Structure – Illustrations – Orientation
The basic concept of the book „De sacris aedificiis a Constantino Magno“ is to show references. It is like a dictionary of churches, baptisteries and monasteries, that Constantine I built. I would call the book a dictionary, because the monuments are not established comprehensively. The book is more like an overview of historical buildings.
The frontispiece in the book, painted by Giovanni Battista, shows us architects sketching antique, modern and sacral ruins. There is a historian giving instructions to a person making copper engravings of the ruins. This frontispiece should show the readers how this book is established. The historian and author of this book, Giovanni Ciampini, tried to build a book full of references for roman architecture.
On the following page after the frontispiece „Synopsis Historica“ is written. This means that it should give the reader an image of historical roman architecture.
The most important part in my concept is the index. The index is like the alphabet of the dictionary and in this case each building is a chapter. Some chapters have sections, which are part of the buildings. Each section presents a more detailed look at a part of the building. Most sections are about paintings and mosaics from the building.
Each page ends with the first letters of the next page. For example, if the page ends with „Aedi“, on the next page the text will start with „Aedificiorum“. This helps the reader to not get lost between the pages.
The book is like a library for inspiration where you can read about certain buildings. For example, if u want to search the Vatican Basilica, you can look it up in the index. The index indicates that it is chapter 4 on page 27 and when you arrive on page 27, you will find the title „chapter 4“ on top, in the middle of the page. Each page has two rows. At the beginning of the left row u will see „chapter 4“ and under that u will see the name of the building. Some texts are linked to images. The whole gallery of those images is at the end. There are even some images of ground floors from buildings, so you get a precise overview of a building.
Under each image is written on which page you can find the explanation text to it. That allows the reader to go through the pictures and get inspired by the images, and then to go back to the text.
All paintings in this book are made with Chalcography. That is the reason why there is always a page in between an image and the following content.