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Michelangelo’s Tomb for Julius II: Genesis and Genius

  • Christoph Luitpold Frommel
    With contributions by Claudia Echinger-Maurach, Antonio Forcellino, and Maria Forcellino

    In 1505, Michelangelo (1475–1564) began planning the magnificent tomb for Pope Julius II, which would dominate the next forty years of his career. Repeated failures to complete the monument were characterized by Condivi, Michelangelo’s authorized biographer, as “the tragedy of the tomb.” This definitive book thoroughly documents the art of the tomb and each stage of its complicated evolution. Authored by Christoph Luitpold Frommel, who also acted as the lead consultant on the recent restoration campaign, this volume offers new post-restoration photography that reveals the beauty of the tomb overall, its individual statues, and its myriad details.

    This book traces Michelangelo’s stylistic development; documents the dialogue between the artist and his great friend and exacting patron Pope Julius II; unravels the complicated relationship between the master and his assistants, who executed large parts of the design; and sheds new light on the importance of neoplatonism in Michelangelo’s thinking.

    A rich trove of documents in the original Latin and archaic Italian relates the story through letters, contracts, and other records covering Michelangelo’s travels, purchase of the marble, and concerns that arose as work progressed. The book also catalogues fifteen sculptures designed for the tomb and more than eighty related drawings, as well as an extensive and up-to-date bibliography.

    Christoph Luitpold Frommel was a professor at the Università “La Sapienza” in Rome. Claudia Echinger-Maurach is professor of art history at the University of Muenster. Antonio Forcellino, an art historian and restorer, is a leading authority on Michelangelo. Maria Forcellino is an art historian.

    “A superbly illustrated and meticulously documented volume.”

    “An indispensable reference work, rich in documentation and interpretation.”
    Renaissance Quarterly

    368 pages
    10 3/4 x 12 3/4 inches
110 color and 256 b/w illustrations
    1 table
ISBN 978-1-60606-503-7

    Getty Publications
    Imprint: J. Paul Getty Museum