The Vatican’s chief restorer of Michelangelo’s frescoes may have discovered a self-portrait of Michelangelo. The face of a man in Michelangelo’s fresco “The Crucifixion of St. Peter” could be Michelangelo’s. If true, it would be the only distinct self-portrait of Michelangelo.
According to art historians the face looks similar to paintings other artists did of Michelangelo. Further evidence is the man’s turban, which looks like those which artists of the period wore to protect themselves from dust.
Adding his portrait into a fresco or painting shows a sincere bond between the artist and his artwork. It’s a step further than just signing one’s name. Adding his face as part of the whole composition is an intense sign of esteem the artist gives toward his work.
I’m a big fan of Michelangelo and his work. What I also enjoy is reading about his life. One of the best biographies about Michelangelo is written by Martin Gayford.
Michelangelo: His Epic Life
- Author: Martin Gayford
- Publisher: Penguin UK; Reprint edition (October 1, 2017)
- Paperback, also available as Hardcover and ebook
- 688 pages
There was an epic sweep to Michelangelo’s life. At 31 he was considered the finest artist in Italy, perhaps the world; long before he died at almost 90 he was widely believed to be the greatest sculptor or painter who had ever lived. For decade after decade, he worked near the dynamic center of events: the vortex at which European history was changing from Renaissance to Counter Reformation. Few of his works—including the huge frescoes of the Sistine Chapel Ceiling, the marble giant David and the Last Judgment—were small or easy to accomplish. Like a hero of classical mythology—such as Hercules, whose statue Michelangelo carved in his youth—he was subject to constant trials and labors. In Michelangelo, Martin Gayford describes what it felt like to be Michelangelo Buonarroti, and how he transformed forever our notion of what an artist could be.
If you are intrigued by the life and works of Michael Angelo include this book in your quest to learn. Gayford’s research efforts are delivered to the reader in an academic yet personal style. He will take you to 16th century Italy and introduce you to Michael Angelo. A complex and very human artistic genius.
This is a remarkable book. It stands out as history, as biography, and in its analysis of the art of Michelangelo Buonarotti. As long as the text is, one reads it slowly to be certain that one understands Gayford’s language and his intent.
If you only read one biography about the great Michelangelo, it should be this one! A gripping story, amazingly well researched, and beautifully written.