Skip to main content Skip to search Skip to search

Art Renaissance

All Things Move

Learning to Look in the Sistine Chapel

by (author) Jeannie Marshall

Initial publish date
Apr 2023
Renaissance, Personal Memoirs
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Apr 2023
    List Price

Add it to your shelf

Where to buy it


A deeply personal search for meaning in Michelangelo’s frescoes—and an impassioned defence of the role of art in a fractured age.

What do we hope to get out of seeing a famous piece of art? Jeannie Marshall asked that question of herself when she started visiting the Sistine Chapel frescoes. She wanted to understand their meaning and context—but in the process, she also found what she didn’t know she was looking for.

All Things Move: Learning to Look in the Sistine Chapel tells the story of Marshall’s relationship with one of our most cherished artworks. Interwoven with the history of its making and the Rome of today, it’s an exploration of the past in the present, the street in the museum, and the way a work of art can both terrify and alchemize the soul. An impassioned defence of the role of art in a fractured age, All Things Move is a quietly sublime meditation on how our lives can be changed by art, if only we learn to look.

About the author

Contributor Notes

Jeannie Marshall is a writer who has been living in Italy with her family since 2002. A nonfiction author, journalist, and former staff features writer at the National Post in Toronto, she contributes articles to Maclean's and the Walrus and has published literary nonfiction in The Common, the Literary Review of Canada, Brick, and elsewhere.

Editorial Reviews

Praise for All Things Move

"A testament to quiet patience, and what we gain when we let go of preconceptions of how we are supposed to interact with an artwork of any medium or discipline."
—Quill & Quire

"Jeannie Marshall's book All Things Move addresses the splendor of the iconic Sistine Chapel from personal and universal perspectives [...] an all-encompassing intimate tour of the Sistine Chapel's extraordinary wonders"
—Foreword Reviews

"Jeannie Marshall offers a meditation on the timeless values and personal meanings in both art and religion. Full of insights into everyone from Michelangelo and Martin Luther to Barnett Newman, All Things Move is a celebration of the power of art to make us see, feel and think."
—Ross King, author of Michelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling

"All Things Move is not just another book, written in clear and lively sentences that anyone will want to read, detailing the history and creation of one of the greatest works of art known to mankind. It's a book that actually operates in the opposite direction—a book about how we experience that work of art, and why the experience is so unforgettable. Michelangelo made a great and lasting work of art that changed history. But in Marshall's gifted hands, our experience of it becomes an adventure and a work of art in its own right. This is a book about discovery, unlike anything you have read before."
—Ian Brown, author of Sixty

"In the manner of the late W. G. Sebald, who shattered sundry barriers in his writing, Jeannie Marshall has produced a prose poem, a deeply personal, multi-layered, and thoroughly captivating meditation on art, spirituality, and life. I was both moved and enchanted."
—Modris Eksteins, author of Solar Dance

Praise for Jeannie Marshall

“Engaging … admirably well-researched … a well-timed eye-opener.”
—Chris Nuttal-Smith, Globe and Mail

“Marshall’s clear, direct book ably captures the frustrations of trying to find the healthiest path and inspiring kids to do the same.”
Kirkus Reviews

“Marshall ... writes passionately about the dangers posed by processed foods—not just to our children’s health but to our way of life, our human attachment to the 'ordinary happiness' of meals cooked at home from real foods.”
Boston Globe

Outside the Box is about teaching kids how to appreciate real food but also about how globalization is changing the way the world eats. In this beautifully written book about what needs to be done to preserve food culture in Italy and elsewhere, Marshall makes the political personal as she explains how she is teaching her son to enjoy the pleasures of eating food prepared, cooked and lovingly shared by friends and family.”
—Marion Nestle, author of Food Politics

Other titles by Jeannie Marshall