Michelangelo: His Epic Life

(by Martin Gayford)

Straightfoward but intelligent and informed biography of the world’s greatest visual artist, well sourced and well imagined.

Even when he ran out of puff, money or interest, he still managed to do great things; e.g. his incomplete (although officially deemed finished after 45 years of tinkering) tomb of Julius II, with its magnificent centrepiece of Moses.


Ridiculously prolific even though he could be a right sod in negotiating and delivering his famous services, as multi-talented as his rival Leonardo, as contradictory as all men, Michelangelo is still “the one to beat”.

“And who is He that sculptured in huge stone, 
Sitteth a giant, where no works arrive 
Of straining Art, and hath so prompt and live 
The lips, I hasten to their very tone? 
Moses is He—Ay, that makes clearly known 
The chin’s thick boast, and brow’s prerogative 
Of double ray; so did the mountain give 
Back to the world that visage, God was grown 
Great part of! Such was he when he suspended 
Round him the sounding and vast waters; such 
When he shut sea on sea o’er Mizraim. 
And ye, his hordes, a vile calf raised, and bended 
The knee? This Image had ye raised, not much 
Had been your error in adoring Him.”

[Robert Browning, concerning Michelangelo’s “Moses” (above)] [Incidentally, it was reported in early 2015 that two bronzes of men riding on the backs of panthers have been attributed to M. Buonarroti by experts – whilst Michelangelo famously declined to sign his work with one or two equally famous exceptions, TVC doubts these pieces are his work – they look like something done by a 16th Century Jeff Koons.]
(Portrait of the author by David Hockney)

(Portrait of the author by David Hockney)


1 Comment

Leave a comment...

While your email address is required to post a comment, it will NOT be published.

Leave a Reply

© Copyright 2014 The Varnished Culture All Rights Reserved. TVC Disclaimer. Site by KWD&D.