Michelangelo (TASCHEN's Basic Art Series #4) by Gilles Néret

During the Renaissance, the great artists, from Leonardo da Vinci and Botticelli to Michelangelo and Rapheal, transformed the history of art, achieving an even closer imitation of nature whilst altering it to their taste.
From the art, ambiguous beings were born, half man, half woman; female breasts were planted on male busts and a young man's gaze peeped out beneath the eyelids of a Madonna. From his earliest youth, Michelangelo never ceased to suffer, and thereby to create. He attempted to reconcile the apparently conflicting forces that inhibited him: earthly passions and fear of God. Hence the edifice devoted to beauty, celestial and infernal alike, that Michelangelo raised to the glory of God. It has no equivalent nor descendants. His predecessors aspired to Heaven through faith alone; Miichelangelo sought to rise through the contemplative exaltation of beauty.

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