The Postmodern European City
AbstractOne of the books I would love to write, but probably never will, is a
history of the European exterior, a complement to Mario Praz’s 1963 monograph on the European interior, La filosofia dell’arredamento, the first version of which had appeared in 1945. Praz covers interiors from Greek and Roman Antiquity up to English Arts & Crafts and Art Nouveau, mainly through paintings, watercolors and engravings. These images reflect the domestic bliss of an elite who could afford this happiness and afford to commission artists to depict it. Despite the double layer of mediation—this being Praz’s reading of images that by themselves offer a filtered interpretation of an idealized, protected daily life in the interiors of a privileged class—the book manages to transmit the sense of a bygone life between walls.
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