The Last Judgment: Michelangelo and the Death of the Renaissance
Painted on the altar wall of the Sistine Chapel, 28 years after Michelangelo completed the glorious and hopeful ceiling, The Last Judgment is full of stark images depicting the End of Days. Here, James Connor uncovers the secrets behind the fresco, and details the engrossing stories of conspiring kings, plotting popes, and murderous rivalries between noble families who wer...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published August 3rd 2010 by Palgrave Macmillan
(first published June 23rd 2009)
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A fascinating account of the political landscape of early 16th century Italy that led to the creation of Michelangelo's "Last Judgment" on the altar wall of the Sistine Chapel. Power struggles often led to bloody fighting among powerful estates such as the Medici, the papacy, and nations such as France and Spain. The sack of Rome was a seminal event in Michelangelo's life and the author posits that it led directly to his choice of imagery in depicting the end of times in such a brutal way. The b...more
Michelangelo's masterpiece in the Sistine Chapel is a must see. And if you can read this book before going, you will appreciate its history and power even more. I didn't read it before seeing The Last Judgment, but it makes me want to run back now. It is a dense history of religion and politics and if you are not a fan of renaissance papal struggles, this may be tough. Yet, if you always wanted to appreciate the nuances of politial and religious power and how art can be a chip in that game, this...more
James A. Connor is the author of Kepler's Witch: An Astronomer's Discovery of Cosmic Order Amid Religious War, Political Intrigue, and the Heresy Trial of His Mother and Silent Fire: Bringing the Spirituality of Silence to Everyday Life. A former Jesuit priest, Connor is professor of English at Kean University in Union, New Jersey; he has also held teaching posts at St. Louis University and Gonzag...moreMore about James A. Connor...