High renaissance

The Sistine Chapel as you’ve never seen it before

‘The World’s Most Lavish Art Book’ is a pretty big claim, but when two men lugged it through my front door I conceded that The Sistine Chapel is one monster tome. Three, actually. Three hardback volumes, each two feet-tall, each weighing nearly two stone, each in its own calico bag, comprising of digitally perfect photographic recreations of the artwork in the 15th-century chapel. The first volume deals with the masterpieces along the walls, while volumes two and three are a quasi-Greatest Hits, one covering the Sistine ceiling and one the ‘Last Judgment’, both of course by Michelangelo and one of the most famous art sequences on the planet. Lavish, yes,

Why the Royal Academy is wrong to consider selling their precious Michelangelo

How much does a Michelangelo cost? It is, as they say, a good question, meaning: nobody really knows. The reason for this odd state of affairs is that almost none of them have ever been bought and sold on the open market, which is how the prices of most things are established. It’s hard to think of many examples of his sculptures being traded in that way over the past 500 years. Strangely, the main exception is the ‘Taddei Tondo’, otherwise known as ‘Virgin and Child with the Infant St John’, which, reportedly, some members of the Royal Academy are suggesting the RA should sell. If that were to happen,