Before reaching the tender age of 30, Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475–1564) had already sculpted David and Pietà, two of the most famous sculptures in the entire history of art. As a sculptor, painter, draftsman, and architect, the achievements of this Italian master are unique—no artist before or after him has ever produced such a vast, multifaceted, and wide-ranging œuvre.
This comprehensive book explores Michelangelo’s life and work with a richly illustrated biographical essay, and a complete four-part inventory of his paintings, sculptures, buildings, and drawings. Full-page reproductions and enlarged details allow readers to appreciate fine details in the artist’s vast repertoire, while the book’s biographical insights consider a previously unseen extent to Michelangelo’s more personal traits and circumstances, such as his solitary nature, his thirst for money and commissions, 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 work about Michelangelo for generations to come, to be delved into and put on display, with its slipcase neatly converting into a book stand.
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.
The contributing authors
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.
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.
“The photography is sharp, the colour true and full of lustre… This will prove to be one of the art books of the year.”
— The Good Book Guide, London
“If a visit to the Sistine Chapel is not on the cards, this magnificent book is the next best thing…”
— The Sunday Express Magazine, London
“With the book’s large dimensions, it’s easy to become absorbed in every fresco, painting and sculpture. The expressions, movements and subtle nuances that becomes lost in small reproductions… TASCHEN have once more produced a treasure of art historical appreciation.”
— Huffington Post, London
“The excellent reproductions in this book zoom into details: the expression in the eyes of angels; a prophet’s furrowed brow. Zöllner’s essays erudite but accessible, and the elegant slipcase doubles as a bookstand. Divine.”