Michelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling

  • by Ross King
  • Narrated by Alan Sklar
  • 7 hrs and 29 mins
  • Abridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

In 1508, despite strong advice to the contrary, the powerful Pope Julius II commissioned Michelangelo Buonarroti to paint the ceiling of the newly restored Sistine Chapel in Rome. During the four extraordinary years that Michelangelo spent laboring over the 12,000 square foot ceiling, power politics and personal rivalries swirled around him. He battled ill health, financial and family difficulties, inadequate knowledge of the art of fresco, and the Pope's impatience - a history that is more compelling than most novels. The author presents a magnificent tapestry of day-to-day life for the artist, the upheaval of early 16th-century Italy, as well as uncommon insight into the intersection of art and history. In the end, Michelangelo produced one of the world's most renowned artistic wonders.


What the Critics Say

"King chronicles Michelangelo's aesthetic decisions and clarion triumphs over myriad forms of adversity with expertise and contagious enthusiasm." (Booklist)
"King's historical account...is splendid, thorough, and detailed. Skylar's narration is perfect for the project. His lively and expressive reading add a realistic edge to a centuries-old tale." (Publishers Weekly)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

History brought to life!

This is no dry history lesson! I became so engrossed with the details of Michelangelo's struggle to paint the Sistine Chapel that I bought an illustrated book and studied the paintings as I listened, following Michelangelo's four-year trek across the ceiling from one end to the other. Fascinating.
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- Anne


I bought this book because we're headed to Rome soon, and I wanted some background on what's considered to be one of the high water marks of artistic acheivement. Absolutely fascinating. As 1 other reviewer mentioned, it would be a good idea to have recent full-color photos of the chapel to refer to while listening.

It was amazing to realize that Michelangelo painted the Sistine Chapel while the Church was at war with the Venitians, the French, and various other city-states in Italy. This book will definately enhance our upcoming visit.
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- Sean

Book Details

  • Release Date: 04-18-2003
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.