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About the book
  • Published: 31 October 2012
  • ISBN: 9781446418833
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 384

Michelangelo And The Pope's Ceiling

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.

  • Pub date: 31 October 2012
  • ISBN: 9781446418833
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 384

About the Author

Ross King

Ross King is the author of the highly praised Michelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling and Brunelleschi's Dome, a celebrated account of how the Renaissance architect Brunelleschi constructed the dome of Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence. He has also written two novels, Domino and Ex Libris. He lives in Oxford.

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Praise for Michelangelo And The Pope's Ceiling

“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”

The Times

“A narrative that never falls back on exaggeration or deviates from the facts”

Sunday Times

“We learn an enormous amount by reading this book; King's grasp of and research into the period seem all-encompassing”


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