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Michelangelo's Mountain: The Quest For Perfection in the Marble Quarries of Carrara
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Michelangelo's Mountain: The Quest For Perfection in the Marble Quarries of Carrara

3.7 of 5 stars 3.70  ·  rating details  ·  30 ratings  ·  6 reviews
No artist looms so large in Western consciousness and culture as Michelangelo Buonarroti, the most celebrated sculptor of all time. And no place on earth provides a stone so capable of simulating the warmth and vitality of human flesh and incarnating the genius of a Michelangelo as the statuario of Carrara, the storied marble mecca at Tuscany's northwest corner. It was the ...more
ebook, 368 pages
Published November 1st 2007 by Atria Books (first published 2005)
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Scigliano, Eric. MICHELANGELO’S MOUNTAIN: The Quest for Perfection in the Marble Quarries of Carrara. (2005). ****. As you might suspect, this is both the story of marble and the story of Michelangelo. In this treatise, the author explores the minerology of marble and what makes that marble from the Carrara region so much better than marble from other areas. He also takes the time to tell us about the people of Carrara, the quarriers that have done that work for hundreds of years; their characte ...more
"...the closer you see paintings approach good sculpture, the better they will be; and the more sculptures will approach paintings, the worse you will hold them to be."

Michelangelo was obviously scultore, the Sistine Chapel not withstanding. This book covers the whole spectrum vis-a-vis this great Renaissance artist, from his personal life to his works to his obsession with the perfect block of marble. Michelangelo felt the only place he could find the perfect stone was in the quarries of Carrar
Margaret Sankey
More than you ever wanted to know about the peculiar characteristics of Carrera marble--it is fine grained and gives a pallor and shine that the Romans liked, but not the Greeks, who painted their statues, really good quarrymen are ambidextrous (as Michaelangelo was, and might have learned from them), it is located in a place that caused Florence no end of diplomatic trouble for the Medici to keep a steady supply, modern Tuscan quarry workers haven't been visited by the state regulatory agency s ...more
For sculptors and anyone who has an appreciation for sculpture this read is for you! And, if you want to know about one of the greatest artists of all time and how he selected marble to create his renowned works of fine art then go forward and get this book. I learned things about how difficult it was for Michelangelo to select the best possible marbles he used to create his fine art. The book revealed many of the challenges the artist encountered in the field, with political, social and religio ...more
It has taken me two months to read it all. This is a book on two titans, a man and a town.

The man is Michelangelo, the greatest sculptor in western civilization after the Greeks. The town is my birth place, Carrara, with her epic fight to keep a native anarchist nature intact along the whirlpools of history.

What is their link? Marble.

The prose is incisive and elegant (with a few typos, especially when he quotes italian words), at times a bit too detailed for my taste. But, in a world of dwarf
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“Ambivalence and contradiction energize nearly every figure Michaelangelo carved, from the adolescent Madonna of the Stairs onward...But the four allegories atop the sarcophagi raise them to a symphonic crescendo. Each is a battleground of conflicting emotions and motives, in which will and paralysis battle for supremacy.” 0 likes
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