Concept: detailed description
The engravings in Vitruvius Britannicus are incredibly detailed. This can be seen wonderfully in most of the Elevations that are contained in the book. The Castle Drumlanrig in Dumfries and Galloway (page. 37-38) is a good example of the work that Campbell put into creating his books. The Elevation shows where Stone sits in the wall, it displays the Capital of the pilasters so that they practically leap from the page and the status in the foreground are beautiful to look at in their own regard.
Similar care can be seen in the Elevation of buildings like St Paul’s Cathedral in London (p. 3-4), St Peter’s in Rome (p. 5-6) or Thorsby House (p. 90-91).
In addition to his engravings, Campbell gives information about every building that is displayed in the book. He gives a short description of what can be seen in the Elevation, Plans and Section, in what context it was built, who was the architect was and where it is relevant, he gives information about how the building was transformed in its usage and purpose over time. Those descriptions obviously vary in length based on the history and importance of the building. For example, the history of the Greenwich Hospital (written information p. (6), plates p. 82-89) is being discussed in great lengths, while the text for the aforementioned Thorsby House is a quatre of the length simply because there is less to say. This however does not mean that the smaller texts are not detailed but that there is less to say.
Keywords: detailed, descriptive, elaborate
Quote: “I can with great Sincerity, assure the Publick, That I have used the utmost Care to render it acceptable” Colin Campbell, Introduction, Vitruvius Britannicus