Work Title: A Journey into Michelangelo's Rome
Work Author(s): Angela K. Nickerson
Roaring Forties Press
88 color images, 22 illustrations, 180 pages, Softcover, $21.95
Reviewer: Beth Hemke Shapiro
Most travel guides are jammed with star ratings and brief descriptions of hotels, restaurants, shopping, and nightlife. By contrast, this book is full of art images, maps, and summary sidebars ranging in topics from the Reformation to madrigals. Through biography and history, the author creates a unique travel guide to Rome, focusing on the art and times of the artist Michelangelo. A freelance writer and a tour group leader, the author is married to a Roman. Her book is part of this publisher's ArtPlace series, which delves into a particular city or area by focusing on a well-known artist or artistic movement, such as A Journey into Ireland's Literary Revival or A Journey into Matisse's South of France.
An entire chapter is devoted to Michelangelo's famous painting on the Sistine Chapel's ceiling. In addition to a helpful map providing the chapel's location, a drawing from Ernst Steinmann's Die Sixtinische Kapelle reveals the originally blue and gold frescoed ceiling in existence before Michelangelo's painting. A sidebar summarizes Italian fresco technique and a diagram shows Michelangelo's layout of the ceiling, from his depiction of scenes from Genesis to his placement of prophets and sibyls. Throughout the chapter the author includes interesting historical tidbits, such as describing Pope Julius II's ongoing pressure over the years for Michelangelo to complete the...