'The Stones of Florence and Venice Observed'
Mary McCarthy (1956)
Harvest reprint. Illustrated. 2002
Evocative and descriptive of the atmosphere of Florence and the how and why it is unlike anywhere else. Wonderful, acidic.
'Rome: A Cultural, Visual and Personal History''
"The greater the artist, the greater the doubt. Perfect confidence is granted to the less talented as a consolation prize."
"What strip mining is to nature the art market has become to culture."
"The job of new art is to sit on the wall and get more expensive."
"Popular in our time, unpopular in his. So runs the stereotype of rejected genius." Robert Hughes on Caravaggio.
Compelling on Baroque Rome and the Ancient Rome underneath, entwined with and cannibalised to build the Renaissance. The bronze columns of the Baldachino in St. Peter's for instance are scavenged and cast from the internal bronze lining of the Pantheon dome. Obelisks are moved around Rome as pieces on a chess board. Nothing is sacred except the present and the future.
'Bernini. The Sculpture of the Roman Baroque,
Rudolf Wittkower. Original text 1955
New photography by Pino Guidolotti
Worth every sestertius especially for the singularly sculptural photography.
'Roma Barocca. The History of an Architectonic Culture.'