Il Gigante: Michelangelo, Florence, and the David 1492-1504

Il Gigante: Michelangelo, Florence, and the David 1492-1504

Paperback

By (author) Anton Gill

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  • Publisher: St. Martins Press-3pl
  • Format: Paperback | 364 pages
  • Dimensions: 137mm x 208mm x 30mm | 386g
  • Publication date: 30 December 2004
  • Publication City/Country: New York, NY
  • ISBN 10: 0312314434
  • ISBN 13: 9780312314439
  • Edition statement: First.
  • Illustrations note: black & white illustrations
  • Sales rank: 1,275,813

Product description

At the turn of the 16th century, Italy was a turbulent territory made up of independent states, each at war with or intriguing against its neighbor. There were the proud, cultivated, and degenerate Sforzas in Milan, and in Rome, the corrupt Spanish family of the Borgia whose head, Rodrigo, ascended to St Peter's throne as Pope Alexander VI. In Florence, a golden age of culture and sophistication ended with the death of the greatest of the Medici family, Lorenzo the Magnificent, giving way to an era of uncertainty, cruelty, and religious fundamentalism. In the midst of this turmoil, there existed the greatest concentration of artists that Europe has ever known. Influenced by the rediscovery of the ancient cultures of Greece and Rome, artists and thinkers such as Botticelli and da Vinci threw off the shackles of the Middle Ages to produce one of the most creative periods in history - the Renaissance. This is the story of twelve years when war, plague, famine, and chaos made their mark on a volatile Italy, and when a young, erratic genius, Michelangelo Buonarroti, made his first great statue - the David. It was to become a symbol not only of the independence and defiance of the city of Florence but also of the tortured soul who created it. This is a wonderful history of the artist, his times, and one of his most magnificent works.

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Author information

Anton Gill was educated at Chigwell School and Clare College, Cambridge. He became a full-time writer in 1984 after a few years working in the theatre, for the Arts Council and for the BBC. He is the author of a number of books, largely in the field of contemporary history, including studies of Germany before, during, and after World War II. He is also the author of "Art Lover," a highly acclaimed biography of the collector of surreal and abstract art Peggy Guggenheim. When he isn't writing, Anton Gill travels. When he is, he lives in Bloomsbury, London.

Review quote

"There is certainly nothing rushed about this excellent account of the world's greatest sculptor... Through Gill's sensitive and accessible reading of the David in particular we can perhaps feel a little closer to [Michelangelo]... It would be well-deserved if this book is as successful as those by [Dava] Sobel and [Ross] King - Gill is a perceptive and accessible critic" - "Sunday Herald" "A few pages into Anton Gill's new book and any readers who have never seen a Renaissance painting or sculpture will be packing their bags and heading for Italy. Not a page goes by without the excitement and drama of this period catching at your imagination... A compelling story that is well told." - "Country Living" "Gill's project may be ambitious, but his style and approach are aimed firmly at the general reader. In this he succeeds admirably and as an introduction to the Italian Renaissance "Il Gigante" could hardly be bettered." - "Daily Mail"

Back cover copy

British Praise for "Il Gigante" "There is certainly nothing rushed about this excellent account of the world's greatest sculptor... Through Gill's sensitive and accessible reading of the David in particular we can perhaps feel a little closer to [Michelangelo]... It would be well-deserved if this book is as successful as those by [Dava] Sobel and [Ross] King - Gill is a perceptive and accessible critic" - "Sunday Herald" "A few pages into Anton Gill's new book and any readers who have never seen a Renaissance painting or sculpture will be packing their bags and heading for Italy. Not a page goes by without the excitement and drama of this period catching at your imagination... A compelling story that is well told." - "Country Living" "Gill's project may be ambitious, but his style and approach are aimed firmly at the general reader. In this he succeeds admirably and as an introduction to the Italian Renaissance "Il Gigante" could hardly be bettered." - "Daily Mail"