Antonio Forcellino: Michelangelo. A Turbulent Life

When I recently met Antonio Forcellino in Rome he told me about this 3-part documentary. If you skip the toe-curlingly melodramatic intro to Chapter 1 – i.e. the first minute or so (just slide the cursor along to 1.15) – it paints a fascinating picture of the period. Then click on Chapters 2 and 3.   It interests me for two reasons: first because my Ph.D. focused on the first half of the 16th century and I also came across the group of the “Spirituali”, Cardinal Pole and Vittoria Colonna in my research, and second because the English translation of Forcellino’s life of Michelangelo is due to be published by Polity Press next month – watch this space.Michelangelo

Antonio Forcellino has written another book on this period – 1545.  It focuses on Michelangelo’s commission to paint the frescoes for the Cappella Paolina, built between 1537 and 1542 by Antonio Sangallo at the bequest of Pope Paul III (Farnese).  Michelangelo’s frescoes show The Conversion of Saul and The Crucifixion of St Peter and – as in the Sistine Chapel – his nudes were the cause of much opprobrium and consternation.

After lengthy restoration work – which has taken seven years and cost some four million dollars – the Chapel will reopen on 4 July 2009 in a ceremony presided over by Pope Benedict XVI.

1545

I’m working on Forcellino’s second book, a life of Raphael, and the few days I spent in Rome were dedicated to retracing Raphael’s Roman commissions – Villa Farnesina, the Vatican Stanze, the paintings in the newly restored Borghese Gallery, not to mention La Fornarina in Palazzo Barberini.  It was a wonderful chance to refresh the memory – it’s been quite a while since I was in Rome –  and enjoy such masterpieces.

About Lucy Byatt

I'm a translator, from Italian into English. I also teach Italian Renaissance history and write.
This entry was posted in book reviews, Cultural history, Italy and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s