The extraordinary story behind Michelangelo's masterpiece by the author of Brunelleschi's Dome.
In 1508, Pope Julius II commissioned Michelangelo to paint the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. The thirty-three-year-old Michelangelo had very little experience of the physically and technically taxing art of fresco; and, at twelve thousand square feet, the ceiling represented one of the largest such projects ever attempted.
Nevertheless, for the next four years he and a hand-picked team of assistants laboured over the vast ceiling, making thousands of drawings and spending back-breaking hours on a scaffold fifty feet above the floor. The result was one of the greatest masterpieces of all time. This fascinating book tells the story of those four extraordinary years and paints a magnificent picture of day-to-day life on the Sistine scaffolding - and outside, in the upheaval of early sixteenth-century Rome.
“Ross King deftly stitches modern Michelangelo scholarship into his fluent and gripping narrative. The result is a delightful book that overturns many legends”
“A fascinating and carefully researched account of day-to-day life atop the Sistine scaffolding”
“A narrative that never falls back on exaggeration or deviates from the facts”
“We learn an enormous amount by reading this book; King's grasp of and research into the period seem all-encompassing”