It has now been a year since I have first heard about Domenico Scamozzi and his book “Tutte l’opere d’architettura di Sebastiano Serlio … dove si trattano in disegno, quelle cose, che sono più necessarie all’architetto“.
In the first moment I had no idea what was going to expect us in the tasks, and I was kind of worried about it. But with the following assignments submitted, I started to become an idea of the purpose of the “Friend with an old book”-task.
For a long time, to be honest, I was really wondering if the tasks given to us would really be worth the time we had to invest in. But in the retrospective, I started to understand the purpose of each assignment. I have learned a lot, not only about “Tutte l’opere d’architettura di Sebastiano Serlio … dove si trattano in disegno, quelle cose, che sono più necessarie all’architetto“, but much more about working with old sources, getting access to them and understanding them without necessarily having to read them. Even though it was an interesting experience, I have to say that, given to the circumstances, it wasn`t always easy.
This book was not a friend at first sight at all. I on the contrary started with having difficulties deciphering the old-fashioned font of this œuvre printed in 1584. As I don’t even speak modern Italian I furthermore had remarkable complications in understanding this ancient Italian language. But the longer I tried to read this text the more interesting it became. When I finally found myself comprehending some of the technical descriptions and explanations I was very pleased.
It moreover was quite difficult not only to find information about the author but first of all to abstract, whom I really should define as “the author”. Since Domenico Scamozzi has not really written anything in this book by his own, but only composed the single works of Sebastiano Serlio into one volume – and therefore was more an editor than a writer – I was always struggling with the idea of declaring him as the author. I also had considerable difficulties with the task “Lineage” because it was nearly impossible to get the requested information.
In the end, I must admit that my scepticism was erased by the things I have learned throughout this whole year. I think that I now have better access to old books and sources in general – in the literal sense as knowing how to get or apply for physical access to them in libraries, but also more figuratively in how to access a book on the base of its content and message. Furthermore, I believe to understand the meaning and the approach of the lecture of professor Delbeke better than before: I realized that we can get much more detailed and essential information about the time, place and the setting of a building by reading a related book.