Michelangelo: A Tormented Life
October 2011, Polity
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.
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
- This major new biography recounts the extraordinary life of one
of the most creative figures in Western culture.
- Antonio Forcellino is one of the world’s leading
authorities on Michelangelo and an expert art historian and
- This is beautifully illustrated throughout, with fascinating
detailed examinations of the major works.
- This will appeal to History of Art students as well as all art enthusiasts.
"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
"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
California Literary Review
"Authoritative on the life of Michelangelo."
"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
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
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
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