For that price I’d expect it to have been a newly discovered Michelangelo original, or at least personally written by the reanimated corpse of Michelangelo himself, but no, it’s just a coffee table book about his work. And it doesn’t even have color pictures!
Using the high standards of the privately published books in the 19th century — an ideal known as the “book beautiful” — as a starting point, FMR sought expert artisans from various fields to create something Ms. Ferrari described as “a work of art in itself.”
Aurelio Amendola’s black-and-white photographs were printed on paper made exclusively for the project. There are detachable reproductions of Michelangelo drawings on handmade folios created according to centuries-old traditions. And then there’s the cover: a scale reproduction in marble of the “Madonna della Scala” (“Madonna of the Steps”), a bas-relief of the Virgin and Child sculptured by Michelangelo when he was still in his teens. The original is housed in the Casa Buonarroti in Florence.
It took two white-gloved attendants to lug around the 46.2-pound book at its City Hall debut.
The dimensions (45×70, 5×8 cm) are inspired by a Fibonacci sequence whose first and final terms approach the golden ratio. The publishers were going for that full-on ancient harmony in the visual arts thing.
There are only 99 copies in the first limited edition, and since it takes 6 months to make one of these books, so you can’t run out and buy me a copy. Better plan ahead for my birthday instead.
You can find more details (in Italian) and film of the book itself on the publishers’ site.