Michelangelo Buonarroti was born in 1475 at Caprese, in Tuscany. He was apprenticed to Domenico Ghirlandaio in 1488, when he was 13, and worked continuously until six days before his death. In 1489, Michelangelo was summoned to the court of Lorenzo de'Medici, where he learnt the technical skills essential to his craft, fashioning clay and practising drawing by copying earlier works. Michelangelo examines the life and works of this great artist, including the Pieta, created when he was just 23, and the David, commissioned in 1501. The book is divided in to sections corresponding to the phases of Michelangelo's work, with one section devoted to the paintings on the Sistine Chapel Ceiling.
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Text: English (translation)
Original Language: Italian
Grade 6 Up-Using a format similar to that of the "Eyewitness" books, these two series entries continue the fine tradition of the earlier titles. The oversized volumes feature self-contained double-page spreads "...devoted to an aspect of the life and art" of the artist or to "...the major artistic and cultural developments of his time." Sidebars offer reproductions of related works or help to establish the appropriate historical context, thereby enlarging upon the central theme. The texts are written in a fluid style, and although neither artist is covered in the depth of more detailed books such as the "First Impressions" series (Abrams), each volume will serve as a fountain of information for students interested in a concise look at these two men. Some repetition occurs, a common problem when each spread must be self-explanatory. Important artistic and political terms are explained in context, although occasional references, e.g., "social Darwinism," are not elucidated. There are no glossaries. Although the color reproductions and detailed sections of some of the art are quite small, the quality of their color is not compromised. The realistic illustrations that accompany the well-organized text are both detailed and clear. These volumes will appeal to an older audience than either Robin Richmond's Introducing Michelangelo (Little, 1992) or Ernest Raboff's Vincent Van Gogh (Doubleday, 1975; o.p.), although the Bedrick books are missing the full-page reproductions of paintings found in the latter. Both Michelangelo and Van Gogh are sure to captivate students, enabling them to understand something of the triumphs and torments of these masters.
Nancy Menaldi-Scanlan, LaSalle Academy, Providence, RI
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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