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Borromini Paperback – 1 Jul 1990
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Blunt has made a highly significant contribution to our understanding of Borromini's work from his first ideas on paper to the finished buildings.
Anthony Blunt reveals his great powers as an architectural historian. His prose is remarkably lucid and concise, even plain, yet extremely evocative?
This full-length study by a very eminent British art historian is a valuable aid for readers interested in an up-to-date and very thorough analysis of everything Borromini did.
Anthony Blunt excites expectation whenever he publishes...To the delight of many readers, [his writing moves] with an absolute minimum of technical architectural vocabulary...Altogether the most lucid, sensitive, and trustworthy study of Borromini yet to appear.
From the Back Cover
In this richly illustrated book, Anthony Blunt shows how the combination of revolutionary inventiveness and intellectual control gives Borromini's work its appeal.See all Product description
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Top customer reviews
This monograph was originally published in 1979, the year in which the author was stripped of his knighthood, (having been outed as a one-time Soviet spy). Comprehensive, detailed and well-illustrated, the book remains the standard work on one of the most inventive and original minds in the history of architecture.
While Borromini is never likely to become a household name, he does deserve to be much better known. Blunt's book goes a little way to achieving this, although some readers may find the author's style to be a little dry and disengaged.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
In this engaging book, Anthony Blunt not only brings such fascinating details to light, but he also explains the complex theory of what he observes to be Borromini's revolutionary take on ancient architecture in terms that are comprehensible to the reader who is not an expert in art history.
The only drawback to the book, which, one would think that Harvard University Press would remedy since the book is in its fifth printing, is the quality of the black-and-white photographs, which are liberally dispersed throughout the book. Although not an issue as far as the illustration of architectural plans is concerned, some of the photographs are of poor quality [An example is that of Borromini's Colonnade at Palazzo Spada, which is so dingy that it obscures the incredible illusion of the forced perspective entirely. A shame, because with digital photographs, this readable work would make a splendid "coffee-table book."].
Reading this book makes me want to get on the next plane and fly back to Rome [any excuse!], where I shall certainly look at Borromini's architecture with new eyes.
As Blunt states in the introduction, he is trying to write something that is accessible.
Each section starts with a historical background on the building, and he always relates the building to the compromises which had to be made.
Only thing that would be useful is a list of architectural terms in the back.
Other issue is that at times hard to determine what is there now and what was originally there.
Just got back from Rome, and want to go back with this book as a guide.
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