A brief but attractive survey of the work of the sculptor and painter who's been described as the greatest ever, with a few biographical details--his early separation from his parents, his schooling with Ghiriandaio, his move from Lorenzo de' Medici's Florence to Rome, where papal demands created lifelong opportunities and frustrations. The background information on Renaissance Italy is too abbreviated to give a real sense of the artist's milieu, but at least it's an accurate outline. Best are the excellent color reproductions, of a good size even when several appear on a spread; there's a sampling of major works (the PietÃ s; David; the Sistine ceiling, photographed after its recent facelift), as well as a good selection of complementary works by other artists--e.g., the LaocoÃ–n, whose discovery had a major influence on the artist's work; a contemporary map of Florence; a photo of modern marble-cutters at Carrara. Captions are good, though present locations of artworks are omitted. An introduction (as the title suggests) but a good one. Index.