Vincenzo Scamozzi, inventor: Architectural demonstrations from the last Renaissance treatise

1998 1998

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Abstract (summary)

This study is limited to an examination of Scamozzi as a particular case of the Renaissance humanist architect, the trattatista , one of only a few for which we have full evidence today of both written theory and built works. I approach Scamozzi with a two-fold question: how does Scamozzi's intellectual disposition affect his interpretation of long-lived Renaissance themes within the framework of his own time and place? Further, are the distinctions to be found in Scamozzi's presentation of the major themes of his time indicative of his historical position at a time of transition? If so, it would seem that for us Scamozzi not only promises to complete our understanding of Renaissance architecture, but he may also indicate some of the pivot points for the subsequent trajectory. Ultimately, twentieth century architects may find a model for rigorous intelligence as opposed to vague artistry as a basis for building design. Each book of the treatise is examined individually in order to identify its most significant contributions to architectural theory. Paired with each is the interpretation of a building that provides a demonstration of a major theme of that book. Alongside these focussed investigations in each chapter are two other sections, one which reflects the historical context of certain themes and another which traces the evidence of a particular idea in Scamozzi's work more broadly. Scamozzian theory grounds the principles of architecture in the solidity of body/building/city analogies. His philosophical approach is a consistent search for the reason of things, even if it is not precise or unified. Using the materials he finds already there, he invents anew the measure of architectural knowledge. For Scamozzi, architecture is nothing less than the physical manifestation of man's unique intelligence, and it must demonstrate the relation between the world of experience and the fabric of our knowledge. Scamozzi reflects the beliefs and values of his time, but he demands more from architecture, and, like the insistent pressure of the wind which drives the treatise ever onward, Scamozzi projects a role for architecture beyond microcosmic analogy to the invention of connections between the body and the cosmos.

Indexing (details)

Art History;
0729: Architecture
0377: Art History
0304: Biographies
Identifier / keyword
Communication and the arts; Language, literature and linguistics; Architectural; Inventor; Italy; Renaissance; Scamozzi, Vincenzo
Vincenzo Scamozzi, inventor: Architectural demonstrations from the last Renaissance treatise
Borys, Ann Marie
Number of pages
Publication year
Degree date
School code
DAI-A 59/11, Dissertation Abstracts International
Place of publication
Ann Arbor
Country of publication
United States
9780599120433, 0599120436
Leatherbarrow, David
University of Pennsylvania
University location
United States -- Pennsylvania
Source type
Dissertations & Theses
Document type
Dissertation/thesis number
ProQuest document ID
Database copyright ProQuest LLC; ProQuest does not claim copyright in the individual underlying works.
Document URL
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