A hugely welcome new introduction to the handsome architecture, splendid decoration, notable collections and glorious gardens of Chevening, the grand country residence used for several decades by Britain’s Foreign Secretary. More
Venice: Extraordinary Maintenance
240 pages, cloth/hardback, 242 x 168 mm, 120 illus.
ISBN: 978 1 903470 12 1
Gianfranco Pertot. Photographs by Sarah Quill
This book presents an overview of the restoration Venice has undergone in the last two hundred years. It is a mistake to think that Venice has been preserved in aspic. A great deal changed after the Fall of the Republic in 1797, and continues to change. Having read this book, you will never look upon Venice’s streets, houses and canals in the same way again.
Only by studying the past can we understand the present situation of Venice. This is an untold story that needs to be heard. Its fascinating, often shocking tale is belied by the numerous beautiful illustrations.
Cornerstone, The Journal of the Society for the Preservation of Ancient Buildings describes is as a “wonderful polemical book”.
“Pertot is commendably hard to please” Jonathan Keates, Times Literary Supplement
The author is a conservation architect in Milan.
The city of Venice holds a special place in the global imagination. This book explores the creation of one of its largest surviving depictions, which has remained almost unknown to the wider public since its creation exactly four centuries ago. Signed and dated 1611, the painting is the work of a notable early seventeenth- century Bolognese artist, Odoardo Fialetti. His huge bird’s-eye view of the watery townscape is enlivened by first-hand observation of tiny vignettes of Venetian life. Eight square metres in size, this remarkable painting is a tour-de-force among depictions of cities. More
Prompted by the recent discovery of an impressive three-metre tall late Gothic drawing of a soaring tower and spire, this book offers a rare insight into the processes of designing and building a major Gothic project. The drawing’s place and date of creation are unknown, and it corresponds to no surviving Gothic tower. Equally mysterious is the three-quarter, top-down perspective from which the tower is represented, without parallel in any other medieval drawings. Who drew this? When? And what did he hope to convey with his choice of a top-down representation of the tower? Building a Crossing Tower explores these questions, and uncovers the dramatic circumstances in which this drawing was created. More
To celebrate Brooks’s 250th anniversary, this beautiful commemorative volume looks afresh at some historical aspects and the architecture of the Whig club, and presents much original research, including essays on the club’s archives – among the most complete in Clubland – and an illustrated catalogue of the important collection of paintings, drawings, sculpture and prints, including the pictures on loan from the Society of Dilettanti. More
The necropolis of Shah-e Zende at Samarkand represents a summit in the art of ceramic wall coverings in the Islamic world. Few studies have focused on the funerary ensemble of the Shah-e Zende and this is the first to describe these monuments in all the details of their decoration and its techniques and motifs, as well as the different types of ceramics used and their composition. Perched on a steep cliff overlooking the ancient city of Samarkand, today the ghost town of Afrasiyab, the necropolis remains largely unknown to art historians and certainly to the public. More
Vartan of Nazareth: Missionary and Medical Pioneer in the Nineteenth-century Middle East, is the little-known story of a medical pioneer and missionary who founded a hospital in Nazareth 150 years ago. This book traces the remarkable life of Pacradooni Kaloost Vartan, the son of a poor Armenian tailor in Constatinople (modern day Istanbul). Born in 1835 at a time of great change in the Ottoman Empire, the young Vartan attended the first American missionary school in the imperial city. He left school to join the British Army as an interpreter in the Crimea and, having witnessed the rigours of battlefield medicine, he was drawn to a career as a surgeon and physician. More
The lagoon in which the city of Venice rises is no more than a few thousand years old - not much older than the city itself. And it may not last another hundred, such is the damage that not only the city but also the lagoon have suffered during the twentieth century. This book succinctly examines the severe threat from human intervention and incursions on the one hand and on the other from climate change and natural erosion, and the oprions for the future. More
The architectural writings, recordings and films of the poet Sir John Betjeman (1906-1984) are here celebrated in this catalogue accompanying a major exhibition at Sir John Soane's Museum. Marking the centenary of Betjeman's birth, the catalogue and exhibitions will bring together rare archive material, both photographic and textual, in celebration of his life-long passion for architecture. More
A haunting evocation of the ruined country estates of the Russian aristocracy of the 18th and 19th centuries. Revolution, civil war, invasion, anarchy and casual indifference have conspired against many of the grand buildings of Russia’s rich and complex past. While the architectural riches of Moscow and St Petersburg still exist for everyone to see, when the photographer Simon Marsden and author Duncan McLaren entered the Russian countryside, away from the obvious tourist trails, they encountered a very different world... More
OUT OF PRINT “I am not a modernist but ... I agree with the modernists in every way except that I think their brand of modernism is not very good.” Raymond Erith looked to achieve what he called the true “economy of means”, using traditional means to create original buildings with progressive ideas behind them. More
The Unesco World Heritage site of Lalibela in Ethiopia is one of the most extraordinary places in the world. It contains eleven churches, all of them hewn from the native rock in imitation of buildings. However, Lalibela and the Ethiopian kingdom remained unknown in the West until the account of the first Portugese embassy to Ethiopia was published in the 16th century. More
This groundbreaking architectural history of modern Oxford examines the stylistic dictates and historicizing whims of academic and civic patrons since 1815, demonstrating how they invariably eschewed the radical and cutting-edge in favour of ‘the comfort of the past’, using traditional idioms which lent the client status and reassurance. More