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The Life of Michelangelo Buonarroti [Kindle Edition]

John Addington Symonds
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)

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Book Description

This book was converted from its physical edition to the digital format by a community of volunteers. You may find it for free on the web. Purchase of the Kindle edition includes wireless delivery.

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Though this originally appeared back in 1911, it is still considered to be one of the best biographies of the artist. Symonds was the first to deal frankly with Michelangelo's homosexuality and was the first scholar granted complete access to the artist's materials by the Italian government. This edition includes a new introduction by Creighton E. Gilbert, art historian and translator of Michelangelo's poems and letters, who discusses the historical context of the biography as well as Symonds's own life and his efforts to recognize the contributions of gay artists.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.


"Scholars and students can learn much from a careful reading of this masterpiece of nineteenth-century research, the first modern biography of this famous artist. . . . Symonds's biography stands on its own as a solid, readable, compelling, and appropriate reading for the twenty-first century."—Sixteenth Century Journal

Product Details

  • File Size: 708 KB
  • Print Length: 400 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1414294077
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0082V74D0
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,647 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Back Into The Closet Mr. Symonds August 27, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Let me just say that modern day scholarship has taken us far beyond the realm of romantic and personal speculation concerning not only the works of Michelangelo but also the man. Symonds got it wrong even ib such mundane matters as finance. Michelangelo died a rich man and had been paid far beyond what an artisan or a merchant would make. Andrew Graham-Dixon put an end to that old saw.

Sadly to say Symonds sees everything through the prism of his own prejudices and dospositions. Michelangelo probably was an ascetic when it came to sex and if you want to play analyist neither he nor his brothers ever married or sired children. Symonds is one of those who never understood Platonic love but feels obligated to tortuously connive to see him in his own prism. His interpretation of the artist's sonnets is ludicrous.

If you want to understand Victorian hypocrisy and experience few if any insights into Michelangelo then this is a book for you. If you want a clearer picture of the man as seen from a 19th century perspective read John Ruskin, you will learn something.
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5.0 out of 5 stars No stone left unturned November 8, 2014
By Lamppu
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This biography tells you everything there is to know about Michelangelo - and more, if possible. The author must have scrutinized all extant archives, read and analyzed every letter, physically have spent time and meditated in the places where Michelagelo lived and worked. I will never look at a work by Michelangelo in the same way again. This is a great book. Read it.
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Purchased before a trip to Tuscany, I read this book on airplanes and in Hotel rooms as I traveled to and stayed in Florence. Good thing, as I might not have finished it for pleasure. Difficult slogging at times, fascinating at times, and easy reading at times. Glad I read it as it made much of the art and places, as well as the historical interactions with the Medici Family clear and germane.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Informative, albeit dated. January 13, 2014
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I liked the book, it comments on other biographies and contains most of the historical facts. It provides good information and descriptions of the craft of the sculptor, which helps get a better sense of the man, his times and his art. Somewhat dry in style, but overall it makes for an interesting book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Everyday Michelangelo January 6, 2014
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Great details of a man who lived 500 years ago! A very good description of the time 1475–1564 in Florence and in Rome.
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20 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding biograpphy ! November 1, 2004
Miguel Angel is to say in Carlyle words , the Hero made Artist .

If we had more individualities with his courage , the symphony of the civilization would be more glorious .

If we persisted in search of the affinities of such artist we would find them in Beethoven . If not go and listen the last quartets of Beethoven (Op. 130 and 132, for instance) and proceed to watch the last works of Miguelangelo . You will not find another music more appropriate which illuminates with so fevered state, intriguing pathos and dark clouds mood . He, as the legitimate son of the ancient Greeks lived in the right time and in the right place Florence to show the world the Renaissance not only was the most important artistic movement of the mankind story but it was more than necessary a figure of his stature appeared in the middle of this land .

He belonged to the lineage of the deep characters , violents , greatful , that strengthens and fight passionately.

Miguel Angel was the timeless inspiration to many other thinkers , writers and artists such as William Blake, Goethe, Beethoven , Liszt, Mendelssohn, Lord Byron , Carlyle and Fürtwangler, among others and even his legacy seems to have not any kind of restrictions.

The author makes a careful study and explores dilatory every stage of his complex life with magnificent illustrations and broad gusto that it represents an exquisite refinement exercise for the intellect and mind to read this fundamental biography

The description of the Sistine Chapel is simply a imagination triumph and the highest and supreme good taste .

Terrific recommendable.
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I must confess I did not finish this book. I just could not get into it, even though I wanted to read it before our trip to Florence. If you are interested in a factual rendition of Michelangelo's artistic development and life presented in a dry manner, you may like this book more than I did.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Written 100 years ago, it is a very detailed ... December 17, 2014
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Written 100 years ago, it is a very detailed study of the life of Michelangelo. Scholarly, precise, insightful; and comparative with former biographers who actually knew the master. Not for the novice reader.
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