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Michelangelo Hardcover – August 22, 2000


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 and up
  • Grade Level: 3 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 940L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 48 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; First Edition edition (August 22, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0688150853
  • ISBN-13: 978-0688150853
  • Product Dimensions: 11.3 x 9.6 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #377,339 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Michelangelo Buonarroti, one of the greatest artists of all time, was not exactly a noble and humble man. Irritable, arrogant, and impatient, his perfectionism and expectations drove away many potential friends, and even provoked one would-be friend to hit him in the nose, crushing it "like a biscuit." However, what's truly important for us today is that this man ultimately became an artistic genius, mastering the three arts of the Renaissance: sculpture, painting, and architecture. From his early years, when he created the Pieta (at age 25), to his 40 years of tormented work on a monumental tomb for Pope Julius II, to his greatest masterpiece, the paintings in the Sistine Chapel, Michelangelo astounded people with his almost otherworldly talent.

Diane Stanley's well-researched, vivid narrative captures the life of the creator of some of the world's most beautiful, heart-wrenching works of art. Her illustrations are fantastically elaborate and include details of many of Michelangelo's sculptures and paintings. Michelangelo is a perfect introduction to art and art history, with plenty of compelling background information about the Renaissance and life in 15th and 16th century Italy. Stanley has written many other award-winning picture-book biographies, including Leonardo da Vinci and Cleopatra. (Ages 9 to 12) --Emilie Coulter

From Publishers Weekly

There is no one like Stanley (Leonardo da Vinci; Joan of Arc) for picture-book biographyAshe brings to the genre an uncanny ability to clarify and compress dense and tricky historical matter, scrupulous attention to visual and verbal nuances, and a self-fulfilling faith in her readers' intelligence. Returning to the Italian Renaissance, she looks at Michelangelo: "In an age of great artists, he was perhaps the greatest," she posits, pointing to his masterpieces in the three major artsAsculpture, painting and architecture. Her panoramic telling of his life story, fascinating in and of itself, also illuminates papal politics, the machinations of the Medicis, the technical difficulties of painting the Sistine Chapel ceiling (an assignment so unpleasant that Michelangelo thought his rival Bramante had put the pope up to it), the heady climate of Florence and other complex topics. The illustrations again manifest Stanley's prodigious talents. Her detailed rendering of the pre-Michelangelo Sistine Chapel, for example, is dramatic, expressive and historically accurate. Unfortunately, the digital techniques she used to good effect in LeonardoAcollaging in photos of her subject's workAare not successful here. She skillfully integrates reproductions of Michelangelo's own paintings and other two-dimensional art, but when she shows him toiling on the Piet? or with other sculptures, the difference in the depths of field is jarring: one portion of her composition is flat, another seems three-dimensional. The dislocating effect blemishes an otherwise outstanding work. Ages 8-up. (Sept.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

More About the Author

Diane Stanley is the author and illustrator of more than fifty books for children, noted especially for her series of picture book biographies. SHAKA: KING OF THE ZULUS was named a New York Times Best Illustrated Book; LEONARDO DA VINCI received the Orbis Pictus Award for Outstanding Nonfiction from the National Council for Teachers of English. Ten of her books have been honored as "Notable Books" by the American Library Association and she has twice received both the Boston Globe/Hornbook Award and the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators' Golden Kite Award. She is the recipient of the Washington Post/Children's Book Guild Award for Nonfiction for the body of her work.

She lives in Santa Fe, NM. Visit her website at dianestanley.com.

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Children(and adults)will read this book over and over.
Pollyanna Stickney
Her easy to read and engaging text is rich in history, art, drama, and anecdotes, and complemented by her ingeniously creative and innovative illustrations.
Roz Levine
We are using this book as part of our homeschool studies.
Erin DeGroot

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Pollyanna Stickney on September 25, 2000
Format: Library Binding
While browsing through a local bookstore I chanced upon Michelangelo by Diane Stanley. What a beautiful book! Not only were the pictures captivating, but the information was excellent. Michelangelo's famous picture of the creation of the moon and stars that graces the Sistene chapel is on the cover. My children were enthralled as I read how Michelangelo spent many hours dissecting human cadavers at a local morgue, becoming so familiar with the human body that he was able to make his works come alive with breathtaking detail. I will look for more books by this same author. Children(and adults)will read this book over and over. A great addition to your home library!
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Andrew Taber on March 1, 2004
Format: Hardcover
With popular culture grabbing my daughter's attention so powerfully, it was nice to have some high brow material that could compete with the Disney genre. My favorite part was when my girl asked, "Why doesn't God just stretch his finger a little more like this [stretched her finger] to touch Adam?" The whole book is a single bed time reading for a parent to a child. It reads a bit like a cliff hanger with the reader along for the ride through Michaelangelo's challenges and accomplishments.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Roz Levine on March 18, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Born March 6, 1475 in the little stonecutter's village of Caprese, about fifty miles east of Florence, and left in the care of a nurse, Michelangelo "fell asleep to the odd lullaby of chisel striking stone. Years later he remarked that his love of sculpture must have come to him along with his foster mother's milk." From an early age, Michelangelo wanted to become an artist. His father, ashamed that his son wanted to enter such a lowly profession, tried to literally beat the idea out of him, but the headstrong and determined child would not give in, and in 1488 was apprenticed to the famous painter, Domenico Ghirlandaio. After only one year his unrivaled talent was noticed by Lorenzo de'Medici, a great and generous art lover and patron. He brought Michelangelo into his palace and treated him as one of his sons, encouraging his art. But upon Lorenzo's untimely death, Michelangelo was sent back to his father's house, and cast in the role of family breadwinner, "a role he would play for the rest of his life." And so it was that the difficult and disagreeable, perfectionist Michelangelo's greatest masterpieces, The Pieta, David, and the paintings on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, were commissioned works by patrons and popes..... Diane Stanley's intriguing biography takes the reader on a compelling and suspenseful journey as she details the life and times of the greatest artist of the Renaissance. Her easy to read and engaging text is rich in history, art, drama, and anecdotes, and complemented by her ingeniously creative and innovative illustrations. Together word and art captures the essence of the arrogant and tormented artist, and brings Michelangelo and the Renaissance to life on the page. Perfect for youngsters 9-12, Michelangelo is a well researched and spellbinding introductory biography, and another marvelous addition to Ms Stanley's superb series.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. Renfro on May 9, 2006
Format: Paperback
Michelangelo is an interesting look into the life of Renaissance superstar artist, Michelangelo Buonarroti from birth to death. Born in Italy March 6, 1475, Michelangelo was destined to become an artist and knew this is what he wanted from a young age. He was raised in various homes, by a nurse in the village of stonecutters and later in the home of the ruler of Venice, Lorenzo Medici who recognized his talent and brought him to live with him as his own sons. At the age of thirteen he begged his father to become a lowly artist's apprentice working in fresco for the time of three years. His true love was though not painting, but sculpture. Michelangelo eventually created some of the worlds' most famous art artworks including the sculpture of David and the painting inside the Sistine Chapel and worked on countless commissions for several popes and rulers trough out Italy. Many interesting facts that children will be sure to pick up on, including Michelangelo's work with corpses to study the human form and his feud with another Renaissance superstar Leonardo Da Vinci, keep this book interesting and exciting.

Stanley's interesting illustrations are unique. She combines photographs of true artwork (it is hard to copy a master!) with her own paintings to create a visually stimulating illustration. This book would be good for any adult that is wanting a "more than basic" but easy reading book about the life of Michelangelo.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Erin DeGroot on November 20, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
We are using this book as part of our homeschool studies. It is large, and full of absolutely beautiful illustrations. The text is also wonderful. My daughter is fascinated as she learns about Michelangelo. We read a new page or two a week, and she always looks forward to it. Diane Stanley did a wonderful job writing a biography about someone who lived very long ago, who was very important, and made it interesting for children. Perfect!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Damfino on March 15, 2011
Format: Hardcover
My 11-year old son read this on a long car ride and said, "Dad, you've gotta read this." And so I did. It is an excellent example of a picture book that is loaded with serious and interesting information. The look of the book makes a kid feel comfortable immediately and the writing, while not college-level, will stretch a typical grade school kid beyond the norm. I especially recommend it if adult or child is planning a trip to Italy, as it provides much background information to help one appreciate Michelangelo's work.
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