I started my work by analyzing more deeply the book “Rules for drawing the several parts of architecture” by James Gibbs and drawing up a list of keywords (such as “drawing”, “rules”, “fractions“, “architecture“, “five orders“, “proportions“, “ornaments“, “column“,…).
In a second part, I started the approach with the “Alice” search engine, divided into three phases. The latter corresponded to the change of Alice’s “brain”.
- The first phase was under “Xenotheka Library“, and although I searched as topic of conversation for terms related to the field of architecture (“architecture“, “theory“, …), I did not come up with any satisfactory results. However, I did find the following book: “Modern architectural theory, Mallgrave” (by adding phrases such as “five orders” or “rules of architecture” to the search bar). However, unlike James Gibbs’ book, this one remains very abstract without providing concrete examples (which is the case with the drawings in the other book).
- Then the second phase (“brain”: “Architecture Library“) started. After several attempts to no avail, thanks to the entry of “column” and the word “decoration” in the search bar, I got a hit. The only aspect that differs from the book initially analyzed is that this one concerns the Chinese tradition (“Fu, Traditional Chinese Architecture Twelve Essays“); however, as far as structure and setting are concerned, I consider this book a good discovery. ¨
Then by entering “proportions/measurement” and in the search bar “five orders“, I found the following book: “Vitruvius amp Rowland, Vitruvius Ten Books on Architecture“, in which the architectural elements are treated part by part, a division that also occurs in “Rules for drawing the several parts of architecture”.
- With the last step (Alice’s “brain”: “Alberti and Vitruvius Library“), I managed to find the book I thought was most similar to the reference book (by searching for “column“, “proportion“, “treatise“…), entitled: “Williams, Daniele Barbaros Vitruvius of 1567“. The similarity is given by the book’s approach to proportions and numbers (inherent to the different architectural elements), as well as the temporal proximity in which the two books were written. Finally, I also noticed two sentences that struck me and reminded me a lot of James Gibbs’ book:
- “It is true that some wanted to divide the figures into several parts and so went beyond the number just mentioned“.
- “His architectural treatise was certainly well received by his intended audience“.