It’s #artbookfriday again and I love it. There are a lot of book blogs out there but not many write about art books. It’s a niche for art lovers like us. I still can’t believe there are still things not many people write about online these days. I mean you would think that there is an overkill for every topic already but anyway as there isn’t I am pretty happy to present you another awesome art book this week. I have plenty of them and I won’t get tired to write about each and every one as they’re so great. So this week’s book is a true photo book, a coffee table book – large size, mainly photos. It’s a collection of photographs taken at the Vatican Museums. The photographer Christoph Brech was privileged to take pictures at the Vatican for three years. Something that would never happen regularly. That makes the book so special.
When I read about it for the first time I knew I needed it. During my time at university I had to study a lot of art that was commissioned by catholic popes at baroque or renaissance times. The sculptures and also the architectures of those times changed the world forever. The way we see art and architecture today was a development over hundreds of years and it pretty much started in those times. The way buildings were made was highly influenced by the artists and style favored in Rome. Artists like Michelangelo, Bernini and Borromini set a standard for a long time in Europe. That all changed over the centuries but I think those buildings and art works are still fascinating. It’s the absolute evidence that art can change the world and our culture. Not every piece survived the last 600 years but a lot did and most of them are still in Rome. It’s actually a shame that the book has just 160 pages I would have loved it to be bigger. There is a lot not included but of course there is plenty to see in it. The photographs show one of the most famous museums in the world as no one else has seen it: suites of rooms devoid of people, artworks on dignified display, hidden corners. Arnold Nesselrath, director of the department of Byzantine, medieval, and modern art at the Vatican Museums, provided the introduction to the history of the institution and there are also archive pictures accompanying the new ones.
The concept of exploring a museum freely is a great idea for an art book and it’s something I would love to have about all my favorite museums of the world. Until someone publishes them all I can highly recommend this book as a start.
#authors | Christoph Brech
#texts | Arnold Nesselrath
#publishing house | Sieveking
#language | English and German (two versions)
#ISBN | 978-3-944874-21-0 (English), 978-3-944874-16-6 (German)
#pages | 160
#published | 2015
you can get your copy here.