Janus and Chronos at the New Year

Giulio Romano, Victory, Janus, Chronos and Gaea, preparatory drawing for the Sala dei Giganti in the Palazzo del Te, Mantua, ca. 1532-1534
Source: The J. Paul Getty Musuem / Getty Open Content Program

At the threshold between the years 2018 and 2019, Giulio Romano’s group of Janus and Chronos in a preparatory drawing for the Sala dei Giganti at the Palazzo del Te seems a particularly appropriate emblem. They belong to the gathering of gods who have just vanquished the giants, toppling everything in their path. Janus – who gives January its name – looks backward (as an old man) and forward (as a youth), viewing the past as well as the future. Chronos (“Father Time”) strides ahead purposefully, while Victory seems about to place the victor’s crown on his head, marking the ultimate triumph of the inexorable march of time. (The position of this crown is shifted in the executed fresco.) Finally, at the lower right, a wistful Gaea looks on in horror at the violent end of the giants.

After the upheavals of 2018, here’s hoping that Janus sees a bright future for us all in January and throughout the rest of 2019!

Upcoming Conference: Spaces of Early Modern Architectural Production

Elizabeth Merrill has organized the upcoming conference Spaces of Early Modern Architectural Production at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin. The conference forms part of a working group on the topic that began with a video conference last fall, and will continue after the conference with a members-only workshop.

I am looking forward to participating with my talk “Network Structures: Exploring the Architectural Spaces of the Theatine Archipelago,” and hearing the other talks with interdisciplinary perspectives at the intersection of history of architecture and history of science.

* * *

From the conference announcement:

The Max Planck Institute for the History of Science (MPIWG), Main Conference Hall,
Boltzmannstraße 22, 14195 Berlin, Germany

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Registration deadline: May 14, 2018

The Spaces of Early Modern Architectural Production

Concept

Space is essential to architecture. In contrast to painting and sculpture, architecture
is fundamentally defined as a spatial construct, taking form not in two dimensions
or three, but four. Architecture – as a direct product of its spatial dimension – is also
fundamentally experiential and social. The theoretical conception of space – the
understanding of space as a social product – provides a systematic, yet expandable
language for examining the production of architecture – the processes, materials,
structures, knowledge systems and people integral in the making of architecture.
To the extent that the concept of space facilitates such avenues of investigation,
this conference pursues these insights in regards to architecture of early modern
Europe.

Conference Program

9:00 – 9:30 Welcome & Registration

9:30 – 9:45 Introduction

Prof. Dr. Jürgen Renn (MPIWG)
Director’s Welcome

Elizabeth Merrill (MPIWG)
Introduction to the Conference

9:45 – 11:15 Panel I

Noam Andrews (New York University)
Towards an Architectonics of Outer Space

Ludovica Galeazzo (Duke University)
“Conquest” and Construction of an Urban Space: the Insula dei Gesuiti in Venice in the Early Modern Period

Susan Klaiber (Winterthur, Switzerland)
Network Structures: Exploring the Architectural Spaces of the Theatine Archipelago

11:15 – 11:30 Coffee

11:30 – 13:00 Panel II

Wolfgang Lefèvre (MPIWG)
Architecture on Paper: Development and Functions of Architectural Drawings in the Renaissance

Sebastian Fitzner and Paul Brakmann (Freie Universität, Berlin)
Spaces of architectural knowledge: The model collection and “Kunstkammer” of Johannes Faulhaber (1580-1635) in Ulm

Elizabeth Merrill (MPIWG)
Model Book Production & Architectural Education in Fifteenth-Century Siena

13:00 – 14:00 Lunch

14:00 – 16:00 Panel III

Federico Bellini (Università degli Studi di Camerino)
Architecture for Music: sonorous spaces and furnishings in sacred buildings of the Roman Renaissance and Baroque

Stefan Holzer (ETH Zürich) and Nicoletta Marconi (Università degli Studi di Roma Tor Vergata)
Construction and restoration scaffoldings development between 17th and 19th Century in Europe: case studies in Italy, France and Germany, and their interrelationships

Merlijn Hurx (Universiteit Utrecht)
“The most expert in Europe”: knowledge production and innovation in specialised
building technologies in the seventeenth-century Dutch Republic

16:00 – 16:30 Coffee

16:30 – 17:30 Panel IV

Anthony Gerbino (University of Manchester)
Architectural Knowledge as Spatial Practice: Geometrical Survey in Sixteenth-Century France

Edward Triplett (Duke University)
Drawing Borders with Castles and Maps – Making Sense of the 16th Century Livro das Fortalezas

* * *

Please RSVP to emerrill@mpiwg-berlin.mpg.de by 14 May 2018

Image above from my talk: Frontispiece to Girolamo Vitale, Lexicon Mathematicum, 2nd ed. (Rome: Vannacci, 1690).
Source: Internet Archive / public domain

San Nicolò da Tolentino: Study Day in Venice

14 June 2017
Fulvio Lenzo has organized the upcoming study day I Tolentini da convento a università at the IUAV in Venice. The event will examine the history of the church and convent of San Nicolò da Tolentino from its origins as a Theatine church designed by Vincenzo Scamozzi to its current incarnation as the IUAV School of Architecture.

I am looking forward to participating with my talk “‘The First of the Congregation’: From the Tolentini toward a Theatinerarchitektur.” Other speakers will offer detailed looks at key episodes in the history of the church, the convent, and the restorations by Daniele Calabi and Carlo Scarpa.

Download the complete program here or view it on the IUAV website.

San Nicolò da Tolentino, Venice, facade by Andrea Tirali, begun 1706
Photo: Susan Klaiber / Creative Commons License

Perceptions of Architecture in Early Modern Europe

Conference at Durham University, 5 November 2016

ledoux-eyeKimberley Skelton has organized a fascinating conference on architecture and the early modern viewer with ten papers to be presented on topics ranging across Europe from the sixteenth to eighteenth centuries. Maurice Howard will deliver the keynote address, speaking on “Buildings Observed in Early Modern England.” I am delighted to be participating with my talk entitled “Inside Out: Situating the Theatine Interior.” It examines a mid-eighteenth-century guidebook to the houses of the Theatine order written specifically for the members of the order.

The complete conference program may be consulted on the website of the Institute of Medieval and Early Modern Studies at Durham University, or as a PDF download with the registration form. The registration deadline is 26 October 2016.

* * *

From the conference description:

Across discourses and media, early modern Europeans encountered advice about and models for interacting with the built environment around them. Architects scattered brief instructions for designing a viewer’s experience throughout their treatises, poets narrated imagined tours of house and estate, and artists who composed prints and paintings of buildings located viewers at particular vantage points. Simultaneously, philosophers and scientists debated human perception of the physical world at large – for example, explanation first by Aristotelian Scholastics and then mechanistic philosophers of how particle vibrations acted upon the human senses to create mental images of objects. Such architectural, philosophical, and scientific discussions had their echoes in self-reflective viewing of buildings by travellers who described in their journals the buildings that they visited.

* * *

prospectus_pontis_novi_versus_pontis_-_btv1b6948990z
From my presentation: Georg Balthasar Probst, Vüe du Pont Neuf, vers le pont Royal, a Paris, 1740.
Source: Gallica / Bibliothèque nationale de France

The Locus of Christmas

Jacques Callot’s Engravings of the Church of the Nativity, Bethlehem

Jacques Callot (French, 1592 - 1635 ), Plan and Elevation of the Church of the Holy Nativity, 1619, etching and engraving on laid paper [restrike], National Gallery of Art, Washington DC / Transferred from The Library of Congress

Jacques Callot (French, 1592 – 1635 ), Plan and Elevation of the Church of the Holy Nativity, 1619, etching and engraving on laid paper [restrike], National Gallery of Art, Washington DC / Transferred from The Library of Congress

Jacques Callot (French, 1592 - 1635 ), Plan of the Church of the Holy Nativity, 1619, etching and engraving on laid paper [restrike], National Gallery of Art, Washington DC / Transferred from The Library of Congress

Jacques Callot (French, 1592 – 1635 ), Plan of the Church of the Holy Nativity, 1619, etching and engraving on laid paper [restrike], National Gallery of Art, Washington DC / Transferred from The Library of Congress

In 1619 the French artist Jacques Callot prepared numerous prints of sites in the Holy Land to accompany the second edition of the Franciscan Bernardino Amico’s Trattato delle piante & immagini de sacri edifizi di Terra Santa (Florence: Pietro Cecconcelli, 1620). The Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem and its adjacent monastic complex are documented in seven plates at the beginning of the volume. Callot’s engravings were based on Amico’s own architectural surveys performed in Jerusalem and Bethlehem during his five-year stay in the Holy Land from 1593-98.

A star in the pavement of the crypt-like lower level grotto in Callot’s image marks the traditional location where Jesus is said to have been born, just as is the case today – though the present star has fourteen points rather than the six depicted by Callot.

Amico intended the publication to serve as both an accurate antiquarian treatise on the holy sites as well as a devotional aid for pilgrims. Its function today can be similar, reminding us that the epicenter of Christmas is not the North Pole but rather at the heart of this rich architectural palimpsest in Bethlehem.

* * *

Sources and Further Reading:

● UNESCO World Heritage listing description of the Church of the Nativity and Pilgrimage Route, Bethlehem

● Zur Shalev, “Christian Pilgrimage and Ritual Measurement in Jerusalem,” Preprint 384, Max-Planck-Institut für Wissenschaftsgeschichte, Berlin: 11-15.

The traditional site of Jesus's birth in the grotto underneath the Church of the Nativity, Bethlehem Source: Wikimedia Commons / public domain

The traditional site of Jesus’s birth in the grotto underneath the Church of the Nativity, Bethlehem
Source: Wikimedia Commons / public domain

Re | Visiting Piedmontese Baroque Architecture Tour Material Online

EAHN 2014 Two-Day Post-Conference Tour Documentation

The European Architectural History Network Third International Meeting (Turin, Politecnico di Torino, 19-21 June 2014) offered a rich program of twenty-one conference tours, among these the two-day Re | Visiting Piedmontese Baroque Architecture.  This study tour (22-23 June) presented key monuments as seen through the historiographic lens of earlier scholarly exploration of Baroque Piedmont.

As a permanent resource for tour participants and others interested in the topic, a page in the Resources section of this website now archives supporting material from the tour as PDF and JPEG downloads. These downloads include the tour itinerary, a selection of maps, documentation for travels in the region by A. E. Brinckmann and Rudolf Wittkower, as well as image dossiers for the sites visited.

In addition, a Google Map documents the principal stations of the tour, and a separate page of selected links leads to further reliable, content-rich web resources on most of the sites.

Tour leaders:
Pino Dardanello, Susan Klaiber, Edoardo Piccoli

Tour organizers
:
Roberto Caterino, Susan Klaiber, Walter Leonardi, Edoardo Piccoli

Resource Pages
Re | Visiting Piedmontese Baroque Architecture
Links for Re | Visiting Piedmontese Baroque Architecture

Geometrical Objects

Klaiber_Figure_4

From my chapter: Andrea Pozzo, Rules and Examples of Perspective Proper for Painters and Architects, etc., (London: J. Senes, R. Gosling, W. Innys, J. Osborn and T. Longman, 1707, reprint New York: Dover, 1989), plate 17, perspective study of Doric base.
Source: Susan Klaiber / public domain

Proceedings of 2007 Oxford Conference

What began as a small session at the Society of Architectural Historians 2005 Annual Meeting in Vancouver, and then developed into a very collegial two-day conference in Oxford in 2007, has now been published by Springer in both hardcover and e-book formats. My contribution, the chapter “Architecture and Mathematics in Early Modern Religious Orders,” may be previewed at Springer Link.

From the volume’s cover blurb:
 
Geo Objects coverThis volume explores the mathematical character of architectural practice in diverse pre- and early modern contexts. It takes an explicitly interdisciplinary approach, which unites scholarship in early modern architecture with recent work in the history of science, in particular, on the role of practice in the scientific revolution. As a contribution to architectural history, the volume contextualizes design and construction in terms of contemporary mathematical knowledge, attendant forms of mathematical practice, and relevant social distinctions between the mathematical professions. As a contribution to the history of science, the volume presents a series of micro-historical studies that highlight issues of process, materiality, and knowledge production in specific, situated, practical contexts. Our approach sees the designer’s studio, the stone-yard, the drawing floor, and construction site not merely as places where the architectural object takes shape, but where mathematical knowledge itself is deployed, exchanged, and amplified among various participants in the building process.​

* * *

Anthony Gerbino, editor, Geometrical Objects: Architecture and the Mathematical Sciences 1400-1800, Archimedes 38, (Cham: Springer, 2014).

C O N T E N T S

• Introduction Anthony Gerbino

Foundations

• Proportion and Continuous Variation in Vitruvius’s De Architectura Bernard Cache

Mathematics and Material Culture in Italian Renaissance Architecture

• The Palazzo del Podestà in Bologna: Precision and Tolerance in a Building all’Antica Francesco Benelli

• Practical Mathematics in the Drawings of Baldassarre Peruzzi and Antonio da Sangallo the Younger Ann C. Huppert

• Geometric Survey and Urban Design: A Project for the Rome of Paul IV (1555–1559) David Friedman

The Baroque Institutional Context

• Architecture and Mathematics in Early Modern Religious Orders Susan Klaiber

• The Master of Painted Architecture: Andrea Pozzo, S. J. and His Treatise on Perspective Kirsti Andersen

Narratives for the Birth of Structural Mechanics

• Geometry, Mechanics, and Analysis in Architecture Jacques Heyman

• Epistemological Obstacles to the Analysis of Structures: Giovanni Bottari’s Aversion to a Mathematical Assessment of Saint-Peter’s Dome (1743) Pascal Dubourg Glatigny

• A Scientific Concept of Beauty in Architecture: Vitruvius Meets Descartes, Galileo, and Newton Filippo Camerota

Architecture and Mathematical Practice in the Enlightenment

• Breathing Room: Calculating an Architecture of Air Jeanne Kisacky

• James “Athenian” Stuart and the Geometry of Setting Out David Yeomans, Jason M. Kelly, Frank Salmon

* * *

The Archimedes Series

Archimedes has three fundamental goals: to further the integration of the histories of science and technology with one another; to investigate the technical, social and practical histories of specific developments in science and technology; and finally, where possible and desirable, to bring the histories of science and technology into closer contact with the philosophy of science. …Its subjects include any of the sciences, ranging from biology through physics, all aspects of technology, broadly construed, as well as historically-engaged philosophy of science or technology. Taken as a whole, Archimedes will be of interest to historians, philosophers, and scientists, as well as to those in business and industry who seek to understand how science and industry have come to be so strongly linked.
Source: Springer

Celebrating Churches to San Gaetano

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On the feast day of the Theatine founder San Gaetano Thiene (1480-1547), this image gallery celebrates a few of the order’s churches associated with the saint. Known in English as Saint Cajetan, the younger son of a noble Vicentine family was canonized in 1671. Many of these churches were originally dedicated to other saints, with the dedication to Gaetano added – formally or informally – after his canonization. Others, such as the two unexecuted designs by Guarini, followed immediately in the wake of canonization.

Most of these churches are no longer served by the Theatines, and some (notably Nice) are today known under different dedications. For more (if not all) churches dedicated to the saint, see this Wikimedia Commons category page. All images are in the public domain.

Piedmontese Baroque Architecture Roundtable at EAHN 2014

Piedmontese Baroque Architecture Studies Fifty Years On
EAHN 2014, Turin, 20 June 2014

The European Architectural History Network Third International Meeting takes place in Turin from 19-21 June 2014, hosted by the Politecnico di Torino. The conference program offers thirty-two parallel sessions and roundtables, including the roundtable I have organized on the historiography of Piedmontese Baroque architecture. The conference’s three keynote speakers are Alina Payne, Hartmut Frank, and Fulvio Irace. A rich selection of tours rounds out the program, with a two-day post-conference tour Re | Visiting Piedmontese Baroque Architecture designed to complement my roundtable.

Consult the conference website for complete details of the entire program.

* * *

Piedmontese Baroque Architecture Studies Fifty Years On
8.30-11.15: Friday, June 20
Roundtable Chair: Susan Klaiber, independent scholar, Switzerland

Architectural Exchanges Between Rome and Turin Before Guarini
Marisa Tabarrini
La Sapienza – Università di Roma, Italy
8.45-9.00

Guarino Guarini: the First ‘Baroque’ Architect
Marion Riggs
Independent scholar, Italy
9.00-9.15

The Multifaceted Uses of Guarini’s Architettura Civile in 1968
Martijn van Beek
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Netherlands
9.15-9.30

Idealism and Realism: Augusto Cavallari Murat
Elena Gianasso
Politecnico di Torino, Italy
9.30-9.45

A Regional Artistic Identity? Three Exhibitions in Comparison
Giuseppe Dardanello
Università degli Studi di Torino, Italy
9.45-10.00

Wittkower’s ‘Gothic’ Baroque: Piedmontese buildings as seen around 1960
Cornelia Jöchner
Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Germany
10.00-10.15

View roundtable abstracts online (click on paper title for abstract) or as a PDF document.

Maestri ticinesi, magistri grigioni: Two Panels at AAIS 2014, Zurich

Italian Art Society sponsored sessions

An enthusiastic response to the call for papers yielded two panels on “Maestri ticinesi, magistri grigioni: Swiss-Italian Architects and Craftsmen in Early Modern Europe” at the upcoming American Association for Italian Studies 2014 conference in Zurich. The first panel focuses on architects, while the second turns its attention to craftsmen. As befits the international topic, the eight speakers represent five different countries, and their six papers treat geographies from Rome and Piedmont all the way to Bohemia, Lithuania, and the British Isles.

The two panels have been scheduled back-to-back on Friday afternoon, 23 May 2014, in the main building of the Universität Zürich.

Special thanks to the Italian Art Society for sponsoring the panels, and to Nadja Horsch for agreeing to moderate the “Craftsmen” segment.

* * *

Maestri ticinesi, magistri grigioni: Swiss-Italian Architects and Craftsmen in Early Modern Europe I: Architects
Friday, 23 May 2014, 15:30-16:45, Room KO2-F-173
Moderator: Susan Klaiber

Domenico Fontana’s Trasportatione dell´obelisco vaticano – the prototype of a new genre of architectural literature
Nadja Horsch, Universität Leipzig

Imported versus local tradition: the example of Bohemia
Madleine Skarda, Universität Zürich

Un sodalizio “ticinese” nella Roma del Settecento: i rapporti di committenza tra Livio Odescalchi e Carlo Buratti
Maria Gabriella Pezone, Seconda Università di Napoli

Maestri ticinesi, magistri grigioni: Swiss-Italian Architects and Craftsmen in Early Modern Europe II: Craftsmen
Friday, 23 May 2014, 17:00-18:15, Room KO2-F-173
Moderator: Nadja Horsch

Maestri ticinesi nel cantiere della reggia di Venaria Reale (1660-1713). Competenze professionali, mestieri, organizzazione del cantiere
Mauro Volpiano, Politecnico di Torino

From Ticino to Lithuania: materials and techniques of stucco decoration
Giovanni Cavallo, Giacinta Jean, Stefania Luppichini, University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Southern Switzerland (SUPSI)

Building on Beard: maestri ticinesi in eighteenth-century Britain and Ireland
Christine Casey, Trinity College, Dublin

Organizer of both panels: Susan Klaiber

View panel abstracts online or as a Word document.