THE VILLAS OF PALLADIO photographs by...

THE VILLAS OF PALLADIO photographs by Philip Trager, text by Vincent Scully (Bulfinch Press/Little, Brown: $35). More than four centuries after their construction, the country villas designed by Antonio Palladio remain the epitome of architectural elegance. Trager attempts to show the reader the buildings as the architect saw them, excluding recent elements from his photographs. The continuing influence of Palladio's work can be seen in some of the predatory mega-houses that blight contemporary Los Angeles, but Trager's misty black-and-white pictures of the prototypes reveal that these over-scaled parvenu palazzi lack the understated good taste that characterizes the orginals.

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