Item description for Michelangelo (XL Series) by Frank Zollner, Christof Thoenes & Thomas Popper...
Renaissance man: Michelangelo as never seen before. Before reaching the tender age of thirty, Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475-1564) had already sculpted David and Pieta, two of the most famous sculptures in the entire history of art. Like fellow Florentine Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo was a shining star of the Renaissance and a genius of consummate virtuosity. His achievements as a sculptor, painter, draughtsman, and architect are unique- no artist before or after him has ever produced such a vast, multi-faceted, and wideranging oeuvre. Only a handful of other painters and sculptors have attained a comparable social status and enjoyed a similar artistic freedom. This is demonstrated not only by the frescoes of the Sistine Chapel but also by Michelangelo's monumental sculptures and his unconventional architectural designs, whose forms went far beyond the accepted vocabulary of his day. Such was his talent that Michelangelo was considered a demigod by his contemporaries and was the subject of two biographies during his lifetime. Adoration of this remarkable man's work has only increased on the intervening centuries. Following the success of our XL title Leonardo da Vinci, TASCHEN brings you this massive tome that explores Michelangelo's life and work in more depth and detail then ever before. The first part concentrates on the life of Michelangelo via an extensive and copiously illustrated biographical essay; the main body of the book presents his owrk in four parts providing a complete analytical inventory of Michelangelo's paintings, sculptures, buildings and drawings. Grorgeous, full page reproductions and enlarged details bring readers up close to the works. This sumptuous tome also takes account, to a previously unseen extent, of Michelangelo's more personal traits and circumstances, such as his solitary nature, his thirst for money and commissions, his miserliness, his immense wealth, and his skill as a property investor. In addition, the book tackles the controversial issue of the attribution of Michelangelo drawings, an area in which decisions continue to be steered by the interests of the art market and the major collections. This is the definitive volume about Michelangelo for generations to come.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 3.25" Width: 12.5" Height: 19.5" Weight: 19.25 lbs.
Release Date Oct 1, 2007
ISBN 3822830550 ISBN13 9783822830550
Availability 0 units.
More About Frank Zollner, Christof Thoenes & Thomas Popper
The authors: Frank Zollner wrote his doctoral theses on artistic and architectural theory (1987) and Leonardo Da Vinci (1996). He has written numerous publications on the art and artistic theory of the Renaissance and on Paul Klee. Since 1996 he has been Professor of Renaissance and Modern Art at Leipzig University. For TASCHEN he has authored the XL monographs on Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo. Johannes Nathan studied art history at New York University and the Courtauld Institute of Art in London, where he earned his Ph.D. in 1995 with a dissertation on the working methods of Leonardo da Vinci. He has taught at New York University and at the University of Berne, Switzerland, and is the author of a range of publications on the art of the Italian Renaissance.
Reviews - What do customers think about Michelangelo (XL Series)?
Outstanding details of frescoes; missing key sculptures Jul 13, 2008
Excellent pictures of the frescoes, inadequate coverage of sculptures. This book is unrivaled for the sheer size of its reproductions. It is so huge that it is a bit difficult to read--one has to rest it on a table. Not suitable for reading in bed, to say the least. But the quality of the printing and colors in the main part of the book is first class. Its coverage is especially fine on the paintings. It comprehensively covers the Sistine Chapel with huge-size foldout prints of every fresco. There are fine close-ups of important areas, which are an amazing 2/3 of life size. One can examine these fresco details from a foot away--never before possible--instead of from 60 feet away with a craned neck. This can be breathtaking.
The sculpture photos are excellent too, but not numerous. I had been expecting several photos of each sculpture from various angles. Bacchus, Pieta, and David are well shown in multiple views but this is not the case for most works.
The text is on the whole very well written and illuminating.
The authors have extreme views on authenticity. This leads them to exclude very important sculptures because, it appears, the authors consider them unproven to be authentic. For example, the Santo Spirito wooden crucifix is shown only small, poor quality, and in black and white. (A far better, color, picture, can be found, free, in Wikipedia.) Even the Madonna and Child bas-relief that is his first work, the one selected to adorn the cover of the 1,000 euro ($1,500) La Dotta Mano book, and, worst of all, the four Slave sculptures, some of his most iconic works, are also relegated to poor quality black-and-whites at back of the book, as all are judged suspect by these authors. Drawings, however, if of doubful authenticity, or even known to be copies, escape this rigorous exclusion. So we have too many drawings and missing sculptures.
Some paintings receive the same relegation: the Manchester Madonna (which is clearly at least in part by Michelangelo) is hardly visible in a tiny, dark, picture, as is the Entombment (which I must agree is of doubtful authenticity).
A book claiming to be comprehensive should have more detailed and thorough illustrations of questioned works than this. Opinions change over the years and some of these will doubtless be accepted in the future. In some cases it seems that the authors are among a minority who dispute authenticity.
The book has a very large number of drawings, but the coarser paper in that section of the book, and the low contrast and low resolution and small size (even in this monster book) of their printing, makes them hard to see clearly. This section is in sharp contrast to the wonderful beauty of the fresco reproductions in the first section of this book. It would have been better to show fewer drawings at a larger size, and illustrate the sculptures properly.
Nevertheless, this is a truly outstanding book for the frescoes, and the photos of the sculptures that are shown and the text are excellent too. Worth its price.
extraordinary in paintings, drawings printed in poor quality, poor in sculptures Jul 10, 2008
this book is extraordinary for the paintings; the drawings are documented, but its print quality is rather low, even the quality of paper they are printed on is inferior... and THIS IS A VERY DISAPPOINTING BOOK FOR THE SCULPTURES
Michelangelo (XL Series) Jul 7, 2008
Wonderful inside and out. No further commentes are necessary: by all means, buy it !!
Worth owning for the paintings Jul 5, 2008
This massive book is stronger on the paintings than on the sculptures. And after all, Michelangelo is one of the greatest (to me the greatest) sculptors of all time. Still, this impressive book is certainly worth purchasing. Try to find a copy of the William E. Wallace book published in 1998 to enjoy magnificent plates on the sulptures. You might still find copies online from remainder booksellers.
Strong on pictures and drawings, weak on sculpture May 23, 2008
I received this book yesterday, and it is certainly a monumental work, weighing close to 20 pounds and superbly produced. But potential buyers should be aware that while this book is labeled as a definitive, complete guide to Michelangelo's work, its real focus are the paintings and drawings. There is probably no better book for the Sistine Chapel ceiling and the Last Judgment, with scores of extraordinary closeups of every part of each painting. The foldout of the creation of Adam is a joy to behold. Readers may or may not like the fact that probably 40% of the book is on Michelangelo's drawings, given that these are mostly preliminary sketches for sculptures or paintings, as opposed to complete drawings in their own right, as in the case of Leonardo Da Vinci. The book also covers Michelangelo's architecture very well. But obviously many readers will buy this book because they want to see Michelangelo's sculptures, and this book is surprisingly, disappointingly weak in this area. Of course, the David gets its due and there is also good coverage of the Vatican Pieta and, oddly, the Bacchus. But many of the other sculptures, such as the Moses and the Risen Christ, get only one large and one small picture, despite the fact that the book, at over 700 pages, has space to spare. By contrast, the "Complete Michelangelo" by William Wallace provides multiple views of each and every piece of sculpture. But most incredible, indeed inexplicable, of all, is that this book (unlike Wallace, or any other Michelangelo book that I know of) fails to provide any large pictures at all of what are, next to the David, the most iconic and powerful of Michelangelo's sculptures: his four "prisoners" in Florence. Having seen these in person, I can easily understand why artists for centuries have looked in awe at these amazing "unfinished" sculptures which show figures struggling to emerge from the marble-which is exactly what Michelangelo felt he was doing when he took his chisel to the rock. How on earth, in a book of this size and ambition, can the omission of these sculptures be explained? Indeed, no explanation is provided, and the only illustration of these four sculptures, which have so influenced modern art, is four tiny, poor quality pictures in the second section of the book that is a complete catalog of all of Michelangelo's sculptures. By contrast, the Wallace book has a four page foldout that shows the four sculptures next to each other. In short, this book is fantastic for the paintings and drawings and a very disappointing missed opportunity for the sculptures. One can only wistfully imagine what would have been if the sculptures had been photographed as carefully and as thoroughly as the Sistine Chapel paintings. By all means get this book--and overall I am glad that I did, despite its high cost--but adjust your expectations and don't expect that this one book will suffice to fully cover all of Michelangelo's genius.