someday ill be in company of all....

Monday, February 4, 2013

Book Review: The agony and the ecstasy by Irving Stone

Title: The agony and the ecstasy
Author: Irving Stone
Rating: 5 on 5

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Read this book and you'll get a Que on how to write a biography that it almost feels like an autobiography..Renaissance is one the most interesting era in history were immense changes took place in the form of art, architecture, music and the whole thinking-thought process and ideologies...It was during the twelfth century spanning across the whole Europe starting from Italy....Leanardo Da Vinci, Isaac Newton, William Shakespeare, Vasco Da Gama are the ones that come into my mind instantly...With all these great men craving a niche for themselves, Michelangelo  stands tall with his masterpieces through his Sistine chapel and creative art... I only wish that I could get a chance to see them in person along with his Pieta at the Basilica...

This book is an extensive attempt to bring about the life of a great artist of all time right from his childhood... Michelangelo is a Renaissance star-vault..Right from his first stroke of art at Ghirlandio's studio to his career in Florence under Medicis, he showcases his brilliance very early impressing his masters right away, but his true love remains sculpture, It was as though he could feel life in cold stone that he created ...It is Ghirlandio's studio he meets Torrigini who stays  his enemy for life..He also meets Contessina Medicis's daughter who has great influence on him till death...His journey shuttles from Vatican to Florence through various turbulent priod where his love for work remains intact...The book not only explores his work but also his relationship with his family..His father who didn't really approve of his son taking up art as career, his step mother who was always kind to him treating him no less than her son, his grandmother who was there to guide him through confusions..Grannici with whom he had a friendship for life, and he shares a strong bond with his brother...

The book slowly unwraps his life in terms of his love for painting, poetry and sculpture..His hatred for imperfection is phenomenal all through..Michelangelo comes across for his sheer excellence at  work , but he is a true artist who knows his limitation and work on it...His talent and wisdom radiates through each perception...The euphoria for his work that he undertakes, the intoxication while working on it, a trance that he relishes surfaces like a perfect sonnet..The anguish, and the melancholy that his passion puts him through is wonderfully portrayed by Stone...

Stone has very cleverly dealt with his love life be it Contessina, Medici or Clarissa , his bisexual life in a politically correct way putting in more focus on art than on his controversial flings..

It is in the Palace under Lorenzo's impact that sets the course of his ideology on religion, philosophy,thoughts, creativity, spiritualism and the nexus of all these...His Christian beliefs also had a great impact on him ...His rebellious actions in the dark dissecting human body to understand them better there by help him excel in his work portrays the agony of the art that puts him through blood and desperation..It is from here his passionate other affairs takes off..

It is in Rome he finds fame rich and success , bringing him close to Pope ..His fame spreads far and wide..It is here he creates Pieta..He also gets a chance to connect to to Da Vinci, Raphael his peers were good ones...His unfinished work of Moses his love with Tomasso his apprentice illustrates how it influenced him for years...

I eagerly awaited to read on his work as the head architect at St.Peter's basilica..The dome of it that still stands tall at 335 feet is for sure true masterpiece by this exemplary artist of all time..Dying in the arms of Tomassa my heart felt heavy wanting to read more about the greatest artist...


  1. A very famous book that I have never read!

    Interesting that he was a perfectionist. I think that is true of many geniuses.

  2. Hi VB - I have recognized your Blog with The Blog of the Year Award over at my blog. Congratulations and enjoy!

  3. Hello again, VB! It is a huge confession to admit that I read this book way back when it was written! I believe that I enjoyed it more then than I would now, but I might give it a try again - it's just that you keep too many books on my to-read list - to say nothing of the ones that are already on my own list! :lol:


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