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Bill Viola / Michelangelo: Life, Death, Rebirth


At first glance, there may appear to be more to separate Michelangelo (1475–1564) and Bill Viola (born 1951) than to unite them: one, the great master of the Italian Renaissance; the other, the creator of state-of-the-art immersive sound and video installations. And yet, when Martin Clayton showed the Queen’s unsurpassed collection of Michelangelo drawings to Viola at Windsor in 2006, parallels began to emerge. This book presents a new perspective on both artists’ works. Stills and sequences from 10 works by Viola―spanning over 30 years of his career―are reproduced alongside 14 of Michelangelo’s drawings, as well as the Taddei Tondo, a treasure of the Royal Academy’s collection. Texts by Martin Clayton examine how existential concerns―the preoccupation of many Renaissance artists, not least Michelangelo―are explored in Viola’s often profoundly moving video installations, while Kira Perov, Viola’s wife and collaborator, provides insight into Viola’s working processes.


Published by: Royal Academy of Arts, London

With texts by: Martin Clayton and Kira Perov

Edited by: Martin Clayton

Hardcover, 160 pages

ISBN: 978-1910350997


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