Friends with an old Book – Le anitchità romane, Giovanni Piranesi
I chose the book “Art in Theory” by Harrison Wood Gaiger because I was trying to find a connection and comparison between the Roman architecture that Piranesi describes and depicts and the Greek architecture. The book refers to the history of architecture. I used the Xenotheka Library as a brain and worked with the search term “Roman architecture”. When I tried with other brains, I found only a few hits and among them no book attracted my interest.
Unlike our book, this is a theory book. That means there are few to no illustrations. This is the complete opposite of our book, which consists only of illustrations.
It was difficult to find a suitable book, as only a few books refer directly to the topic of Roman and Greek architecture.
The book shows the theory of the examples Piranesi showed us and complements it so well.
The book presents Greek architecture and art as the great. The Roman art and architecture were made from the Greek and tried to expand it. Roman architecture, however, is presented more as a student of Greek architecture.
After a long research I came across the following quote: ,,Life and beauty are not added to a column afterward, like classical acanthus leaves; they are effectively what produces that column…” The quote comes from the book ‘The Sympathy of Things’ written by Spuybroek.
I took a closer look at the drawing in our book and I immediately noticed the columns. These were also shown and described in more detail. Thus, I came to my second Term “the column”.
The detailed representation of the columns in my book shows their beauty.
They were decorated and had different patterns. The selected text passage is about Gothic architecture. Although my book was about Roman architecture, I could easily build a connection between the quote and the columns in my book. I think being able to link different styles of architecture, through using a quote is very interesting.
This led me to the following thought: Life is constantly changing. People live in different ages/places in which everything evolves (or regresses), including architecture. Each age and each place shapes different qualities of life, religions, etc., which are consequently reflected in the creation of buildings and other like columns. Thus, each column is beautiful and magnificent in its own way.