Sunday, March 17, 1991

TNT’S ‘A SEASON OF GIANTS’: Rivalry of the Masters
Martie Zad
Washington Post Staff Writer

TNT’s two-part, four-hour miniseries, “A Season of Giants” (Sunday and Monday at 8), brings to life the turbulent early days of one of the world’s most accomplished artists, Michelangelo Buonarroti. Set in Rome and Florence in the years from 1492 to 1508, the story focuses on Michelangelo’s public and private struggles and his rivalry with two other masters, Leonardo da Vinci and Raphael.

The hassles over who is commissioned to create artworks are most interesting. Michelangelo storms off to Florence when he feels he is being treated unfairly at the Vatican, where the pope’s architect is favoring his nephew, Raphael. When the affronted pope-Julius II, “The Warrior Pope”-threatens to attack Florence, the city fathers persuade Michelangelo to return to Rome. He does, and agrees to paint the vault of the Sistine Chapel.

Mark Frankel plays Michelangelo, John Glover is Leonardo da Vinci, F. Murray Abraham is Pope Julius II, Andrea Prodan is Raphael and Ornella Muti is Onoria, muse of Michelangelo, and later, Raphael’s mistress.

Repeats: Sunday and Monday at 10 p.m. Also complete four-hour airings March 21 at noon and March 24 at 2 p.m.