Michelangelo was a most improbable art genius. His mother died when he was a child and his shiftless father deposited him with a rural nursemaid, whose husband worked in a quarry. Consequently, little Michelangelo began to shape pieces of marble with his tiny hammer and chisel. At age eight, his uncle shamed his father into entering him into school, so he could at least learn to read and write. However that school was most boring to Michelangelo.
One day, in the busy commercial district of Florence, Michelangelo chanced upon the workshop of an academy for young apprentices, who were learning the craft of painting, sculpture, jewelry making and many other pursuits of art.
He switched. Michelangelo soon dominated the sculpture and fresco world and was invited to take residence in the palace of one Lorenzo Medici, the most powerful banker in all of Europe, in order to expand his private collection. Lorenzo was also the comptroller of and the chief lender to the Roman Vatican, which paid interest at 20% against future church income from all its far-flung subjects.
Every evening, after the grand supper, Lorenzo presided over what was called ‘Discussion’, where nefarious and surreptitious schemes were hatched to gain more wealth and power, which often undermined the competing interests of other wealthy families and the Vatican, which was deemed to be a mere business and not a church.
Lorenzo set up and purchased the office of Cardinal for two of his scions, who were near the same age as Michelangelo, so they could get a headstart to become a pope. Giovanni Medici became Pope Leo X, and Giulio Medici became Pope Clement VII, two of the most pompous and power / wealth mongers ever. Mingled in are Julius II, Savonarola, Martin Luther, Emperor Charles V, King Henry VIII, Leonardo Da Vinci, King Ferdinand and even Christopher Columbus, along with several wars that deposed Clement VII and resulted in the sack of Rome and Florence.
In the middle of all of this, Michelangelo created the David, the Pieta, the Ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, the Medici Tombs plus Saint Peter’s Basilica and dome. No folks, there will never be another Michelangelo. This book has over 100 grandmaster works of art and it details the little known story behind the scenes as to all of his major accomplishments. Again this work is written in a delightful, easy-read and modified feature-film format. Do not visit Rome or Florence without it.