OVERRIDE

The Last Judgment

Michelangelo and the Death of the Renaissance

James A. Connor

Palgrave Macmillan Trade

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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Praise for The Last Judgment

Praise for The Last Judgment:
 
"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 is a joy to read...He peoples the book with terrifically corrupt popes who make dukes of their sons and cardinals of their nephews, jealous artists and fiery demagogues. Connor does a wonderful job taking the reader through each vast area of the fresco, analyzing and working through the art. Connor paints a picture of the environment that influenced Michelangelo to create the fresco in his startlingly fresh way....The Last Judgment is a great window into so many fascinating rooms: the Renaissance, the papacy, Michelangelo and the fresco itself, which is often overshadowed by the more famous Sistine ceiling."--The Catholic Sun 
 
"Connor delivers a fresh examination of the historical, social, religious, and biographical contexts in which Michelangelo created The Last Judgment in the Sistine Chapel. This is an enlightening, noteworthy book intended for European history professors and art historians as well as general readers"--Library Journal
 
"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
 
Praise for Jim Connor:
 
"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

Reviews from Goodreads

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • James A. Connor

  • 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.

  • James A. Connor
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    The Last Judgment

    Michelangelo and the Death of the Renaissance

    James A. Connor

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