The concept I have chosen is ‘Technique’.
The author Walther Hermann Ryff published the Latin text of the ten books of the ancient architect Vitruvius in 1543, then in 1548 he published his German translation, which followed the author’s personal commentary published a year earlier. Being a translation, it can obviously be contaminated by the author’s subjectivity, but the essence of the treatise remains and therefore also the technicality with which the procedures and explanations are set out.
Definition of “Treatise”
Treatise: A scientific or technical, historical, literary work that methodically develops a subject or sets out the principles and rules of a discipline.
From the definition of a treatise it can be seen that the whole book sets out a technique, which in this case concerns the theory of Renaissance architecture and the principles and rules according to the ancient architect Vitruvius that are taken up.
Even from the definition of a treatise one can see that there is indeed a technical component that analyses the aspects present in the treatise. But also the treatise itself is constructed according to a technique that relates images and text.
Definition of “Technique”:
Technique: Set of rules on which the practice of an art, profession or any activity is based, not only manual but also strictly intellectual, as they are applied and followed.
We can see that these two definitions apply perfectly to Walther hermann Ryff’s Vitruvius book, as they reflect its essence.
The second reason why I chose the term “technique” concerns the life of the author himself: Walther hermann Ryff was an author of humanism who dealt with theoretical anatomical, medical, philosophical as well as architectural topics. Therefore, his gaze and attention are imported in a more scientific and technical way, with a particular attention to the rules that allow him to analyse the object in question and to derive its technicalities.
The subject matter of Ryff’s book is very broad: it deals with the theory of Renaissance architecture, but its components are as varied as churches, basilicas, buildings, palaces, columns and orders. So it ranges from a small detail about the capital of a column to how the different areas of buildings are proportioned.
One aspect that led me to the concept of “Technique” is the presence of images, which do not have a purely aesthetic function, but are there for a specific purpose: in addition to supporting the dense text, they serve to make the reader understand HOW the parts and components of Renaissance architecture are constructed and assembled. So these images are not “clean” but are “contaminated” with annotations and diagrams whose purpose is to explain, show, illuminate, “make understand” how the elements are assembled.
For the fourth point, instead of proposing a quotation I would like to show an image that further clarifies my concept.