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31 Reviews
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33 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy it!
Jim Stanfield is one of the most accomplished photographers to work for National Geographic. I met Jim several years ago, and he's a fine gentleman as well as an outstanding photographer. He won one of the top photojournalism awards in the world, in 1986, based partly on this body of work as well as an essay on Isreal. Bob Gilka, who was Jim's boss at National...
Published on September 8, 2000 by Eric Welch

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83 of 89 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Skimpy on the ART
If you can get this book used for under $10 dollars
AND...
You are interested in the whole workings of the Vatican National Geographic sytle, buy it it, is a great book from that perspective.
It is not an over $20 dollar art book because a large number of pages which could have been used for images are wasted on oversize text. Five pages of the books text...
Published on January 2, 2002


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83 of 89 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Skimpy on the ART, January 2, 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Inside the Vatican (Hardcover)
If you can get this book used for under $10 dollars
AND...
You are interested in the whole workings of the Vatican National Geographic sytle, buy it it, is a great book from that perspective.
It is not an over $20 dollar art book because a large number of pages which could have been used for images are wasted on oversize text. Five pages of the books text could have fit on one page.
The photographs are great, but they are of everything including wasted full page close ups of guards. If you want a general book on the vatican this book delivers......but if you thought that "Inside the Vatican" meant a lot of art you might not see otherwise this is not the right book for the price.
It is not an Art book like one thinks of with Konemann books, there are some good photos and enough for a general book like this but it does not have enough art to warrant the price, then again I guess no one really said it was supposed to be art book.
I have written this review just as a warning for some people who might think that there is a lot of art here.....it is not an art book. This fact is kind of a shame because after 65% of the book is finished and it finally does get to the "Treasures section" the photographs are decent, however it makes you wonder why did we need a whole page close up of a guards face and only a quarter page on some of the art.
The Wonderful frescoes of the Vatican are very few and most are the usual 4 token shots of the Sistine chapel.
The wonderful Hall of Constantine isnt covered at all. I agree with all the other reviewers, if you are a National Geographic format fan, this is one of their best efforts.
But....The wrong pictures are too big, the right pictures are too small, the really wonderful pictures never made it into the book, and way, way, too much space is dedicated to oversize text.
I bought it used, do the same, it is not a new full price book,
there is enough for under $10 even if your main interest is art but you will not get as "Inside the Vatican" as you might with other books about the Vatican Art.
Good Pope pictures, Pope-Mobile pictures, and that sort of thing
and good "Quick read history".
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33 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy it!, September 8, 2000
This review is from: Inside the Vatican (Hardcover)
Jim Stanfield is one of the most accomplished photographers to work for National Geographic. I met Jim several years ago, and he's a fine gentleman as well as an outstanding photographer. He won one of the top photojournalism awards in the world, in 1986, based partly on this body of work as well as an essay on Isreal. Bob Gilka, who was Jim's boss at National Geographic, told me he thought Jim was the most technically accomplished photographer working for the magazine. When there was an especially difficult job to do, it was given to him. And Jim's technical expertise shows through, but there's more here than technically superior images. These are stunningly gorgeous photographs in their own right. But they are more than that, they give you an insight into life at the Vatican that will never be repeated. Buy it. I can't wait for more books by Jim Stanfield to hit the shelves.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't Miss this book!, September 20, 1998
This review is from: Inside the Vatican (Hardcover)
I am the seminarian referred to in the book who led the authors on the tour of the necropolis underneath St. Peter's. Now, as a priest in Alabama, the book is a wonderful keepsake of my time in Rome. For those who have been to Rome, this book brings back great memories. For those who have not been, this book offers a rare glimpse into things few tourists see. This book is a MUST read!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful Book, June 1, 2000
By 
Linda R. (Dallas, Texas) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Inside the Vatican (Hardcover)
Because this book is a National Geographic book, it has beautiful pictures which capture the various aspects of the Vatican life. In addition to the wonderful photographs, the author gives valuable information about the Vatican. The only thing that I could have wished for this book is to have more detailed history of the Vatican. This book gives the reader a great foundation for the intriguing place called the Vatican State.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A stunning look at the Vatican, April 14, 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: Inside the Vatican (Hardcover)
This book serves two puposes: 1)To give the non-Catholic a look at what puts the "Roman" in Roman Catholic, and 2)A great art/photography book, although how can you go wrong when this is your subject. Either way, this is a great book to have on your coffee table....Catholic or not.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars very nice read, June 29, 2008
By 
Jilles P. Van Harselaar (Amsterdam, The Netherlands) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Inside the Vatican (Paperback)
I bought the book because I am interested in Italian Renaissance art. In this aspect it is a little bit disappointing. There should be far more interesting art objects than is covered. It was very nice to read about the history of the Vatican, to get a feeling for every day life in the Vatican. The knowledge in this book is important to better understand the position of art in relation to the ruling popes during the Renaissance.
I very much liked the photo's. They show the real craftmanship of James Stanfield. The three star rating is because the description seems to promise more about the Renaissance art than is given.
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15 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars worth every penny, July 21, 2000
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This review is from: Inside the Vatican (Hardcover)
This book has stunning and well-done photos of the Vatican. The author had priviledged access to many areas that other photographers have not had. This book really shows you the history and beauty of the church's founding place. Well worth a read.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All I Expected, and More, June 7, 2007
By 
J. Jamison (New Albany, IN USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Inside the Vatican (Paperback)
This is a lovely book. The pictures are beautiful and there were lots of them. But it is not just a picture book- it is full of information about The Vatican that I had never heard before. I didn't know that there were pinball machines and kiddie pools there-- for the families who live and work there. I thought that was an interesting facet of life behind Vatican walls. I especially liked the maps- they gave me a greater sense of how big Vatican City really is. The book certainly captures the granduer and splendor of this wonderful place.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Vatican on your coffee table, April 28, 2008
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This review is from: Inside the Vatican (Paperback)
Having been to the Vatican in person, I know how hard it is to take (good) pictures of all the things there. The Vatican city with its myriad of art collections, museum, and antiquity-filled storerooms has something for everyone who likes art or history.
This book does a great job of capturing the feeling of the city, and hits every major masterpiece in the place. Unfortunately, there are some masterpieces that could have used more explanation or exploration, in particular, "La Pieta," and "The Last Judgement." This, for me, warranted the loss of a "perfect" score. Both of these works have a fascinating history, and tell volumes about the artist (Michaelangelo) himself.
If you can't make it to the Vatican yourself, this book is the next best thing.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Honestly! I expected more "inside" info or pictures., January 15, 2008
This review is from: Inside the Vatican (Paperback)
Well, I guess part of the problem is that I expected to see more of the "inside" information and pictures in this book. It is more of a picture book with a few notations and some small feature type articles, but nothing really mind-blowing. I thought there would be more pictures of the "never before seen", but it was not meant to be.

Still, it does have beautiful pictures of the Holy See. Not a total loss, it is very aesthetically pleasing.
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Inside the Vatican
Inside the Vatican by Bart McDowell (Paperback - March 17, 2009)
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