Updated: Jul 1
The Agony and Ecstasy by Irving Stone
I have to fan myself due to the sheer reason of being overwhelmed, the biography of Michelangelo is nothing short of the masterpieces he had carved in his lifetime. Irving Stone had accomplished to bring a man dead for centuries to the people of the contemporary world like he was walking down the streets in Florence looking for a new place to set up his studio.
Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni
Being from an old and lustrous family, Michelangelo had it difficult to make his father understand that the life of an artist is what can bring back their family name that has gone to ravages. Life of an artist is what he sought out since his teen years, those were the times of good and old when the arts of old were depicting stories new, The Renaissance was set afoot and Michelangelo was all for it.
Wanting to be an artist he got himself enrolled up in a gallery of one to learn the art of representing his mind on the canvas but some part of him told him this wasn't his art. The art he sought out didn't lie on the soft and mushy canvas paper but the hard and shiny surface of the white marbles.
His art brought him in contact with marbles and sculpting became the extension of his soul, scourging for money while purchasing his first block and while creating the image of David to represent Florence in the immensely gratifying reproduction of the giant slayer, Michelangelo learnt to talk to his marble, the cold blocks of rock seemed to soften at his most delicate swivel and flow through his hand like a lover's drapes.
“It's freezing up here. What did you use to keep warm?"
"Indignation," said Michelangelo. "Best fuel I know. Never burns out.”
Michelangelo walked into an extinct art to reinvigorate it beyond any that's ever existed, notoriously famous for exhuming cadavers like the old Da Vinci, our protagonist learnt the human anatomy to the last detail, the muscles and tendons of the human form reflected in his carving like the boldest of heroes in the greek history biceps bulging and deltoids flexing. Michelangelo had divined a way to make a stone grow soft!
Close-up view of David
A painter, a poet, a sculptor and even an architect there are more titles that he held than you spend years to locate your fervour. Creator of David, Piéta and the Sistine chapel's ceiling there aren't enough word for me to compile this article.
Agony and Ecstacy is the grand design of Irving stone that put Michelangelo on a pedestal for the entire humanity to gasp at. This is the work of non-fiction that made me an ardent fan of the author himself and the man in the pages of the 800 paged book. That man, his passion for his art and the explosive relationships he had had, but the mantle of his being an artist to the core of his existence. Michelangelo was born in the times he was, to reform that phase of reality. His art was his love and his love was his agony. Thus in this agony, he sought peace and kept on chipping the white stone till strength gave way to his material body becoming the immortal he is now.
Find all the works of Irving Stone here on Amazon
Get to know Michelangelo the innovator here