The Architecture of the Italian Renaissance, Hardback

The Architecture of the Italian Renaissance Hardback

3 out of 5 (1 rating)


Focusing on buildings of the period between 1418 and 1580 and 35 key architects, this title examines social context, religious beliefs, political power-structures, technical innovation, aesthetic judgement.

It includes over 300 photographs, drawings, plans and reconstructions.

This is sure to be the recognized textbook for the foreseeable future.


  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 224 pages, 309 illustrations
  • Publisher: Thames & Hudson Ltd
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Renaissance art
  • ISBN: 9780500342206



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This is a solid if unadventurous survey of Italian Renaissance architecture. Although the information is reliable and accurate, the author rarely moves beyond the kind of information available in other survey books. It gives greatest attention to the major cities (Florence, Rome, Venice, etc), but almost none to any location south of Rome. This is unfortunate, since the riches of Naples, Sicily, and the rest of southern Italy are ripe for a summary treatment. As he states in the introduction, he has virtually eliminated the context within which buildings were created "in order to appreciate them" and their "basic principles" in a formalist fashion. The best recent scholarship has been contextual, looking at political, religious, economic, social, and intellectual facets of Renaissance architecture previously neglected. However, to its detriment, very little of this context appears in this book. The black and white photos, while usually crisp, are sometimes grim and do not do justice to the sensual qualities of this architecture. For such a large book, the two-page bibliography is disappointing, but the glossary is a useful addition.