- Hardcover book
- Color photos of art work
“This book offers a highly condensed overview, if that is the right choice of words, of the art that flourished in Italy between the end of the thirteenth century and the beginning of the nineteenth: five centuries during which, in the various states into which the peninsula was divided prior to its unification (1861, followed by the taking of Rome in 1870), great master followed after great master, producing masterpiece upon masterpiece. It is true that it is Italy’s privilege and pride to be able to offer an unparalleled “dispersed museum.” Archeological sites, churches and monasteries, civic monuments of architecture and statuary, museums, public and private art collections, historic gardens, landscapes shaped by centuries of human labor: all these and more form a network of high-quality art that covers not only the great urban centers but the whole of the territory. A network that, despite the destruction wrought by thousands of agonizing events, from pillage by armies to natural disasters, has held and still holds magnificently, thanks to the strength of its historical structure, made up of institutional and human relationships. Admiring a work of art in an Italian museum or church, where the work itself still holds a dialogue, beyond the walls that enclose it, with the urban or rural environment of which it is an expression and reflection, is always a quite different thing from looking at it in the often impeccable but inevitably aseptic surroundings of a great museum in Europe, America or any other part of the world.