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1 Beaverton Art- History and Criticism

Michelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling

by

Michelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The author of the bestselling Brunelleschi's Dome brings to life the creation of a masterpiece amid the upheaval of Renaissance Italy.

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. Four years earlier, at the age of twenty-nine, Michelangelo had unveiled his masterful statue of David in Florence; however, he had little experience as a painter, even less working in the delicate medium of fresco, and none with the curved surface of vaults, which dominated the chapel's ceiling. The temperamental Michelangelo was himself reluctant, and he stormed away from Rome, risking Julius's wrath, only to be persuaded to eventually begin.

Michelangelo would spend the next four years laboring over the vast ceiling. He executed hundreds of drawings, many of which are masterpieces in their own right. Contrary to legend, he and his assistants worked standing rather than on their backs, and after his years on the scaffold, Michelangelo suffered a bizarre form of eyestrain that made it impossible for him to read letters unless he held them at arm's length. Nonetheless, he produced one of the greatest masterpieces of all time, about which Giorgio Vasari, in his Lives of the Artists, wrote, 'There is no other work to compare with this for excellence, nor could there be.'

Ross King's fascinating new book tells the story of those four extraordinary years. Battling against ill health, financial difficulties, domestic problems, inadequate knowledge of the art of fresco, and the pope's impatience, Michelangelo created figures?depicting the Creation, the Fall, and the Flood?so beautiful that, when they were unveiled in 1512, they stunned his onlookers. Modern anatomy has yet to find names for some of the muscles on his nudes, they are painted in such detail. While he worked, Rome teemed around him, its politics and rivalries with other city-states and with France at fever pitch, often intruding on his work. From Michelangelo's experiments with the composition of pigment and plaster to his bitter competition with the famed painter Raphael, who was working on the neighboring Papal Apartments, Ross King presents a magnificent tapestry of day-to-day life on the ingenious Sistine scaffolding and outside in the upheaval of early-sixteenth-century Rome.

Review:

"Ross King expertly wipes away the smudges from the story of this great painting, only to uncover a truth even more exciting and impossible." John Freeman, San Francisco Chronicle

Review:

"A legend-busting, richly detailed account of the four-year making of the Sistine Chapel frescos....King supplies a righly nuanced view of Michelangelo and company's day-to-day life....[A] pleasure." Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)

Review:

"[King] demythologizes and dramatizes without hectoring or debasing....King makes the familiar fresh." Publishers Weekly

Review:

"[An] exciting account....King chronicles Michelangelo's aesthetic decisions and clarion triumphs over myriad forms of adversity with expertise and contagious enthusiasm." Donna Seaman, Booklist (Starred Review)

Review:

"Scrupulously researched, written with wit and panache, Ross King's Michelangelo & The Pope's Ceiling is a sublime peek into a remarkable era." Larry Goldstone, The Miami Herald

Synopsis:

Writer King, who made a splash with Brunelleschi's Dome, here brings to readers the human dimension, the day-by-day details, and the political and social contexts of Michelangelo's creation of the Sistine Chapel in Rome.

Synopsis:

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.

About the Author

Ross King is the bestselling author of Brunelleschi's Dome and the novels Ex-Libris and Domino.

Table of Contents

Michelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling Acknowledgments

Chapter 1. The Summons

Chapter 2. The Conspiracy

Chapter 3. The Warrior Pope

Chapter 4. Penance

Chapter 5. Painting in the Wet

Chapter 6. The Design

Chapter 7. The Assistants

Chapter 8. The House of Buonarroti

Chapter 9. The Fountains of the Great Deep

Chapter 10. Competition

Chapter 11. A Great Quandry

Chapter 12. The Flaying of Marsyas

Chapter 13. True Colors

Chapter 14. He Shall Build the Temple of the Lord

Chapter 15. Family Business

Chapter 16. Laocoö

Chapter 17. The Golden Age

Chapter 18. The School of Athens

Chapter 19. Forbidden Fruit

Chapter 20. The Barbarous Multitudes

Chapter 21. Bologna Redux

Chapter 22. The World's Game

Chapter 23. A New and Wonderful Manner of Painting

Chapter 24. The First and Supreme Creator

Chapter 25. The Expulsion of Heliodorus

Chapter 26. The Monster of Ravenna

Chapter 27. Many Strange Forms

Chapter 28. The Armour of Faith and the Sword of Light

Chapter 29. Il Pensieroso

Chapter 30. In Evil Plight

Epilogue: The Language of the Gods

Notes

Bibliography

Index

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

supie, January 19, 2010 (view all comments by supie)
You don't have to be an Art History major or an Engineer, to be captivated by Ross King's account of the creative process and historical influences surrounding the painting of the Sistine Chapel. If anything, it makes you want to know more about the enigmatic painter and the challenges he faced in pursuit of his passion. The first time I read this book, I couldn't put it down for an entire cross country flight.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780142003695
Author:
King, Ross
Publisher:
Penguin Books
Subject:
History - General
Subject:
Medieval
Subject:
Europe - Italy
Subject:
European
Subject:
History - Renaissance
Subject:
Subjects & Themes - Religious
Subject:
Art - General
Copyright:
Edition Number:
Reissue ed.
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Publication Date:
November 25, 2003
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Yes
Pages:
384
Dimensions:
9.16x6.14x1.02 in. 1.09 lbs.
Age Level:
from 18

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Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Art » Art History Surveys
Arts and Entertainment » Art » Artists
Arts and Entertainment » Art » Europe General
Arts and Entertainment » Art » General
Arts and Entertainment » Art » History and Criticism
Arts and Entertainment » Art » Religious

Michelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling Used Trade Paper
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$2.95 In Stock
Product details 384 pages Penguin Books - English 9780142003695 Reviews:
"Review" by , "Ross King expertly wipes away the smudges from the story of this great painting, only to uncover a truth even more exciting and impossible."
"Review" by , "A legend-busting, richly detailed account of the four-year making of the Sistine Chapel frescos....King supplies a righly nuanced view of Michelangelo and company's day-to-day life....[A] pleasure."
"Review" by , "[King] demythologizes and dramatizes without hectoring or debasing....King makes the familiar fresh."
"Review" by , "[An] exciting account....King chronicles Michelangelo's aesthetic decisions and clarion triumphs over myriad forms of adversity with expertise and contagious enthusiasm."
"Review" by , "Scrupulously researched, written with wit and panache, Ross King's Michelangelo & The Pope's Ceiling is a sublime peek into a remarkable era."
"Synopsis" by , Writer King, who made a splash with Brunelleschi's Dome, here brings to readers the human dimension, the day-by-day details, and the political and social contexts of Michelangelo's creation of the Sistine Chapel in Rome.
"Synopsis" by ,
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.

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