Distrustful, argumentative, creative and highly competitive, Michelangelo Buonarroti was a sculptor of genius. Ross King's awe-inspiring book Michelangelo And The Pope's Ceiling tells the story how this genius sculptor created one of the greatest treasures of The Renaissance, the ceiling frescos of the Sistine Chapel. King draws a written and interesting portrait of Michelangelo that includes family, his fellow artists, his chaotic life and times in a thirty-one chapter book. As King points out in his research in this book, not everything is heard about Michelangelo's life beyond the Sistine chapel. Such as the image of the solitary artist, lying on his back on scaffold, paint dripping onto his face, is a misinterpretation.
One of these misinterpretations comes from the all-important work before the Sistine Chapel project. Pope Julius II acquired Michelangelo to build in Carrara marble his tomb, unfortunately, this never happened and Michelangelo was assigned to the job of the Sistine Chapel. The majority of people know Michelangelo for the Sistine Chapel, not knowing that in disgrace Michelangelo lost his bid to build a magnificent tomb for Pope Julius II. King notes that this failure to build the tomb was by the doing of Donato Bramante. Bramante is a great friend of Leonardo da Vinci, da Vinci and Bramante shared an enjoyment in being architects. Bramante was the key component to architecting the Sistine Chapel, he also is the one that gives a suggestion that Michelangelo should be put to work on the ceiling well knowing that Michelangelo was not a fresco artist. As for family, King uses vivid description between Michelangelo and his two brothers that were untalented compared to their older brother Michelangelo. Stories of the two brothers asking Michelangelo to find work for them in Rome always bother him at awkward moments during his work on the ceiling. King refers to Michelangelo's use of sickness brought on by the plague to get rid of family...
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