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Book Review: Florence: Art and Architecture by Prof. Antonio Paolucci, et al.

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Along with Rome and Venice, Florence is one of the three major cities of Italian art. Art lovers who visit the city fall under its spell for life. If you are not able to travel to Florence, however, Florence: Art and Architecture is the next best thing, and has the advantage that you can keep it and look at the beautiful art and architecture indefinitely.

Beginning in the Middle Ages and continuing through The Renaissance and Baroque eras and beyond, expert art historians and directors of important museums such as The Academia and Palazzo Pizzi explain in clear, engaging text the history of Florence and its art. 

As the home of the Medici and works by Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Botticelli, Donatello, and Caravaggio, Florence witnessed major discoveries in techniques for art, architecture and sculpture that changed the art world forever. Beautiful buildings such as the churches of Santa Maria Novella and Santa Croce and the Cathedral and The Baptistry still stand as witness to the glories of the past, along with Michaelangelo’s David and many other of the world’s most famous statues and paintings.

With over 500 gorgeous illustrations, many full page or even spread over two pages, this large book will mesmerize the eye of the viewer no matter where he or she opens the book. Start at the beginning or visit favorites over and over again. There is no end to the delight of viewing these magnificent works even after all the text has been read.

Of course, Florence also covers some of the lesser acknowledged areas of Florentine art, such as the craft of the goldsmiths and stone cutters and even medieval miniature painting.

This volume would make a wonderful gift for someone special, if you can bring yourself to let it leave your possession. I know I’m keeping my copy for myself, safe on my coffee table whenever I want an escape into beauty and art.

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About Rhetta Akamatsu

I am an author of non-fiction books and an online journalist. My books include Haunted Marietta, The Irish Slaves, T'ain't Nobody's Business If I Do: Blues Women Past and Present, and Sex Sells: Women in Photography and Film.