Precious, brilliantly colored stones arranged by skilled artisans in intricate patterns that follow the designs of master architects have been an important aspect of Italian architecture for centuries. In this book, Kim Williams provides a detailed overview of these beautifully designed pavements. From the second-century Pantheon in Rome to the twentieth-century Santa Maria Novella train station in Florence, Williams traces the evolution of pavement design, points to characteristic design elements of each age, and explains the various techniques and materials used.
Analyzing the pavements in relationship to their particular architectural context, she shows how these designs heighten the architectural experience and provide a key to understanding architects' intentions. Williams also offers an in-depth analysis of individual pavements in order to shed light on the proportional systems, geometric constructions, symbolism and historical sources for the design. Through her accurately measured, exquisitely rendered drawings of the pavements, many of which have never before been documented, these pavements are given their full due as architecture and craft.