Michelangelo, God's Architect: The Story of His Final Years and Greatest Masterpiece
By William E. Wallace
Published in November 2019
Thibault’s Score: 4/5
This book covers the twilight years of Michelangelo’s life, when he is the architect of St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican.
Michelangelo was a crotchety old man who left behind dozens of completely unfinished works. He was extremely superstitious, having been part of Girolamo Savonarola’s congregation during his youth. He worried that he would die too early before St. Peter's Basilica would be completed, and that this would curse him to hell. His fears would be proven right - it wouldn’t be completed for another 60 years after his death.
William E. Wallace is one of the world’s foremost Michelangelo historians. Often, the more pedigreed a historian is, the more pedantic their writing becomes. Luckily, Wallace is an exception. He has the courage to use his imagination to paint a vivid life-like picture of the daily life of Michelangelo during this period.
Writing about a niche topic in the Renaissance can be a little bit hard - there is a constant struggle in between including too much and too little context. I have read dozens of books about the period at this point, and found it very easy to follow. However, I worry that readers who are less familiar with the period might, at times, have difficulty following along.
Another added bonus: the audiobook is masterfully produced.
I highly recommend Michelangelo, God's Architect to anyone interested in learning more about Renaissance art history. It isn’t for everyone
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