Florence: Art And Architecture by Antonio PaolucciFlorence: Art And Architecture by Antonio Paolucci

Florence: Art And Architecture

byAntonio Paolucci

Hardcover | April 15, 2012

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The illustrated volume Florence: Art and Architecture combines interesting and easily understood texts with an abundance of opulent color illustrations into a first class cultural experience. Prominent Florentine scholars and museum directors accompany the reader on a journey to the unique artistic treasures of this city on the Arno. The experts introduce superb historical buildings and sculptures in their historical contexts, and as insiders" lead you through world famous painting galleries such as the Accademia and the Palazzo Pitti. "
Title:Florence: Art And ArchitectureFormat:HardcoverDimensions:424 pages, 11.34 × 9.86 × 1.56 inPublished:April 15, 2012Publisher:h.f.ullmann publishingLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:3848000083

ISBN - 13:9783848000081

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Reviews

Editorial Reviews

THE MOST VIVID PHOTOGRAPHY AND WRITING EVER PUBLISHED ON THE RENAISSANCE AND BEYONDWhether you have visited Florence just once, or stay in the fabled Italian Renaissance city annually, you remain overwhelmed by the amount of art and architecture. Florence is not that big of a city, but its museums, cathedrals and ancient streets are repositories of hundreds of thousands of significant pieces of art and architecture. No matter how many notes you took, no matter how many images you brought home on a digital storage card -- you return with a thirst for more information. Florence Art and Architecture, an astounding 500-plus-page book published by H.F. Ullmann, truly is the only body capable of quenching your thirst for knowledge. The book is huge -- nearly 10 inches by 12 inches in size and about five pounds in weight. Its stock is beyond luxurious. The pages feel almost like photo paper. And the reproduction on that high grade stock is astounding.Photos of classic art leap off the page in vivid detail. You be tempted to carefully tear out a full-page reproduction of a Botticelli classic and frame it for your office wall. But don't deface this treasure. Florence Art and Architecture Florence is why we sincerely hope that printed books are never killed by digital downloads. Because nothing can compare to the sheer joy of thumbing through this monster of visual delight. Although the book features hundreds of photos of priceless pieces of art from the Uffizi, Bargello, Ornimichele, Palazzo Pitti, Palazzo Vecchio, Palazzo Strozi and other world class repositories of Florentine creativity, it is far from being a simple coffee table publication.Florence Art and Architecture -- edited by Antonio Paolucci, the famed art historian and director of the Vatican Museums -- features more than two dozen chapters authored by some of the foremost architecture and art authorities in all of Italy. Other contributors include luminaries such as Carlo Cresti, Angelo Tartuferi, Mario Scalini, Marco Chiarini, Elena Capretti, Annamaria Giusti, Clarissa Morandi and Silvestra Bietoletti. Paolucci's chapter "Art and history in Florence: an overview of five centuries" opens the book with some astounding facts. "In 1342, with 100,000 inhabitants, Florence was more populous than Paris. It had double the population of London and five times that of Rome,'' Paolucci writes. "The gold florin (Dante's `lega suggellata dal Battistta' (the metal with the Baptist's form imprest -- Inferno, Canto XXX) was the currency of the world's markets from Barcelona to Constantinople, from Bruges to Milan. Florentine finance, industry and commerce spearheaded the European economy..."The book's more than 500 high quality photos are almost exclusively taken from the world-famous Alinari photographic studio. Founded in Florence in 1852, Fratelli Alinari is the oldest firm in the world working in the field of photography. The birth of photography and the story of Alinari go hand in hand in their development and growth and the firm owns more than four million classic images. The Alinari touch and Ullmann's dedication to fine quality print stock shows in haunting architectural images of Brunelleschi's dome on the Duomo, Michelangelo's Medici chapels in San Lorenzo and dozens of other images of piazzas, cathedrals and sculptures."The Idea of Florence still fascinates the world, because no city in Europe is the showcase of art more than Florence," Paolucci writes. "Nowhere else does the voice of a glorious past appear so visible and still so eloquent. It is not possible to look at Florence with the eyes of an archeologist; you do not walk the streets of a dead city." Florence Art and Architecture can be enjoyed on many levels. If you are feeling purely visual, thumb through the many facing pages that represent a single piece of art displayed in nearly poster-sized 12x20 format. If you are feeling curious, but not super engaged, gaze at the art of Donatello, Giotto, Cimabue, Bronzino, Vasari, Pisano, Ghiberti, Della Robia, Da Vinci, Fra Angelico, Raphael, Masaccio, Lippi, Michelozzo, Michelangelo, Botticelli, Brunelleschi while reading only the detailed photo captions.If you are thirsting for the stories behind art and architecture in the cradle of the Renaissance, read the excellent essays by the dream team of art critics assembled for this book. You will learn a great deal about the painted, sculpted, frescoed and otherwise ornamented Florence -- much of it by the patronage or force of will of the Medici family. And though Florence will always be known for the Renaissance, the Art and Architecture publication sets the scene by first exploring Medieval Florence and Gothic styles leading up to the Renaissance. The book triumphs most when its large format allows the armchair art historian to enter a magical world of heighten knowledge through detail shots.The deliciously ghastly "Last Judgment" mosaic decoration on the vault of the Baptistery of St. John gives one reason to venture beyond the famed bronze doors -- south done by Andrea Pisano and the north and east by Lorenzo Ghiberti, whose magnificent east pair of doors were dubbed by Michelangelo as "the Gates of Paradise." The enlarged detail of Christ's face and bleeding torso, from Giotto's Crucifix in the church of Santa Maria Novella gives much more insight into the human-like depiction of Christ than one could ever see while gazing at the crucifix from inside the old church. The detail of Andrea Orcagna's Triumph of Death portrays the imperfect townspeople's faces more vividly than one sees when visiting the detached fresco in the Museo dell'Opera di Santa Croce.The greatest blown up image of the book comes from Filippino Lippi's Madonna with Saints altarpiece from Santo Spirito. On one page, the full painting is printed with the Madonna, child and saints taking up the vast majority of the image -- with some ancient buildings and Tuscan hills in the background. The entire facing pace is dedicated to an enlarged full detail of only the background scenery seen in a small portion of the full painting. All of a sudden, Florence itself comes alive with Lippi's depiction of the San Frediano gate and other buildings as they appeared in 15th century Firenze. Better still, about a dozen depictions of daily life in late 1400s Florence come to life in the detail shot -- including a father hugging his daughter good bye and a pair of dogs growling at each other in the street. Such treats await every turn of the page in H.F. Ullmann's brilliant Florence Art and Architecture.- Steve Wright review, Urban Travel and Accessibility September 2012 blog