Cover image for The Man Who Broke Michelangelo’s Nose By Felipe Pereda

The Man Who Broke Michelangelo’s Nose

Felipe Pereda

Coming in August

$84.95 | Hardcover Edition
ISBN: 978-0-271-09694-0
Coming in August

Available as an e-book

288 pages
8" × 10"
41 color/67 b&w illustrations
2024

The Man Who Broke Michelangelo’s Nose

Felipe Pereda

The Man Who Broke Michelangelo’s Nose is one of the most delightful books about Renaissance art and culture that I have read over the years. It is informed by an intellectual creativity that one rarely finds in the art-historical literature. Once I started reading, I could not put it down.”

 

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Renaissance sculptor Pietro Torrigiano has long held a place in the public imagination as the man who broke Michelangelo’s nose. Indeed, he is known more for that story than for his impressive prowess as an artist. This engagingly written and deeply researched study by Felipe Pereda, a leading expert in the field, teases apart legend and history and reconstructs Torrigiano’s work as an artist.

Torrigiano was, in fact, one of the most fascinating characters of the sixteenth century. After fighting in the Italian wars under Cesare Borgia, the Florentine artist traveled across four countries, working for such patrons as Margaret of Austria in the Netherlands and the Tudors in England. Toriggiano later went to Spain, where he died in prison, accused of heresy by the Inquisition for breaking a sculpture of the Virgin and Child that he had made with his own hands. In the course of his travels, Torrigiano played a crucial role in the dissemination of the style and the techniques that he learned in Florence, and he interacted with local artisanal traditions and craftsmen, developing a singular terracotta modeling technique that is both a response to the authority of Michelangelo and a unique testimony to artists’ mobility in the period.

As Pereda shows, Torrigiano’s life and work constitute an ideal example to rethink the geography of Renaissance art, challenging us to reconsider the model that still sees the Renaissance as expanding from an Italian center into the western periphery.

The Man Who Broke Michelangelo’s Nose is one of the most delightful books about Renaissance art and culture that I have read over the years. It is informed by an intellectual creativity that one rarely finds in the art-historical literature. Once I started reading, I could not put it down.”
“This sparkling and at the same time profoundly scholarly book brings to life the great Renaissance sculptor Pietro Torrigiano, who was active in sixteenth-century Florence, England, and Spain. Torrigiano’s fiery youthful encounter with Michelangelo sets the tone of this lively art-historical account, vividly evoking Torrigiano’s dynamic temperament and his own artistic genius.”

Felipe Pereda is Fernando Zóbel de Ayala Professor of Spanish Art at Harvard University. His most recent books include Images of Discord. Poetics and Politics of the Sacred Image in 15th Century Spain, Crime and Illusion: The Art of Truth in the Spanish Golden Age, and a coedited volume on race and religion in the modern Iberian world, De sangre y leche: Raza y religión en el mundo ibérico moderno.

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