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Dark Water: Art, Disaster, and Redemption in Florence Paperback – Illustrated, October 6, 2009
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“A meditation on art, religion, the power of nature to destroy man's legacy on this Earth and the against-all-odds determination of people—young and old, working class and cultured, rich and poor-to save it.” —The Seattle Times
“Lovers of Florence/Firenze will fall into Dark Water headfirst.... A formidable accomplishment.” —Frances Mayes, author of Under the Tuscan Sun
“[A] vivid canvas of a city submerged.” –Men’s Vogue
“With the skill of an investigative reporter who can write beautifully, Clark not only describes the disastrous flood but also gives a history of Florence and the story of the people from all over the world who came to help save the city and its art.” –ARTnews
“History and art criticism, with a dash of memoir.... Evocative.” –BookPage
“A wonderfully intimate evocation both of the geniuses that created Florence’s masterpieces and the teams of art experts and ‘mud angels’ who rescued them. Anyone visiting Florence after reading Dark Water will find the city all the more precious and miraculous.” –Ross King, author of Brunelleschi's Dome
“Enthralling.” –The Economist
“Dark Water is not simply the best book yet about the flood that devastated Florence in November, 1966; it’s a new kind of art history–one that reflects on the transformation of a real Italian city (Firenze) into an imaginary city that’s become almost a museum of itself (Florence).” –Robert Hellenga, author of The Sixteen Pleasures
About the Author
- Publisher : Anchor (October 6, 2009)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 354 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0767926498
- ISBN-13 : 978-0767926492
- Item Weight : 12 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.26 x 0.75 x 7.98 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,054,180 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
"A timely novel highlighting the worth and delicate nature of Nature itself." -Delia Owens Learn more
Top reviews from the United States
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If Clark had only focused on 1966 and afterwards, this would still be an important work, but Dark Water is still more valuable because Clark has produced a fine history of the city, beginning with Dante, proceeding through the Renaissance, and on through to the present. He provides many excellent short biographies of the creative spirits associated with Florence, ranging from Leonardo and Michelangelo through to David Lees and Bernard Berenson. His accounts of Florence's participation in and witnessing of hundreds of years of history are also fascinating, particularly his coverage of the World War II period and the efforts made to preserve the city's treasures in the middle of massive conflict. His description of the 1966 flood and its aftermath is a gripping almost minute by minute account, and again features many hitherto unknown heroes of the recovery effort.
It would have been nice to have illustrations of the many artworks mentioned in this work and portraits of the many heroes and heroines who figure in Florence's history, and the book badly needs an index as well, but these are minor flaws, particularly when one considers Clark's fine writing style and his ability to create an engrossing narrative.
Reviewers note: I served in the U.S. Navy in Italy in 1965-67 and had the opportunity to visit Florence multiple times including for New Year's 1967 a few weeks after the flood. Even then the aftermath-situation was dramatic especially in the low-lying Santa Croce quarter. Piazza della Signoria was by then pretty cleaned up and the Palazzo Vecchio's windows were illuminated top to bottom with candles. At the stroke of midnight Il Duomo's big bell boomed and echoed from Giotto's Campanile down the quiet streets. Florence lived on. An unforgettable experience.
Florence in 1963 and have returned several times since and have marveled at all the wonderful
art in Florence. I know the cleanup was an extremely difficult job and want to read about it.