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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
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  • 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.

36 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.

9 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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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.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

sistine chapel

I really enjoyed this book, as a historic novel it was well written and enjoyable. It made me want to go back to Italy to see the Sistine chapel again!!

1 person 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.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    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.

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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.

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Historical and entertaining

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

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    5 out of 5 stars

A wonderful summary of an art treasure.

If you’re heading to Rome to see this work, or you’ve been there already this book will help you appreciate Michelangelo’s artwork that you’ll only be able to spend a short time with. And if you love art and history, but have never been to Rome, this may inspire your journey!

Enjoy and buon viaggio!

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    4 out of 5 stars

Interesting

More politics and peppery than about the artist himself, but it was pretty good. Learned a bunch of stuff anyway. Good read. May look for more by the author.