Michelangelo And The Pope's Ceiling
by Ross King
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Against the warnings of his advisors, in 1508 Pope Julius II commissioned Michelangelo to paint the ceiling of the newly restored Sistine Chapel. This is the story of the ensuing four years - a chronicle of day-to-day life on the scaffolding set against the backdrop of 16th-century Rome. Faced with an array of obstacles including ill health, financial difficulties, domestic problems, limited previous knowledge of the art of fresco, and a bitter rivalry with Raphael, Michelangelo also endured the anxiety of the Pope as he waited impatiently for the project's completion. The astonishing masterpiece that stunned viewers at its unveiling in 1512 was the climactic result.
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