At the turn of the fifteenth century, Rome was in the midst of a dramatic transformation from what the fourteenth-century poet Petrarch had termed a crumbling city populated by broken ruins into a prosperous Christian capital. Scholars, artists, architects, and engineers fascinated by Rome were spurred to develop new graphic modes for depicting the city-and the genre kwn as the city portrait exploded. In Rome Measured and Imagined, Jessica Maier explores the history of this genre - which merged the accuracy of scientific endeavor with the imaginative aspects of art - during the rise of Renaissance print culture. Through an exploration of works dating from the fifteenth to the eighteenth centuries, her book interweaves the story of the city portrait with that of Rome itself. Highly interdisciplinary and beautifully illustrated with nearly one hundred city portraits, Rome Measured and Imagined advances the scholarship on Renaissance Rome and print culture in fascinating ways.
Jessica Maier is assistant professor of art history at Mount Holyoke College.