From Library Journal
Wittkower's (1901-71) book, first published in 1955 and updated in 1966 and 1981, derives from an Italian edition of 1900. The text, which deals chiefly with the sculptures of this multifaceted Italian artist (1598-1680), is a classic. Though some of the entries have been updated and some new plates added, the main reason for this new edition seems to be its first issuance in paperback. This, and the fact that the color plates are less than stellar, mean that all but advanced art history collections can safely pass on this edition if they have earlier ones. Avery's book takes a broader look at Bernini, covering sculpture, drawings, models in terra cotta, urbanistic projects such as fountains, and his work for St. Peter's and other Roman churches. The color photographs are better than those in the Phaidon book, where they are separate from the text; neither title offers uniformly better black-and-whites. Avery (sculpture, Victoria and Albert Museum) writes well, offers more context and comparative illustrations, and draws on material unavailable to Wittkower in shaping his text. Avery is the choice for all but the most scholarly of collections, which will want both titles.?Jack Perry Brown, Art Inst. of Chicago Lib.
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'First published in 1955, this volume has never been topped for its clarity of discourse or the stunning beauty of its reproductions. It is the black and white photographs of Bernini's breathtaking sculpture that best capture the timeless wonder of their precision and vitality.' (Booklist) 'Wittkower's Bernini rightly enjoys almost canonical status among studies of the artist and his age, as an elegant survey which provides deep insight and rests lightly on profound scholarship.' (Burlington Magazine)