As one can already suspect from the title of my analyzed book “Parallèle de l’architecture antique et de la moderne” the author Roland Frèart compares and breaks down several architectural concepts from the Antique and shows them in contrast to, in his time, contemporary styles. The main focus of this book lies more on ornamentation and stylistic choices than spatial features of buildings constructed in those two time periods. Furthermore, while some pages discuss the style of fassades and entrances, the majority of explanations are drawn from different columns.
There are three different ways in which the columns are being traced: the first in the style of a plan drawing, the second one two dimensional but shaded and the third adding the third dimension. Those three drawing styles are purposefully being applied and interchanged by Freart depending on the focus of the proposition made in the corresponding text.
By using the plan drawing, Frèart is able to numerically prove his points and make statements based on exact measurements. This method makes it easiest to compare the different styles objectively and accurately. In every illustration, two similar yet different pillars are put next to each other in order to have an arrangement of one versus the other. Every second page from p. 25 to 31 and p. 43 to 51 contains one such drawing. With them being at the beginning of the book they lay the groundwork for Frearts argumentation while also making up the majority of illustrations in the book, thus being the most utile for comparison.
A shaded illustration on the other hand brings the benefit of giving the reader a – to a certain degree – authentic impression of what the object illustrated looks or looked like in reality. Depth of the ornamentation as well as texture can already be conveyed in this drawing style. While the accuracy of the outline is still exact, less measurements are being made and the option of direct comparison falls away.
When going for the spatial features and an even more empiric comparison, Frèart uses three-dimensional drawings. He mainly uses one or two point perspectives but has other methods depending on the setting – while a two point perspective might succeed more in showing the scale and mass of a structure, one point perspectives look more uniform and matchable.
In conclusion, the three different drawing styles used in the book are used in order to draw parallels in different ways. Frèart is therefore able to make numeric and exact as well as empiric and stylistic comparisons.
drawing style – exact – empiric