Architectural Drawings in Early Modern Italy: media, methods, functions, interpretations
Tod A. Marder is Distinguished Professor Emeritus at Rutgers University. He recently completed a book on Bernini’s architectural drawings based on the 1931 catalogue by Heinrich Brauer and Rudolf Wittkower, which will be published by the Bibliotheca Hertziana, Rome. In addition to books and articles on Bernini, he has published a volume on the Pantheon in Rome co-edited with Mark Wilson Jones. He was the Wittkower Fellow at the Bibliotheca Hertziana (2014-15), a Fellow of the American Academy in Rome (1998), and Editor in Chief of the Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians (1987-90). His research has been aided by the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, National Gallery of Art (CASVA), Institute for Advanced Study (Princeton), and other organizations.
Scholars have studied architectural drawings in Early Modern Italy from the late nineteenth century to our day. Fundamental aspects of the art have nevertheless remained poorly known or largely unexplored. Despite the many publications on Renaissance architecture, as opposed to the figural arts, relatively little information about the materials and methods of architectural representation has been diffused in our day. Moreover, relatively few recent scientific approaches have been utilized. The relationship of drawing to workshop practice has only been clarified in relation to some great architects like Palladio and Michelangelo, while the preponderance of others remains to be intuited through connoisseurship on one hand and more technological studies on the other. Even the purposes of architectural drawings are constrained by distinctions established for the figural arts, such as preliminary sketches, detailed studies, and presentation pieces, when more stages in the design procedure were likely required in most commissions. The purpose of this project is to assess concerns among contemporary architectural historians, to gather available information, and to propose methods and standards for addressing these matters.