The Art of Building in the Classical World

The Art of Building in the Classical World : Vision, Craftsmanship, and Linear Perspective in Greek and Roman Architecture

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This book examines the application of drawing in the design process of classical architecture, exploring how the tools and techniques of drawing developed for architecture subsequently shaped theories of vision and representations of the universe in science and philosophy. Building on recent scholarship that examines and reconstructs the design process of classical architecture, John R. Senseney focuses on technical drawing in the building trade as a model for the expression of visual order, showing that the techniques of ancient Greek drawing actively determined concepts about the world. He argues that the uniquely Greek innovations of graphic construction determined principles that shaped the massing, special qualities and refinements of buildings and the manner in which order itself was envisioned.
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Product details

  • Electronic book text
  • Cambridge University Press (Virtual Publishing)
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • 95 b/w illus.
  • 1139039369
  • 9781139039369

Review quote

'This is an ambitious book, carefully edited and profusely illustrated. It is hard not to be stirred by the questions [Senseney] raises: what were the origins of Greek and Roman architectural drawings? How did drawings determine the actual outcome of a building and a city? And, did architectural drawings affect aspects of intellectual life beyond architecture?' Bryn Mawr Classical Review 'This book is a valuable contribution to a recent tradition of writings that have sought to get inside the working processes of Greek and Roman architects.' American Journal of Archaeology 'The volume is an interesting addition to the recent literature on the art building in the Greek and Roman world.' Arctos
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Table of contents

Introduction: challenges of analysis and interpretation; 1. The ideas of architecture; 2. Vision and spatial representation; 3. The genesis of scale drawing and linear perspective; 4. Architectural vision; Excursus: envisioning cosmic mechanism in Plato and Vitruvius; Appendix A: analysis of the dimensions of the blueprint for entasis at Didyma; Appendix B: analysis of the hypothetical working drawing for platform curvature at Segesta; Appendix C: analysis of the hypothetical working drawing for platform curvature in the Parthenon.
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