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A common myth that has circulated for many years about Michelangelo is that he painted the Sistine Chapel ceiling while lying down. I mention this because many books that are otherwise good sources of information about him do sometimes include this error. In fact, he damaged both his eyesight and his neck by having to paint the ceiling while standing, which he recorded in the sketch at right.

Michelangelo (Art for Children)

By Ernest Raboff

I really enjoy this series of art books from Ernest Roboff. They are beautifully laid out and illustrated and give unique glimpses at the artsts they cover. They are no longer in print, but you can sometimes find them used on eBay or Amazon. Ages 9-12.

Stone Giant: Michelangelo’s David and How He Came to Be

By Jane Sutcliffe

A book in story form, specifically about Michelangelo’s David. Ages 6-9.


By Diane Stanley

This is the same author who wrote and illustrated Bard of Avon as well as several other books on famous composers, artists, and historical figures – beautiful pictures and well written in story form. Ages 4-8.

Discovering Great Artists

By Maryann F. Kohl

“‘Discovering Great Artists’ has 75 great artists featured in 110 amazingly fun and unique quality art appreciation activities for children. They will experience the styles and techniques of the great masters, from the Renaissance to the Present. A brief biography of each artist is included with a fully illustrated, child-tested art activity, featuring painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, architecture, and more. Includes such greats as Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Rembrandt, Monet, Degas, Picasso, Van Gogh, Dali, Matisse, Pollock, and O’Keeffe. 1998 Benjamin Franklin Silver Award, 2002 Practical Homeschooling Reader Award. Full ‘click-to’ resource guide at Bright Ring’s website to show each artist’s most famous works.” Ages 3-12. (Includes two Michelangelo projects [one of which is laying down while painting – see note at the top of the page].)