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Il Gigante: Michelangelo, Florence and the David, 1492-1504 Paperback – 7 Jul 2003

2.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Headline Review; New edition edition (7 July 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0747235953
  • ISBN-13: 978-0747235958
  • Product Dimensions: 19.4 x 12.8 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,112,771 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Amazon Review

Anton Gill's Il Gigante: Michelangelo, Florence and the "David", 1492-1504 retells the story of the politically volatile and artistically vibrant city of Florence at the turn of the 16th century. The book covers the period "between the death of Lorenzo de' Medici in April 1492 through to the placing of Michelangelo's early masterpiece of sculpture, his David, in the Piazza della Signoria in summer, 1504". However, although the second half of the book focuses more closely on Michelangelo's artistic genius and the creation of the David, Gill's general aim is to re-create the artistic spirit of Florence as the epicentre of the Renaissance, "an age of dawning rationalism", and personified in the art of Botticelli, Leonardo and, of course, Michelangelo.

Gill has a good feeling for the political sweep of the period, and breezes through Medici rule, the rise of Savonarola, the Borgia to tell a story of papal corruption and political instability, which attempts to locate Michelangelo himself in the midst of a rapidly changing world. However, this is an old story, of both the Renaissance and Michelangelo. Even as an introduction to both the period and the artists, Il Gigante is breathtakingly general, with absolutely no concern with or reference towards the recent generations of classic books written on Florentine politics and art. As a result, Gill's story loses sight of Michelangelo's remarkable statue, which could do with a readable new study of its origins and creation. Sadly Gill's book does not achieve this. It is old-fashioned and ill informed, even for a reader new to the topic. --Jerry Brotton --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"There is certainly nothing rushed about this excellent account of the world's greatest sculptor... Through Gill's sensitive and accessible reading of the David in particular we can perhaps feel a little closer to [Michelangelo]... It would be well-deserved if this book is as successful as those by [Dava] Sobel and [Ross] King - Gill is a perceptive and accessible critic"
- "Sunday Herald"
"A few pages into Anton Gill's new book and any readers who have never seen a Renaissance painting or sculpture will be packing their bags and heading for Italy. Not a page goes by without the excitement and drama of this period catching at your imagination... A compelling story that is well told."
- "Country Living"
"Gill's project may be ambitious, but his style and approach are aimed firmly at the general reader. In this he succeeds admirably and as an introduction to the Italian Renaissance "Il Gigante" could hardly be bettered."
- "Daily Mail"


There is certainly nothing rushed about this excellent account of the world's greatest sculptor... Through Gill's sensitive and accessible reading of the David in particular we can perhaps feel a little closer to [Michelangelo]... It would be well-deserved if this book is as successful as those by [Dava] Sobel and [Ross] King - Gill is a perceptive and accessible critic

- "Sunday Herald"

A few pages into Anton Gill's new book and any readers who have never seen a Renaissance painting or sculpture will be packing their bags and heading for Italy. Not a page goes by without the excitement and drama of this period catching at your imagination... A compelling story that is well told.

- "Country Living"

Gill's project may be ambitious, but his style and approach are aimed firmly at the general reader. In this he succeeds admirably and as an introduction to the Italian Renaissance "Il Gigante" could hardly be bettered.

- "Daily Mail"

There is certainly nothing rushed about this excellent account of the world's greatest sculptor... Through Gill's sensitive and accessible reading of the David in particular we can perhaps feel a little closer to [Michelangelo]... It would be well-deserved if this book is as successful as those by [Dava] Sobel and [Ross] King - Gill is a perceptive and accessible critic "Sunday Herald"

A few pages into Anton Gill's new book and any readers who have never seen a Renaissance painting or sculpture will be packing their bags and heading for Italy. Not a page goes by without the excitement and drama of this period catching at your imagination... A compelling story that is well told. "Country Living"

Gill's project may be ambitious, but his style and approach are aimed firmly at the general reader. In this he succeeds admirably and as an introduction to the Italian Renaissance "Il Gigante" could hardly be bettered. "Daily Mail"" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This book is hugely disappointing.
Far too much of the text is taken up by a rather indifferent potted history of wars, politics, alliances as the different parties struggled for power in Italy, and Florence in particular.
Eventually , in the latter third of the book, you get closer to the purported subject of Il Gigante. Even then, what you learn from this book is measurably less than you would get from any art book dealing with Florentine art, and miles behind anything in a book specific to Michelangelo's sculpture.
There are 8 pages of fairly ordinary colour plates - about the level of picture postcards from the Uffizzi - and the back and white pictures are poorly reproduced.
Before buying this book, look at the Amazon " in-house" review. I wish that I had done so before wasting my money on this
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Format: Hardcover
I've seen a few bad reviews of this book, although I enjoyed it. I think it's just badly titled. If you only want to read about Michelangelo's David, then you'll find 95% of the book very dull indeed, so I can understand some people's disappointment. However, if, like me, you're interested in the Florentine Renaissance as a whole and enjoy reading about the background, people and politics of that time, then you'll probably really like it.
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