Paperback ISBN: 0674060334
[Read the Bldg Blog interview with Mary Beard about the Wonders of the World series](http://bldgblog.blogspot.com/2007/09/wonders-of-world-interview-with-mary.html)([Part I](http://bldgblog.blogspot.com/2007/09/wonders-of-world-interview-with-mary.html) and [Part II](http://bldgblog.blogspot.com/2007/09/elephants-of-rome-interview-with-mary.html)) The Alhambra has long been a byword for exotic and melancholy beauty. In his absorbing new book, Robert Irwin, Arabist and novelist, examines its history and allure. The Alhambra is the only Muslim palace to have survived since the Middle Ages. Built by a threatened dynasty of Muslim Spain, it was preserved as a monument to the triumph of Christianity. Every day thousands of tourists enter this magnificent site to be awestruck by its towers and courts, its fountained gardens, its honeycombed ceilings and intricate tile work. It is a complex full of mysteries--even its purpose is unclear. Its sophisticated ornamentation is not indiscriminate but full of hidden meaning. Its most impressive buildings were designed not by architects, but by philosophers and poets. The Alhambra, which resembles a fairy-tale palace, was constructed by slave labor in an era of economic decline, plague, and political violence. Its sumptuously appointed halls have lain witness to murder and mayhem. Yet its influence on art and on literature--including Orientalist painting and the architecture of cinemas, Washington Irving and Jorge Luis Borges--has been lasting and significant. As our guide to this architectural masterpiece, Robert Irwin allows us to fully understand the impact of the Alhambra.
Angels of Paris
An Architectural Tour Through the History of Paris
Hardcover ISBN: 1936941015
Angels are sculpted everywhere in Paris, not just on churches but in unexpected places: holding a lightning rod atop the Théâtre du Châtelet’s roof, adorning a seventeenth-century gilded sundial inside a courtyard at the Sorbonne, hovering above a railroad headquarters where a beautiful stone frieze features young angels flying in to work on the tracks. Subtly, subliminally, the angels are a part of the fanciful and romantic spirit of Paris. Angels of Paris is the first book to explore this intriguing and extraordinary subject. Angels of Paris features beautiful photographs taken from dawn to dusk, in all seasons, accompanied by text explaining the story behind the creation of each angel and of the location in which it is found. Organized chronologically, the book delves into the artistic trends and historic movements the angels reflect and the stories of the artists who created them and of those who commissioned them. Readers will learn about Paris’s history, buildings, and monuments through the abundant, beautiful, and surprising depictions of angels from the Middle Ages to the twentieth century. Rosemary Flannery has found angels in friezes, plaques, and free-standing sculpture; on fountains and façades, clocks and sundials, monuments and mansions, rooftops and window frames. Angels of Paris is a unique way for lovers of Paris to learn more about the city in a new and unusual way.
The Splendor and the Scandal: Building St. Peter's
Paperback ISBN: 0452288606
Traces Pope Julius II's controversial early sixteenth-century construction of a new basilica in place of the Emperor Constantine's millennium-old St. Peter's Basilica, documenting how building efforts spanned two centuries and more than two dozen papacies while incorporating the contributions of such master artists as Michelangelo and Raphael. Reprint.
The Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi
Glory and Destruction
Paperback ISBN: 0810927675
A collection completed just seconds before the earthquake that hit the Italian town of Assisi in September 1997 contains the most detailed and faithful full-color photographs, sixty-five in all, ever taken of the frescoes of St. Francis's Basilica.
Behind the Iron Curtain
Confession of a Soviet Architect
Paperback ISBN: 3869223596
The prominent architect Felix Novikov was born in 1927, when the famous Constructivist Konstantin Melnikov was at the peak of his career. Novikov tells the dramatic story of Soviet architecture, portraying the conditions he worked in and how he collaborated with the government and other participants during the creative process. He further explains how Soviet design and planning institutes were organized with reference to the Union of the Architects of the USSR and describes the creative ideals of his generation of architects, who are today identified as Soviet Modernists. As a time witness, his memories cannot be recounted in their whole complexity by historians. Novikov also describes some of the conditions that affected his own creative fate and that of others. This book reflects the characteristics of Soviet life and its connections to architects
Past And Present Of An Architectural Masterpiece
Paperback ISBN: 8885957919
This two-part volume offers an innovative analysis and interpretation of Brunelleschi's masterpiece. Part One, which is richly illustrated with iconographic material, traces the design and construction phases of this magnificent building and explores its impact on figurative and literary culture down the ages. With the aid of original charts and diagrams, Part Two provides a thorough analysis of the structure, construction and static equilibrium of the Cupola, including a description and assessment of the current state of the cracks. This provides a solid basis for predicting the likely future behaviour of the monument and for suggesting possible conservation measures.
How a Renaissance Genius Reinvented Architecture
Paperback ISBN: 0142000159
Describes how a fifteenth-century goldsmith and clockmaker, Filippo Brunelleschi, came up with a unique design for the dome to crown Florence's magnificent new cathedral, Santa Maria del Fiore, in a dramatic study set against the turbulent backdrop of Renaissance Italy. Reprint.
Paperback ISBN: 0674060318
[Read the Bldg Blog interview with Mary Beard about the Wonders of the World series](http://bldgblog.blogspot.com/2007/09/wonders-of-world-interview-with-mary.html)([Part I](http://bldgblog.blogspot.com/2007/09/wonders-of-world-interview-with-mary.html) and [Part II](http://bldgblog.blogspot.com/2007/09/elephants-of-rome-interview-with-mary.html)) Byron and Hitler were equally entranced by Rome's most famous monument, the Colosseum. Mid-Victorians admired the hundreds of varieties of flowers in its crannies and occasionally shuddered at its reputation for contagion, danger, and sexual temptation. Today it is the highlight of a tour of Italy for more than three million visitors a year, a concert arena for the likes of Paul McCartney, and a national symbol of opposition to the death penalty. Its ancient history is chockfull of romantic but erroneous myths. There is no evidence that any gladiator ever said "Hail Caesar, those about to die..." and we know of not one single Christian martyr who met his finish here. Yet the reality is much stranger than the legend as the authors, two prominent classical historians, explain in this absorbing account. We learn the details of how the arena was built and at what cost; we are introduced to the emperors who sometimes fought in gladiatorial games staged at the Colosseum; and we take measure of the audience who reveled in, or opposed, these games. The authors also trace the strange afterlife of the monument--as fortress, shrine of martyrs, church, and glue factory. Why are we so fascinated with this arena of death?