Paper Kulawik

The slides contain images that I am not alowed to share; therefore only the text is given here.

1. The – as far as I know – first international interdisciplinary research network and some of the results of its decades-long work. This is the first time after 461 years, that an interdisciplinary, international group of scholars deals with material created by this network, one may regard this as a historical moment. First, I would like to introduce the network which began as the so-called Accademia della Virtù and transformed into the Accademia d’Architettura before I turn to the architectural drawings in the second, larger part of my paper. 

2. Between 1553 and 1555, the architect, antiquarian, publisher, trader of antiquities, Jacopo Strada, lived in Rome and participated in the meetings of this eruditissima Academia in the Palazzo Farnese. After his departure, in 1557, he published a list of the disciplines involved in the Accademia in his edition of Panivinio’s Epitome: Because of the plural at least 2 persons may have represented each discipline and therefore, the Accademia should have had more than 40 members. 

3. Also in 1557, Strada also published Panvinio’s Fasti et Triumphi and mentions some of these members, like Antonio Agostìn, Benedetto Egio and Gentile Delfini. 

4. This is a still growing list of all the Accademia’s members and some persons related to it through personal contacts (like many of the churchmen) or who later made use of some of the results they inherited, like Onofrio Panvinio. In bold letters are some of the names you will hear more about during this panel. For many of the people who made drawings or woodcuts and plates for prints we still do not have names, and unfortunately, this may only change slightly in the future. 

5. We know the Accademia’s publishing program from a letter written by the Siennese Humanist, philologist, diplomat and later even bishop, Claudio Tolomei, written in 1542 to count Agostino de’Landi and published among Tolomei’s letters by himself in 1547. 

6. This program of at least 23 books to be published does not mention the Accademia explicitly, what I would regard as an reflection of its informal character. 

7. Tolomei compares the circle of involved persons at the end of his letter to the more than one hundred crafts that would work at the same time in a city — and in the same way the work would be divided into many parts according to the abilities and interests of the collaborators. By doing so, he thinks that the whole project could be finished in less than three years!  — Modern research has simply rejected Tolomei’s claim and regarded this project as megalomaniac. But should we expect the public figure, bishop, respected philologist and humanist Tolomei to lie literally straight into the face of his readers and, firstly, into that of de’ Landi from whom he hoped to get support?  To me it’s obvious that the program rather describes a project that had, at least by 1547, made considerable progress. 

8. In fact, I am convincend that Tolomei was not lying: For almost all of the books in his list we have either real printed books, published by people with personal relations to the Accademia, or vast manuscript collections compiled by such persons and fulfilling the Tolomei’s descriptions. Those books marked blue here are the only examples generally accepted to stem from the Accademia’s project: One printed book: Guillaume Philandrier’s Annotationes to Vitruvius; and one collection of manuscript material: two codices with incredibly detailed drawings after reliefs, sarcophagi and tombstones: the codices Coburgensis and Pighianus. Kathrin Schade will give you an introduction to this material today. 

9. You will be introduced to three other groups of such material. Ulrike and Dirk will present aspects of the epigraphic and numismatic material. And I am honoured to start with the group of architectural drawings that I regard as preparations for book 13: It was intended to contain all the ancient buildings of Rome. 

10. Tolomei’s description for this book is the longest in his letter, and it mentions some remarkable features: The buildings were to be represented with ground plan, elevation and cuts as well as many details if they would be needed to understand it; a historical and an architectural description should complete every entry. 

11. We know that at least some preparations for this book must have existed, because Giorgio Vasari, the ‘father of art history’, and Egnatio Danti both mention, that Jacopo Barozzi da Vignola, architect and theoretician, had measured all the ancient Roman buildings completely for the Accademia. We do not have drawings by Vignola himself that would support this claim. They may have been lost. Another opportunity derives from the fact, that such measurements and surveys always had to be done by groups of at least 3–4 persons, and that these groups, especially when they consisted of untrained assistants, needed some guidance. 

12. I think, these drawings have been made in exactly this way, and they even survived, but have not been recognised yet as belonging together and belonging to the Accademia’s project. The central and largest group of these drawings is the so-called Codex Destailleur D at Berlin. It was created around 1545 mainly by one French draftsman, whom I could identify with a certain Guielmo franciosio working at the Fabbrica di San Pietro in Vaticano between 1544 and 1547, and by some collaborators. Drawings from this circle also appear in other collections, only one of which was identified in parts before: the drawings of Guielmo’s closest collaborator it the Albertina in Vienna. Up to now I could identify at least 680 sheets with more than 3’300 single drawings made by 25 different hands. Some of them contain inscriptions in French or in a “French” Italian. In many of them there are mistakes, corrections by at least one more professional hand. Because of this and the status of the draftsman from the Fabbrica, it can be assumed that the draftsmen themselves weren’t trained architects, but craftsmen working under the supervision of an architect and for a mixed group of French and Italian patrons. Therefore, in short, I think these drawings were made for the Accademia

13. Among the many impressive and often singular, outstanding achievements of this Accademia, the architectural drawings mark an even more outstanding corpus: In almost every represented building they show more details, are more accurate and transmit more information than any other single drawing or group of drawings up to the 19th century. And even since then, especially because of the ongoing damage or even destruction of ancient buildings since the 16th century, no comparable co-ordinated approach to document as many buildings in a systematic way has ever been undertaken: One of my favourite examples for the very high accuracy and incredible “philological” approach is this ground plan of the Colosseum: It demonstrates that the draftsmen, or rather: their supervisors and patrons, were fully aware that the Colosseum is not a geometrical oval or ellipse, as architects and archaeologists over centuries would reconstruct it: Because otherwise the lines leading from the central axis to the perimeter should not cross each other. This demonstrats what I like to call the philological approach of these drawings and what, in fact, may be the methodological background of the whole material left by the Accademia and documenting the study of ancient remains: This philological approach mainly consists in the intention to document the objects, in this case: the buildings, as they are not as they were supposed to be

14. Today, we can easily control them: As you can see, the left half of the Colosseum does not mirror the right: it is slightly longer and ends even with something like pointed arch. In fact, we can even determine the point where the “ellipse” has been elongated leading to the crossing radii. 

15. In another drawing the draftsman recorded a tunnel beneath the building and notes that he understood its function: conduit pour evacuer l’eau par le desoubz. 

16. Another remarkable feature of all the drawings is their restriction to architectural elements and ornamentation: There is no recording of full inscriptions or reliefs, like in this case: from the Arcus Argentarii at the Velabrum. My guess is, that the draftsmen knew that inscriptions and reliefs were to be documented by other groups participating in the large project of the Accademia. 

17. In measuring the other triumphal arches in Rome, the draftsmen made the most detailed and accurate surveys of the inner rooms: rooms, that hardly ever were regarded as interesting and, therefore, never or only roughly recorded. This shows, again, that the interest behind the drawings from this circle was one we could call today strictly archaeologic and architectural, in a very modern sense. 

18. Instead of inscriptions and figurative reliefs, other decoration was regarded as being part of the architecture and, therefore, carefully recorded, like the lost decoration with coloured marbles from the inner drum of Santa Costanza, … 

19. which today looks like this. 

20. Because of its decoration with wine motives, the Mausoleum of Constantia, daughter of Emperor Constantine, was understood as a Temple of Bacchus in the Renaissance. Therefore, the ruins of an ancient basilica in front of it were misunderstood as a circus for games in the honour of Bacchus. But the draftmen realised, that there is something wrong with this interpretation, because they found remains of a wooden roof — something at least very unusual for a circus. 

21. Of course, also the imperial baths were recorded in their entirety, with some remarkable aspects that even today have often not be recognised by Archaeologists. For instance, here in the large model of Rome, there are two roofed rectangular buildings at the far end of the Baths of Caracalla. They are usually, even today, interpreted as Libraries for Greek and Latin literature. In the photograph on the right you can see that there are only some ground walls left of these buildings. 

22. This photograph shows the reconstructed backside wall of one of the buildings, and the darwings below, what the draftsmen saw in 1546: They obviously realised, that this building had no roof, and by recording the height of the niches and traces for the aedicula architecture, they show that these buildings cannot have been libraries at all — except, if the Romans had very tall librarians who could reach the book shelfs in the niches at a height of almost 3 meters. 

23. From technical, constructional and, therefore, archaeological points of view the drawings from the Baths of Diocletian contain even more interesting details: As you may know, the main hall, still surviving since antiquity, was changed by Michelangelo into the church of Santa Maria degli Angeli in the 1560s. 

24. About 15 years earlier, the draftsmen measured the entire complex and even the plan of the roof with the stairs leading up the domes. No-one did this before, and – because of the later changes – no-one could do this again later. In the same way, the ground plan was changed – the best measured survey of it is now in Vienna. 

25. From the same buildings there are measured drawings of the heating system… 

26. … and of the water supply system with a reconstruction of its main tunnels, as well as the most detailed survey of the large reservoir, at least: that I know of. 

27. It was situated on the left side and has been completely destroyed since the 1560s. 

28. Another example: The Pantheon drawings in the Goldschmidt sketchbook at the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art… 

29. …contain this drawing measuring the inclination of the original inscription, or 

30. … these remarkably detailed drawings showing the ancient bronze trusses. Only the drawings of these trusses by Francesco Borromini contain more information — because they were done when the trusses were destroyed under Pope Urban VIII (Barberini): Quod non fecerunt barbari, fecerunt barbarini. 

31. Another interesting characteristic of these drawings are these thin lines in the ground plan of two niches inside the Pantheon. Already in 2004, … 

32. Geoffrey Taylor observed that they meet at a special point of the floor: 

33. Only from this point the niches could have been seen the way as they appear in Raffael’s famous drawing. So, the draftsmen must have been in the possession of Raffael’s drawing (or of a good copy of it) and regarded it as very important – even though Raffael left out one of the three niches to include the entrance. 

34. If the draftsman turned at this point to the right in an angle of roughly 90 degrees, he could draw this view of the entrance, using the same kind of perspective 

35. that Raffael used for his as well famous view of the outside of the entrance. 

36. Another remarkable feature of these drawings are the already mentioned annotations in a sort of “French” Italian, like this one, on the right, explaining that the doric order of the teatro di marcel … non A basa alcuno. So, obviously the draftsman did not take this note for himself — because then he would have used French —, but for an Italian who must have commissioned these drawings. On the other hand, at least one of the patrons of the Anonymus Destailleur must have been French, as the note on the left suggests: If my work pleased you, please reserve further for me. And, as far as I know, in the 1540s there was only one circle of Italian and French persons planning to document tutte l’anticaglie di Roma: the Accademia. 

37. There are many more personal relations and other contexts leading (or that led me, at least) to the conclusion that there is much more material surviving which has not yet been seen as element in an interrelated context and correlated with the Accademia. If we assume, that some of the books mentioned by Tolomei must have existed as handwritten working copies, there are enough manuscript materials as well as printed books to fill almost completely the list of volumes planned by the Accademia. If this could be confirmed, hopefully, in an interdisciplinary, international research project in the near future, I’m sure we can expect lots of more … 

38. News from ancient Rome!