MichelangeloA Tormented Life
A Tormented Life
This major new biography recounts the extraordinary life of one of the most creative figures in Western culture, weaving together the multiple threads of Michelangelo's life and times with a brilliant analysis of his greatest works. The author retraces Michelangelo's journey from Rome to Florence, explores his changing religious views and examines the complicated politics of patronage in Renaissance Italy. The psychological portrait of Michelangelo is constantly foregrounded, depicting with great conviction a tormented man, solitary and avaricious, burdened with repressed homosexuality and a surplus of creative enthusiasm. Michelangelo's acts of self-representation and his pivotal role in constructing his own myth are compellingly unveiled.

Antonio Forcellino is one of the world's leading authorities on Michelangelo and an expert art historian and restorer. He has been involved in the restoration of numerous masterpieces, including Michelangelo's Moses. He combines his firsthand knowledge of Michelangelo's work with a lively literary style to draw the reader into the very heart of Michelangelo's genius.
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From Wiley.com

More Info
  • October 2011
  • 300 pages
  • 153 x 224 mm / 6 x 9 in
Available Formats
  • Paperback $19.95
  • 9780745640068
Table of Contents

List of Figures


Chapter One – Childhood

Chapter Two – The Youthful Genius

Chapter Three – At the Court of Julius II

Chapter Four – Back and forth between Rome and


Chapter Five – At the call of the Medicis

Chapter Six – Michelangelo’s glasses

Chapter Seven – The Pauline Chapel

Chapter Eight – No more illusions



About the Author
Antonio Forcellino is an Art Historian and Restorer.
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"Michelangelo lived in interesting times (French invasions; the Reformation) and Forcellino displays an excellent grasp of the political and religious turmoil of the period and, as an art historian-restorer, is as eloquent talking about techniques as he is about composition and iconography."
The Observer

"What sets this biography apart is that its author is not merely a historian but an art restorer as well, giving him deep insight into materials and techniques that were such a major part of Michelangelo's life. The author is appealingly novelistic in his portrayal of the artist's quotidian life, lending a three dimensionality to what could otherwise be a dry recital of dates and artworks."
History Wire

"A breath-taking and even thrilling story offering much that is brand new in an obviously crowded field ... these hands-on descriptions of the colors of the paint, the surfaces, the details of sculpture help us to see Michelangelo in a new and more informed manner."
California Literary Review

"Authoritative on the life of Michelangelo."
Irish Examiner

"In this brilliant new biography by art historian and restorer Antonio Forcellino the facts are disentagled from the myths."
Yorkshire Evening Post

"[Forcellino] succeeds in revealing why Michelangelo still stands head-and-shoulders above his peers (and certainly his twenty-first century successors)."

"Antonio Forcellino has written Michelangelo's biography as a fascinating novel, but at the same time, it is carefully and well documented by original source material. A thoroughly enjoyable and recommendable read."
European Reveiw of History

"Combining a biographer's insight with a conservator's knowledge of materials and techniques, Antonio Forcellino has written an engaging study of the world's most famous sculptor, painter, and architect."
William Wallace, Washington University

"Written as fluently as a novel, Forcellino's gripping narrative combines new research on Michelangelo's life and vivid quotations from his letters with a sharp sense of the artistic challenges to which he responded and a restorer's close attention to technical detail."
Peter Burke, University of Cambridge

"From the very first pages, this fascinating biography draws us into the heart of the life of the greatest artist of post-Antiquity, a life of privilege which nevertheless had its share of burden and tragedy. As an art historian, Antonio Forcellino is endowed with a fresher, sharper, more professional and livelier outlook than most learned scholars. From his personal experience, he knows the work on the scaffolding, regardless of the height or season, as well as the techniques of the scalpel and the fresco, the study of the human body and the endless negotiations with clients of differing temperaments and moods. At the same time, his fluent and lively account ably evokes Michelangelo's political, economic and personal background, whilst penetrating the secrets of Michelangelo's religiousness: this - occasionally desperate - dialogue with the contradictory thought of contemporary theology and this passionate search for a direct relationship with God which are indispensable keys to the understanding of his works."
Christoph Luitpold Frommel, University of Rome

"Based on sources of the highest quality, this portrait of a man obsessed with art, at once savage and yet fragile, does away with the cobwebs that have gathered over time. Forcellino - who restored Michelangelo's Moses - knows every inch of the marble with which the artist battled."
Corriere della Sera

"With striking literary talent, Antonio Forcellino - one of the greatest art historians and restorers in Europe - brings the man and his times to life."
La Gazetta del Mezzogiorno

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