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Research Focus 2014–2017

Sixteenth century architectural drawings from European and American collections

Following the completion of the large single collection of architectural drawings in the Uffizi, the Census will, in the upcoming years, add to its database numerous smaller sets of documents from different European and American collections. Again, the focus is set on drawings after antique architecture, the time period will range from the early to the late 16th century.


Sangallo Circle Sketchbook, fol. 17 v

Census will begin with the so-called “Sangallo Circle Sketchbook” in the Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge (Mass.), which in terms of date and authorship is related to the Uffizi drawings by the circle around Antonio da Sangallo the Younger. The basis for the data entry is the catalogue compiled by Howard Burns on the occasion of the exhibition “Raffaello architetto” in 1984.
Update: The work on the sketchbook is finished. 40 folios (recto and verso) have been inserted into the database, of which a total of 60 individual drawings have been linked with 63 monument records.
Direct link to the Census record:
Cambridge (Mass.), Fogg Art Museum: inv. 1932.271



Alberto Alberti, Codex C, fol. 96 r

In addition, the codices preserved in the Istituto Nazionale per la Grafica in Rome with drawings by Alberto Alberti will be included in their entirety in the Census database. They consist of four volumes (vol. 2501 A, vol. 2501 B, vol. 2502, vol. 2504) in which Alberti, who had mainly worked as a wood-carver, recorded almost exclusively antique architecture, i.e. single architectural elements as well as complete buildings. The extraordinary attention to detail of his drawings, numerous measurements as well as his identifying and localizing notes will greatly enhance the Census database. The basis of the data entry will be the edition of the codices by Giovanna Maria Forni from 1991.
Update: The work on Codex C (vol. 2502) is finished. 103 folios (recto and verso) have been inserted into the database, of which a total of 341 individual drawings have been linked with 500 monument records.
Direct link to the Census record:
Roma, ICG, GNS: vol. 2502


Another focus of the Census project in the next years will be the complex network of copies and parallel copies of architectural drawings of the second half of the 16th century which today is spread over various collections. Several comprehensive sets of drawings which are part of this network are preserved in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York (Scholz and Goldschmidt Scrapbooks) and in the National Museum in Stockholm (Cronstedt Collection), further ones are preserved in various collections in Munich, Stuttgart, Paris, Windsor, Florence, Naples and Oxford. The drawings of this network present antique as well as modern architecture and have been up to now examined just in smaller groups and with regard to individual detailed questions.

Codex icon. 209e, fol. 18 v-19 r

Cronstedt Collection, inv. CC 1320

As part of the preparation of the data entry, the Census intends to bring together experts of individual sub-areas of the network in a workshop, in order to discuss fundamental questions regarding mutual correlations of the drawings, datings and attributions, as well as the original contexts of their production.

Goldschmidt Scrapbook, no. 10 v

Update: The work on the Goldschmidt Scrapbook is finished. 95 sheets (recto and verso) have been inserted in the database, of which a total of 265 individual drawings have been linked with 321 monument records. Additionally, 11 sheets from Codex icon. 209e of the National Library Munich have been recorded, which include parallel copies of drawings in the Cronstedt Collection of the National Museum in Stockholm.
Direct links to the Census records:
New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art, P & D: Goldschmidt Scrapbook
München, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Codex icon. 209e




Furthermore, the Palladio material preserved in the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA, London) will be included in the Census database. So far, of the c. 290 sheets with drawings after the antique only 89 have been recorded.

Another large complex of drawings to be recorded consists of the Codex Destailleur B in the Hermitage in St. Petersburg and of various sets of parallel copies preserved in Amsterdam (Rijksmuseum), London (Courtauld Gallery, Blunt Collection), Naples (Biblioteca Nazionale) and Berlin (Kunstbibliothek).

In addition, the following document complexes will be recorded or completed by the end of 2017:

Codex Chlumczansky (Prague, National Gallery)
Codex S. IV. 6 (Siena, Biblioteca Comunale)
Codex B.R. 228 („Zibaldone“ of Buonaccorso Ghiberti; Florence, BNC)
Cod. icon. 209e (Munich, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek)
Cod. Magl. II.I.429 (Florence, BNC)
Ms. 764 (Padua, Biblioteca Universitaria)

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