Michelangelo Buonarroti – Italian 1475-1564

Michelagniolo Di Lodovico Buonarroti-Simoni was born on March 6, 1475 in the village of Caprese, Italy. He was one of the most important artists of the Italian Renaissance, a period when the arts and sciences flourished. Michelangelo became an apprentice to prominent Florentine painter, Domenico Ghirlandaio at the age of 12, but soon began to study sculpture instead. He attracted the attention and patronage of Lorenzo de Medici, who was ruler of Florence until 1492.

At age 23, Michelangelo completed his magnificent Pieta, a marble statue that shows the Virgin Mary grieving over the dead Jesus. He began work on the colossal figure of "David" in 1501, and by 1504 the sculpture (standing at 4.34m/14 ft 3 in tall) was in place outside the Palazzo Vecchio. The statue became a symbol for the new republic that had replaced Medici rule.

Michelangelo portrayed David partly as the ideal man, partly as an adolescent youth. Unlike predesessors by other sculptors which depict David with the grissly head of the giant under his foot, Michalangelo poses David at the moment he faces the giant, with the deed before him. He believed this was the moment of David's greatest courage.

From 1508 until 1512 Michelangelo worked on his most famous project, the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican. He had always considered himself a sculptor and resisted painting the Sistine with characteristic vehemence: "I cannot live under pressures from patrons, let alone paint." Only the power of the Pope Julius II forced him into the reluctant achievement of the world's greatest single fresco. He covered the ceiling with paintings done on wet plaster, showing nine scenes from the Old Testament. Michelangelo later painted "The Last Judgment" on the altar wall of the Sistine Chapel.

Toward the end of his life, Michelangelo became more involved in architecture and poetry. In 1546 he was made chief architect of the partly finished St. Peter's Basilica in Rome, where the Pieta is now kept.

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Michelangelo by Hugo Chapman – Hardcover: 96 pages Publisher: Yale University Press (August 1, 2006)

Michelangelo (1475–1564) is a giant in the history of art. The versatility of his artistic skill was extraordinarily wide: apart from being a sculptor, painter, and draftsman, he was also an architect and a poet. In all of his works, it is the beauty, perfection, and virtuosity of execution that continues to inspire and endure.

Central to all of Michelangelo’s artistic endeavors were his drawings, in which his creative ideas originated, evolved, and were perfected. This handsome book takes a fascinating tour of the artist’s drawings by looking at highlights––ranging from unfinished sketches to delicate, refined studies––all of which are located in the exceptional collection of the British Museum. Included are studies of some of Michelangelo’s most famous works such as the Sistine Chapel ceiling and the Last Judgement.

With an introductory essay on the artist’s life and key works, and beautiful color reproductions of the drawings, this book provides an indispensable foundation for understanding Michelangelo’s art, his creative genius, and his unparalleled gift as a draftsman.

The Three Worlds of Michelangelo by James H. Beck – Hardcover, 269 pages (February 1999) W W Norton & Co

Few artists in the history of the world have attained the mythic status of Michelangelo—painter of the heavenly Sistine Chapel and sculptor of the nearly divine David. And it is his towering presence that makes it so difficult to imagine the artist as a man. Art historian James Beck helps unlock the mystery of Michelangelo by opening the doors of the three very different worlds to which he belonged.

Michelangelo's Last Judgment: The Renaissance Response (Discovery Series, No 5) by Bernadine Ann Barnes – Hardcover, 225 pages (January 1998) Univ California Press

In her analysis of Michelangelo's Last Judgment, Bernadine Barnes provides an original and stimulating view of this renowned fresco and of the audience for which it was created. Because Michelangelo is so often regarded as a nearly superhuman artistic genius, we tend to forget that his works were not created to illustrate his life. The Last Judgment did have great personal meaning for him, but his representation of this religious event was not purely self-directed, says Barnes. She argues that Michelangelo had a particular type of viewer in mind as he designed his work. The Last Judgment dealt with an especially evocative subject, and Michelangelo engaged viewers by creating highly imaginative scenes tempering fear with hope and by referring to contemporary events. The painting's original, elite audiencethe papal court and a handful of distinguished lay personswas sophisticated about art and poetry, almost exclusively male, and orthodox in its religious beliefs. That audience later broadened and included artists allowed into the Chapel to copy Michelangelo's work. These artists helped to create another, less sophisticated audience, one that knew the fresco only through reproductions and written descriptions. The response of this latter audience eventually prompted the church to censor the painting. Beautifully illustrated with photographs of the recently restored Sistine Chapel, Barnes's study greatly enhances our understanding of changing Renaissance attitudes toward art. Her book also provides valuable insights into one of Michelangelo's greatest works

Michelangelo: The Complete Sculpture, Painting, and Architecture by William E. Wallace – Hardcover, 268 pages (November 1998) Beaux Arts Editions

Michelangelo Buonarroti achieved such renown in his lifetime that he was widely known and celebrated as Il Divino, or the Divine One. In 500 years, his fame has scarcely diminished. Michelangelo is generally recognized as one of the greatest artists of all time, a universal genius in all fields of visual creativity-sculpture, painting, and architecture-as well as a widely admired poet.

Michelangelo and Raphael in the Vatican: With Botticelli, Perugino, Signorelli, Ghirlandaio, and Rosselli by F. Rossi, Fabrizio Mancinelli, Antonio P. Graziano Hardcover, 215 pages 1st edition (March 1997) Treasures Inc.

Michelangelo and His Influence; Drawings from Windsor Castle by Paul Joannides – Hardcover (November 1996) Lund Humphries Publishers

The drawings featured in this volume are from the Royal Collection at Windsor Castle. Eighteen sheets are supreme examples of Michelangelo's draftsmanship; fifty are by his contemporaries and successors—including Raphael, Sebastiano del Piombo, Perino del Vaga, Pordenone, and Annibale Carracci—and demonstrate Michelangelo's impact on their technique, style, and imagery. Among the other artists represented are Alessandro Allori, Bartolommeo Ammanati, Baccio Bandinelli, Agnolo Bronzino, Bernardino Cesari, Giulio Clovio, Giovan Ambrogio Figino, Battista Franco, Antonio Mini, Girolamo Muziano, Battista Naldini, Bartolomeo Passarotti, Camillo Procaccini, Biagio Pupini, Raffaello da Montelupo, Giulio Romano, Francesco Salviati, Orazio Samacchini, Pellegrino Tibaldi, and Federico and Taddeo Zuccaro.

Michelangelo by Howard Hibbard – Paperback 2nd edition (August 1985) Icon (Harpe)

Michelangelo A & E Biography starring: David Janssen
Black & White, Color, NTSC
Run Time: 50 minutes

He is one of the greatest artists of all time, a man whose name has become synonymous with the word "masterpiece": Michelangelo Buonarotti.Creator of unparalleled works of art painted on canvas and plaster, carved in marble and built from stone, Michelangelo created a legacy of art treasured by the world: The ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, the heroic marble sculpture of David, and the central plan for Saint Peter's Cathedral in Rome. Was he the tortured and lonely man who suffered agonies in pursuit of his art, as he is often portrayed? Art historians, museum curators and Renaissance experts help dispel the mysteries surrounding the man whose glorious works inspire us to this day. Examine the broad canvas of Michelangelo's life and legacy to probe the very soul of the artist who was recognized as a genius in his own lifetime.

Michelangelo Drawings: Closer to the Master by Hugo Chapman – Hardcover: 320 pages Publisher: Yale University Press (November 11, 2005)

One of the best known and most influential artists in the history of art, Michelangelo was a prolific sculptor, painter, architect, and draftsman. This lovely book focuses on more than 250 of his drawings executed in chalk, charcoal, and pen and ink. Distinguished art historian Hugo Chapman examines this array of works and discusses how the act of drawing figured prominently in Michelangelo’s work.
Chapman considers the artist’s training and his choice of various techniques in a close investigation of the central role of drawing in Michelangelo’s career. The author describes the artist’s frugal use of paper, explaining how he often recycled letters and drawings (working on both the front and back of the sheet) throughout his career. Organized chronologically, the book looks at Michelangelo’s early development in Florence and Rome, his accomplishments as papal artist for the Sistine Chapel ceiling with its myriad preparatory studies, and his drawings for the tomb of Julius II, the Medici tombs, the Laurentian library, and the Last Judgement. The fascinating history of the fate of Michelangelo’s drawings after his death is also explored in detail.

Renaissance Rivals: Michelangelo, Leonardo, Raphael, Titian by Rona Goffen – Paperback: 532 pages Publisher: Yale University Press (August 11, 2004)

“Who would have thought that the serene masterpieces of the High Renaissance owed so much of their vitality to backstage brawling? Only Rona Goffen knows enough to trace these labyrinthine rivalries. In her book the artists take on cinematic vitality, making us see the artifacts produced by such creative brawlers in entirely new ways. They are knockouts. So is her book.”—Garry Wills

"This lively and appealing book is an important achievement. . . . Magnificently researched and handsomely produced, Renaissance Rivals advances the discussion of a central aspect of early modern culture. In doing so, it has no rivals."—Werner Gundersheimer, American Scholar

Michelangelo: The Vatican Frescoes by Pierluigi De Vecchi, Gianluigi Colalucci (Contributor) – Hardcover, 272 pages (March 1997) Abbeville Press, Inc.

The restoration of Michelangelo's magnificent frescoes in the Vatican's Sistine Chapel stirred up much controversy and debate among scholars, art historians, and art lovers alike. Originally painted in the late 15th century, it took restorers 14 painstaking years (from 1981 to 1995) to remove the centuries' worth of dust and decay that had obscured the frescoes' brilliant colors and intricate designs. In 250 gorgeous full-color photographs, this unique and beautiful volume presents Michelangelo's restored chapel--perhaps the greatest masterpiece of Renaissance art--in its entirety, from the Creation to the Last Judgment, both before and after cleaning. The only definitive study of the restoration process, this book is the next best thing to actually being there.

Michelangelo the Last Judgment: A Glorious Restoration by Fabrizio Mancinelli, Gianluigi Colalucci, Okamura, Loren W. Partridge – Hardcover, 208 pages (October 1997) Harry N Abrams

Michelangelo's The Last Judgment is considered by many to be the artist's greatest triumph as well as one of the most important works in the history of art. Here, for the first time in one volume, the newly cleaned and restored fresco is presented in all its powerful complexity in 150 magnificent color images which show the work both in its entirety and in splendid detail.

Michelangelo's Surprise by Tony Parillo Ages 4-8, Hardcover, 32 pages 1st edition (October 1998), Farrar Straus & Giroux (Juv)

Based on a true story recorded in the fifteenth century. What does Piero de' Medici want with Michelangelo on such a snowy day? That is what Sandro, the youngest page in the palazzo, wonders when he overhears that the ruler of Florence has summoned the sculptor to his courtyard. Exploding with curiosity, Sandro roams the palazzo looking for his father, who will surely know the reason for such an odd request. From the loggia to the kitchen, from the chapel to the stable, Sandro searches. Finally, when there's no place left to look, a commotion in the courtyard itself leads him to the satisfying solution to the mystery: Michelangelo is there, putting the final touches on a huge, beautiful snowman. Tony Parillo's accomplished watercolors combine historical realism with Renaissance style.

The Sistine Chapel: A Glorious Restoration by Carlo Pietrangeli (Editor), Michael Hirst (Contributor), Gianluigi Colalucci, Fabrizio Mancinelli, John Shearman (Contributor) – Hardcover, 271 pages Reprint edition (May 1994) Harry N Abrams

Nine years in duration, the elaborate restoration of Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel frescoes was one of the major events in recent art history. Not executed without controversy, the restoration renewed the vivid colors of Michelangelo's greatest work—in fact, caused a reevaluation in the minds of art historians of the master's use of color. (The controversy centered on concern that restorers had taken off too much of the accumulated overlay of the ages and that maybe Michelangelo had himself surfaced the frescoes with a layering of varnish meant to subdue the vibrant coloring.)

Approximately 300 photographs of the restored frescoes are brilliantly presented here, a visual enticement to enjoy the original color as well as the form and the composition of these spectacular works.

Michelangelo (First Impressions) by Richard B. McLanathan – Reading level: Young Adult Hardcover, 92 pages (May 1993) Harry N Abrams

Michelangelo: Paintings, Sculpture, Architecture by Michelangelo Buonarroti, Ludwig Goldscheider – Paperback, 280 pages 6th edition (September 1996) Phaidon Press Inc.

Michelangelo Life Drawings (Dover Art Library) by Michelangelo – Paperback: 48 pages Publisher: Dover Publications (February 1, 1980)

46 outstanding studies, including sketches for David, Sistine Ceiling, Last Judgment, etc. Nudes, figure studies, children, animals, mythical and religious works, more. New volume in Dover Art Library affords insight into mastery of proportion, anatomy, perspective, shading, contrast. Essential for artists, museum-goers.

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