The New Palaces of Medieval Venice

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9780271023519: The New Palaces of Medieval Venice

The palaces of Venice have long excited the wonder of visitors. Ornate and grand, the buildings seem to float on the water of the city’s canals like the sea castles in a mariner’s dream. But Juergen Schulz demonstrates that the origins of these residences lay on terra firma, in a widely disseminated building type that, during the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, was adapted to the special circumstances of an Adriatic lagoon and the needs of the merchants turning this environment into a center of trade.

An internationally recognized expert on Venetian art, architecture, and cartography, Schulz examines the city’s medieval palaces with scholarship of unprecedented breadth and insight. Based in both archival research and first-hand knowledge of Venice, his book reconstructs the original appearance of the city’s oldest surviving residences, such as that of the Corner and Pesaro families, and traces the many later modifications made to these buildings. Further, Schulz’s book breaks new ground by presenting a systematic discussion of the use of sculpture in Venice’s early palaces, famed for their "exhibitionistic"’ scale and ornament.

Illustrated with numerous photographs and plans, The New Palaces of Medieval Venice provides a comprehensive account of the ways in which a group of buildings came to embody the lives of Venice’s leading mercantile families. Schulz’s discussion of the Venetian palaces’ impact on later architecture further enhances the significance of this handsome publication.

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About the Author:

Juergen Schulz is Andrea V. Rosenthal Professor of Art History and Architecture, Emeritus, Brown University and the author of numerous books and articles on Venetian art, architecture, and cartography.

Review:

“A splendid accomplishment, overwhelming in its mastery of sources and scholarship, that makes its arguments with nerve and verve, and unlike most scholarship leaves the reader with a poignant sense of the effects of time on historical artifacts and persons.”

—Stanley Chojnacki, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill



“It is impossible to exaggerate the importance of this book. Any summary can only skim the surface of the depth of observation and fullness of information contained within its pages. Schulz’s rich career of scholarship on the history and art of Venice has culminated in a punctilious and inspired production. It is a powerful demonstration of what happens when the grunt work of archival research and a vivid response to the visual merges with a deeply felt understanding of historical developments. Venice will never look the same.”

—Debra Pincus, News on the Rialto



“However, as a means of stimulating debate and questioning long-held assumptions, these are important issues to raise, and in so doing, Schulz has done us a great service in this fine work. I only need to add that it is beautifully produced, has excellent illustrations, and is superbly edited.”

—Richard J. Goy, Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians



“Many years ago, Juergen Schulz took it upon himself to tackle one of the most elusive and challenging fields of Venetian architectural history, the origins and early development of the casa da stazio of the merchant nobility. This masterly book is effectively the culmination of that enterprise.”

—Richard J. Goy, Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians



“A beautifully printed and beautifully illustrated book—Venice will never look the same.”

—D. Pincus, Choice



“Schulz’s rich career of scholarship on the history and art of Venice has culminated in a punctilious and inspired production. It is a powerful demonstration of what happens when the grunt work of archival research and a vivid response to the visual merges with a deeply felt understanding of historical developments. Venice will never look the same.”

—Debra Pincus, News on the Rialto



“These case studies are exemplary works of scholarship, and add greatly to our understanding of this elusive typology.”

—Richard Goy, Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians



“There is only one word needed to describe this book: indispensable.”

—Gabriele Neher, The Art Book



“Juergen Schulz’s varied and rich career has been capped by a book that can only be termed revolutionary. . . . The New Palaces of Medieval Venice is beautifully produced, with generous illustrative materials, including plans, views, historic photographs, and numerous close-ups of architectural details. Profoundly changing a sense of the architecture of medieval Venice, it will clearly be a touchstone for work in the field for many years to come.”

—Debra Pincus, CAA Reviews



“Schulz’s book is clearly of central importance to both architectural history and Venetian studies. The argument is made clearly and directly, and the text is lavishly illustrated with over two hundred plates. Schulz’s work is not only a pleasure to read, it will doubtless set the standard for treatments of Venetian palaces for years to come.”

—Monique O'Connell, Sixteenth Century Journal

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