Discovering Michelangelo: The Art Lover's Guide to Understanding Michelangelo's Masterpieces

Universe. 2012. 260p. illus. index. ISBN 9780789324436. $45. FINE ARTS
Wallace (art history, Washington Univ., St. Louis; Michelangelo: The Artist, the Man and His Times) presents a rich variety of Michelangelo's sculpture, painting, architecture, and design—each paired with in-depth detail, description, and background—in this engaging narrative. Most of his best-known works are here—David, the Pièta, the tomb of Guilano Medici, the Sistine Chapel, and his Last Judgment, among a full panoply of his achievements. With 50 pages of color reproductions, each of the masterpieces have overpages with cutout windows that focus on key aspects of the work, which Wallace wishes to call readers' attention to on the illustrated page beneath it.
VERDICT The cutout windows in this monograph are a compelling reason to view the book in its traditional 3-D format rather than on a screen and make the book a superb art object. Wallace accomplishes what he set out to do: his explanations will be valuable to anyone wishing to gain an understanding of the breadth and technique of this most famous of Renaissance masters. Sure to please as a thoughtful gift to an art lover or an enjoyable treat for a specialist.

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