The Last Judgment: Michelangelo and the Death of the Renaissance

Paperback | August 3, 2010

byJames A. Connor

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Painted on the altar wall of the Sistine Chapel, 28 years after Michelangelo completed the glorious and hopeful ceiling, The Last Judgment is full of stark images depicting the End of Days. Here, James Connor uncovers the secrets behind the fresco, and details the engrossing stories of conspiring kings, plotting popes, and murderous rivalries between noble families who were vying for control over Michelangelo and his art. This book combines enchanting storytelling with incisive historical detective work, demonstrating how Michelangelo was inspired by Copernicus and how the Counter-Reformation arose from the ashes of the Renaissance.

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Painted on the altar wall of the Sistine Chapel, 28 years after Michelangelo completed the glorious and hopeful ceiling, The Last Judgment is full of stark images depicting the End of Days. Here, James Connor uncovers the secrets behind the fresco, and details the engrossing stories of conspiring kings, plotting popes, and murderous ri...

James A. Connor is a professor of English at Kean University and a former Jesuit priest. He is the author of three books: Silent Fire, Kepler's Witch and Pascal's Wager. He lives in Rahway, NJ.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:256 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.58 inPublished:August 3, 2010Publisher:St. Martin's PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0230623891

ISBN - 13:9780230623897

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Table of Contents

Prologue: Standing in the Sistine * Introduction: The Dying Pope * The Great Commission * Clement's Brainstorm * Pope Julius' Tomb * The Altar Wall * Colors * The Children of Savonarola * Vittoria Colonna * Sol Invictus * The Naked and the Dead *The Damned * Censoring the End of the World * The Last Days of Michelangelo Buonarotti

Editorial Reviews

"Connor's narrative is compelling, his writing vivid and evocative. [...] An indispensable perspective for the general reader as well as fresh insights for the specialist." -Publishers Weekly"Connor gives a full and fascinating account of the history and personalities involved in the creation of one of the world's most forbidding and beautiful frescoes. The Last Judgment is also readable and succinct, and it offers intriguing insights into a culture hastening towards its own destruction." -Ross King, bestselling author of Brunelleschi's Dome and Michelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling"James Connor clarifies the dizzying Renaissance swirl of science, politics, art and war with language as vivid and colorful as a newly cleaned fresco." -Mary Doria Russell, bestselling author of The Sparrow and A Thread of Grace"The 17th century was a rough, bloody time in which ignorance, corruption, and religious hatred often trumped knowledge, ethical behavior, and religious tolerance...By showing Kepler's inability to shield his own mother, Connor drives this point forcibly home." -The Los Angeles Times on Kepler's Witch"A compelling and readable study of one of the most influential thinkers in religious history." -Booklist on Pascal's Wager