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.
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.
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.
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.
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!