Il Gigante by Anton Gill
Michelangelo, Florence, and the David 1492--1504

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Synopsis

At the turn of the 16th century, Italy was a turbulent territory made up of independent states, each at war with or intriguing against its neighbor. There were the proud, cultivated, and degenerate Sforzas in Milan, and in Rome, the corrupt Spanish family of the Borgia whose head, Rodrigo, ascended to St Peter's throne as Pope Alexander VI. In Florence, a golden age of culture and sophistication ended with the death of the greatest of the Medici family, Lorenzo the Magnificent, giving way to an era of uncertainty, cruelty, and religious fundamentalism.

In the midst of this turmoil, there existed the greatest concentration of artists that Europe has ever known. Influenced by the rediscovery of the ancient cultures of Greece and Rome, artists and thinkers such as Botticelli and da Vinci threw off the shackles of the Middle Ages to produce one of the most creative periods in history - the Renaissance.

This is the story of twelve years when war, plague, famine, and chaos made their mark on a volatile Italy, and when a young, erratic genius, Michelangelo Buonarroti, made his first great statue - the David. It was to become a symbol not only of the independence and defiance of the city of Florence but also of the tortured soul who created it. Anton Gill's Il Gigante is a wonderful history of the artist, his times, and one of his most magnificent works.

 

About Anton Gill

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Anton Gill was educated at Chigwell School and Clare College, Cambridge. He became a full-time writer in 1984 after a few years working in the theatre, for the Arts Council and for the BBC. He is the author of a number of books, largely in the field of contemporary history, including studies of Germany before, during, and after World War II. He is also the author of Art Lover, a highly acclaimed biography of the collector of surreal and abstract art Peggy Guggenheim. When he isn't writing, Anton Gill travels. When he is, he lives in Bloomsbury, London.
 
Published October 22, 2013 by Thomas Dunne Books. 357 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Arts & Photography, Travel. Non-fiction

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He twice describes the Guild of Physicians and Apothecaries, as well an administrative building known as the Bargello and combines repetition with inconsistency when he writes that Michelangelo was little influenced by the countryside or nature and pages later tells of his “willingness to copy fr...

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The Guardian

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Il Gigante: Michelangelo, Florence and the David 1492-1505 by Anton Gill Michelangleo's David is the most celebrated sculpture in the world and is instantly recognised by millions of people who have never seen the original.

Jul 28 2002 | Read Full Review of Il Gigante: Michelangelo, Flo...

The Guardian

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Il Gigante: Michelangelo, Florence and the David 1492-1504 by Anton Gill 348pp, Review, £15.99 It was the Victorians who made Michelangelo's David (1501-4) the most famous statue in the world.

Oct 26 2002 | Read Full Review of Il Gigante: Michelangelo, Flo...

Publishers Weekly

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The 12 years between the death of Lorenzo de' Medici and the unveiling of the David are "the most dramatic in the history of Florence, and... the most dr

May 26 2003 | Read Full Review of Il Gigante: Michelangelo, Flo...

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