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A pictorial "Ferrari" of history of architecture books Aug 27, 2007
A part of the series History of World Architecture originally published by Electa in Italian in 1971-7 under a general editorship of Pier Luigi Nervi, it was translated to English and published by Abrams in 1971-80 in b&w only, but at 10 x 11 1/4 inches. Subsequently, the series was reedited, shrunk to 8 5/7 x 9 1/2 inches, and published by Electa / Rizzoli in 1985-9 with a few color photos added including each front cover. In the early 2000's, the series was reissued by Phaidon unchanged except for the front cover photo. It is a pictorial "Ferrari" of history of architecture books. Almost every page contains one or - usually - more than one illustration as photo, plan, section, elevation, axonometric view, etc. of the highest quality. They depict the best examples of topical architecture covering the most significant ones. The text was written by one of the best experts in the field. While relatively concise, it is still comprehensive and complete enough even for students of architecture. PUBLISHER'S SYNOPSIS: (326 black and white illustrations except the Abrams' edition having 416 illustrations, including 95 reconstructions, diagrams, and floor plans) This volume begins with a comparison between the Parthenon and the Pantheon, whose simplicity and dignity represented a new level of sophistication in architecture based on a system of vaults and cement construction. The first part of the book examines the practices that originated in central Italy, the great complexes of the Republican era, and the projects of the Augustan age, culminating in the layout of the Forum. This is followed by analysis of the construction method known as opus caementicium, with examples of works from the complex of Trajan's Market to projects realized by Hadrian. The author goes on to consider the Rome of late antiquity, where key buildings provide powerful examples of the complex phenomenon of Imperial Rome. The book also discusses Roman architecture in such diverse areas as Thessalonica, Ephesus, Constantinople, Nimes, Verona and Pompeii, with an overview of developments in southern Italy and the provinces.