New Book by Prof. Coonin Answers Question “Why is Michelangelo’s David So Famous?”

Dr. Victor Coonin, the James F. Ruffin Professor of Art History at Rhodes, has been researching and establishing himself as an expert on Michelangelo for more than two decades. Now when he is asked “Why is Michelangelo’s David so famous?” he can point to his new book, From Marble to Flesh: The Biography of Michelangelo’s David to be released May 2014 by Florence, Italy-based The Florentine Press.

This is the first book about Michelangelo’s David to tell the comprehensive story of the world-famous sculpture, from its origins up to the present day. It is both scholarly and written to be accessible to the general public. “It breaks new ground in the communication of art history,” says editor Alexandra Korey.

The book explains how the block of marble was quarried more than half a century before the statue was installed in Florence’s Piazza della Signoria. Michelangelo was chosen as the artist only after a litany of contracts, artists and plans by the patrons, the Operai del Duomo. Controversies and scandals erupted around the statue in the 19th century followed by its global iconic status in the 20th century.

The book has already garnered significant public interest on the crowdfunding platform Kickstarter, where it raised $7,296 in donations from more than 150 eager readers who will receive the first copies to come off the press.

A graduate of Oberlin College, Coonin earned a master’s degree from Syracuse University in Florence and a Ph.D. from Rutgers University. He has published widely on Italian Renaissance painting and sculpture in distinguished journals.

Coonin’s 270-page book will feature more than 100 color and black and white illustrations. Those with specific inquiries about From Marble to Flesh: The Biography of Michelangelo’s David, can contact him at or 901-843-3824. For commercial inquiries please contact The Florentine Press at