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The Life of Michelangelo Paperback – 1 Jul 2006

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Product details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Pallas Athene (1 July 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1843680122
  • ISBN-13: 978-1843680123
  • Product Dimensions: 11.4 x 1 x 15.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 291,148 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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"Recommended." --"Choice"

About the Author

Ascanio Condivi (c. 1525-1574), from the Marchigian town of Ripatransone, was a moderately talented painter, sculptor and architect, remembered today chiefly for this biography of his friend Michelangelo. This edition of Condivi's Life is introduced by Charles Robertson, who teaches in the History of Art Department of Oxford Brookes University and has published a number of studies on Italian Renaissance art and architecture. Judgement Call, his book on Michelangelo's Last Judgement, will be published by Pallas Athene in 2006.

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The 'official' life, written by a friend and contemporary. Slightly knuckling the forehead in places but a good read and with plenty of fodder told as a friend would tell it. Vasari is the other author of a biography but it wasn't viewed in such a good light, though I admit to not having read it. This is simple, straightforward and well illustrated.
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20 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Rev on 9 May 2001
Format: Paperback
Although, there are thousands of books written on michelangelo, what prompted me to buy this one was that firstly, it was written by someone who had known, and had actually talked to michelanagleo. And secondly, because as, condivi himself says, most authors on the subject seem to simply be using michelangelo as a backdrop for their descriptive and almost poetic writing, trying rather to impress us with their literary skills then offer information, which is quite unfair as it often draws your attention away from michelangelo and also presses unwanted OPINIONS upon your mind. Opinions. Michelangelo has over the ages been subjected to numerous stereotypes and even prejudices. Indeed some, who have neither properly understood him nor study him extensively, have gone so far to claim he was a homosexual, which I can tell you is most untrue and unfair. So you see it was a FACTUAL book that I was interested in when I stared browsing. Well, what I have found is exactly that. Condivi has sought to tell us of interesting and often amusing events involving michelangelo (and not all involving his art) aswell as telling us about his various works, techniques and so on. It is easy reading and very enjoyable and I reccommend it to anyone with a particular interest in michelangelo, though not really for those interested mainly in the renaissance as a whole. It was, you should know, written slightly under michelangelo's influence and indeed some have called it a semi auto-biography but still, if you like michelangelo, buy it at once. Its a great read and a fascinating account of the (in my OPINION) greatest artist to ever set foot upon the earth.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 7 reviews
49 of 52 people found the following review helpful
This is a must read for anyone interested in Michelangelo. 18 Nov. 1999
By Chris Goedert - Published on
Format: Paperback
Condivi's account of the life of Michelangelo Buonarroti is a wonderful resource for fascinating stories on the artist as well as an incite into the artist himself. It is repetitious of Vasari's account of Michelangelo in the Lives of the Artists; consequently both sources complement each other well. It is important to realise that Condivi was an apprentice to Michelangelo and that he wrote this biography while Michelangelo was still alive. While the artist may have been looking over Condivi's shoulder while he wrote the text, it is still very useful - especially in placing the artist in the context of the time. The book shows the interaction between Michelangelo and his patrons - Lorenzo d' Medici, Pope Julius II, Soderini - and countless other fascinating people. After reading Michelangelo's letters, this should be one of the first sources cited to get a feel for the artist as, not only an artist, but a person.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
A Must Read 19 Nov. 2009
By Amadeus - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Biographies of Michelangelo have been written and rewritten by countless scholars up to this very day. If you want to get away from all the revisionist histories and psuedo-psychological mumbo-jumbo and read a bio written by someone who knew Michelangelo personally (Condivi was a student of the master's) then you simply must buy this book. It is on the short side, but no other biographer was this close to the man himself. Even Giorgio Vasari, the other contemporary Michelangelo biographer, rewrote large portions of his "Life of Michelangelo" to include details from Condivi's account. If you are at all interested in Michelangelo's life or art, this is the best place to start. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
14 of 18 people found the following review helpful
Mixed feelings... 2 Nov. 2007
By David A. Thomas - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
/The Life of Michelangelo/ by Ascanio Condivi is a classic, written by an associate of Michelangelo at his request during the master's lifetime. As such, it is essential reading for Michelangelo scholars and even university-level students seeking a period, primary source on the subject. However, the nature of the work means that it is tendentious and inspirational rather than rigorous. In the end, it does not contain the kind of information needed for serious research, especially if one is looking for one or two works that combine comprehensive biographical study and reproductions of Michelangelo's work.

Though binding quality is high and charming, this book is very small--merely several inches by several inches--and thin. It is short on reliable information (again, other than its roots in the period) and on examples of Michelangelo's work, both in quantity and in presentation (a 4X5 inch book hardly provides the format necessary for displaying the panoramas of the Sistine Chapel and the Pieta).
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Thank you 15 Oct. 2009
By Paula Cagli - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Condvi's biography of Michelangelo is a necessity for anyone studying the artist beyond a superficial level. I first looked for it in Italian in Rome. It is presently out of print there, but the shop attendant told me that it had been recently translated in English and printed by Penn State University. So I searched for it in the U.S. this summer but I couldn't find it in the bookshops there. either. I was so thankful to for giving me a way to purchase this beautiful, new and scholarly version.
Very cool 9 April 2014
By Rev - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book for class as a requirement. It is really neat to have a real time perspective of Michelangelo's life during the Renaissance. Is it entirely accurate? For the sake of making Michelangelo appear like a demi-god, sure. It's a good read though. Well translated and easy to read.
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