In order to compare the book “Vitruvius” by Walther Ryff and its important topics with others, I have summarized central text passages in keywords. First, I searched for the broad keyword “theory of architecture” in Alice’s Brain by Xenotheka. Unsurprisingly, Vitruvius came up in most of the search hits. The book “Renaissance and Baroque Architecture” by Alina Payne provided me with interesting context here. Further, I used the keyword “ancient concept of architecture” to find relationships to other books. The book “Late Gothic Architecture” by Robert Bork has been indicated to me thereby as already before far above. Interestingly, these two mentioned books were shown as the first hits when searching for “fabrica and ratiocinatio”. They were also the first books that showed up with the keywords “temple construction”, “five orders” and “building materials”. Furthermore, it is striking that the keywords “baroque”, “renaissance” and “gothic” played a central role in every search hit.
I came to the conclusion that it would be worthwhile to take a closer look at the two books
a) “Renaissance and Baroque Architecture” by Alina Payne
b) “Late Gothic Architecture” by Robert Bork.
a) “Renaissance and Baroque Architecture”
The following sentence jumped right into my eye: “Most fundamentally, there is the question of whether writers such as Francesco di Giorgio, Leon Battista Alberti, and Raphael, as well as their ancient source, Vitruvius, were describing practice as they observed it or hoping to reform it through their writing.” In my opinion, this would be an interesting topic of discussion: What is the proportion between observation and the goal of transforming the practice of architecture in the texts of Vitruvius?
In section of this book the relationship between texts and drawings is addressed. This fits with my book, since it contains, in addition to the text translated into German, many detailed drawings as an aid to understanding and as a supplement. What I find interesting here is the question of whether in my book the texts can be read without the drawings and whether, conversely, the drawings can be understood without the texts. In the book “Renaissance and Baroque Architecture” there are also some drawings, but less than in the book of Walther Ryff.
In addition, it is explained here that the rules of local crafts were often better understood than the ancient rules of Vitruvius. Therefore, works were created that attempted to translate Vitruvius’ book, simplifying the concepts that were difficult to understand. However, Walther Ryff, who was the first to translate Vitruvius’ book into German, quotes the ancient architect almost verbatim and without the aim of simplifying.
b) “Late Gothic Architecture”
In one section of this book, it is explained that knowledge of ancient architecture was imparted, on the one hand, through familiarity with Roman monuments and, on the other hand, through reading Vitruvius’ book. Thus, a very great importance is attributed to the book of Vitruvius. Walther Ryff also makes this importance clear: in the title he calls Vitruvius the allernamhafftigisten unnd hocherfarnesten römischen Architecti.