The Architecture of Michelangelo

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University of Chicago Press, 1986 - Architecture - 363 pages
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In this widely acclaimed work, James Ackerman considers in detail the buildings designed by Michelangelo in Florence and Rome—including the Medici Chapel, the Farnese Palace, the Basilica of St. Peter, and the Capitoline Hill. He then turns to an examination of the artist's architectural drawings, theory, and practice. As Ackerman points out, Michelangelo worked on many projects started or completed by other architects. Consequently this study provides insights into the achievements of the whole profession during the sixteenth century. The text is supplemented with 140 black-and-white illustrations and is followed by a scholarly catalog of Michelangelo's buildings that discusses chronology, authorship, and condition. For this second edition, Ackerman has made extensive revisions in the catalog to encompass new material that has been published on the subject since 1970.

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About the author (1986)

James Sloss Ackerman was born in San Francisco, California on November 8, 1919. He received a bachelor's degree from Yale University in 1941. He was drafted into the Army in 1942 and served with the Intelligence Corps, translating German command messages in Italy. While waiting for a transfer back to the United States after the war, he volunteered to work for the Monuments and Fine Arts Commission in Milan. He retrieved archives that had been stored for safety in Pavia. Once back in the United States, he received a master's degree in 1947 and a doctorate in 1952 from the Institute of Fine Arts in New York. He joined the art department at Harvard University in 1960 and remained there until retiring in 1990. He wrote several books during his lifetime including The Cortile del Belvedere, The Villa: Form and Ideology of Country Houses, Distance Points: Studies in Theory and Renaissance Art and Architecture, and Origins, Imitation, Conventions. The Architecture of Michelangelo received the Hitchcock Award from the Society of Architectural Historians in 1962. He died on December 31, 2016 at the age of 97.

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