Pliny the Elder and the Emergence of Renaissance Architecture

Pliny the Elder and the Emergence of Renaissance Architecture

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Peter Fane-Saunders
Cambridge University Press, 7/12/2016
EAN 9781107079861, ISBN10: 1107079861

Hardcover, 524 pages, 26.2 x 18.5 x 3.5 cm
Language: English

The Naturalis historia by Pliny the Elder provided Renaissance scholars, artists and architects with details of ancient architectural practice and long-lost architectural wonders - material that was often unavailable elsewhere in classical literature. Pliny's descriptions frequently included the dimensions of these buildings, as well as details of their unusual construction materials and ornament. This book describes, for the first time, how the passages were interpreted from around 1430 to 1580, that is, from Alberti to Palladio. Chapters are arranged chronologically within three interrelated sections - antiquarianism; architectural writings; drawings and built monuments - thereby making it possible for the reader to follow the changing attitudes to Pliny over the period. The resulting study establishes the Naturalis historia as the single most important literary source after Vitruvius's De architectura.

1. Pliny the Elder and his place in antique and mediaeval writings on architecture
2. Initial explorations
Petrarch, the Mirabilia Urbis Romae and Flavio Biondo
3. The manuscript hunter and the librarian
Poggio Bracciolini and Giovanni Tortelli
4. A new system
Pomponio Leto and his school
5. Emerging doubts
6. Pliny and Leon Battista Alberti
two 'architectural histories'
7. Pliny, Filarete and the ideal patron of architecture
8. 'Aldus and his dream book'
the Hypnerotomachia Poliphili
9. A more down-to-earth Pliny
10. Mixing the traditions
the curious case of Cesare Cesariano
11. Developments in the Veneto
the Vitruvian commentaries of Daniele Barbaro and I quattro libri by Andrea Palladio
12. Standing before the marvels
Ciriaco d'Ancona and Pliny's 'Opera mirabilia in terris'
13. In the mind's eye
drawings of Plinian wonders, from Leonardo to Antonio da Sangallo the Younger
14. From paper to stone
rebuilding Pliny's architectural marvels
Final thoughts
Pliny's influence on the Renaissance understanding of ancient architecture.