Michelangelo

( 1 )

Overview

When he was born, Michelangelo Buonarroti was put into the care of a stonecutter's family. He often said it was from them that he got his love of sculpture. It certainly didn't come from his own father, a respectable magistrate who beat his son when he asked to become an artists apprentice.

But Michelangelo persevered. His early sculptures caught the attention of Florence's great ruler, Lorenzo de' Medici, who invited the boy to be educated with his own sons. Soon after, ...

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Overview

When he was born, Michelangelo Buonarroti was put into the care of a stonecutter's family. He often said it was from them that he got his love of sculpture. It certainly didn't come from his own father, a respectable magistrate who beat his son when he asked to become an artists apprentice.

But Michelangelo persevered. His early sculptures caught the attention of Florence's great ruler, Lorenzo de' Medici, who invited the boy to be educated with his own sons. Soon after, Michelangelo was astonishing people with the lifelike creations he wrested from marble—from the heartbreaking Pieta he sculpted when he was only twenty-five to the majestic David that brought him acclaim as the greatest sculptor in Italy.

Michelangelo had a turbulent, quarrelsome life. He was obsessed with perfection and felt that everyone—from family members to his demanding patrons—took advantage and let him down. His long and difficult association with Pope Julius II yielded his greatest masterpiece, the radiant paintings in the Sistine Chapel, and his most disastrous undertaking, the monumental tomb that caused the artist frustration and heartache for forty years.

With her thoroughly researched, lively narrative and superbly detailed illustrations, Diane Stanley has captured the life of an artist who towered above the late Renaissance—and whose brilliance in architecture, painting, and sculpture amazes and moves us to this day.

Children's Books 2000-NY Public Lib., Books for Youth Editor's Choice 2000 (Booklist), Lasting Connections 2000 (Book Links), Best Books 2000 (School Library Journal), Top 10 Youth Art Books 2000 (Booklist), and Notable Children's Trade Books in the Field of Social Studies 2001, National Council for SS & Child. Book Council

A biography of the Renaissance sculptor, painter, architect, and poet, well known for his work on the Sistine Chapel in Rome's St. Peter's Cathedral.

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Editorial Reviews

Bulletin of the Center for Children' s Books
...Images of Michelangelo's art are photo-based and computer manipulated, and they're seamlessly integrated into the compositions...an in-depth picture of Michelangelo...
Bulletin of the Center for Children' s Books
...Images of Michelangelo's art are photo-based and computer manipulated, and they're seamlessly integrated into the compositions...an in-depth picture of Michelangelo...
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
There is no one like Stanley (Leonardo da Vinci; Joan of Arc) for picture-book biography--she brings to the genre an uncanny ability to clarify and compress dense and tricky historical matter, scrupulous attention to visual and verbal nuances, and a self-fulfilling faith in her readers' intelligence. Returning to the Italian Renaissance, she looks at Michelangelo: "In an age of great artists, he was perhaps the greatest," she posits, pointing to his masterpieces in the three major arts--sculpture, painting and architecture. Her panoramic telling of his life story, fascinating in and of itself, also illuminates papal politics, the machinations of the Medicis, the technical difficulties of painting the Sistine Chapel ceiling (an assignment so unpleasant that Michelangelo thought his rival Bramante had put the pope up to it), the heady climate of Florence and other complex topics. The illustrations again manifest Stanley's prodigious talents. Her detailed rendering of the pre-Michelangelo Sistine Chapel, for example, is dramatic, expressive and historically accurate. Unfortunately, the digital techniques she used to good effect in Leonardo--collaging in photos of her subject's work--are not successful here. She skillfully integrates reproductions of Michelangelo's own paintings and other two-dimensional art, but when she shows him toiling on the Piet or with other sculptures, the difference in the depths of field is jarring: one portion of her composition is flat, another seems three-dimensional. The dislocating effect blemishes an otherwise outstanding work. Ages 8-up. (Sept.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|
Publishers Weekly
In a panoramic telling of Michelangelo's life story, the author "brings to bear an uncanny ability to clarify and compress dense and tricky historical matter, scrupulous attention to visual and verbal nuances, and a self-fulfilling faith in her readers' intelligence," said PW. Ages 8-up. (May) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
When we think of the great masterpieces of an artist of the stature of Michelangelo, we forget that he suffered rejection and disappointment during his life as well as tremendous success. His statues, the Pieta and David, brought him acclaim as the greatest sculptor in Italy, but his life was not without stress and disappointment. Taken in at an early age by a family of stonecutters, Michelangelo attributes his love of sculpture to this early exposure. His own father beat him when he said he wanted to be an artist. But he persevered. Political intrigue and the will of numerous Popes were instrumental in the commissions that Michelangelo received. Although he did not consider himself a painter, one of his greatest achievements was the painting of the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. It took him four years of working standing on scaffolding to complete the job. The author/illustrator has used an unusual technique in her watercolor illustrations. She has incorporated digitally enhanced photographs of the master's works. 2000, HarperCollins, $15.95. Ages 8 to 12. Reviewer: Kristin Harris
School Library Journal
Gr 4-7-As Michelangelo breathed life into stone, Stanley chisels three-dimensionality out of documents. Her bibliography lists original material as well as respected scholarship; from these sources she has crafted a picture-book biography that is as readable as it is useful. She approaches her subject chronologically, from the artist's early childhood with a wet nurse in a household of stonecutters through his long history of papal commissions to his deathbed musings. In addition to the direct (although uncited) quotes and delineation of his life's journey and major works, she provides an unobtrusive explanation of the style, technique, and meaning of Michelangelo's sculptures, architecture, and paintings. She includes an iconography of the Sistine Chapel, shown in all its restored glory. An author's note and map provide historical context, the former explaining the impact of the classical excavations on the Renaissance sensibilities. Integrating Michelangelo's art with Stanley's watercolor, gouache, and colored-pencil figures and settings has the desired effect: readers will be dazzled with the master's ability, while at the same time pulled into his daily life and struggles. Stanley has manipulated his art on the computer, particularly the sculpture, to tone down the marble's gloss and definition. As a result, the images are more convincing as "works in progress." Her careful use of scale and color contribute to the success of the scenes. For further information, readers may sample Gabriella Di Cagno's Michelangelo (1996) or Vittorio Giudici's The Sistine Chapel (2000, both Peter Bedrick). For fascinating facts with an attitude, try Veronique Milande's Michelangelo and His Times (Holt, 1996).-Wendy Lukehart, Dauphin County Library, Harrisburg, PA Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
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+)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060521134
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 5/13/2003
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 48
  • Sales rank: 377,081
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.25 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 0.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Diane Stanley is the author and illustrator of beloved books for young readers, including The Silver Bowl, which received three starred reviews, was named a best book of the year by Kirkus Reviews and Book Links Lasting Connections, and was an ALA Booklist Editors' Choice; The Cup and the Crown; Saving Sky, winner of the Arab American Museum's Arab American Book Award and a Bank Street College of Education Best Children's Book of the Year; Bella at Midnight, a School Library Journal Best Book of the Year and an ALA Booklist Editors' Choice; The Mysterious Case of the Allbright Academy; The Mysterious Matter of I. M. Fine; and A Time Apart.

Ms. Stanley has also written and illustrated numerous picture books, including three creatively reimagined fairy tales. She lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Diane Stanley is the author and illustrator of beloved books for young readers, including The Silver Bowl, which received three starred reviews, was named a best book of the year by Kirkus Reviews and Book Links Lasting Connections, and was an ALA Booklist Editors' Choice; The Cup and the Crown; Saving Sky, winner of the Arab American Museum's Arab American Book Award and a Bank Street College of Education Best Children's Book of the Year; Bella at Midnight, a School Library Journal Best Book of the Year and an ALA Booklist Editors' Choice; The Mysterious Case of the Allbright Academy; The Mysterious Matter of I. M. Fine; and A Time Apart.

Ms. Stanley has also written and illustrated numerous picture books, including three creatively reimagined fairy tales. She lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

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  • Posted July 25, 2009

    Excellent for an advanced child

    This was a great book. My four year old loved it. She enjoys having us read this to her over and over again. It prompted her to ask many questions which I feel is great. I would definately purchase this again.

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