Before reaching the tender age of thirty, Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475-1564) had already sculpted David and Pieta, two of the most famous sculptures in the entire history of art. Like fellow Florentine Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo was a shining star of the Renaissance and a genius of consummate virtuosity. Sculptor, painter, architect, and poet, he brought such an unparalleled passion and unique style to his work that his imitators spawned a movement - Mannerism - in their quest to replicate his special touch. His crown achievement, the breathtaking paintings on the altar wall and ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican, is seen by millions of visitors each year. Such was his talent that Michelangelo was considered a demigod by his contemporaries and was the subject of two biographies during his lifetime. Adoration of this remarkable man's work has only increased on the intervening centuries. Following the success of our XL title "Leonardo da Vinci", TASCHEN brings you this massive tome that explores Michelangelo's life and work in more depth and detail than ever before. The first part concentrates on the life and work of Michelangelo in text and images; then the main body of the book presents his complete paintings, sculptures, drawings, and architectural plans. Gorgeous, full page reproductions and enlarged details bring readers up close to the works. This is the definitive volume about Michelangelo for generations to come.