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The Life of Michelangelo Buonarroti
by John Addington Symonds
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From Library Journal
Though this originally appeared back in 1911, it is still considered to be one of the best biographies of the artist. Symonds was the first to deal frankly with Michelangelo's homosexuality and was the first scholar granted complete access to the artist's materials by the Italian government. This edition includes a new introduction by Creighton E. Gilbert, art historian and translator of Michelangelo's poems and letters, who discusses the historical context of the biography as well as Symonds's own life and his efforts to recognize the contributions of gay artists.
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Times Literary Supplement
Symond's account reads remarkably well and carries conviction by virtue of its mastery of the artist's life and times.
According to a vague tradition, the Simoni drew their blood from the high and puissant Counts of Canossa. Michelangelo himself believed in this pedigree, for which there is, however, no foundation in fact, and no heraldic corroboration. According to his friend and biographer Condivi, the sculptor’s first Florentine ancestor was a Messer Simone dei Conti di Canossa, who came in 1250 as Podesta to Florence.
About the Author
Poet, essayist, and literary historian, John Addington Symonds (1840-1893) delved into every field of the humanities, writing the celebrated "Renaissance in Italy" and publishing translations of the "Autobiography of Benvenuto Cellini" and the "Sonnets of Michelangelo and Campanella;" he wrote biographies of Shelley, Sidney, and Jonson, and collaborated with Havelock Ellis on a number of projects in sexology. He is remembered for his untiring efforts to loosen the restraints on homosexuals in England, and his Memoirs are the only diary of a Victorian homosexual of his stature.
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