Period: pre-1700

The Vitruvian Man: with Fresh Eyes

The Vitruvian Man: with Fresh Eyes

By Niamh Murphy

‘The Vitruvian Man of Leonardo da Vinci as a model of innovative entrepreneurship at the intersection of business, art and technology’ is shown in the first image. This is a ‘modern’ interpretation of the Renaissance drawing as a business model as published in the Journal of Innovation and Entrepreneurship in 2017.  An… Read More

Vitruvius: Follow the Footprints

Vitruvius: Follow the Footprints

By Paul Emmons

An intriguing Italian Renaissance drawing from the mid-sixteenth century has recently received critical attention through Drawing Matter. [1] Both the recto and the verso of the paper sheet have an ancient temple plan in perspective in a landscape setting, drawn in brown ink and attributed to the Sangallo circle as… Read More

Collection of Sections

Collection of Sections

By Allen Keith Yee

The following drawings and commentaries have been excerpted from Visual Discoveries: A Collection of Sections (Oro Editions, 2020). The publication surveys the use of section drawings in the histories of architecture and other professions, from the 17th century to the present. More information on the book can be found here.… Read More

Sigurd Lewerentz: Siting the Axonometric

Sigurd Lewerentz: Siting the Axonometric

By Stan Allen

One way to think about an axonometric drawing is as a perspective with the vanishing point at infinity. This means that the lines of projection are parallel, which assures dimensional consistency. Early treatises, for example, spoke of parallel projection as analogous to shadows cast by the sun; not, strictly speaking,… Read More

Bramante: Five Dots

Bramante: Five Dots

By Guido Beltramini

The remote past is distant and faded. Original objects and documents that might be used to study it are scarce. They are often uncooperative and most of the time they don’t tell the truth, because they have been reframed by history’s ‘victors’ over the centuries. We must always bear in… Read More

All back to front: D’Aviler’s Cours D’Architecture

All back to front: D’Aviler’s Cours D’Architecture

By Richard Emerson

In Louis de Boulogne’s drawing, now in the Drawing Matter collection, Architecture appears as a young woman. She sits leaning on an altar with a Corinthian capital at her feet, compasses in one hand and a portrait of Vignola in the other. Behind her are the ruins of Rome.  It… 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

Trees Make A Plan

Trees Make A Plan

By Sylvia Lavin

In 1546, Antonio da Sangallo the Younger died of malaria while working in Umbria about 100 kilometres north of Rome. Unlike Claude Perrault, who in 1688 also contracted a fatal infection as part of his work – the source of his malady is said to have been a camel he… Read More

Architectural Typefaces

Architectural Typefaces

By Adrien Vasquez

It is a drawing of a C. A rather normal looking C, a bit condensed perhaps. Its thick and thin parts are distributed along a vertical axis, rather than a diagonal one, so in typographic terms it is a modern C. To me it also looks a bit British, because it only… Read More

Ink on his Hands: Montano’s Visceral Roman Architectures

Ink on his Hands: Montano’s Visceral Roman Architectures

By Dijana O. Apostolski

When he sat down to make the drawings that form this eight-page album of Roman buildings, Giovanni Battista Montano began by embossing lines onto the sheet with a stylus, straightedge and compass. Using natural black chalk, he then lightly sketched the principal parts and main particularities of the selected edifices.… 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

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