Customer Reviews: Vatican: All the Paintings: The Complete Collection of Old Masters, Plus More than 300 Sculptures, Maps, Tapestries, and other Artifacts
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on November 15, 2013
It is great to have a record of all the paintings in the Vatican. The only problem I have is that some of the image quality is not up to par. (Overall the Louvre book has better reproductions but that collection is more accessible.) Several of the Sistine Chapel frescoes are illustrated with images from prior to the restoration that was completed in 1999. In particular the Michelangelo lunettes which are overexposed images of the pre-cleaned frescoes. Also their are a 2-3 heavily pixelated images due to being overly enlarged. Most of the images, and there are almost a thousand, are of good quality. I would recommend Taschen's recent XL book on Michelangelo for a more accurate representation of the Sistine Chapel's frescoes and the "Loggia of Raphael" by Abbeville for the same reason. Glad to have it, but wish the editors dug a little deeper some of the images.
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on February 19, 2014
I considered buying this but first I took it out from the library. I didn't have to look far to find two errors that bother me enough to believe there are many others hidden within. One is a reference to St. Stephen as "the first Christian" ! The other was- and I have the page in front of me- also one of poor editing. Page 12 calls the painting thereon as 'The Virgin and Child Enthroned with SS. Michael and Ursula'. There is a painting on the facing page with the SAME title that fits but the depicted saints on page 12 appears to be John the Baptist (perhaps) and Catherine of Alexandria with her spiked wheel. Now, these things may not bother you if you just want to enjoy lovely Christian art, but at a 75.00 list price (it does include a DVD), I want to know all kinds of dumb mistakes are not included inside. Maybe that's just me.
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on March 29, 2014
This bulky book presents photos of all the paintings in the Vatican Museums as well as of many other works of art visible on the premises.

Sadly, it does not seem to be conceived to match the reader’s needs:
• its sheer weight and size makes it very uncomfortable to handle;
• many of the photos are only a few inches square in area;
• the layout often makes for very wide columns of text that are difficult to read;
• the writing style is at best adequate but often awkward.

Worse, there clearly appears to be a significant lack of quality control:
• maybe a dozen captions are placed next to the wrong picture so that, for example, a painting that is obviously a Nativity Scene is described as an Annunciation;
• two pages apart, the same painting appears ... with significantly different titles!

Given its price, this work can thus by no means be recommended, even as an introduction to the topic.
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on January 23, 2014
I would say the main flaw of this book is the authors use of very small photos ( about 2.5"x 2.5") for many masterpiece paintings. The beauty and detail of these pieces is completely lost due to their size and were impossible to enjoy. Other works of art were lost on the author's lack of attention to how they looked in contrast to the white background of the page. It this book hadn't been a gift, I would have returned it.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon December 11, 2013
“The Vatican: All the Paintings” made by Anja Grebe is a fantastic overview of art collections gathered in one place that offers a comprehensive look at the wealth of art that is kept in the smallest country in the world.

Since I'm a big fan of art, and in whatever city I'm, always visit galleries and museums. Therefore I’m happy that I visited and enjoyed number of famous art places around the world, both European and US.
And while Louvre attracts attention with quantity of its art, American museums with technical equipment and modernity, Vatican Museum has an amazing collection of art that is kept in relatively small space will delight everyone who visits it for the first time.
Whether we are talking about antiquity or works that were created recently in human history, in these galleries and palaces art lover will be able to enjoy the works of art perhaps more than anywhere around the world.

In this sense, this book together with the accompanying DVD is a great opportunity for art enjoying to all those who haven’t yet visited the museum, will soon visit it or even are not familiar with the wealth of art that can be seen there.

The book is organized in 22 chapters that are describing Vatican Museum and its galleries that include the famous the Sistine Chapel, St. Peter's Basilica, the Vatican Palaces, the Pinacoteca, the Borgia Apartments, and many more.
Inside, reader can found nearly 1000 art pieces, mostly paintings from authors such as Michelangelo, Raphael, Giotto, Titian and Caravaggio but also many other art objects like sculptures and tapestries.

As above-mentioned, the book comes with DVD disc that is great add-on due to the possibilities for search of included artwork by some of the criteria, but also seeing each of the artworks in increased size allowing higher detail level enabling reader to enjoy on the highest level other than by actual visit to the museum.

Art historian Anja Grebe did a great job writing numerous essays that describes particular art pieces in terms of artist's inspirations and techniques used, artist background, impact he made on art history as well as the information that will be useful for art enthusiasts on what have to pay attention when viewing particular artwork.

Although this is the first book about the Vatican Museum that I seriously studied, it’s a work that can be recommended to art lovers, professionals and enthusiasts alike.
The author managed to bring an excellent overview of Vatican art in same time providing well-made and researched background for most of the works included.
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on November 18, 2013
I visited Vatican museums 5 times and I always wanted to know more about paintings, rooms, etc. You cant learn it from the guide escorting tour group. This book is perfectly organized and practically tells you enough details about every valuable piece of art even including rooms with icons from XII-XII centuries, which most of visitors have no time to view.
For those how wants more detailed pictures, they have to buy a different albums. This book about history of art presented in those museums and its perfect and great value.
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on November 1, 2015
This is a wonderful, ambitious book. It is not a book to be read at one sitting, or really, even 20 sittings. The art work in here can be studied for a long time. The problem is that in order to get all the pieces in, the pictures have to be small. They are not little bitty pictures that you can't see what they are, but there are often more than one to a page. There is also a problem appreciating one with another just as good so close to it. Having said that just to prove that I recognize it is not flawless, it is a fantastic collection. When you consider that nothing gets into a painting unless the artist put it there (unlike a photograph which could have some carelessly tossed item in it) there are hours of consideration on these pages. I am so glad to own it.
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on December 16, 2015
I'm actually surprised I didn't love this book as much as I thought I would. It's ok. Some of the paintings are printed so small, I have to get close to the page to see the detail. And I'm actually surprised that this is ALL of the paintings in the Vatican museums... I thought there's be more. Still, it's a well-constructed book... and the nice thing about it is when I got to the Vatican next, I will be able to enjoy the museums at my leisure.
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on November 24, 2013
I visited the Vatican museum when I traveled to Italy. I took many photos and neglected to write down the names of the works of arts that I took the photos of. This has made it possible for me to go back and enjoy the photos and plan my next visit to Italy.
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on December 6, 2013
First rate art book. Superb reproductions. Well organized. In depth descriptions . Great cocktail table book. The author is an outstanding art historian.
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