„Inventions of architectural ornaments by Michel Angello Buonaruotti and others“ is a book that only consists illustrations. There’s no theory written down. I know that that book is about inventions and about ornaments – that’s what the title is telling me – but from the illustrations I only get my subjective impression. At the same time, those illustrations raise questions like; why is it proportioned like this? Why this geometry? What historical background has this object? And because this book is written/drawn by an artist it raises the question about the relation between art and architecture.
So I began to search with Alice’s ‚brains‘ and got to a book that gives me answers to some of these questions. I used simple engine words like „cornice“, „illustration“, „ornaments“. Some chapters could be the theory to the illustrations of Michelangelo.
Edited by Alina Payne „Renaissance and Baroque Architecture“ is a book that’s solely in written language. There are no pictures or drawings, so in the transfer of knowledge it’s completely different from my book, my friend. But in some topics in these chapters such as „Materiality, Ornament, and Media Overlaps: Architecture Between Art and Building Science“ or „What Drawings did in Renaissance Italy“ or „Vaults and Domes: Statics as an Art“ I could see what the Michelangelo and the other authors could have meant or were thinking while they where drawing their inventions. Both books are „talking“ about the same time, the renaissance which connects them more.
What interested me next was whether I could find another book that has the same style of transferring knowledge. That is also only showing pictures or drawings.The reason I have found nothing that similar is probably because I have not yet so much practice with this library.
One book showed up in almost every search command: Gottfried Semper’s „Style in the Technical and Tectonic Arts“. In it’s presentation, it’s a mixture between my friend and the book I was writing about before. Text/ theory that is undelined and made more understandable with drawings. The author believed that „style is a combination of internal factors such as the constraints inherent in a given medium and external factors such as climate, culture, and the artist’s creative free will“. He wasn’t interested in history, material or aesthetics. I think the similarity of these books are that they want to provoke the artist/architect/reader to reflect more on their approach how they design, how they find forms and styles, how they invent.