By Christopher Heuer
The Netherlandish polymath Hans Vredeman de Vries (1526-1609) committed his complete occupation to the construction of imaginary structure. Painter, architect, rhetorician, viewpoint theorist, competition clothier, and draughtsman, Vredeman was once energetic in Antwerp, Amsterdam, and Prague, the place he designed a mysterious physique of architectural prints, works which by way of the 17th century had stimulated constructions from Tallinn to Peru. Vredeman's unusual guides have been one of the such a lot widely-distributed "Renaissance" books on development and imaginative and prescient, shipped to England, Spain or even Mexico by way of 1600.The urban Rehearsed offers a completely new point of view on Vredeman and revealed structure in early sleek Europe. It probes the geographical encounters of dozens of engravings with modern texts on structure, theatre, urbanism, paintings gathering, even ethnography.This publication, the 1st sustained research of Vredeman in English, shifts the focal point of inquiry to examine the energetic position his prints performed within the lifetime of city readers outdoors of a narrowly-defined "Flemish" architectural heritage. this can be a booklet with transparent curiosity for historians of artwork and the equipped atmosphere, and one with broader modern resonances for altering definitions of "European" tradition and identification within the current day.
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Additional info for The City Rehearsed: The Architectural Worlds of Hans Vredeman de Vries (The Classical Tradition in Architecture)
34 Through the adoption of copper and iron engraving—more precise and often quicker to execute than woodcutting—publishers’ intaglio processes allowed a visual precision that was perfectly suited to new print subjects like cartography. Engraved images had, of course, long elevated the selling price of books. But by the 1550s, those “independent” subjects of engraving which had traditionally been subservient to a text—ornament prints, for example—became, for many publishers, high-end, independent items.
The very public (and indigenously urban) character of rhetoric competitions, I maintain, provided the basis for many of Vredeman’s textless images. Ornament and “grotesques”—the intransigent and vexed genres of graphic and literary imagery Vredeman explored throughout his career—are the subject of Chapter 3. The historiographic controversies played out in our own time and in his regarding the propriety and function of “ornament,” are discussed in light of his column book prints. It is Vredeman’s first systematic “book,” the Architectura of 1577, which proves to be these controversies’ most dynamic grounds for experiment.
God has brought about a noticeable decline and arrest of all these subtle and liberal arts [subtilen und freyen Kunsten], whereby numbers of men have been obliged to withdraw from these arts and to return to other kinds of handicraft [hantwerckt] . 71 Vogtherr sketches the scenario facing artists in Vredeman’s day. 7)— hands literally cut off from specific tasks. They float and gesture on the blank page awaiting deployment. Turning away from images of holy personages, then, such an art was often forced to deal in pictures which were not only simple and overtly wrought in themselves, but which went even further, to become patterns for conspicuously produced things.