MASSIMO LISTRI: The World's Most Beautiful LibrariesPHOTOS BY MASSIMO LISTRI Book Number: 84177 Product format: Hardback
A dizzyingly luxurious volume to treasure. From the mighty halls of ancient Alexandria to the coffered ceilings of the Morgan Library in New York, human beings have had a long, enraptured relationship with libraries. It is the unrivaled realm of discovery, where every faded manuscript or mighty clothbound tome might reveal a provocative new idea, a far-flung fantasy, an ancient belief, a religious conviction, or a whole new way of being in the world. In this new photographic journey, Massimo Listri travels to some of the oldest and finest libraries to reveal their architectural, historical and imaginative wonder. Through great wooden doors, up spiralling staircases, and along exquisite, shelf-lined corridors, he leads us through outstanding private, public, educational and monastic libraries, dating as far back as 766. Between them, these medieval, classical, baroque, rococo and 19th century institutions hold some of the most precious records of human thought and deed, inscribed and printed in manuscripts, volumes, papyrus scrolls and incunabula. Featured libraries include the papal collections of the Vatican Apostolic Library, Trinity College Library, home to the Book of Kells and Book of Durrow, and the holdings of the Laurentian Library in Florence, the private library of the powerful House of Medici, designed by Michelangelo. We learn not only of the libraries' astonishing holdings from which highlights are illustrated, but also of their often lively, turbulent, or controversial pasts. Like Altenburg Abbey in Austria, an outpost of imperial Catholicism repeatedly destroyed during the European wars of religion, or the Franciscan monastery in Lima, Peru, with its horde of archival Inquisition documents. At once a bibliophile beauty pageant, an ode to knowledge, and an evocation of the particular magic of print, Massimo Listri, The World's Most Beautiful Libraries is above all a cultural-historical pilgrimage to the heart of our halls of learning. Text in English, French, German. New from Taschen, hundreds of enticing colour illus, boxed with carry handle. Hardcover, 29 x 39.5cm, 560 pages.
Bibliophile price: £150.00