Five hundred years ago Michelangelo put the first brushstroke to his most ambitious creation. As he started work on his vast fresco cycle for the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, he began putting into pictures the awe-inspiring legends recounted in the Book of Genesis.
But for the viewer looking up into Michelangelo's painted sky, this was to be just the first of a series of unprecedentedly original images, rightly celebrated as the quintessential masterpiece of the Renaissance.
Yet the painting of the Sistine Chapel, for all its magnificence, came at a considerable human cost. It would take Michelangelo four years of long and bitter toil to complete his masterpiece, goaded all the while by his volatile, impatient patron, Pope Julius II.
In his new study of Michelangelo's work in the Sistine Chapel, Andrew Graham-Dixon retells the story of the Sistine Chapel for modern times, and an essential companion guide for one of the artistic wonders of the world.
Dazzling commentary on Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel paintings, this art history book is an essential companion to one of the artistic wonders of the world.