Keywords: features, depiction, visualise
The first time I glanced at the book “Architettura della basilica di San Pietro” by Giovanni Battista Costaguti Senior and then published by Giovanni Battista Costaguti junior in the year 1684, I was amazed by the descriptive and detailed illustrations the book had to offer. But within all those illustrations, for example the ground floor plans or the title page altar as well as the cross sections, the interior and exterior details fascinated me the most. Within my paragraph I would like to explain why they impressed me the most.
First of all, I would like to appreciate the author Giovanni Battista Costaguti Senior and how he described and illustrated the Basilica di San Pietro in the Vatican in just 107 pages. The basilica has a floor space of 20.139 square meters and Giovanni Battista Constaguti Senior managed to depict and describe almost the entirety of this magnificent building, including different angles, floor plans and cross sections of the building and not to forget the interior space as well as wall and ceiling decorations.
As already mentioned, Giovanni Battista Constaguti Senior illustrates the interior and exterior space of the basilica with its features, more precisely the wall and ceiling decorations and ornaments, the statues and altars. He also depicts miscellaneous objects for example clocks, bells and chandeliers. I think Giovanni Battista Constaguti chose to depict these features, not only because they look appealing, but more important because they are an essential part of the basilica.
For example, on pages 59 and 74, Constaguti illustrates the dome with its ceiling paintings and ornaments. If one were to stand underneath the dome, then one could see how these features depict a significant meaning for example heaven. And for that reason, I think Constaguti chose to show these elements within his book. As a reader I can imagine myself standing in the room, looking up and seeing these depictions of heaven.
On page 88, as another example, Constaguti depicts a prayer room in which its walls are decorated with (religious) ornaments and statues. These features are essential because they help to define the room as a prayer room. They are a part of the wall and therefore help the reader orientate himself throughout the room. Were Constaguti not to illustrate these features, so would the room lose its descriptive nature in which the reader could visualise himself in.
To conclude, Constaguti didn’t just depict the construction of the basilica and its build, he gives in addition the reader the opportunity to visualise himself in this magnificent building. Because of these features one is able to understand the intended use of these rooms.