'The Making of Assisi'

The Pope, the Franciscans, and the Painting of the Basilica

Donal Cooper and Janet Robson
Yale University Press, $75, 296 pp.

From its dominant position on a ridge of the Apennine peak known as Mount Subasio, the Basilica of St. Francis in Assisi is as large and impressive as Francis himself was apparently small and unprepossessing. Graceful, majestic, gorgeously decorated by some of the greatest artists in medieval Italy, it may seem to contradict the devotion to poverty that drove Francis to create a new way of religious life for the Friars Minor, his “little brothers” in faith, and his female followers, the Poor...

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About the Author

Ingrid D. Rowland is a professor, based in Rome, at the University of Notre Dame School of Architecture. Her latest book is From Pompeii: The Afterlife of a Roman Town (Belknap Press, 2014).

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