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The Basilica of St Francis of Assisi: Glory and Destruction

Giorgio Bonsanti

3 ratings by GoodReads
ISBN 10: 0810940248 / ISBN 13: 9780810940246
Published by Harry N. Abrams, 1998
New Condition: New Hardcover
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Title: The Basilica of St Francis of Assisi: Glory ...

Publisher: Harry N. Abrams

Publication Date: 1998

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:New

About this title

Review:

The Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi represents the turning point, in Italian art, from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance. The cycles of murals by Lorenzetti, Martini, Cimabue, and Giotto are among the icons of Western art, and somehow they still retain enormous emotional power. More than a score of recorded earthquakes had rattled the stones of the great Romanesque church in the 800 years since its construction began, but visitors over the centuries repeatedly remarked on the particular peacefulness of this monument to the saint who preached to sparrows and sultans alike. On September 26, l997, that peace was shattered by the worst quake in Assisi's history. A huge section of the Vault of the Evangelists, including Cimabue's St. Matthew and Giotto's St. Jerome, fell to the floor, killing four people. That afternoon, Ghigo Roli had completed documenting the vaults, and this book of crystalline, miraculously well-lighted photographs is the best, last record of the ceiling as a unified whole. The book contains a brief essay by Giorgio Bonsanti about the history of the church and its paintings, and a short but harrowing account by Roli of being there when the earthquake struck. In the back of the book are four stills from a video documentary that caught the massive crash of the vault. These are reproduced small, but their impact on the reader is huge, because of the preceding pages that make clear what has been lost forever. --Peggy Moorman

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