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Basilica: The Splendor and the Scandal: Building St. Peter's [Paperback]

Our Price $ 13.60  
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Item Number 37180  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   315
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 7.98" Width: 5.36" Height: 0.76"
Weight:   0.65 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   May 1, 2007
Publisher   Penguin Group USA
Age  18
ISBN  0452288606  
EAN  9780452288607  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
Traces Pope Julius II's sixteenth-century construction of a new basilica in place of the Emperor Constantine's millennium-old St. Peter's Basilica, documenting how building efforts spanned two centuries and more than two dozen papacies.

Publishers Description
In this dramatic journey through religious and artistic history, R. A. Scotti traces the defining event of a glorious epoch: the building of St. Peter's Basilica. Begun by the ferociously ambitious Pope Julius II in 1506, the endeavor would span two tumultuous centuries, challenge the greatest Renaissance masters?Michelangelo, Raphael, and Bramante?and enrage Martin Luther. By the time it was completed, Shakespeare had written all of his plays, the "Mayflower" had reached Plymouth?and Rome had risen with its astounding basilica to become Europe's holy metropolis. A dazzling portrait of human achievement and excess, "Basilica" is a triumph of historical writing.

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More About R. A. Scotti

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! R. A. Scotti is the author of two previous works of nonfiction, including Sudden Sea: The Great Hurricane of 1938, and four novels.

R. A. Scotti currently resides in New York City, in the state of New York.

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Product Categories
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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Exciting, Interesting Tale - but what was left out?  Mar 18, 2007
Very well written and apparently balanced account of the"space program" of the middle ages. Would have been 5 stars but the word "Cluny" does not appear in the book. With an omission that huge one wonders what else of great significance also was lost along the way.
If You Are Interested In St. Peter's...  Jan 16, 2007
Today, St. Peter's Basilica and Square is one of the architectural glories of the world. But, when Pope Julius II decided to demolish the ancient Basilica and build a new one (to his glory and, oh yes, God's too), there was no guarantee that it would even be completed, let alone that it would surpass the original. In fact, at many times over the more than a century it took to finish the job, the basilica was abandoned, redesigned and restarted by many different hands.

In Basilica, Ms. Scotti does an good job of taking us through the many iterations that led to the final result. She shows us the changes in design and the labor and engineering skill that it took to make those designs a reality. She gives us a taste for the personalities--Julius, Bramante, Michelangelo, Sixtus, etc.--who drove the project forward. All of this is quite well done.

If her insights, particularly into people and world events, seem a little superficial; well, that's to be expected. She's chosen a very narrow topic that covered a lot of years and people. It's difficult to go into much depth when you want to cover a lot of ground in a relatively easy to read book. And at least she manages to keep her aesthetic judgements from overwhelming the story. Not always an easy thing to do. Anyone who wants the broad strokes in the creation of this masterpiece wouldn't go wrong in taking a look at this book.
Very enjoyable.  Jan 9, 2007
I enjoyed every page of this book! Great story, well told. Includes good portraits of the artists and popes who gave the world St. Peters.
A starting point for the lay reader  Dec 17, 2006

Scott has digested 150+ years into 250+ pages. Considering the outsized ambition of the Basilica project and the stature of the participants, her summarization is a major feat. If you are knowledgeable about this project and/or this time in history, this book is not for you. This book is for general readers (like me) who have little background in this project and its place in time.

With the construction of St. Peter's Basilica as a focus we get a feel for papal history, this time in the City of Rome, how the Reformation morphed into the Counter Reformation, how the renaissance artistic ideals morphed into baroque, and, of course the towering artistic figures of the times. Each of these areas, that affected the construction of the Basilica, has its own massive literature. Scott has done a good job of making this accessible.

Written for a 12 Year-Old  Sep 19, 2006
What a disappointment! It is only lacking cartoon illustrations to make it seem competely childish. But more disturbingly it is deceptively simplistic. Told through rose-colored glasses, leaving out what is convenient to ensure a "happy" ending.
Save your money, wait for it on Vue-Master.

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