AN ARTIST AND THE POPE by Curtis Bill Pepper


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In 1962, the sculptor Manzu was commissioned to do a bust of Pope John XXIII. This book essentially is the story of Manzu's relationship with Pope John and centers around the ""dialogues"" between the atheistic artist and his papal subject. The exchanges between the two men, at least as they are recorded here, contained no earth-shaking revelations. They do, however, bring to life Pope John in all his goodness, simplicity, humor and holiness in a manner which equals, in its way, that of Journey of a Soul. They also bring to life, less edifyingly, Pius XII, the antithesis of John, via Manzu's record of a chilling interview with that pontiff in which Pius decided to extend the range of papal infallibility into the realm of artistic competence. On the whole, the book--aided by a group of really splendid photographs of Manzu's work, and particularly of his famous bronze doors for St. Peter's--is a remarkably good and moving genre book. It will get a big publicity push, notably via an outsize Life condensation, and there should be a sizable demand.

Pub Date: Oct. 11th, 1968
Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap