<B>Michelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling</B>In this compelling account of 16th-century Italy, King, the best-selling author of <I>Brunelleschi's Dome</I>, explores the Renaissance through the lens of one of its greatest wonders: the frescoes painted by Michelangelo in the Vatican's Sistine Chapel. Commissioned by Pope Julius II in 1508 to paint the ceiling of the refurbished sanctuary, the artist was hesitant to take on the assignment at first, having painted very little. But the results were, of course, remarkable, and so is King's chronicle of the four years Michelangelo devoted to this backbreaking task. With Rome as the backdrop, the everyday life of Michelangelo. unfolds in rich detail. Providing glimpses of important figures like Leonardo da Vinci, Niccolo Machiavelli and Martin Luther along the way, the author applies his historical expertise to a fascinating epoch, producing a fast-paced narrative that history buffs and art lovers will enjoy.