16th-Century Archi­tec­tural Drawings

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Between 2014 and 2017, nume­rous drawings from Euro­pean and American coll­ec­tions were added to the Census data­base. The focus was on drawings of ancient archi­tec­ture from the early to the late 16th century.

One of these was the so-called ‘Sangallo Circle Sketch­book’ in the Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, MA (inv. 1932.271), which is related in terms of its author­ship and date to drawings in the Uffizi from the circle of Antonio da Sangallo the Younger. The starting point for ente­ring data on this sketch­book was the cata­logue of drawings compiled by Howard Burns for the exhi­bi­tion ‘Raffa­ello archi­tetto’ (1984). Forty folios were recorded (recto and verso), of which a total of sixty indi­vi­dual drawings were linked to sixty-three monu­ment records.

The codices with drawings by Alberto Alberti in the Isti­tuto Nazio­nale per la Grafica in Rome were also added in their enti­rety to the Census data­base. These are four volumes (vol. 2501 A, vol. 2501 B, vol. 2502, vol. 2504) in which Alberti (who was prima­rily a wood carver), recorded antique archi­tec­tural details, and occa­sio­nally also entire buil­dings. The extra­or­di­nary dili­gence of his recor­dings, which include measu­re­ments as well as written iden­ti­fi­ca­tions and loca­tions of antique monu­ments, has enri­ched the Census data­base. The basis for this project was the edition of the Alberti codices by Giovanna Maria Forni (1991). 103 folios were recorded (recto and verso), of which a total of 341 indi­vi­dual drawings were linked with 500 monu­ment records.

Another focus of the project was a complex network of copies and parallel copies of archi­tec­tural drawings from the second half of the 16th century, which are now scat­tered across various coll­ec­tions. Larger groups that belong to this network are in the Metro­po­litan Museum New York (Scholz and Gold­schmidt Scrap­books) and in the National Museum of Stock­holm (Cron­stedt Coll­ec­tion); others are in coll­ec­tions in Munich, Stutt­gart, Paris, Windsor, Florence, Naples and Oxford. The drawings in this constel­la­tion are related to both ancient and modern archi­tec­ture and have so far only been examined in smaller groups and with regard to indi­vi­dual details. As a prepa­ra­tion for the project, the Census brought toge­ther experts in diffe­rent areas of the network to a work­shop, where they discussed their inter­re­la­ti­onship, dating, and attri­bu­tion, as well as the original contexts in which these drawings were created.

As part of the project, the Gold­schmidt Scrap­book was added: 95 sheets were recorded (recto and verso), and a total of 265 indi­vi­dual drawings were linked to 321 monu­ment records. Eleven sheets were added from the Codex icon. 209e of the Baye­ri­sche Staats­bi­blio­thek München, which contains parallel copies of drawings in the Cron­stedt Coll­ec­tion in the National Museum, Stockholm.

In addi­tion, the Palladio mate­rial stored in the Royal Insti­tute of British Archi­tects (RIBA, London) has been fully incor­po­rated into the Census database.

The drawings of the Codex Destail­leur B in the Hermi­tage in St. Peters­burg and nume­rous related parallel copies in Amsterdam (Rijks­mu­seum), London (Cour­t­auld Gallery, Blunt Coll­ec­tion), Naples (Biblio­teca Nazio­nale) and Berlin (Kunst­bi­blio­thek) were also edited.

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 (München, Baye­ri­sche Staatsbibliothek)

Cod. Magl. II.I.429 (Florence, BNC)

Ms. 764 (Padua, Biblio­teca Universitaria)

Alberto Alberti, Codex C, Rome, Isti­tuto Centrale per la Grafica, vol. 2502, fol. 96 r