• Michelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling

  • By: Ross King
  • Narrated by: Alan Sklar
  • Length: 7 hrs and 25 mins
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (1,074 ratings)

Access a growing selection of included Audible Originals, audiobooks, and podcasts.
You will get an email reminder before your trial ends.
Audible Plus auto-renews for $7.95/mo after 30 days. Upgrade or cancel anytime.
Michelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling  By  cover art

Michelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling

By: Ross King
Narrated by: Alan Sklar
Try for $0.00

$7.95 a month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

Buy for $17.12

Buy for $17.12

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's summary

In 1508, despite strong advice to the contrary, the powerful Pope Julius II commissioned Michelangelo Buonarroti to paint the ceiling of the newly restored Sistine Chapel in Rome. During the four extraordinary years that Michelangelo spent laboring over the 12,000 square foot ceiling, power politics and personal rivalries swirled around him. He battled ill health, financial and family difficulties, inadequate knowledge of the art of fresco, and the Pope's impatience - a history that is more compelling than most novels. The author presents a magnificent tapestry of day-to-day life for the artist, the upheaval of early 16th-century Italy, as well as uncommon insight into the intersection of art and history. In the end, Michelangelo produced one of the world's most renowned artistic wonders.

©2002 Ross King (P)2003 The Audio Partners Publishing Corp.

Critic reviews

"King chronicles Michelangelo's aesthetic decisions and clarion triumphs over myriad forms of adversity with expertise and contagious enthusiasm." ( Booklist)
"King's historical account...is splendid, thorough, and detailed. Skylar's narration is perfect for the project. His lively and expressive reading add a realistic edge to a centuries-old tale." ( Publishers Weekly)

What listeners say about Michelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling

Average customer ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    625
  • 4 Stars
    293
  • 3 Stars
    126
  • 2 Stars
    24
  • 1 Stars
    6
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    581
  • 4 Stars
    188
  • 3 Stars
    53
  • 2 Stars
    11
  • 1 Stars
    2
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    540
  • 4 Stars
    197
  • 3 Stars
    84
  • 2 Stars
    7
  • 1 Stars
    4

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

History brought to life!

This is no dry history lesson! I became so engrossed with the details of Michelangelo's struggle to paint the Sistine Chapel that I bought an illustrated book and studied the paintings as I listened, following Michelangelo's four-year trek across the ceiling from one end to the other. Fascinating.

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

41 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Fantastic

I bought this book because we're headed to Rome soon, and I wanted some background on what's considered to be one of the high water marks of artistic acheivement. Absolutely fascinating. As 1 other reviewer mentioned, it would be a good idea to have recent full-color photos of the chapel to refer to while listening.

It was amazing to realize that Michelangelo painted the Sistine Chapel while the Church was at war with the Venitians, the French, and various other city-states in Italy. This book will definately enhance our upcoming visit.

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

12 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Changes how you view Michelangelo and the chapel

This does a great job of not just telling the history of the chapel but layers it with the politcal history that surrounds its creation.
The narration is well done.Clear and and smooth.

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Great reading

I really loved being able to read along while I listened to the book! However, the audible thing would skip over words, lines, and sometimes even pages of words.

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

History Comes Alive

As another reviewer wrote, I wanted some background on some of the sites we plan to visit soon. I highly recommend this book for travelers to Rome and also those who enjoy historical drama. A fascinating account of art, religion, politics, family, and war. The narration was suberb.

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

This is abridged

Following along in hard copy, whole pages are missing from the audio version. Would have been nice to know upfront.

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent Story of a Masterpiece … and the Men Responsible

Narration is top notch. The relationship between the artist and his benefactor (and controversial) Pope was fascinating.

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Historical and entertaining

Appreciate the Italian pronunciation and easy style of narration! So much parallel history is a true bonus!

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Ok book, very accessible. Narrator is mismatched

The book is a good essay on the chapel project with in depth coverage of the work itself, Michelangelo's personal life as well as interesting digressions on contemporary events.

I got this book because I really (!) liked "Judgment of Paris" and like this one less. For one it is the earlier of the two and the rivalry plot is not as well fleshed out. The other because the narrator is mismatched with the text. I heard him read a XIX c. sailing memoir and his swagger was appropriate. But it brings an odd note of infantilism to this work. Anyway, the narrator is not that big of a deal in any case.

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

This is a book that needs to be read

This is probably a wonderful book to read, but it is just OK to listen to. It concerns some of the world’s greatest art by one of the world’s greatest artists. Without seeing actual photos of the works being described, though, the audiobook just isn’t as interesting as I am sure
an actual printed version would be.

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

1 person found this helpful