Review Of "The Lateran In 1600: Christian Concord In Counter-Reformation Rome" By J. Freiberg

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Except for Borromini's mid-17th-century architectural veneer in the nave, the art in the Lateran church was long undervalued, despite its importance as the Cathedral of Rome, owing largely to the accident of evolutionary history that placed the church's elaborate art project between the Renaissance and the Baroque. This book offers a refreshing, thorough, and comprehensive examination of the works carried out under Pope Clement VIII (1592-1605), comprising paintings, statues, architectural decorations, and liturgical objects and furnishings, all as an integrated ensemble; and, as the author amply demonstrates, the ensemble is a glorious theater, tied to both the Constantinian past and the contemporary Jubilee Year. The profuse documentary notes, taking up more than a third of the book, betray the book's origin in the author's PhD dissertation (New York University, Institute of Fine Arts, written under Irving Lavin); and yet, despite the erudite material, the narrative is clear, highly readable, and gives the reader a vivid sense of Rome and the Church in 1600. Recommended for all libraries. Undergraduate; graduate; faculty; general.


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