Through this new task, I was able to familiarise myself with Xenotheka’s “Ask Alice” search machine. To do so, I chose 4 words that summarize my book “Reigle Générale d’Architecture des cinq manières de colonnes” by Jean Bullant, namely: architecture, columns, drawings and orders. The aim was to look for works related to my book, so I first thought of the book of Vitruvius, then of Alberti, Scamozzi, Serlio, da Vignola, and other works dealing with the subject of columns, at the time when the “renaissance spread throughout Europe”, which we saw during the first semester.
So I first used the brain “Alberti and Vitruvius Library” on Ask Alice. Not surprisingly Alberti’s “10 Books of Architecture” was in the first results of the search.
Indeed, he re-wrote his own version of Vitruvius, while being the first to present the orders of the columns in a clear and systematic way. Moreover, the different orders of the columns are drawn to give us a clear idea. This book does not only present the columns, but practically all the other subjects treated by Vitruvius, in 10 different chapters, while my book is only focused on the columns.
Then I widened the search by choosing “Architecture Library”.
After many attempts, the book “A Companion to Medieval Art Romanesque and Gothic” by Conrad Rudolph, published in 2006, caught my attention. This author does not present columns as I have seen in my book or in Alberti’s book, but he presents how to the Romanesque and Gothic traditions came together in Northern Europ, and how columns have always been an important part of architecture.
To find these two books I used several combinations of these words, some of them, … different variants, which often led me to dead ends, especially in the architecture library, which is very caste.
Thanks to this work, I have been able to expand my knowledge from the course and see how the theme of columns is very present. Even in today’s architecture, without less “decorative” and ornamental forms, columns are still there!