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238 Reviews Unsurprisingly, the remote lands posed particular problems, requiring indirect management and being insufficiently protected from the territorial ambitions of local lords. The very brief Chapter 14, 'The Cults Observed at Westminster', is especially interesting, covering devotion to Saint Peter; the feast of the Translation of Saint Edward; and more minor observances such as the feast of Saint Agnes and that of the Holy Relics. Appendices constitute some eighty pages, these being chiefly four previously published articles on related topics: two on aspects of Westminster Abbey's relationship to the crown; one on the donors of the abbey's charters; and one on the parish churches of the abbey. The bibliography and index are excellent and on the whole the book is highly recommended. The nature of the evidence Mason is working with means that the style of her writing is occasionally dry and over-laden with detail, but the picture of the abbey and its people which emerges is in general informative and absorbing. Carole M . Cusack School of Studies in ReUgion University of Sydney Millon, Henry A., ed., Italian Renaissance Architecture from Brunell to Michelangelo, London, Thames and Hudson, 1996; paper; pp. 454; c.525 illustrations, inc. 290 colour; R.R.P. AUS$79.95. It has been noted before that because of the high cost of obtaining and printing colour Ulustrations, the exhibition catalogue is one of the few viable forms for producing a glossy art book. Textbooks are another, so it follows that if you can develop a book as a catalogue then successfully recycle it in the textbook market, you are in pubUshers' heaven. Academic books on ItaUan Renaissance architecture fall into a few main types. There are thematic histories, written in technical language for students of architecture. There are the mixed histories written for students of fine arts, which follow on from Giorgio Vasari by combining accounts of painting, sculpture, and architecture, as deriving from a shared theory and partaking of a c o m m o n stylistic Reviews 239 development. The example of practitioners w h o achieved notable things in each of the arts gives some credence to this arrangement. Then there are works on individual architects. A U of these approaches flounder to some extent on the question of evidence. The buildings w e see today are not the ones which were conceived and buUt. It is commendable, therefore, to mount a major study of the interaction between architecture and the figurative arts, to study h o w architecture was designed, h o w it was adorned, and how it was represented. This last gives us the key to unlocking visual art as a documentary source, if w e can distinguish between what is fidelity to nature and what is artistic convention. This seems to have been the intention of the 1994 exhibition at the Palazzo Grassi and its accompanying catalogue, The Renaissance from Brunelleschi to Michelangelo: The Representation of Architecture (Lon Thames and Hudson), on which this book is based. The curators note the inherent difficulty of exhibiting a collection of architecture, so, as the title suggests, they looked instead at the question of its representation. Of the thirteen essays by various authors, the most useful and original are those which dweU on the pragmatic relationship between architecture and the figurative arts. MUlon, in the first chapter, discusses the many functions of wooden models: to study and work out design problems; to show the work to the cUent, as entries in design competitions; to gauge quantities of materials and costs; and to guide the workmen in construction. At the same time, their relationship to the finished bmlding was not straightforward, and MiUon gives the example of the stilting of vaults, used in St Peter's to compensate for the viewpoint of the spectator, but omitted from the model perhaps because of the higher eye level it commanded. Elsewhere, Carlo BertelU looks at the use of artistic conventions in the representation of architecture and cityscapes in Siena and Venice, and Christoph Frommel discusses the use of vanishing-point perspective as opposed to plan and elevation in early architectural drawings, as weU as giving a careful study 'St Peter's...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1832-8334
Print ISSN
0313-6221
Pages
pp. 238-241
Launched on MUSE
2013-04-03
Open Access
No
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