To do my research for the Friends with an Old Book assignment, I used the AskAlice search engine. I used keywords that I got to know because of the last assignment.
First of all, I decided to use the words “illustrations villa” for my search. By chance I came across the book “The Art and Architecture of London” by Ann Saunders. In the descriptive text of the book, Roman villas were mentioned, which is the main theme of the book “The Villas of the Ancients Illustrated” by Robert Castell.
The book “The Art and Architecture of London” deals, among other things, with illustrations of villas in London, which show great similarities to Roman villas. Other types of buildings in London are also described and illustrated. In my view, “The Art of Architecture of London” is a modern version of “The Villas of the Ancients Illustrated” that focuses not on only two buildings in Rome but, with the help of illustrations, on the entire architecture of a city like London. While Castell’s book explains the influences of Roman villas, Ann Saunders’ book draws on these same Roman villas as inspiration for villas in modern London.
I found the second book using the keywords “Roman villas and gardens”. The book “The Roman Villa in the Mediterranean Basin” published by Cambridge University Press (edited by Annalisa Marzano) in 2018 examines and compares a large number of Roman villas. It differs from “The Villas of the Ancients Illustrated” in that it is not limited to a small number of two villas, but offers a larger and more general picture of Roman villas and their associated gardens.
Through my research with the help of AskAlice, I learned that Robert Castell’s book can still have great relevance today. It is proof that Roman architecture continues to influence today’s architects and that great similarities can still be found in modern architecture.