Following the collapse of Medici rule in fifteenth-century Florence, the centre of Renaissance activity moved first to Rome and finally to Venice. In the Rome of Julius II and Leo X which Michelangelo remodelled and beautified, in the Venice of Titian and Tintoretto and Palladio, the Renaissance reached the height of its splendour, not only in the visual arts but also in the theatre, history, biography, epic poetry and music.
“An evocative picture of Rome at the turn of the sixteenth century... the account of Michelangelo is particularly memorable. At the same time Mr Cronin places the Renaissance firmly in its historical, political and religious setting... The book is beautifully written, and in his discussion of such artists as Titian and Giorgione Cronin shows a rare talent for describing and dissecting paintings.”
“It is Mr Cronin's outstanding achievement to have given this truly chaotic period a form which makes it intelligible - but without distorting its meaningthrough over-simplification.”