In 1508, Pope Julius II commissioned Michelangelo to paint the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. The thirty-three-year-old Michelangelo had very little experience of the physically and technically taxing art of fresco; and, at twelve thousand square feet, the ceiling represented one of the largest such projects ever attempted.
Nevertheless, for the next four years he and a hand-picked team of assistants laboured over the vast ceiling, making thousands of drawings and spending back-breaking hours on a scaffold fifty feet above the floor. The result was one of the greatest masterpieces of all time. This fascinating book tells the story of those four extraordinary years and paints a magnificent picture of day-to-day life on the Sistine scaffolding - and outside, in the upheaval of early sixteenth-century Rome.
After Andrew Graham-Dixon's book, I thought there must be lots more interesting information about the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. And Ross King certainly does not disappoint. He really pulls you into the story, describing Michelangelo's background, the relationship with the Pope and also with Rafael, who was at work in the Vatican (on the famous Stanze)at the same time as Michelangelo was there. A great book for everyone who wants to visit, or has visited the chapel and for everybody who is interested in Michelangelo and in Renaissance art....Continua