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Publisher's Summary

Five hundred years ago, Michelangelo began work on a painting that became one of the most famous pieces of art in the world - the Sistine Chapel ceiling. Every year millions of people come to see Michelangelo's Sistine ceiling, which is the largest fresco painting on earth in the holiest of Christianity's chapels; yet there is not one single Christian image in this vast, magnificent artwork.

The Sistine Secrets tells the fascinating story of how Michelangelo embedded messages of brotherhood, tolerance, and freethinking in his painting to encourage "fellow travelers" to challenge the repressive Roman Catholic Church of his time.

Blech and Doliner reveal what Michelangelo meant in the angelic representations that brilliantly mocked his papal patron, how he managed to sneak unorthodox heresies into his ostensibly pious portrayals, and how he was able to fulfill his lifelong ambition to bridge the wisdom of science with the strictures of faith. The Sistine Secrets unearths secrets that have remained hidden in plain sight for centuries.

©2008 Benjamin Blech and Roy Doliner (P)2017 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"Fascinating.... Benjamin Blech and Roy Doliner appear to have few equals when it comes to the history and detail of the fresco...an informative piece of work." [Manchester Evening News (UK)]

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Well-researched!

Would you listen to The Sistine Secrets again? Why?

Actually, I never listen to a book or watch a movie again. I am one of a lucky few with the ability to store that information in schema files of memory. For that reason, I retain most memory of an event, book, movie, life experience. ThIs is both a blessing and a curse.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Sistine Secrets?

The torment of Leonardo as he seeks to put what would then be called a "blasphemous" painting. He was quite skilled and sneaky in covering up any blatant, tell-tail signs!

Which character – as performed by James Cameron Stewart – was your favorite?

Leonardo, of course!

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

No, I had done research on this painting and others prior to seeing it in person. What actually made me angry was seeing it and all the extreme wealth at the vatican. Following reading Christopher Hitchen's book about Mother Theresa made me feel both lied to and cheated of a young, strict, Catholic education. VOWS OF POVERTY?!? Yeah, sure...

Any additional comments?

Be prepared to become an agnostic.