Ross King - Author

About the Author

Ross King is the highly praised author of Brunelleschi's Dome, Michelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling, The Judgment of Paris, Machiavelli: Philosopher of Power, and two novels, Ex Libris and Domino. He lives just outside Oxford.

Featured books by Ross King

Leonardo and the Last Supper

Leonardo and the Last Supper

Author: Ross King Format: Hardback Release Date: 30/08/2012

Milan, 1496 and forty-four-year-old Leonardo da Vinci has a reputation for taking on commissions and failing to complete them. He is in a state of professional uncertainty and financial difficulty. For eighteen months he has been painting murals in both the Sforza Castle in Milan and the refectory of the convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie. The latter project will become the Last Supper, a complex mural that took a full three years to complete on a surface fifteen feet high by twenty feet wide. Not only had he never attempted a painting of such size, but he had no experience whatsoever in painting in the physically demanding medium of fresco. For more than five centuries the Last Supper has been an artistic, religious and cultural icon. The art historian Kenneth Clark has called it 'the keystone of European art', and for a century after its creation it was regarded as nothing less than a miraculous image. Even today, according to Clark, we regard the painting as 'more a work of nature than a work of man'. And yet there is a very human story behind this artistic 'miracle', which was created against the backdrop of momentous events both in Milan and in the life of Leonardo himself. In Leonardo and the Last Supper, Ross King tells the complete story of this creation of this mural: the adversities suffered by the artist during its execution; the experimental techniques he employed; the models for Christ and the Apostles that he used; and the numerous personalities involved - everyone from the Leonardo's young assistants to Ludovico Sforza, the Duke of Milan who commissioned the work. Ross King's new book is both a record of Leonardo da Vinci's last five years in Milan and a 'biography' of one of the most famous works of art ever painted.

Other books by Ross King

Seoul Memory, Reinvention, and the Korean Wave

Seoul Memory, Reinvention, and the Korean Wave

Author: Ross King Format: Hardback Release Date: 23/07/2018

Seoul is a colossus both in its physical presence and the demand it places on any intellectual effort to understand it. How did it come to be? How can a city this immense work? Underlying its spectacle and incongruities is a city that might be described as ill at ease with its own past. The bitter rifts of Japanese colonization persist, as does the troubled aftermath of the Korean War and its divisions; the economic Miracle on the Han that followed is crosscut by memories of the violent dictatorship that drove it. In Seoul, author Ross King interrogates this contested history and its physical remnants, tacking between the city's historiography and architecture, with attention to monuments, streets, and other urban spaces. The book's structuring device is the dichotomy of erasure and memory as necessary preconditions for reinvention. King traces this phenomenon from the old dynasties to the Japanese regime and wartime destruction; he then follows the equally destructive reinvention of Korea under dictatorship to the brilliant city of the present with its extraordinary explosion of creativity and ideas-the post-1991 Hallyu, the Korean Wave. The final chapter returns to questions of forgetting and memory, but now as conditions of possibility for what would seem to underlie the present trajectory of this extraordinary city and culture. Seoul can be read, King suggests, in the context of the hybrid ideas that have characterized Korean cultural history. It may be their present eruption that accounts for the city of contradictions that confronts the contemporary observer and that most extraordinary of Korean phenomena: the rise of an alternative, virtual world, eclipsing both city and nation. Has the very idea of Korea been reinvented even as the weakly defined nation-state slips away?

Mad Enchantment Claude Monet and the Painting of the Water Lilies

Mad Enchantment Claude Monet and the Painting of the Water Lilies

Author: Ross King Format: Paperback Release Date: 07/09/2017

Claude Monet's water lily paintings are among the most iconic and beloved works of art of the past century. Yet these entrancing images were created at a time of terrible private turmoil and sadness for the artist. The dramatic history behind these paintings is little known; Ross King's Mad Enchantment tells the full story for the first time and, in the process, presents a compelling and original portrait of one of our most popular and cherished artists. By the outbreak of war in 1914, Monet, then in his mid-seventies, was one of the world's most famous and successful painters, with a large house in the country, a fleet of automobiles and a colossal reputation. However, he had virtually given up painting following the death of his wife Alice in 1911 and the onset of blindness a year later. Nonetheless, it was during this period of sorrow, ill health and creative uncertainty that - as the guns roared on the Western Front - he began the most demanding and innovative paintings he had ever attempted. Encouraged by close friends such as Georges Clemenceau, France's dauntless prime minister, Monet would work on these magnificent paintings throughout the war years and then for the rest of his life. So obsessed with his monumental task that the village barber was summoned to clip his hair as he worked beside his pond, he covered hundreds of yards of canvas with shimmering layers of pigment. As his ambitions expanded with his paintings, he began planning what he intended to be his legacy to the world: the `Musee Claude Monet' in the Orangerie in Paris. Drawing on letters and memoirs and focusing on this remarkable period in the artist's life, Mad Enchantment gives an intimate portrayal of Claude Monet in all his tumultuous complexity, and firmly places his water lily paintings among the greatest achievements in the history of art.

Heritage and Identity in Contemporary Thailand Memory, Place and Power

Heritage and Identity in Contemporary Thailand Memory, Place and Power

Author: Ross King Format: Paperback Release Date: 28/02/2017

Using Thailand as a case study, Ross King examines the role of place in the formation of identity through memory. Employing the idea of French historian Pierre Nora that because we no longer live in environments of memory-places where the past is still vividly alive-we compensate by attaching ourselves to sites of memory, King explores whether Thailand offers an alternative vision, a place where modernity and heritage coexist. He looks closely at the myths of ancient Thai cities, the remaining royal palaces, historical monuments, small towns and villages, and the proliferating slums of Bangkok in order to create a unique and nuanced perspective of contemporary Thailand and its many ideas of Thai identity.

Continuing Korean Includes CD-ROM of Audio Recordings

Continuing Korean Includes CD-ROM of Audio Recordings

Author: Ross King, Jaehoon Yeon Format: Mixed media product Release Date: 19/08/2016

This is a complete and effective intermediate-level Korean textbook and Korean language learning package It is the next book in the Elementary Korean series and takes student's abilities to read comprehend Korean, speak Korean, read Korean, and write Korean to the next level. Continuing Korean is designed for learners who have achieved basic proficiency and wish to progress to the more complex structures of the Korean language. It offers a full range of field-tested exercises that will help readers build their confidence and fluency in the Korean language. Each lesson includes Korean dialogues, vocabulary, lesson notes and detailed breakdowns of the grammatical structure under discussion, and exercises. The accompanying MP3 audio CD is another great way to learn Korean and ensures correct pronunciation and helps to build listening comprehension.

Florence The Paintings & Frescoes, 1250-1743

Florence The Paintings & Frescoes, 1250-1743

Author: Ross King, Anja Grebe Format: Hardback Release Date: 12/11/2015

Every painted work that is on display in the Uffizi Gallery, The Pitti Palace, the Accademia, and the Duomo is included in the book, plus many or most of the works from 28 of the city's other magnificent museums and churches. The research and text are by Ross King (best-selling author), Anja Grebe (author or The Louvre and The Vatican), Cristina Acidini (former Superintendent of the public museums of Florence) and Msgr. Timothy Verdon (Director of the artworks for the Archdiocese of Florence).

Continuing Korean Includes CD-ROM of Audio Recordings

Continuing Korean Includes CD-ROM of Audio Recordings

Author: Ross King, Jaehoon Yeon Format: Paperback Release Date: 11/06/2015

Following Elementary Korean, Continuing Korean is the second volume in Ross King and Jaehoon Yeon's popular series of college-level Korean textbooks. This volume is aimed at the student with one year of Korean language study under their belt, and particularly the student who has mastered the patterns and vocabulary introduced in King and Yeon's Elementary Korean, the first book in this series. Each of the fifteen chapters in Continuing Korean introduces the new language in context, through dialogues and reading passages featuring the Murphy family and the Kim family, followed by vocabulary, grammar points, and exercises--all designed to learn Korean as thoroughly as possible. Every five chapters there is a short review section to consolidate language learned so far. All dialogues, reading texts, vocabulary words, and example sentences are given in Korean Hangul and English. An accompanying free audio-CD provides native-speaker recordings of dialogues, reading passages, and key words and phrases. Concise grammar notes in English, extensive glossaries, and an answer key makes this book suitable for those studying alone, as well as for classroom use.

Advanced Korean Includes Sino-Korean Companion Workbook on CD-ROM

Advanced Korean Includes Sino-Korean Companion Workbook on CD-ROM

Author: Ross King, Jaehoon Yeon, Chungsook Kim, Donald Baker Format: Mixed media product Release Date: 01/03/2015

Advanced Korean offers a complete, systematic, and streamlined third-year course in Korean. It is ideal for university students and adult learners with plentiful reading texts and written exercises, all in Korean Hangul. Concise Korean grammar notes in English, extensive glossaries, and an answer key make this book suitable for those studying alone, as well as for classroom use. There are 20 comprehensive lessons, each with a reading text in which new language is introduced in context, followed by vocabulary, grammar points, and exercises. Lessons 5, 10, 15 and 20 are short reviews of the key structural patterns introduced. The focus is on written Korean, but the reading texts are not academic, they are breezy, chatty, and amusing, with illustrations. The textbook comes with a free CD-ROM entitled Sino-Korean Companion, a supplement for those learners wishing to commence the study of Chinese characters as they are used in the Korean language. The 20 lessons on the CD-ROM build on the content of the lessons in the main textbook to introduce 500 Chinese characters in their Sino-Korean readings. The emphasis is on giving students the tools they need to decipher unfamiliar Chinese characters on their own, and also on Sino-Korean vocabulary acquisition. Each lesson introduces approximately 25-30 new Chinese characters along with related vocabulary items and builds on previous characters and vocabulary introduced, demonstrating the cumulative effect on one's vocabulary of paying systematic attention to Sino-Korean.

Elementary Korean (Includes Audio Disc)

Elementary Korean (Includes Audio Disc)

Author: Ross King, Jaehoon Yeon Format: Paperback Release Date: 28/07/2014

This is a comprehensive and detailed introductory Korean textbook and language learning package. Korean is now the 15th most popular language taught at American universities. This new edition of Elementary Korean, the most comprehensive and detailed introductory Korean textbook available, offers beginning learners of Korean everything they need to learn the language effectively. Perfect for a first-year university-level course use or the independent language learner. No prior knowledge of the language is necessary. The new format, now with dozens of illustrations, presents Korean vocabulary and Korean grammar in an accessible and understandable manner while extensive conversations and exercises help to reinforce the Korean language and build reading and listening comprehension. This edition includes: An MP3 audio CD and a dedicated website. Rich and highly nuanced examples with brand new illustrations. Detailed but on-technical grammar notes, ample writing exercises with an accompanying answer key. Detailed examples of authentic dialogue. Highly technical grammar notes. Plenty of writing practice. Dialogues, reading texts, and written exercises are in Hangul, the Korean alphabet, so students are quickly able to read and write authentic Korean. Layered lessons are designed to build on each other, making Korean easy to learn from the most popular introductory Korean language textbook available. Included is a revised audio CD that helps learners to speak like a native and a web-based practice component through the University of British Columbia that can help students to learn Korean even beyond the pages of this book. According to the Modern Language Association, enrollment in Korean in American universities is increasing rapidly. Available separately is the companion Elementary Korean Workbook. This helpful workbook will assist you in practicing and polishing your Korean language skills. Each lesson supplements the corresponding lesson in the textbook. There are ten activities per lesson, offering a range of exercises and practice opportunities to enable you to achieve proficiency in everyday, conversational Korean.

Leonardo and the Last Supper

Leonardo and the Last Supper

Author: Ross King Format: Paperback Release Date: 12/09/2013

For more than five centuries The Last Supper has been an artistic, religious and cultural icon. The art historian Kenneth Clark called it 'the keystone of European art', and for a century after its creation it was regarded as nothing less than a miraculous image. And yet there is a very human story behind this artistic 'miracle'. Ross King's Leonardo and the Last Supper is both a 'biography' of one of the most famous works of art ever painted and a record of Leonardo da Vinci's last five years in Milan.

Brunelleschi's Dome The Story of the Great Cathedral in Florence

Brunelleschi's Dome The Story of the Great Cathedral in Florence

Author: Ross King Format: Paperback Release Date: 08/05/2008

Even in an age of soaring skyscrapers and cavernous sports stadiums, the cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence still retains a rare power to astonish. Yet the elegance of the building belies the tremendous labour, technical ingenuity and bitter personal strife involved in its creation. For over a century after work on the cathedral began in 1296, the proposed dome was regarded as all but impossible to build because of its enormous size. The greatest architectural puzzle of its age, when finally completed in 1436 the dome was hailed as one of the great wonders of the world. It has gone down in history as a masterpiece of Renaissance architecture. This book tells the extraordinary story of how the cupola was raised and of the dome's architect, the brilliant and volatile Filippo Brunelleschi. Denounced as a madman at the start of his labours, he was celebrated at their end as a great genius. His life was one of ambition, ingenuity, rivalry and intrigue - a human drama set against the plagues, wars, political feuds and intellectual ferments of Renaissance Florence, the glorious era for which the dome remains the most compelling symbol. Brunelleschi's Dome was voted Non-Fiction Book of the Year by American Independent Booksellers.

The Judgement of Paris The Revolutionary Decade That Gave the World Impressionism

The Judgement of Paris The Revolutionary Decade That Gave the World Impressionism

Author: Ross King Format: Paperback Release Date: 03/05/2007

In 1863, the French painter Ernest Meissonier was one of the most famous artists in the world and the darling of the 'Salon' - that all important public art exhibition held biannually in Paris. Manet, on the other hand, was struggling in obscurity. Beginning with the year that Manet exhibited his ground-breaking Dejeuner Sur L'Herbe and ending in 1974 with the first 'Impressionist' exhibition, Ross King plunges into Parisian life during a ten-year period full of social and political ferment with his usual narrative brillliance. These were the years in which Napoleon III's autocratic and pleasure-seeking Second Empire fell from its heights into the ignominy of the Franco-Prussian war and the ensuing Paris Commune of 1871. But it was also a period in which a group of artists, with Manet in the vanguard began to challenge the establishment by turning to the landscapes and ordinary people they saw around them. The struggle between Meissonier and Manet to get their paintings exhibited in pride of place at the Salon was not just about art, it was about how to see the world.

Michelangelo And The Pope's Ceiling

Michelangelo And The Pope's Ceiling

Author: Ross King Format: Paperback Release Date: 06/04/2006

In 1508, Pope Julius II commissioned Michelangelo to paint the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. The thirty-three-year-old Michelangelo had very little experience of the physically and technically taxing art of fresco; and, at twelve thousand square feet, the ceiling represented one of the largest such projects ever attempted. Nevertheless, for the next four years he and a hand-picked team of assistants laboured over the vast ceiling, making thousands of drawings and spending back-breaking hours on a scaffold fifty feet above the floor. The result was one of the greatest masterpieces of all time. This fascinating book tells the story of those four extraordinary years and paints a magnificent picture of day-to-day life on the Sistine scaffolding - and outside, in the upheaval of early sixteenth-century Rome.

Judgment of Paris

Judgment of Paris

Author: Ross King Format: eBook Release Date: 10/01/2006

While the Civil War raged in America, another very different revolution was beginning to take shape across the Atlantic, in the studios of Paris: The artists who would make Impressionism the most popular art form in history were showing their first paintings amidst scorn and derision from the French artistic establishment. Indeed, no artistic movement has ever been, at its inception, quite so controversial. The drama of its birth, played out on canvas, would at times resemble a battlefield; and, as Ross King reveals, Impressionism would reorder both history and culture as it resonated around the world.The Judgment of Paris chronicles the dramatic decade between two famous exhibitions-the scandalous Salon des Refuses in 1863 and the first Impressionist showing in 1874-set against the rise and dramatic fall of Napoleon III and the Second Empire after the Franco-Prussian War. A tale of many artists, it revolves around the lives of two, described as "e;the two poles of art"e;-Ernest Meissonier, the most famous and successful painter of the 19th century, hailed for his precision and devotion to history; and Edouard Manet, reviled in his time, who nonetheless heralded the most radical change in the history of art since the Renaissance. Out of the fascinating story of their parallel lives, illuminated by their legendary supporters and critics-Zola, Delacroix, Courbet, Baudelaire, Whistler, Monet, Hugo, Degas, and many more-Ross King shows that their contest was not just about Art, it was about competing visions of a rapidly changing world. With a novelist's skill and the insight of an historian, King recalls a seminal period when Paris was the artistic center of the world, and a revolutionary movement had the power to electrify and divide a nation.

Judgment of Paris

Judgment of Paris

Author: Ross King Format: eBook Release Date: 10/01/2006

While the Civil War raged in America, another very different revolution was beginning to take shape across the Atlantic, in the studios of Paris: The artists who would make Impressionism the most popular art form in history were showing their first paintings amidst scorn and derision from the French artistic establishment. Indeed, no artistic movement has ever been, at its inception, quite so controversial. The drama of its birth, played out on canvas, would at times resemble a battlefield; and, as Ross King reveals, Impressionism would reorder both history and culture as it resonated around the world.The Judgment of Paris chronicles the dramatic decade between two famous exhibitions-the scandalous Salon des Refuses in 1863 and the first Impressionist showing in 1874-set against the rise and dramatic fall of Napoleon III and the Second Empire after the Franco-Prussian War. A tale of many artists, it revolves around the lives of two, described as "e;the two poles of art"e;-Ernest Meissonier, the most famous and successful painter of the 19th century, hailed for his precision and devotion to history; and Edouard Manet, reviled in his time, who nonetheless heralded the most radical change in the history of art since the Renaissance. Out of the fascinating story of their parallel lives, illuminated by their legendary supporters and critics-Zola, Delacroix, Courbet, Baudelaire, Whistler, Monet, Hugo, Degas, and many more-Ross King shows that their contest was not just about Art, it was about competing visions of a rapidly changing world. With a novelist's skill and the insight of an historian, King recalls a seminal period when Paris was the artistic center of the world, and a revolutionary movement had the power to electrify and divide a nation.

Michelangelo And The Pope's Ceiling

Michelangelo And The Pope's Ceiling

Author: Ross King Format: Paperback Release Date: 02/10/2003

In 1508 Pope Julius II commissioned Michelangelo to paint the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. He had been advised against doing so. The painting of the vaults was so difficult and Michelangelo was so inexperienced in fresco that it was considered a folly. Indeed, Michelangelo himself was reluctant for he considered himself primarily a sculptor rather than a painter. However, for the next four years he would labour over the vast ceiling, at first employing assistants and later, working alone, spending back-breaking hours with his face turned upwards. The result was one of the greatest masterpieces of all time. 'There is no other work to compare with this for excellence, nor could there be,' wrote Vasari in his Lives of Artists. Ross King's fascinating new book tells the story of those four extraordinary years. Battling against ill health, financial difficulties, domestic problems and inadequate knowledge of the art of fresco, Michelangelo created figures so beautiful that, when they were unveiled in 1512, they stunned his onlookers. Modern anatomy has yet to find names for some of the muscles on his nudes, they are painted in such detail. From Michelangelo's experiments with the composition of pigment and plaster to his bitter rivalry with Raphael, who was working on the neighbouring Papal Apartments, Ross King paints a magnificent picture of day-to-day life on the Sistine scaffolding and outside in the upheaval of early sixteenth-century Rome.

Michelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling

Michelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling

Author: Ross King Format: eBook Release Date: 01/01/2003

In 1508, despite strong advice to the contrary, the powerful Pope Julius II commissioned Michelangelo to paint the ceiling of the newly restored Sistine Chapel. With little experience as a painter (though famed for his sculpture David), Michelangelo was reluctant to begin the massive project.Michelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling recounts the four extraordinary years Michelangelo spent laboring over the vast ceiling while the power politics and personal rivalries that abounded in Rome swirled around him. Battling against ill health, financial difficulties, domestic problems, the pope's impatience, and a bitter rivalry with the brilliant young painter Raphael, Michelangelo created scenes so beautiful that they are considered one of the greatest masterpieces of all time. A panorama of illustrious figures converged around the creation of this great work-from the great Dutch scholar Desiderius Erasmus to the young Martin Luther-and Ross King skillfully weaves them through his compelling historical narrative, offering uncommon insight into the intersection of art and history.

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