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Book Review: Venice: The Golden Centuries, Edited by Giandomenico Romanelli

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As a city, and as a center of art and architecture, Venice is unique. With Venice: The Golden Centuries, you will be able to examine some of the most gorgeous sculpture, painting, and buildings from Venice in the 13th to the 16th centuries, many of which are essentially unchanged today.

The text explains the major artistic and architectural movements during those golden centuries, and incidentally explains a great deal about social life in the city at that time.

You will learn about the guilds, confraternities and Scholes, or schools, of art which influenced not only Venetian art but that of all of Europe.

You will read short biographies of some of the most important Venetian artists, including Titian, Giorgione, Veronese, Tintoretto, Mantegna and more, and view stunning examples of their work.

It is the gorgeous full-color illustrations that make this book so special, however. There are more than 500 photos of government and residential palaces, elaborate churches and other buildings, as well as fabulous paintings and sculptures.

Most of the subjects are religious or mythological. Ceilings and walls of churches are covered with art, and altarpieces and other architectural details are richly carved. Even funerary pieces and tomb effigies are fascinating, ornate works of art.

Through the pages, you will view Moorish windows, deep Gothic arches, and Renaissance buildings that are severe and yet beautiful. You will be confronted again and again with images of St. Mark and St. Jerome, and of the Virgin and Child. All of it is riveting, sumptuous and will inspire countless re-viewings.

This heavy, big coffee table book would make an excellent gift for any traveler (or armchair traveler) or art lover, or for yourself. It will provide many pleasurable opportunities for browsing the treasures of this remarkable city’s history.

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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.