Il divino

A glorious exploration of Michelangelo's works

Before reaching the tender age of thirty, Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475-1564) had already sculpted David and Pièta, 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 wide-ranging 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 than 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 work in four parts providing a complete analytical inventory of Michelangelo’s paintings, sculptures, buildings and drawings. Gorgeous, 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.
The authors:
Thomas Pöpper wrote his doctoral thesis on 15th-century Italian Renaissance sculpture (2003). After a fellowship at the Bibliotheca Hertziana, he worked as a volunteer for the Schleswig-Holsteinische Landesmuseen. Following further appointments at universities in Hamburg und Leipzig, since 2008 he has been Professor of Art and Design History at the West Saxon University of Applied Sciences of Zwickau, where he is currently Head of the Faculty of Applied Art. Pöpper has published on a variety of aspects of Italian art from the Middle Ages to the Baroque, German painting of the Early Modern era and German sculpture of the 19th and 20th century.

Christof Thoenes studied art history in Berlin and Pavia, before completing his doctorate in Berlin. Thoenes was Honorary Professor in Hamburg and now lives in Rome, where for many years he has worked for the Bibliotheca Hertziana (Max-Planck-Institute). He has contributed to numerous publications on Italian art, particularly on architecture and architectural theory of the 15th to 18th centuries.

Frank Zöllner wrote his doctoral thesis on motifs originating from Antiquity in the history of art and architecture of the Medieval and Renaissance periods (1987). He is also the author of a postdoctoral treatise on motion and expression in the art of Leonardo da Vinci, published in 2010. He has published numerous works on Renaissance art and art theory, and on 20th-century art. Since 1996 he has been Professor of Medieval and Modern Art at the University of Leipzig. For TASCHEN he has authored the XL monographs on Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo.
Michelangelo. Complete Works (XL-Format)

Michelangelo. Complete Works

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Hardcover, 11.4 x 17.3 in., 768 pages
$ 200

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  • Reviews
"Michelangelo was a man of remarkable genius, and for the first time TASCHEN presents his oeuvre in its entirety, including his drawings, sculptures and architectural works. Enormous reproductions allow us to admire the muscular and sinuous forms of his sculptures, the monumentality of The Last Judgement, his designs for St Peter's Basilica, and several other works. Frank Zöllner was also the author of the XL TASCHEN monograph on Leonardo, and this title will surely match its popularity. With high production and print qualities, this volume presents very good value at this price."
— The Bookseller, London, United Kingdom
  • See also
Gustav Klimt. Complete Paintings (XL-Format)
Gustav Klimt. Complete Paintings
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Leonardo da Vinci. Complete Paintings and Drawings (XL-Format)
Leonardo da Vinci. Complete Paintings and Drawings
Hardcover, 11.4 x 17.3 in., 696 pages
$ 200

Da Vinci in detail: Leonardo’s life and work - the definitive edition