Michelangelo (1475–1564), one of the great artistic figures of the Renaissance, is best known as a sculptor and painter. However he was also an important and highly original architect despite asserting that architecture was not his profession.
This comprehensive study examines the complex story of his architectural production from his early works in Rome at the beginning of the 16th–century through to the Florentine period between 1516 and 1534 and finally the major Roman projects from 1534 to 1564.
These 31 built and planned projects include his most notable works such as the Laurentian Library at San Lorenzo (1515–59), with its tremendous vestibule staircase and St. Peter's Basilica in The Vatican, where he was chief architect from 1546–1564, designing the majestic dome that dominates the Rome skyline.
These buildings demonstrate Michelangelo’s imaginative use of the classical language of architecture to create a new, more unconventional version of his own.
Projects are illustrated with many of Michelangelo’s annotated sketches, pen-and-ink studies, plans and renderings as well as rich black and white photographs of completed buildings taken by the leading fine art photographer Gabriele Basilico.
Essays by authors Giulio Carlo Argan and Bruno Contardi discuss the development of Michelangelo’s architectural work including his often difficult relationships with his papal and Medici patrons, and give an insight into Michelangelo’s complex architectural legacy.
Gulio Carlo Argan (was an art historian, and professor at the University of Rome 1959-76, Mayor of Rome between 1976-79, and an Italian Senator. He was elected Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1992.
Gabriele Basilico (b. 1944) is one of today's best known documentary photographers in Europe. In 1996 he was awarded the top prize by the international jury of the Sixth Exhibition of Architecture of Venice Biennial Event, for his photographs of contemporary architecture. In the spring of 2000, the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam presented a retrospective of his work.