“Talent is cheap; dedication is expensive. It will cost you your life" First Edition of Agony and Ecstasy; Inscribed by Irving Stone

  • Agony and Ecstasy: A Biographical Novel of Michelangelo.

Agony and Ecstasy: A Biographical Novel of Michelangelo.

Item Number: 54031

New York: Doubleday & Company, Inc, 1961.

First edition of Stone’s classic biographical novel of Michaelangelo. Octavo, original cloth. Warmly inscribed by the author on the front free endpaper, “For Fran and Manny Lewis because they love Italian art. Most cordially Irving Stone.” Near fine in a very good price-clipped dust jacket. Jacket painting by Jack Keats and design by Sydney Butchkes. Rarely encountered signed and inscribed.

Irving Stone lived in Italy for years visiting many of the locations in Rome and Florence, worked in marble quarries, and apprenticed himself to a marble sculptor. A primary source for the novel is Michelangelo's correspondence, all 495 letters of which Stone had translated from Italian by Charles Speroni and published in 1962 as I, Michelangelo, Sculptor. Stone also collaborated with Canadian sculptor Stanley Lewis, who researched Michelangelo's carving technique and tools. The Italian government lauded Stone with several honorary awards for his cultural achievements highlighting Italian history. It was the basis for the 1965 film directed by Carol Reed, starring Charlton Heston as Michelangelo and Rex Harrison as Pope Julius II.