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Michelangelo: His Epic Life [Hardcover]

Martin Gayford
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
RRP: 30.00
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Book Description

7 Nov 2013

A new biography of Michelangelo by Martin Gayford, the acclaimed author of Constable in Love and The Yellow House.

There was an epic sweep to Michelangelo's life. At 31 he was considered the finest artist in Italy, perhaps the world; long before he died at almost 90 he was widely believed to be the greatest sculptor or painter who had ever lived (and, by his enemies, to be an arrogant, uncouth, swindling miser). For decade after decade, he worked near the dynamic centre of events: the vortex at which European history was changing from Renaissance to Counter Reformation. Few of his works - including the huge frescoes of the Sistine Chapel Ceiling, the marble giant David and the Last Judgment - were small or easy to accomplish. Like a hero of classical mythology - such as Hercules, whose statue Michelangelo carved in his youth - he was subject to constant trials and labours. In Michelangelo Martin Gayford describes what it felt like to be Michelangelo Buonarroti, and how he transformed forever our notion of what an artist could be.

'An absorbing book, beautifully told and with the writer fully in command of a huge body of research' Philip Hensher, Mail on Sunday

'It is a measure of [Michelangelo's] magnitude, and Gayford's skill in capturing it, that you finish this book wishing that Michelangelo had lived longer and created more' Rachel Spence, FT

'One of our most distinguished writers on what makes modern artists tick . . . It is very difficult to cut through the thicket of generations of scholarship and say anything new about David, the Sistine Chapel, The Last Judgement, the Basilica of St Peter's or many of Michelangelo's other masterpieces, but Gayford manages to do so by encouraging us to think - and look - at both the obvious and the overlooked' Sunday Telegraph

'Only the most ambitious biographer can take on the talent of Michelangelo Buonarroti' The Times

Martin Gayford has been art critic of the Spectator and the Sunday Telegraph. He is currently Chief European art critic for Bloomberg. Among his publications are: The Yellow House: Van Gogh, Gauguin and Nine Turbulent Weeks in Arles, The Penguin Book of Art Writing, of which he was co-editor, Man with a Blue Scarf: On Sitting for a Portrait by Lucian Freud, and contributions to many catalogues. He lives in Cambridge with his wife and two children.


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 688 pages
  • Publisher: Fig Tree (7 Nov 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1905490542
  • ISBN-13: 978-1905490547
  • Product Dimensions: 23.8 x 15.8 x 5.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 41,203 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

An absorbing book, beautifully told and with the writer fully in command of a huge body of research (Philip Hensher Mail on Sunday)

One of our most distinguished writers on what makes modern artists tick . . . It is very difficult to cut through the thicket of generations of scholarship and say anything new about David, the Sistine Chapel, The Last Judgement, the Basilica of St Peter's or many of Michelangelo's other masterpieces, but Gayford manages to do so by encouraging us to think - and look - at both the obvious and the overlooked (Sunday Telegraph)

It is a measure of [Michelangelo's] magnitude, and Gayford's skill in capturing it, that you finish this book wishing that Michelangelo had lived longer and created more (Rachel Spence FT)

Only the most ambitious biographer can take on the talent of Michelangelo Buonarroti (The Times)

About the Author

Martin Gayford has been art critic of the Spectator and the Sunday Telegraph. He is currently Chief European art critic for Bloomberg. Among his publications are: A Bigger Message: Conversations with David Hockney, Man with a Blue Scarf: On Sitting for a Portrait by Lucian Freud, Constable in Love: Love, Landscape, Money and the Making of a Great Painter, The Yellow House: Van Gogh, Gauguin and Nine Turbulent Weeks in Arles, The Penguin Book of Art Writing, of which he was co-editor, and contributions to many catalogues. He lives in Cambridge with his wife and two children.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Scholarly, yet eminently readable 24 Mar 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This latest biography of Michelangelo is well-written and highly accessible to the common reader. Though there are not a whole lot of surprises here, it is well-researched. Gayford has done his homework, both with the works of art themselves and attendant secondary scholarship. Having read his "Man with a Blue Scarf" I have now become a fan. I plan to read the rest of his oeuvre.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Micahelangelo 9 Jan 2014
By D
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
A superb book that is a joy to read!! Packed with information and written in a very readable style Highly recommended
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant and entertaining 6 May 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This a wonderful read. Michelangelo seemed an unapproachable god-like figure before I read this book but now I see the real warm human being walking through the streets of Florence and Rome facing frustration after frustration but over coming the annoyances of popes and princes with his wonderful genius. All he wanted was to chisel the figues out of the marble and to prove the status of his rather difficult family . Well just read it and you won't be able to put it d own!p
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5.0 out of 5 stars brillliant! 5 Jun 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
What a magical book! Surely no one can ever write about Michalangelo's life
after this book. I find it hard to express the pleasure it has given me.
And will give me in the future - I will most certainly read it again.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great book 11 Feb 2014
By Phil
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Easy reading for a life story of a great artist because of the authors inside knowledge on the subject. Enjoyed it
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