of the greatest masterpieces of all time. A panorama of illustrious figures converged around the creation of this great work-from the great Dutch scholar Desiderius Erasmus to the young Martin Luther-and Ross King skillfully weaves them through his compelling historical narrative, offering uncommon insight into the intersection of art and history.
reviewed Michelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling on + 63 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Great novel!
reviewed Michelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling on + 5 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I really enjoyed this book, and found it so easy to read for Non-Fiction! I wanted to understand more about the Sistine Chapel before my trip to Italy next month, and this book really has me excited to see it now. It follows Michelangelo's journey throughout the 4+ years that he painted the chapel of the Vatican, along with Pope Julius' story and the conflicts that Rome undergoes.

The novel walks through in a timeline the creation of each of the main sections of the chapel, and it's amazing to see how Michelangelo's art changes as he learns and grows, and as the Julius' conflicts impact him. This was the first fresco that Michelangelo had ever been commissioned to paint; previously he had focused on engraving (he had just completed David). Initially, Julius had hired him to build his tomb out of marble, and then changed his mind and forced him to do the Sistine Chapel, which he was not at all interested in doing. He never got over his disappointment and anger at Julius for this, even though the Sistine Chapel ended up being what he was best known for. It was also interesting to read about the competiveness between the artists of that time, especially Michelangelo, Leondardo da Vinci, and Raphael.

The center section of the book has great pictures and outlines that I found myself referring back to as Ross King discusses the creation of each section of the Sistine Chapel. If you're at all interested in art or this time period (or plan to visit the Sistine Chapel), I'd definitely recommend this book.
reviewed Michelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling on
One of the worst books I've ever read. Couldn't make it past the 3rd chapter. It may have contained some really interesting historical facts, but it was like slogging through mud to get there. Exceedingly poorly written. Not engaging at all.
reviewed Michelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling on + 10 more book reviews
Informative and enthralling! Loved it!
reviewed Michelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling on + 19 more book reviews
"In 1508, despite strong advice to the contrary, the powerful Pope Julius II commissioned Michelangelo Buonarroti to paint the ceiling of the newly restored Sistine Chapel in Rome. During the four extraordinary years that Michelangelo spent laboring over the 12,000 square foot ceiling, power politics and personal rivalries swirled around him."
reviewed Michelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling on + 6 more book reviews
A fabulous popular history. I had studied the Sistine ceiling in art history class -- who hasn't? but I had never had a chance to learn of the political struggles engulfing Italy or the personal problems besetting Michelangelo during its creation. All in all, a great read.
reviewed Michelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling on + 3 more book reviews
a quick and easy read of very interesting times
reviewed Michelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling on + 4 more book reviews
This book moved me. It is simply a wonderful read, not what you would expect! If you love to read, don't pass it up.
reviewed Michelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling on + 4 more book reviews
One of my professors recommended this book before the start of the next semester. I'm so glad I took her advice and got this book from PBS. I haven't finished it yet, but already I've learned so much about, not just Michelangelo, but painting techniques and other artists of the day, Da Vinci and Raphael to name two. You also learn so much more about Pope who commissioned Michelangelo as well.

Overall though, this book holds your attention because it shows Michelangelo as a man. You know his emotions, shortcomings, and his relationships with those around him including his own family. It makes the history come alive. You have to get this book, its a great living book.
reviewed Michelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling on
Another great historical fiction novel. Great book for those who love both art and history.
reviewed Michelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling on + 266 more book reviews
This book is an acount of the history of the Sistine chapel. It focuses on Michelangelo's painted of it. If you like the film the Agony & the Ecstacy, you will enjoy this book.
reviewed Michelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling on + 7 more book reviews
Never finished it. Too long and too many names!