Florence : The City and Its Architecture
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This book offers a comprehensive account of the architecture of Florence, setting the city's extraordinarily beautiful buildings within the political, economic and cultural contexts in which they were designed and constructed. The rapid expansion of its banking interests and its wool and textile industries brought Florence unique prosperity: it became, under Medici power, the heart of the European Renaissance and the sponsor of pivotal architectural works. Stretching from the city's foundation by Julius Caesar in 59 BC to modern times, the text sets out a thematic approach that is at once in-depth and wide-ranging. It begins with a rigorous historical overview, then proceeds to examine buildings associated with the powers of Church and State, followed by the practicalities of building and the main architectural types, ending with modern developments. Buildings covered range from the Duomo, with Brunelleschi's prodigious cupola, and the sprawling grandeur of the Palazzo Pitti, to neighbourhood churches and lesser known but mesmerizing piazzas. Landmark modernist buildings include those by the notorious architect Pier Luigi Nervi. The astounding visual wealth of the city is reflected in specially commissioned photography, while original plans and paintings by Florentine masters illuminate the historical context. In addition to a glossary of Italian terms and biographical notes on major figures, the book includes a foldout map with a key to the buildings discussed.
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