Essay about Michelangelo And The Pope’s Ceiliing

In Michelangelo and the Pope’s Ceiling Ross King gives a penetrating look into the life of Michelangelo Buonarroti during the four years he spends painting the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. At a scale of nearly five thousand and eight hundred square feet and almost seventy feet above the ground, this would be an incredible task for the artist. He faces many challenges, mentally and physically, during the process, but still finishes the ceiling in an incredibly short amount of time considering the size of his work. Michelangelo is renowned for his moody temper and reclusive lifestyle. Most people find him to be an extremely difficult person, due partially to his lack of concern for anyone but himself, and to his undaunted stubborn nature. The one man with whom he will despise and contend with all his life was Pope Julius II; he is also the man who commissions him to paint the ceiling. Ross King’s purpose in writing this book is to detail Michelangelo’s magnificent struggle with personal, political, and artistic difficulties during the painting of the Sistine ceiling. He also gives an engaging portrait of society and politics during the early sixteenth century.Michelangelo is an unequivocal example of an eccentric and egotistical artist whose entire life revolves around his work. Anything not related to his art he considers to be void and worthless. He spends all day working and only stops to eat and sleep when it is absolutely necessary. He very rarely spends time with anyone except for the artists he works with and his assistants. He is extremely distrustful and intolerant of others, especially other artists. In fact Michelangelo seems to make enemies or offend someone everywhere he goes. He even goes so far as to accu…

… depicts Alexander the Great kneeling before the high priest of Jerusalem. Similar to this was a stained glass window made for the Vatican, showing Louis XII bowing before Julius. The point here is that kings and rulers must submit to the will of religious leaders. These images of kings bowing before popes send extremely powerful messages to the common man who considers his king to be second only to God.Ross King, in my opinion, does a sensational job of detailing Michelangelo and his work. He gives incredible detail into the artist’s personal life and relationships, as well as his views on everything from politics and war to love and family. In the book King takes a narrative approach that produces a beautifully written story with a magnitude of historical information. He really takes his readers into the life of Michelangelo and into the sixteenth century.

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