In the most important biography of Michelangelo to appear in modern times, John T. Spike illuminates heretofore unrevealed aspects of Michelangelo’s complex personality through examinations of the Pietà, the David, the artist’s struggle with Leonardo da Vinci for artistic mastery, and an uneasy relationship with Pope Julius II. Over the long arc of his artistic development, Michelangelo was involved in the most troubling controversies of his age, an eyewitness to the bonfires of the vanities, the Rome of the Borgias, the siege of Florence, and the Inquisition’s burning of heretics at the stake. In this long-awaited reinterpretation of the artist’s early life and career, Spike re-creates Michelangelo’s cities, Florence and Rome, animating their daily life with sketches of Lorenzo the Magnificent, Leonardo, Savonarola, Raphael, and Machiavelli.
John T. Spike, critic, curator, and art historian, is the author of more than 20 culturally significant books on Renaissance, Baroque, and contemporary art. He lives in Florence, Italy, and is currently Distinguished Scholar in Residence at the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia.
It’s the best life of Michelangelo I’ve read.
Everett Fahy, The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Promises more intrigue than the best adventure novel.