After examining our book Architectura from Gabriel Kramer again, I took an interest and closer look at all the drawings and sketches, since they make up the majority of the work of 1604. Although the book is in a language we don’t understand, most of the book is filled with drawings.
What is interesting is that technically the first drawing is the title page where Kramer draws a temple with columns, the name of the 5 orders. Although he adds a page before the five orders with the title Geometria, we understand with the title that he will be explaining architecture through sketches of columns.
The page titled Geometria is the first page with sketches in the work. On the upper half of the page we see circles with different lines going through them, in different angles and ways. The lower part of the page has a temple filled with lines and numbered on the side. While looking closely at that page, I get the impression that Kramer puts this page in the book to give his readers an idea of how he sees and draws his geometry, a sort of key to understand the rest of sketches. It is interesting to see that each small circle or drawing on this page is lettered in the alphabetical order, giving the reader the order in which to read and analyse the page.
We continue through the five Greek and Roman orders. Kramer illustrates the differences and similarities of each orders with the help of columns, capitals, bases, entablatures and ornaments. This shouldn’t come as a surprise since the full title of the book is “Architectura” of the five columns with their ornaments and decorations, especially Thvscana, Dorica, Ionica, Corinthia, Composita (rough translation). Kramer keeps the order of drawings within a category quite similar he starts by giving a rough, simplified version of the columns of that order, then draws some simple but ornamented columns. On that first page you often see either capitals or bases as well. Then he continues with different really creative columns, or entablatures or capitals. The last thing her adds to each “chapter” is a page with parts of buildings with columns of that ordered integrated to the temple. What is quite interesting is that it seems the author wants the reader to really follow an order, because her always puts a basic sketch of the element with measurements and lines so that reader can compare and see the basis of what each column looks like without the ornaments and decorations. He also always keeps his system where he names each little sketch with a letter, as if the reader should follow the trail.
Lastly there are some pages, with no name, no letter that just represent ornaments I presume, it is quite hard to understand what he wants to show with these sketches, since they are after this well organised system.