The Villas Of The Ancients Illustrated conveys Robert Castell’s message that the villas and gardens of the Romans would remain an inspiration to architects and landscape designers throughout the century. It was published in 1728 in London for the author himself and deals with topic of the domestic architecture in Italy in the early 18thcentury.
If you skim through the pages, the concept is clearly visible. It is organized into different parts: The Preface, A List of Subscribers, Part One, Part two, Part three, Remarks on Index. Most of “Villas of the Ancients illustrated” is written in English, except for part one which is written in two languages: Latin and English. Most of the book “Villas of the Ancients Illustrated” is written in grouped style. Some parts although are written into two columns.
The front cover as well as the back cover of the book shows a clay-brown stripe on the left side and next to it a gigantic pattern picture is recognizable, which attracts the viewer’s eye and lets him pattern what it could represent. It shows countless small oval pebbles or possibly towns and villages, which were put together as a kind of network or map. In addition, between these oval surfaces, some yellow and red lines and small green areas are visible. This pattern seems a bit exaggerated because a small neckline would have been enough. This kind of schematic exaggeration and representation of illustrations and texts is evident throughout the book.
Even though the images are very schematically drawn they have a high level of detail and a few decorative elements for example trees or stones. These decorative and exaggerated representations are like the pattern of the front and back lids. For example, in Part II. on page 22 you can see a picture, which is supposed to show the surroundings of the villa. There are garden landscapes and an enormous number of trees to recognize, which the written work should visualize and in order to prevent possible any misunderstandings.
This exaggeration is also evident in the respective text on the pages which seems to be very full and compactly filled with information. What is striking, however, is that the size of the pages is not fully exploited by the text. The text is displayed too small in relation to the book page and that is why the size of the book page seems to be exaggerated.
Keywords: exaggerated, decorated, layout