MICHELANGELO by Diane Stanley
Kirkus Star


by & illustrated by
Age Range: 9 & up
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Stanley is the premier creator of handsome, artistically ambitious, and factually accurate illustrated books that explore and explain the lives and times of major figures throughout history (Joan of Arc, 1998; Leonardo Da Vinci, 1996). She now trains her educated eye on and turns her skilled hand to that Renaissance master of painting and sculpture—Michelangelo. Building on strong preparatory research, Stanley, like the best adult biographers, distills the culture, history, politics, and aesthetic of this unique era. Stanley particularly excels in selecting and integrating just enough context and detail to assure a genuine, empathetic treatment. Indeed, she weaves all the major elements of Michelangelo’s long and astonishingly creative life into a compelling, anecdote-rich narrative: his country childhood with a wet-nurse and her stonecutter husband; early apprenticeships with the fresco painter Ghirlandaio and the sculptor Bertoldo; his “adoption” by Lorenzo de’ Medici of Florence and the benefits of long-term friendships with the Medici family members; his early and dramatic successes with the Pietà and the David; the patronage of Pope Julius II, which led to the Sistine Chapel ceiling and the astonishing Moses; work on the Medici Chapel, the Sistine Chapel’s Last Judgement, St. Peter’s in Rome (not completed in his lifetime); and finally, his peaceful death at 89. Stanley wisely understands the breadth of her own technique; instead of attempting to render these familiar Renaissance images herself, she ably integrates computer-manipulated reproductions of Michelangelo’s masterpieces into her carefully rendered mixed-media illustrations. This handsome, affordable, lavishly illustrated and wonderfully readable book has broad appeal. It deserves heavy representation in home, school, and public library collections. (Biography. 9+)

Pub Date: Aug. 31st, 2000
ISBN: 0-688-15085-3
Page count: 48pp
Publisher: HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1st, 2000


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