A History of Western Architecture

A History of Western Architecture

by David Watkin, Laurence King Publishing Limited Staff
     
 

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In his highly acclaimed reference work David Watkin traces the history of western architecture from the earliest times to the 21st century. Adopting an approach that sees architectural history as a continuous narrative, the author emphasizes the ongoing vitality of the Classical language of architecture, underlining the continuity between, for example, the work

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Overview

In his highly acclaimed reference work David Watkin traces the history of western architecture from the earliest times to the 21st century. Adopting an approach that sees architectural history as a continuous narrative, the author emphasizes the ongoing vitality of the Classical language of architecture, underlining the continuity between, for example, the work ofIctinus in 5th-century BC Athens and that of McKim, Mead and White in 20th-century New York.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Some 7000 years of architectural history and highlights are summarized in this classic survey, which serves equally well as a reference work and a college textbook for introductory architectural history courses. The current edition, updated from 2000, includes new material and illustrations on ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia and touches on early 21st-century flagship buildings and globalization. Watkin (history of architecture, Univ. of Cambridge) captures with a fine economy architecture's successive revivals and historical legacies. Given the book's scope, coverage is mostly confined to acknowledged masterpieces and trendsetters. While classics such as the Parthenon (three pages) and Chartres Cathedral (two pages) receive the most attention, only 25 buildings in New York and 15 in Chicago are mentioned, often in passing. Almost 1000 photographs (50 full-page, color) illustrate buildings, interiors, and styles. A glossary, a (somewhat dated) chapter-by-chapter "for further reading" list, and a detailed index conclude the work. In anticipation of reference consultation, libraries may elect to bind this sturdy paperback. VERDICT Popular since it was first published in 1986, this title can be appreciated by a second generation of readers for Watkin's erudition, big-picture overviews, and explanations of historical context and continuity.—Russell T. Clement, Northwestern Univ. Lib., Evanston, IL
Booknews
Watkin's (architecture history, U. of Cambridge, England) third edition contains new material on the architecture of Egypt and Mesopotamia, as well as architecture's most recent trends. One wishes for more frequent ground plans and sections as well as greater detail on the eras before the Renaissance; Watkin's writing, and examples are most expansive for the periods of the Renaissance, Baroque, and nineteenth century. Despite these reservations, the text remains a readable, solidly argued, and copiously illustrated introductory survey text useful for the undergraduate classroom. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781856694599
Publisher:
King, Laurence Publishing
Publication date:
06/09/2010
Pages:
720
Product dimensions:
7.50(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.80(d)

Meet the Author

David Watkin is Emeritus Professor of the History of Architecture at the University of Cambridge and an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects. His many books include Sir John Soane: Enlightenment Thought and the Royal Academy Lectures (1996), Morality and Architecture Revisited (2001) and The Roman Forum (2009).

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