One can leaf through this enormous, sumptuously illustrated volume for the sake of the reproductions. To read the text casually as the eye roves from picture to paragraph can serve to Calvest's text oscillates between a time and place organization beginning with a description of the First Basillen and continuing with a discussion of the art of the Middle Ages, then a description of the Papal Residence and finally with the contributions of the and Baroque. To describe the treasures of the Vatican, ""custodian of works of art and a work of art in itself"", is a monumental task. The diffuse organization is somewhat redeemed by the informative discussions of the Sistine Chapel, the Chapel of Nicholas V, the Slanze and Loggic of Raphael, the Borgia apartment, the treasures of the Vatican palaces and museums. Pictures, sculptures, tapestries of the Renaissance; ivories, textiles, illuminated manuscripts of the Middle Ages; the ornate splendor of Baroque painting and architecture are all represented in 120 fine reproductions (85 in full color) all suitable for framing. Hardly a guide for the novice, the overall value of the book is to indicate the unsurpassed wealth and splendor of the Vatican and to relate it to the ideals of Christian humanism.