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Michelangelo [Hardcover]

Frank Zollner , Thomas Poepper , Christof Thoenes
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

May 20 2010 Go

A glorious exploration of Michelangelo’s complete works

Before reaching the tender age of thirty, Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475-1564) had already sculpted David and Pièta, 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. His achievements as a sculptor, painter, draughtsman, and architect are unique—no artist before or after him has ever produced such a vast, multi-faceted, and wide-ranging oeuvre. Only a handful of other painters and sculptors have attained a comparable social status and enjoyed a similar artistic freedom. This is demonstrated not only by the frescoes of the Sistine Chapel but also by Michelangelo’s monumental sculptures and his unconventional architectural designs, whose forms went far beyond the accepted vocabulary of his day. 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.

The present special edition, a smaller version of TASCHEN's XL title Michelangelo, explores Michelangelo’s life and work in depth and detail. The different parts of the book concentrate on the life of Michelangelo via an extensive and copiously illustrated biographical essay and include gorgeous, full page reproductions and enlarged details that bring readers up close to the works.

This sumptuous tome also takes account, to a previously unseen extent, of Michelangelo’s more personal traits and circumstances, such as his solitary nature, his thirst for money and commissions, his miserliness, his immense wealth, and his skill as a property investor. In addition, the book tackles the controversial issue of the attribution of Michelangelo drawings, an area in which decisions continue to be steered by the interests of the art market and the major collections. This is the definitive volume about Michelangelo for generations to come.


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About the Author

Thomas Pöpper wrote his doctoral theses on 15th century Italian Renaissance sculpture. He has been a fellow of the Bibliotheca Hertziana (Rome) and has worked as a curator for contemporary art at the Schleswig-Holsteinisches Landesmuseum. He taught at the Northern Institute of Technology and at the University of Hamburg. Since 2005 he has been a lecturer of art history at Leipzig University. Pöpper is the author of a range of publications on Italian Medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque art as well as on 19th and 20th century German painting and sculpture.

Christof Thoenes studied art history in Berlin and Pavia, before completing his doctorate in Berlin. Thoenes lives in Rome, where for many years he has worked for the Bibliotheca Hertziana (Max-Planck-Institute), and is honorary professor in Hamburg. He has contributed to numerous publications on Italian art, particularly on architecture and architectural theory of the 15th to 18th centuries.

Frank Zöllner wrote his doctoral theses on artistic and architectural theory (1987) and Leonardo Da Vinci (1996). He has written numerous publications on the art and artistic theory of the Renaissance and on Paul Klee. Since 1996 he has been Professor of Renaissance and Modern Art at Leipzig University. He is also the author of TASCHEN's XL monograph on Leonardo da Vinci.


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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible Value! July 18 2011
By Pierre Gauthier TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Don't tell Amazon, but even at full price this would be an unbelievable bargain!

This oversized book includes absolutely stunning photographs of all of Michelangelo's works: sculptures, frescoes and architecture. It gives the reader a much better view of say the Sistine chapel ceiling, than if he or she looked at it in person. In fact, taking such photos must have called for much equipment and organization.

The well written and pertinent texts are essentially chronological and focus on the links between Michelangelo's life events and his artistic production. They definitely provide an excellent sequential perspective on his work but are largely silent on technical aspects. Were those huge frescoes made from full size sketches? Who were the models? How many assistants were employed and what exactly did they do? Why did Michelangelo apparently refrain from any canvas painting, contrary to Leonardo da Vinci or Raphael, his contemporaries?

Despite these shortcomings (and its sheer size and weight that make it hard to hold as you read!), this book is very strongly recommended to all, even those who do not have a particular interest in Renaissance Italian art.
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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  8 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Huge Unwieldy Beautiful Book Dec 19 2010
By Laura - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Quite a good value, especially at Amazon price or other discount. The reproductions are very high quality, and include recent photos of restored works. Lots of fold out pages of Sistine Chapel frescoes, and I am especially glad that it includes some drawings. It is not particularly complete in terms of sculpture, however, so if that is your primary interest then look elsewhere. But if you are studying the Sistine Chapel or would just like an overview, this book is fantastic.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible Value! July 18 2011
By Pierre Gauthier - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Don't tell Amazon, but even at full price this would be an unbelievable bargain!

This oversized book includes absolutely stunning photographs of all of Michelangelo's works: sculptures, frescoes and architecture. It gives the reader a much better view of say the Sistine chapel ceiling, than if he or she looked at it in person. In fact, taking such photos must have called for much equipment and organization.

The well written and pertinent texts are essentially chronological and focus on the links between Michelangelo's life events and his artistic production. They definitely provide an excellent sequential perspective on his work but are largely silent on technical aspects. Were those huge frescoes made from full size sketches? Who were the models? How many assistants were employed and what exactly did they do? Why did Michelangelo apparently refrain from any canvas painting, contrary to Leonardo da Vinci or Raphael, his contemporaries?

Despite these shortcomings (and its sheer size and weight that make it hard to hold as you read!), this book is very strongly recommended to all , even those who do not have a particular in Renaissance Italian art.
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic!!! June 15 2014
By E. Abadia - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Fantastic reproductions of this fine Master of Masters! Great book, fair price and prompt delivery. Thanks. Recommended.
I bought it for my wife: she loves it!
5.0 out of 5 stars I couldn't have a better reference book Aug. 2 2013
By John Ferguson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I liked the detailed information that the book gives.
Great close-ups of the frescoes from the Sistene Chapel ..
The book has far exceeded my expectations.
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful May 10 2013
By j.s - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The best collection of the master Michelangelo's works. Simply the best. Very big and the detail is almost as good as seeing the real thing.
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