Its aim is to provide a more complete picture of the construction and decoration of these churches than previously known. This entails not only providing the names of the architects who designed the churches, but also the names of the masons (muratori) and stone cutters (scalpellini), who built the churches and whose skills were essential for realising the architect's plans. This depth of information is carried through to the interior decorations. The interior of each church is then described in depth, on a chapel-by-chapel basis, and includes stucco work, marble revetment, monuments, metal work, fresco and painted decorations and altarpieces.
For each church, a brief historical introduction is given and a general bibliography supplied. Archival research has brought to light a great number of works of art whose authorship and/or dates have hitherto been unknown, including works by well-known artists but also many that are unknown to scholars. A great number of works of art whose authorship has hitherto been unknown are published in this volume for the first time. An alphabetic index of artists (consisting of over two thousand names) is supplied, and includes the churches where their works are to be found and accurate biographical information for each artist. In addition there is an index of patrons, and a street and rione index. Also provided are the names and contact details of the archives consulted in researching this book. The book is intended to be used as a reference and resource book, as well as to be used by visitors to these churches. It is lavishly illustrated with photographs.
Michael Erwee was born in Zambia. He received his doctorate from the University of Sydney and was awarded an Alexander von Humboldt post doctorate scholarship from the German Government. At present he is an independent researcher.