Many believe Michelangelo's talent was miraculous and untrained, the product of "divine" genius, but the young Michelangelo studied art like any Renaissance apprentice, learning from a master and experimenting with materials and styles. Alan Pascuzzi, the child of a painter, won a Fulbright as a grad student in art history to "apprentice" himself to Michelangelo, studying his extant drawings and copying them to learn the progression of his technique, mastery of anatomy and composition, and understanding of human potential. He also relied on the Renaissance treatise that "Il Divino" himself would have been familiar with, Cennino Cennini's The Craftsman’s Handbook (1399), which was used by formal apprentices to masters.
Pascuzzi's narrative, tracing Michelangelo's development from student and young artist to master through his drawings during the period from roughly 1485 to his completion of the Sistine Chapel ceiling in 1512, unlocks the transformation that made him great, while narrating his life in contemporary Italy. At the same time, analyzing Michelangelo's burgeoning abilities through copies he himself executed in museums and galleries in Florence and elsewhere, Pascuzzi narrates his own transformation from student to artist as Michelangelo’s last apprentice.
SubtitleApprenticing to the Master, and Discovering the Artist through His Drawings
AuthorBy Alan Pascuzzi
Published2 October 2018
Dimensions6.00 x 9.00in.
Illustrations30 b/w illustrations, 20 b/w photos, 60 color illustrations.
About the author
Alan Pascuzzi is a painter, sculptor, and professor of art history who received a Fulbright scholarship to travel to Florence and apprentice himself to Michelangelo. He copied all 135 of Michelangelo's extant drawings from the period covered in his book from originals in various museums. He has been teaching Renaissance art techniques to students for more than a decade. He has appeared in TV documentaries on Renaissance art, including the BBC's The Color Blue and Inside the Mind of Leonardo and on 60 Minutes. He lives in Florence.