[FROM THE DUST JACKETT] Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475-1564) was a sculptor, architect, and painter of genius and a poet and writer of great accomplishment. He was born in Caprese, where his father, a Florentine nobleman, was the visiting magistrate.
He was apprenticed in Florence to the painter Ghirlandaio in 1488, and thereafter learned the elements of fresco technique and developed a lifelong interest in sculpture. His talent brought him to the attention of Lorenzo de' Medici and other patrons in Florence and Rome. In his lifetime he was recognized as the greatest living artist, and created a succession of masterpieces of sculpture, fresco painting, and architecture. In all his work, Michelangelo impressed his contemporaries as a forceful personality, a divine genius endowed with terribilità, or intense emotional power. Often portrayed as a solitary and austere figure, he in fact enjoyed a remarkable range of friendships, those he loved and hated, served or resisted, are presented here, from his family and fellow artists to the popes, nobles, and rulers of Europe. In this new life of Michelangelo, George Bull places him firmly in the context of his time. He worked during three-quarters of a century of tremendous change in European society, and as an artist was supremely responsive to the hopes, fears, and values of his culture, which he both exemplified and defied.
Using recent research as well as the great established biographies and letters and records, George Bull depicts a Michelangelo in the round, and brings before the reader a towering genius whose versatility and originality are being discovered, not least through the revealing cleaning of the frescoes in the Sistine Chapel. He traces the life and spiritual quest of Michelangelo, man and artist, and brings to the narrative an exceptional feel for the Italian Renaissance.
xxiii and 504 pages long.
[FROM TJB] Did you know that the Pietà was commissioned for a chapel in St. Peter's Basilica dedicated to St. Petronilla, the daughter of St. Peter, the first Pope? Or that the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican was built by Pope Sixtus IV to the exact measurements of King Solomon's Temple in Jerusalem? George Bull's biography of Michelangelo is a treasure-trove of such tidbits.