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Michelangelo's Mountain: The Quest for Perfection in the Marble Quarries of Carrara

Michelangelo's Mountain: The Quest for Perfection in the Marble Quarries of Carrara (Other)

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Perhaps no artist save Shakespeare looms so large in Western consciousness and culture as Michelangelo. And it is impossible to comprehend Michelangelo without understanding his passion for Carrara's marble, with its unique capacity to simulate the warmth and vitality of living flesh, the inspiration he drew from it, and the ordeals he underwent to obtain it - a story that has not been fully told until now. Using little-known Renaissance documents and primary sources that he himself tracked down and translated, Scigliano recreates the insidious machinations of the rulers and artists of Carrara, Rome and Florence, where intrigue was raised to a high art and a Salieri-like nemesis haunted Michelangelo's traces. Scigliano takes readers into the perilous quarries above Carrara, where Dante Alighieri drew his visions of Hell and Purgatory and Michelangelo toiled side-by-side with the proud Tuscan stoneworkers, blazing new trails into the wild mountains and obsessively seeking stone equal to his genius.

Throughout, the author interweaves fascinating science and history, art and architecture, even folklore and marble-based cuisine, as he explores the magic of the stone-carver's art and the triumph and tragedy of Michelangelo's Pygmalion-like quest for perfection.

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