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Michelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling

Good Essays
Vincent Raspa
AP Euro 10
Mrs. Graham
September 7, 2010

Michelangelo and the Pope’s Ceiling “The hundred tons of Carrar marble was promptly carted from the Piazza San Pietro to the studio in Macella de Corvi. A full seven years after feeling Rome on horseback, Michelangelo finally returned to what he called his “true profession.”” This quote from Ross King’s novel, Michelangelo and the Pope’s Ceiling tells the reader a lot about the famous Michelangelo. It talks about how Michelangelo had waiting for nearly seven years to go back to his true profession. This quote is very important to the story because it shows how Michelangelo did something so famous and amazing even though he wasn’t trained for it. Michelangelo was not trained in the painting but the pope “forced” him to and he stopped his true passion of sculpting to do the Sistine Chapel. This quote ends the book and sums up what Michelangelo did and what kind of person he was.
Michelangelo and the Pope’s Ceiling tells the amazing story of how the Michelangelo painted the Sistine Chapel in Rome. Michelangelo is a sculptor not an artist and did not really want to paint the Sistine Chapel. He had no prior knowledge of fresco and was not trained at all in painting. He was a very determined and dedicated man. Being a rookie at fresco painting, in the beginning he made multiple mistakes that were tough to correct, but he didn’t give up. Although he complained about doing this for the Pope, he stayed with it. He was perseverant and ended up creating a famous masterpiece. Even through all the difficulties that Michelangelo faced, he was still able to paint this beautiful piece of art and to change to change the art world forever. Another man that was talked about throughout the book was a man named Raphael Santi who is another painter. Ross King talks about Raphael and how his artistic talents contrast to those of Michelangelo. Raphael was painting papal apartments during the same time as Michelangelo was painting the Sistine Chapel. He was a young man who would always try to find a way to get the commissions that he wanted.
The ultimate end product of Michelangelo’s is now known worldwide. Inside his painting he told the stories of Genesis in the Old Testament. He even included some paintings of Pope Julius being portrayed as multiple others. Eventually, Michelangelo decided that his first few panels with a very congested and were too “busy”. As he continued onto the other panels of the ceiling he painted simpler things and there was also much less going on in each panel. Also, in his first few panels he drew more classical drawing and drew the people fully clothed. In his later panels, his paintings changed and the people were not as much clothing and some were not clothed at all. In fact, he painted many large nude men across some panels to tell some of the scenes of Genesis.
Michelangelo and the Pope’s Ceiling deserves a rating of 2 and a half stars. I thought that there were many sections of this Ross king book that were very intriguing but I thought it was a little bit too long of a book. The author could have still given the same story and message to the readers if some of the chapters were excluded. I believe that there were multiple sections of this novel that went into a myriad of detail. Usually a lot of detail is very important in a book and makes a story more interesting, but in this the myriad of detail actually ruined the story. Overall Michelangelo and the Pope’s Ceiling was a mediocre novel with a very informative storyline but had a little bit too much detail. The overload on detail was what really impacted my opinion on this book.

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