A scientific Storybook
- Simplicity – Individuality – Exactness
The book Columna Cochlis, written by Pietro Bartoli, explains a column which is dedicated to Augustus. And it is done in one of the simplest ways possible, with images. The only texts it beholds are the inscriptions on the column itself and short notes on the characters under the images in Latin. Those however are written so light and small as to not disturb the reader from the main attraction, the image itself.
Even though in reality it is one long image on the Column winding itself up. Bartoli managed to give each section of it an individual character. Every single picture in the book could stand there by itself and be complete. He managed to cut the big picture in a way that every small picture has its centerpiece, its own story. He lets them speak for themself which is amplified by the separation and isolation of the images. There is always just one relatively small drawing on a whole double page. The space around the drawings allows the reader to have thoughts of his own and to write them down if he wants to. The reader can choose if he wants to see the picture alone or as a part of a whole. The isolation of the single pictures helps also to not get overwhelmed by the amount of information that lies within the images. This focus on the single prints is reinforced by the simple look of the cover which holds no title or decor.
In exception of some technical drawings at the beginning of the book, the other images are exact copies of the images given on the Column. Which by themselves are already a masterpiece. The technique of the drawing lets them be alive, it shows the depth and 3-dimension of the column while looking at the picture.
In conclusion, Bertoli couldn’t have done a better job explaining this incredibly detailed column in such a simple and self-explanatory way.