Inspiration – Illustration – structure
After receiving major architectural commissions such as remodelling the façade of the Chiesa Nuova, the church of S. Felicità from the Medici Family in Florence and the Palazzo Sansedoni (1715-1739), Fernando Ruggieri, one of the most famous architects at that time, published a survey of the most important Florentine architecture from the 17th century. The book is highly inspired by Domenico de’ Rossi’s book ,Studio d’architettura civile sopra gli ornamenti di porte e finestre tratti da alcune fabbriche insigni de Roma’ (1702-1721). Besides the identical title, Ruggieri also arranged the work in a similar format, with an elevation of the building preceding plates of architectural details and plans. The most important difference being that Ruggieri’s survey refers to Florentine architecture and Rossi’s to Roman architecture.
The illustrations depict architectural details as windows, doors and staircaises, followed by exact measurements and various techniques of hatchings. The shown details belong to traditional Florentine buildings which where planned by the most popular architects at that time such as Ammanti, Buontalenti and Brunelleschi. In conclusion the survey is both educative and celebratory of Florentine tradition in architecture.
The most precious part of Ruggieris book is his series of plates which he drew and engraved almost all of which himself. It’s consireded as outstanding because he succeeded in publishing 237 illustrative plates made by himself in an remarkable short amount of time. With that following a few plates made by Mogalli. The collection of plates are sectioned into three volumes, defining the structure of the book. The illustrations are arranged in ascending order of scale and difficulty of the depicted architectural detail. Most of the images are situated on the right part of the double page. The reason for that could be that the paper of the book is rather transparent and that way you wont get carried away with the pushed trough illustration on the back side of the page. Another reason could be that Ruggieri wanted to create the possibility to focus on just one image at a time because the plans are very detailed and therefor require lots of concentration. Some Plates in the last volume of the book are also stretched over the complete double page. The reason for that being the complexity of the Illustrations which in the end consist out of floor plans and cuts of immense size and details. The rest of the book is made up of text which is written within a simple layout.