The Agony and the Ecstasy – Irving Stone

Irving Stone’s book “The Agony and the Ecstasy” ended when it was just about to become a habit. I interestingly felt at a loss; seems like reading a long and irreplaceable hardcover makes me feel like I’m really reading. Some books have that kind of power. Especially if you have that weird relationship with the book that nothing else can compensate, and if you lie down with it and get up with it for a long time, it is inevitable that you fall at a loss when you finish reading it.


I have read about what Michelangelo experienced, his close circle, the cardinals of that time and Italy (16th century), what he did in the process of carrying out his sculptures and other works, through the fluent language of Irving Stone. After each statue, I sat in front of the computer and examined them all. David, Moses, Pieta and others. If you’re a bit of a curious person, after reading this book, I’m sure you’ll want to read a lot of books and watch movies to satisfy your curiosity about this genius artist. That’s what happened to me.

The Agony and the Ecstasy - Irving Stone

The Agony and the Ecstasy and the love of Michelangelo

Aside from his divine ability, his personality is infinitely eye-catching, so the reader inevitably falls in love with Michelangelo while reading the book. I questioned myself as I saw the value that he gave to love, art and people. Will I ever be passionate about something? Other than that, Michelangelo has such a love for marble that you suddenly dream of becoming a sculptor, mixing the dust of marble into your lungs and working on a sculpture day and night. I mean, at least that’s what I wanted.

Irving Stone worked well on Michelangelo’s life and gave the reader almost every little detail. It is fascinating to learn such thing about the artist with a great novel.

The Agony and the Ecstasy - Irving Stone

Last but not least, I wanted to share my favourite among the many sentences that effected me; it tells us a lot about what kind of a man Michelangelo is.

One should not become an artist because he can, but because he must. It is only for those who would be miserable without it.


About the book: The Agony and the Ecstasy

Irving Stone’s powerful and passionate biographical novel of Michelangelo.
His time: the turbulent Renaissance, the years of poisoning princes, warring popes, the all-powerful Medici family, the fanatic monk Savonarola.
His loves: the frail and lovely daughter of Lorenzo de Medici; the ardent mistress of Marco Aldovrandi; and his last love – his greatest love – the beautiful, unhappy Vittoria Colonna.
His genius: a God-driven fury from which he wrested the greatest art the world has ever known. 
Michelangelo Buonarotti, the creator of David, painter of the Sistine ceiling, architect of the dome of St Peter’s, lives once more in the tempestuous, powerful pages of Irving Stone’s marvellous book.

About the author: Irving Stone

Irving Stone was an American writer, chiefly known for his biographical novels of noted artists, politicians and intellectuals; among the best known is Lust for Life, about the life of Vincent van Gogh, and The Agony and the Ecstasy, about Michelangelo.

The Agony and the Ecstasy - Irving Stone

Reading this book contributed to these challenges: 

Books about Art and Artists

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