Michelangelo at San Lorenzo: The Genius as Entrepreneur

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9780521410212: Michelangelo at San Lorenzo: The Genius as Entrepreneur

This book amends a common misconception about one of the greatest Renaissance masters, who has been characterized since his own day as incapable of effective collaboration. This study focuses on San Lorenzo, a key Florentine monument of the Renaissance, where Michelangelo's contributions to the church are among his greatest achievements as a sculptor and architect. Organised around his three commissions at San Lorenzo - the never-realised facade for the church, the Medici chapel and the Laurentian Library - each chapter examines the organisation and day-to-day operations at the building site, as well as the artist's personal and professional relations with nearly three hundred persons who assisted him in carrying out the designs. From the marble quarries at Seravezza to the building site in Florence, William Wallace relates Michelangelo's struggles and triumphs as he worked on these projects for over two decades.

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This book focuses on Michelangelo's contributions to the church of San Lorenzo in Florence, which were among his greatest achievements as a sculptor and architect.

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"...[a] provocative and readable account, one that poses key issues regarding the complex relationships among artist, artisan, patron and artwork." American Historical Review "In Wallace's splendid contribution, Michelangelo emerges less as a morose and often difficult leading man, than as a highly effective director/producer, skilled at motivating and organizing a large and diverse workforce..." Sixteenth Century Journal "[a] sprightly, immensely readable book. Here the romantic legend of the lonely genius gives way before a picture of a man who could maneuver within networks of patronage and organize a large work force...for the quarrying, transportation, and carving of stone...True annaliste, Wallace tracks many of Michelangelo's stonemasons down in the archives..." Joseph Connors, The New York Review of Books ...[a] remarkable book...The author combed through, and interpreted with magisterial skill, heretofore unexplored bank documents in Pisa as well as vast published records and letters...it fleshes out as never before the artist at daily work as a contractor and the network of those who worked for and with him. This is a history of business, technology, and Florentine life in one package. The study is amply illustrated and impeccably documented with more than 1,000 endnotes and an expert bibliography. Indispensable for all academic libraries." Choice

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Wallace, William E.
Published by Cambridge University Press (1994)
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