Cover image for Sayonara, Michelangelo : the Sistine Chapel restored and repackaged
Sayonara, Michelangelo : the Sistine Chapel restored and repackaged
Januszczak, Waldemar.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Reading, Mass. : Addison-Wesley, [1990]

Physical Description:
xv, 207 pages ; 19 cm
General Note:
Includes index.
Reading Level:
1240 Lexile.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
ND2757.V35 J3 1990 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



Januszczak (literary editor, art critic, and now arts editor for the Brit's Channel 4) has written his impressions of the restoration of Christianity's greatest masterpiece. Witty, deeply-informed, biased, and, at spots, murky with allusion, it is a lively and charming, if very personal, commentary. No bibliography. Annotation(c) 2003 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

British art and literary critic Januszczak's account of the Sistine Chapel's latest restoration reads like New Journalism meeting the Renaissance. While much of the author's commentary demolishes the Michelangelo of popular imagination, the book also inquires into how the chapel's ceiling frescoes have acquired a life of their own, as art masterpiece and as tourist attraction. The role of a Japanese television company in the restoration also adds a sociocultural dimension to the story. The author ponders the absurd dimensions--to Januszczak, anyway--of their financial and esthetic involvement in the project. This volume certainly puts a distinctive new light on Michelangelo's creation, but a more thorough, less thematic view of the restoration project and its attending controversies is given in Pietrangeli's Sistine Chapel [BKL Ja 15 87], which supplies a full range of revealing illustrations as well. ~--John Brosnahan

Publisher's Weekly Review

Nippon TV, a Japanese channel best known for its quiz shows and baseball coverage, underwrote the cleaning and restoration of Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel frescoes in return for exclusive media rights to the restored ceiling. The ``bright, light, colorful, and uplifting Renaissance spectacle'' emerging from the ongoing restoration has helped replace the myth of a ``grim, black, troubled'' Michelangelo as agonized godlike sufferer, with the impression of a down-to-earth artist, clear-eyed and rational. This delightfully irreverent, psychologically astute on-the-scene report gives us a Michelangelo who took shortcuts, repeated himself and eradicated his mistakes, a snob who tried to cover up his origins, tolerated no competitors and was obsessed with money. Arts editor for a British TV network, Januszczak throws a sharp light on art world politics, Renaissance studies and the Japanese yen for Western culture. The book, however, would have benefited from illustrations. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Despite the author's credentials as former art and literary critic for The Guardian , readers will find no serious exposition of fact here. Flip commentary posing as criticism alternates with fiction, movie dialog, episodes of torture, and emphasis on sexual practices and prowess. There is real controversy over the 1980s conservation and cleaning of the Sistine Chapel, sponsored by a Japanese TV network, but Januszcak does little more than muddy the issues while supporting the results. Not recommended as art criticism.-- Mary Hamel - Schwulst, Towson State Univ., Md. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Introductionp. xi
Preludep. i
The Marathonp. 9
The Imagep. 15
The Ceilingp. 31
The Hardshipp. 55
The Encountersp. 65
The Laocoonp. 89
The Argumentp. 103
The Nudesp. 131
The Goldp. 151
The Equipmentp. 169
The Letterp. 179
The Obituaryp. 191
Indexp. 200