Renaissance Architectural Prints and the Cultural Techniques of Copying

Research Seminar

  • Date: May 14, 2019
  • Time: 13:30
  • Speaker: Michael J. Waters
  • Location: Villino Stroganoff, Via Gregoriana 22, 00187 Rom
  • Contact: paulinyi@biblhertz.it
Renaissance Architectural Prints and the Cultural Techniques of Copying
The advent of printing has long been derided as enabling individuals with little capacity for invention to design buildings by means of copying. For some theorists, this seemingly unimaginative replication of mechanically reproduced images heralded the rise of a banal formalism.

While scholars have challenged this simplistic understanding of architecture in the age of printing, little attention has been paid to the practices of copying at the heart of this belief. Confronting this paradigm, this paper explores the complex ways in which the remediation of printed images shaped architectural practice already in the Renaissance. It argues that commonplace acts of copying, processes of direct translation, and even seemingly mundane activities such as the replication of printed treatises constitute an overlooked cultural technique, one that became integral to the dynamic, intermedial processes of architectural design that developed in the sixteenth century.

Michael J. Waters is an assistant professor in the Department of Art History and Archaeology at Columbia University and currently a fellow at Villa I Tatti, The Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies.

Scientific Organization: Charles Kang

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