Period: c18th

Trees Move In

Trees Move In

By Sylvia Lavin

The following text is the second of a series of four essays on trees in architectural drawings by Sylvia Lavin. The essays were first published in Log 49: ‘Observations on architecture and the contemporary city’ (Summer 2020). Drawing Matter would like to thank the author and the journal’s editors for… Read More

Palladio’s Lines

Palladio’s Lines

By Sezin Sarıca

Andrea Palladio’s Il Quattro Libri dell’architettura (Venice, 1570) is a seminal document in the history and theory of architecture. The treatise projects the knowledge of both architectural form and its image. The formation of this knowledge is documented within Palladio’s work textually and visually. The work conveys both the formation… Read More

Raymond Erith On Soane at Tendring Hall

Raymond Erith On Soane at Tendring Hall

By Pierre du Prey

The following notes were composed by Pierre du Prey to accompany his gift of the sketches pictured above to Drawing Matter, 16 September 2020. The circumstances surrounding two detailed sketches by Raymond Erithof the John Soane gate lodges at Tendring Hall, Suffolk, remain stronglyimpressed on the tablets of my memory.… Read More

Notes on Port Royal, Jamaica

Notes on Port Royal, Jamaica

By Paul Cox

My parents Oliver and Jean Cox were devoted ‘Jamaicophiles’, having worked on many projects in the country since the 1960s. One of the most enduring and absorbing was a proposed redevelopment of Port Royal as a renewal and upgrade of the historic city, rebuilding and restoring while making an interesting… Read More

on William Kent (1771)

on William Kent (1771)

By Horace Walpole

Here is Walpole’s famous one-liner, but with the remainder of his text on William Kent quoted in full; this is as Pevsner, in his unpublished Visual Planning and the Picturesque, apparently intended it to be. He leaped the fence, and saw that all nature was a garden. He felt the… Read More

Origins in Translation

Origins in Translation

By Mari Lending

Broken bits of ancient architecture piled up in the foreground of a printed page is a topos in the canon of architectural publications. An early example takes place in the frontispiece of Sebastiano Serlio’s book on antiquities. Produced for the first edition of the third book, written in Italian and published in… Read More

Watkin on Milizia: Frontispiece to The Lives of the Celebrated Architects, Ancient and Modern

Watkin on Milizia: Frontispiece to The Lives of the Celebrated Architects, Ancient and Modern

By David Watkin

The illustration on the title page to the Vite is striking and can be seen as a preparation for that of Pugin’s Contrasts (Sailsbury 1836). Milizia depicts a crowded scene in which, on the left hand side, a Corinthian portico and Laugier’s primitive hut, fashioned from trees and branches, represent Antiquity and Nature. Pallas,… Read More

Imaginal Cloud Spaces

Imaginal Cloud Spaces

By Sayan Skandarajah

Many hours can be spent on what art historian Mary Berry calls ‘the sheer act of looking’ at the Japanese folding-screen paintings titled Rakuchu Rakugai zu (Scenes in and around Kyoto). [1] Across the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, such paintings captured a seemingly complete image of the capital city. Through the consistent use of… Read More

Other Lives: Charles Eisen and Laugier’s Essai sur l’Architecture

Other Lives: Charles Eisen and Laugier’s Essai sur l’Architecture

By Rebecca Williamson

One of the best-known drawings related to the discipline is the ‘allegory of architecture’, drawn by Charles-Dominique-Joseph Eisen and engraved by Jean-Jacques Aliamet. [1] The original is now in the collection of Drawing Matter. Aliamet’s engraving serves as the frontispiece to the second edition of Marc-Antoine Laugier’s Essai sur l’architecture, and was included… Read More

Surface-oriented

Surface-oriented

By Rosa Nussbaum

My desk is a bit like an island: it could just as well be in some other country as here. —Italo Calvino The here in question is a narrow room occupying the top floor of a three-storey house on the southern fringe of Montparnasse. Heavily laden bookshelves and strategically placed objets extend along the… Read More

Six Architects on their Dream Desks

Six Architects on their Dream Desks

By Roz Barr, Biba Dow, Elizabeth Hatz, Stephanie Macdonald, Helen Thomas and Emma Letizia Jones

Drawing Matter recently acquired this design for a table, below. Although the work’s last sale in 1972 attributed the drawing to Thomas Chippendale, we are (perhaps wishfully) hoping that it might be an architect’s own design for desk. The sheet set off a flurry of chatter about the platonic spaces… Read More

Liquid Paper

Liquid Paper

By Mark Dorrian

In ‘The Praise of Hemp-Seed’, John Taylor – the self-styled Jacobean ‘water poet’ – at one point asks why poets have never sung the virtues of the plant before. It is, he answers himself, because their words run dry in the face of the limitless goods it brings – ‘The… Read More