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    Almost 500 years after Michelangelo Buonarroti frescoed the
    ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in Rome, the site still attracts
    throngs of visitors and is considered one of the artistic
    masterpieces of the world. Michelangelo and the Pope’s Ceiling
    unveils the story behind the art's making, a story rife with all
    the drama of a modern-day soap opera.

    The temperament of the day was dictated by the politics of the
    papal court, a corrupt and powerful office steeped in
    controversy; Pope Julius II even had a nickname, "Il Papa
    Terrible," to prove it. Along with his violent outbursts and
    warmongering, Pope Julius II took upon himself to restore the
    Sistine Chapel and pretty much intimidated Michelangelo into
    painting the ceiling even though the artist considered himself
    primarily a sculptor and was particularly unfamiliar with the
    temperamental art of fresco. Along with technical difficulties,
    personality conflicts, and money troubles, Michelangelo was
    plagued by health problems and competition in the form of the
    dashing and talented young painter Raphael.

    Author Ross King offers an in-depth analysis of the complex
    historical background that led to the magnificence that is the
    Sistine Chapel ceiling along with detailed discussion of some of
    the ceiling’s panels. King provides fabulous tidbits of
    information and weaves together a fascinating historical tale.
    --J.P. Cohen


    Michelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling