From Publishers Weekly
This guide to the frescoed walls of 28 early first-millennium Italian villas is hugely expensive, but worth it; turning its pages feels as intimate as standing in the rooms themselves. At 11 1/4"×12 3/4", the gorgeous full-bleeds among the 350 color illustrations (with three foldouts) on choice textured stock feel like walls, and the colors, including the subtly shaded blues of the Villa of Livia's long east wall, are superb. University of Naples architectural historian Mazzoleni contributes an essay detailing the links between Roman architecture and the lifelike perspectives of the paintings. Pappalardo, director of excavations at Herculaneum, provides texts on all the sites, most of which are in Pompeii and Herculaneum, and only partially intact. He provides commentary on the scenes of gods, animals, grand palaces, cherubs and plants, but, while informative and unobtrusive, his notes are unnecessary: the images have a depth and silence that communicate directly and make much of Renaissance painting look brassy, if not shallow.
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