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Michelangelo And The Pope's Ceiling PDF Free Download

Michelangelo Buonarroti: one of the biggest artists of all times, a man who lived a long, full and adventurous life, and an inspiration for people for more than 500 years. If you want to learn more about him and hist art, there are many good books to read, and I have picked the best books on Michelangelo (and my favorite ones) for you. So here they are…

Best books on Michelangelo

In 1508, despite strong advice to the contrary, the powerful Pope Julius II commissioned Michelangelo to paint the ceiling of the newly restored Sistine Chapel. With little experience as a painter (though famed for his sculpture David), Michelangelo was reluctant to begin the massive project.

  1. Pope Julius II and Michelangelo - tough love. Pope Julius II was the nephew of Pope Sixtus IV, and was a man to be reckoned with. He was nicknamed 'the warrior pope' because he actually went to battle defending Rome and the papacy. Pope Julius II decided Michelangelo should build his tomb. And it was to be monumental, literally.
  2. While Michelangelo was busy at building the New Sacristy, Pope Clement VII commissioned him to design and build a new library at the church of San Lorenzo. Meant to house the extraordinary Medici collection of books and manuscripts, Michelangelo produced one of the most radical examples of Renaissance architecture, celebrated as the harbinger.

I organized the titles into macro-genres: novels, biographies (even if sometimes the two categories merge together into biographic novels) and non fiction.

Novels about Michelangelo

Some of my favorite novels on Michelangelo are:

Oil and Marble. A novel about Leonardo and Michelangelo, by Stephanie Store

Michelangelo and the pope

Leonardo’s and Michelangelo’s personalities were the opposite, but both were very fascinating.The story of long-time rivalry between the two most important artists of the Renaissance was turned by the author into Oil and Marble, an exciting historical novel set in Florence at the beginning of the 15th century.

  • Read also my favorite books on Leonardo da Vinci!

Michelangelo And The Pope Relationship

The Agony and the Ecstasy. By Irving Stone

Written in 1962 and loved by thousands of readers since then, this beautiful novel gives a passionate and very human portrait of Michelangelo Buonarroti. It’s not very historically accurate, but it’s surely engaging, and that’s actually okay for a novel. A part of the Agony and the Ecstasy was also adapted into a Hollywood movie starring Charlton Heston as Michelangelo.

The Giant. A novel of Michelangelo’s David. By Laura Morelli

The title might be a bit misleading, because I initially thought this was a novel about Michelangelo and the making of David. Instead the plot is revolving around other characters that are somehow connected to the famous artist and his marble masterpiece, but they have a marginal role. Anyway, I found the Giant to be still very good and enjoyable!

  • Do you want to meet David in person? Take a guided tour at the Accademia Gallery in Florence with me!
  • Discover some fun facts about David by Michelangelo.

Biographies of Michelangelo


Michelangelo: his epic life. By Martin Gayford

This is one of the best historical biographies I’ve ever read: it’s very captivating and well written. But Michelangelo: his epic life is also packed with historical facts and figures, that are important for fully understanding the social and political context around Michelangelo. And yes, his life was truly epic. Highly recommended book!

Michelangelo, the artist, the and hist times. By William E. Wallace

This biography of Michelangelo is the perfect competitor for the Agony and the Ecstasy: it’s actually very captivating AND historically accurate. The author William E. Wallace is a world recognized authority about Michelangelo Buonarroti and a professor at the Washington University of St. Louis.

Non fiction books

Michelangelo And The Pope's Ceiling PDF Free Download

Michelangelo and the Sistine Chapel. By Andrew Graham-Dixon


A book entirely dedicated to the Sistine Chapel, from the commission from pope Julius II to the making of the masterpiece, indulging in connections with the personal life of the artist and the historical background. Michelangelo and the Sistine Chapel is also rich of illustrations and details of the fresco. The author, Andrew Graham-Dixon, is a famous art and history documentarist who worked also for the BBC.

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The Complete Sculptures, Paintings and Architectures.

I love the thick and glossy books by Taschen, always full of wonderful pictures of masterpieces of art. This one dedicated to the complete works of Michelangelo has been recently republished and it’s a pleasure to browse his pages and pictures again and again.

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Books about Michelangelo for kids

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Michelangelo for kids. His life and ideas with 21 activities. By Simonetta Carr

A fun activity book for children who are curious about art and history. A great mix of fun facts, historic figures and events, art knowledge and lovely illustrations. I often buy Michelangelo for Kids as a present for kids and they always love it!

Monty Python Michelangelo And The Pope

I hope you find this reading list of books about Michelangelo useful and full of interesting ideas for your next reads.