When is a guidebook not just a guidebook?
When it is also a guide to the art, the history, the culture, and the architecture of a specific place. So I’m not going to call ‘A Journey into Michelangelo’s Rome’ just a guidebook. It is, in fact, a work of art that allows you to travel both back in time and into the present while exploring Rome through the eyes of it’s most famous artist, Michelangelo Buonarroti.
The perfect book for the armchair traveler, it starts with an introduction to Michelangelo and his world. You are immediately transported back in time to follow his journey from sculptor to painter. Along the way, you’re introduced to a cast of characters, mainly popes and politicians, who played extremely important roles in the development of not only Rome but also Michelangelo’s art.
I was quickly mesmerised by the beauty of Michelangelo’s work and was fascinated by the background stories on how the various sculptures and paintings evolved. And as a traveler, I found the numerous maps that highlighted the locations of Michelangelo’s work, plus where he lived and visited, indispensible. Having never visited Rome, the maps helped me envision not only the Rome of the past but also present day Rome.
The book’s detailed photographs, sidebars, diagrams, and street maps provide clarity and understanding of how and why Rome is considered one of Europe’s most beautiful and interesting cities.
Written by Angela K. Nickerson, A Journey into Michelangelo’s Rome looks like a coffee table book and acts like a travel guide and history/art lesson. It is also small enough to make the ideal traveling campanion. In fact, I’ve lent the book to a couple of friends who are off to Rome later this year for the very first time. They thought they had already figured out where and what to see in Rome. But after reading this book, they are now revising their plans so that they can see Rome through Michelangelo’s eyes.
Want to know more about the author and this book, then have a read of this interview.
A Journey into Michelangelo’s Rome is one of the Roaring Forties Press ArtSeries. Each of the books in the series tackles the interrelationship between an artist and a city. Some of the other titles include A Journey into Dorothy Parker’s New York and A Journey into Matisse’s South of France.