The Agony and the Ecstasy - Study Guide Book 1 Summary & Analysis

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The book begins with 13-year-old Michelangelo Buonarroti sketching his own asymmetric, artistically unsatisfying features. Michelangelo scampers off with his friend, Francesco Granacci, headed to visit Domenico Ghirlandaio, one of the foremost painters in Florence. Ghirlandaio resists, stating apprentices start in his shop at 10 years of age. Michelangelo impresses by producing a drawing of the shop, so Ghirlandaio agrees to take him on — but Michelangelo says he can only do it if the usual arrangement is inverted: the master paying him, rather than the young apprentice paying for his education. Ghirlandaio is impressed by Michelangelo’s confidence, and takes him on.

Michelangelo strolls back home, over streets and past buildings that are homages to the stonecutter’s heritage of Florence, built in the pietra serena, the serene stone quarried from the surrounding hills. Michelangelo himself was partially raised by stonecutters, when his father, Lodovico Buonarotti-Simoni, fell into depression when...

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This section contains 533 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Agony and the Ecstasy Study Guide
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