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

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Macmillan, 2002 - Art - 338 pages
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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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IL GIGANTE: Michelangelo, Florence, and the David, 1492-1504

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

Disappointing account of the creation of a great work of art.In spite, or perhaps because of, the strife and turmoil in 16th-century northern Italy, the arts, particularly the visual, flourished there ... Read full review

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

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Gill (Art Lover: A Biography of Peggy Guggenheim) takes as his subject the creation of Michelangelo Buonarroti's David. As with any tale of Renaissance art, much of the background story revolves ... Read full review

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About the author (2002)

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.

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