The variety of Pietro da Cortona's artistic output cannot easily be accommodated in a traditional monograph, and this is one reason why Cortona scholarship has tended to appear in the form of specialist studies and articles. In assembling the first overview of his architectural production (including unbuilt projects), Jöörg Martin Merz has therefore performed a useful service, the value of which is increased by the range and quality of the illustrations. He explains that "the present monograph does not contain a catalogue, but presents Cortona's complete oeuvre as an architect in a continuous narrative, with detailed notes reflecting up-to-date bibliographical references" (xii). While this format makes for pleasurable reading, the length of the book and the not always well-organized chapters mean that it cannot be used easily as a reference text. The volume consists of twenty-three chapters of varying length, most...

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