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Michelangelo: The Artist, the Man and his Times
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Michelangelo: The Artist, the Man and his Times

3.78 of 5 stars 3.78  ·  rating details  ·  51 ratings  ·  11 reviews
In this vividly written biography, William E. Wallace offers a substantially new view of Michelangelo.
Hardcover, 428 pages
Published October 12th 2009 by Cambridge University Press (first published October 20th 1998)
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This ended up being just okay for me. It's certainly well-researched, careful, sober and authoritative, so that's nice. But I have two issues, both of which are sorta bigger than just this book:

1) I only read this one book about Michelangelo, which means it's hard for me to know whether Wallace's take is entirely the right one. I have no dissenting opinion, you know? In this case, my uncertainty is about Michelangelo's homosexuality. From what I've heard (including from Michelangelo himself, in
Michelangelo was a true Renaissance Man. This book follows him through out his life, with documented letters he wrote to family and friends. He was not as crabby as other biographers made him out to be. He was a loving friend and family man, even though his family depended on him for their support.

This book follows him through all stages of his artistic careers . He was a sculptor, painter, poet,architect, building engineer, structural engineer and his own contractor.

I wish the book had more ph
Jonathan Lopez
William Wallace, a professor of art history at Washington University in St. Louis, is widely considered America’s preeminent authority on Michelangelo. In an array of scholarly books and articles written over the past 20 years, he has argued for a fundamental reassessment of the great Renaissance master’s personal and professional character. Through Wallace’s meticulously documented research and analysis, Michelangelo has emerged not as the isolated, brooding loner of legend, but as an entrepren ...more
Oscar Wilde once said, "I think a man should invent his own myth." One man for whom it could be said that he did this, at least indirectly through his contributions, is Michelangelo. He was born on March 6, 1475, in Caprese, Italy to a family of moderate means in the banking business. He became an apprentice to a painter before studying in the sculpture gardens of the powerful Medici family. What followed was a remarkable career as an artist in the Italian Renaissance, recognized in his own time ...more
Having recently taken Wallace’s Teaching Company course on Michelangelo, I welcomed reading his new biography. In fact, the book paralleled the course so closely that it ended up being a helpful review and reprise of the course material, clarifying and amplifying much of the course. Wallace has an engaging and conversational style, nonetheless basing his work solidly on original sources, particularly Michelangelo’s voluminous correspondence. His aim is to present Michelangelo as a man, delving i ...more
When most art history books are an analysis of the artist's work and the biography is pushed along only by each piece, this book was mostly about Michelangelo's life outside his studio(as the title suggests). After years of art history classes, looking at the man, Michelangelo, beyond the context of his works was refreshing, as I already know quite a lot aesthetically about his pieces. Most of the book is generated from Michelangelo's own writings, his poetry, records, and letters to and from fa ...more
In truth I am not really sure who the book is for - the average reader or the scholar?

First of all, the chapter on Michelangelo's typical week was a ground-breaking article of the same title about two decades (or more) ago, and the article (original source) can easily be found on JSTOR. So, why should the scholar use the book's chapter (a secondary source) when the article is available?

Secondly, the narrative assumes the reader knows about the artist's life already. Hence the book's focus on Mi
Julie H. Ferguson
Somewhat of a disappointment. The first page made me believe this book was going to be creative nonfiction. I was wrong, which led to my let-down.
It needs a good edit too and Cambridge University Press should be ashamed at the mistakes that were left.
The other complaint I have is the illustrations -- far too few given the subject of the biography; they were all collected at the front of the book; and they were in black and white. Cheap, I'd say.

Despite all those whinges, I still finished the boo
Fantastically intricate read.
This is written by an art scholar at Washington Universuty. It reads like a Master's thesis.. So, it is rather dry. That being said, it really gives me a great understanding of what it meant to be a sculpture back inthe Renaissance times. And, I learned that he was an incredible poet!
I guess I just don't like non-fiction. Could not finish the book.
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