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Bernini is Dead?

By (author) John Burchard
Format: Hardback
Publisher: McGraw-Hill Education - Europe, New York, United States
Imprint: McGraw-Hill Inc.,US
Published: 30th Sep 1976
Dimensions: w 180mm h 240mm
ISBN-10: 0070089221
ISBN-13: 9780070089228
Barcode No: 9780070089228

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Kirkus US
Lengthy and often rambling, Burchard's book is an eccentric but nonetheless useful history of architecture for specialists and "amateurs." Its happiest use, despite the author's disclaimer, is as a primer and guide to viewing architectural masterpieces; Burchard explicates building plans and local history with equal thoroughness. Unfortunately the question posed by the title (yes, it is pronounced with a Yiddish inflection) is ridiculous and Burchard's insistence on illustrating his answer ("Yes") is distracting and wrong-headed; his glorification of Bernini is somewhat undercut by his crankiness toward, for example, Henry Hobson Richardson and the Habitat architect Safdie. The 400 pages that precede the polemic on Baroque and contemporary works, however, is a generous and not unpleasantly personal record of some very fine moments in architecture. Burchard investigates specific monuments in his sections on the "Architecture of Wood," in which he focuses on the Shinto Shrine of Ise, and in the "Architecture of Stone," covering the great edifices of Egypt, the ancient Americas and Greece and Rome, with a very fine section on Romanesque and Gothic cathedrals. Burchard is a serious professional, concerned finally with the crucial problems of modern urban architecture - which however he has dealt with to greater advantage elsewhere. The current volume is both quirky and self-indulgent despite the author's keen sense of history as well as our more immediate, urban environment. (Kirkus Reviews)