Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475-1564) was recognized in his lifetime as the greatest living artist, creator of a succession of masterpieces in sculpture, fresco painting, and architecture. In all his work, Michelangelo impressed his contemporaries as a forceful personality, a divine genius endowed with
terribilita, or intense emotional power. Often portrayed as a solitary and austere figure, he in fact enjoyed a remarkable range of friendships, and those he loved and hated, served or resisted, are presented here, from his family and fellow artists to the popes, nobles, and rulers of Europe.
In this new life of Michelangelo, George Bull places him firmly in the context of his time. He worked during three-quarters of a century of tremendous change in European society, and as an artist was supremely responsive to the hopes, fears, and values of his culture, which he both exemplified and defied. Using recent research as well as the great established biographies and letters and records, Bull traces the life and spiritual quest of Michelangelo, man and artist, and brings to the narrative an exceptional feel for the Italian Renaissance.