Architecture: From Pre-History to Postmodernism

Marvin Trachtenberg, Author, Isabelle Hyman, Author
Marvin Trachtenberg, Author, Isabelle Hyman, Author Prentice Hall $85 (606p) ISBN 978-0-8109-1077-5
Reviewed on: 05/31/1993
Release date: 06/01/1993
Hardcover - 606 pages - 978-0-13-044702-9
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In his design for the Brooklyn Bridge, John Roebling fused Egyptian and Gothic detail into his personal version of the Roman triumphal arch. Michelangelo conceived his muscular, expressive architecture as if it were sculpture. These engaging insights are typical of the fresh approach taken by two New York University professors in this heavily illustrated, 600-page survey of Western architecture. The authors focus on monumental structures within each epoch, and give stylistic detail priority over social or political context. Even so, they often make broad connections between buildings and people. For example, a comparison of Greek freestanding temples and Rome's imposing facades suggests a difference between the freedom-loving Athenians and a Roman society dominated by state power and state religion. From Etruscan ruins to Robert Venturi's juxtaposing of low vernacular with high art, this detailed, rewarding study measures innovation against continuity. (March)
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