The Vatican and Saint Peter's Basilica of Rome -- French architect Paul Letarouilly (1795-1855), author of the masterpiece Edifices de Rome Moderne, was unequaled in his observational ability and impeccable drawing skills. He devoted many years of his life—living in austerity and refusing paying commissions—to compile and draw the intricate details and decorative elements of the most breathtaking buildings in Italy's Vatican City, including St. Peter's Basilica, the Sistine Chapel, the Pontifical Palace, the Museo Pio Clementino, and the Villa Pia.
Published in 1882, after his death, Vatican served as an unparalleled sourcebook of everything from plans, elevations, interior room views, and perspective drawings to mosaics, wall panels, doorframes, fountains, towers, domes, cornices, and moldings. Prior to the book’s original publication, these details were not easily replicated in other parts of the world. Vatican gave access to rigorous documentation of the work of some of the most significant Renaissance architects—Michelangelo, Bernini, Bramante, Sangallo, and Peruzzi—and is now often credited as one of the primary catalysts for the American Renaissance style, the results of which can be seen in any capital city in America. The precision and attention to detail that Letarouilly demanded of his engravers advanced the art of etching in the nineteenth century. Exquisite rendering techniques and precise execution make this book as beautiful as it is useful. Originally published in three volumes, Vatican is presented as a single facsimile edition in our Classic Reprints series and includes a new foreword by architectural historian Ingrid Rowland.
Published in association with the Institute of Classical Architecture and Classical America.
Ingrid Rowland writes and lectures on classical antiquity, the Renaissance, and the age of the baroque. A frequent contributor to the New York Review of Books, she is the author of numerous books and a professor at the University of Notre Dame School of Architecture. She lives in Rome, Italy.