This comprehensive and heavy tome illustrates all the works of art on display in the Vatican and underscores the variety of its art, including works that popes commissioned from painters as well as works that were accumulated for art appreciation and prestige beginning in the 17th century. The book is divided into 22 sections representing the museums and areas of the Vatican. This includes the Pinacoteca (painting gallery), with paintings given to or purchased by the pops or removed from altarpieces of papal churches. Also included are images of art from the Borgia Apartments, the famous Raphael Rooms, and Michelangelo?s Sistine Chapel. Lesser-known works are included, such as a collection of modern religious art and tapestry and maps. The diversity of the holdings is highlighted by such collections as the Pio-Clementine Museum of early Christian Rome, the Gregorian Etruscan Museum, which houses non-Western art. Not to be forgotten is St. Peter?s Basilica and Piazz, and its art including Michelangelo?s famous Pieta sculpture.
VERDICT This book, which has many beautiful color illustrations, its own slipcover, and a DVD that includes every work of art, will appeal to readers who are interested in the art of the Vatican.