Published by Royal Academy Publications. Text by Alison Cole.
Michelangelo’s (1475–1564) “Taddei Tondo,” in the collection of the Royal Academy in London, offers a fascinating insight into the master’s technical and experimental skill. Joshua Reynolds, the Academy’s first president, considered that Michelangelo represented everything that an artist should aspire to, combining technical brilliance with sublime poetical imagination, and the Tondo shows this in scintillating relief. Expertly researched and written by the renowned Renaissance art historian Alison Cole, this book moves through the life of the “Tondo,” from Michelangelo’s rivalry with Leonardo to the marble’s arrival at the Royal Academy and its use in the RA Schools. Finishing with a fresh look at the Tondo’s role in revealing Michelangelo’s technical experimentalism, Cole explores the importance of finish and what constitutes a finished work of art. Lavishly illustrated and including new photos of the Tondo, this is an enriching exploration of a lesser-known side of the great Renaissance master’s work.