Architectural Drawings Before The Renaissance

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How common were architectural drawings before the Renaissance, for what purposes were they used, and how necessary were they? Architectural drawings have been used for a long time, however it was only during the Renaissance when they were initially formalized to begin to look like the style we know today. The style of plans has changed but the general usage and ideas contained within them, have essentially been the same for centuries. They are commonly a tool used by architects and engineers so that their designs can accurately be constructed into functioning buildings, created in their desired style. Firstly, we must define the period of the Renaissance, and then can assume anything previous to do this is Pre-Renaissance. ‘(Renaissance)…began in Italy in C14 and continued during the following two centuries…’. This shows the huge span of the Renaissance era. Due to its long span of time, the Renaissance had a huge impact in Europe as it ‘…virtually spread to all parts of Europe.’ But not only this, but the length of the era Pre-Renaissance where there is very little documentation of architectural drawings. This is in comparison to the large documented library of drawings and sketches. A simplistic approach is to partially blame the span of time, as it would be extremely easy for drawings to be lost – either through poor documentation or damage. For example, one of the most notable ancient drawings we have; the Forma Urbis Severiana (map of ancient Rome from the second century) only has small fragments that have been recovered. It should be essential to highlight the origins and earliest architectural drawings. The earliest documented example is the Statue of Gudea, ruler of Lagash in Mesopotamia (c.2200 BC). A clearly distinguis... ... middle of paper ... ...argely unnecessary, the buildings were a lot simpler to construct. For instance, the Greek temples were of a standard relatively standard form. It was also much more expensive and time consuming to create drawings, as paper and useful drawing materials weren’t widely available until around the 14th century. It can be pinned down to the fact they were simply unecesseray. It can be said however, that it was largely Orthogonal drawings that were to be used by Pre-Renaissance architects, artists and draughtsmen. Despite being the most abstract drawings style, orthogonal drawings are more useful in a technical sense, as they provided accurate details as to the dimensions and ratios of the buildings. Drawings prior to the Renaissance are much less of a necessity, the Renaissance require technical drawings to allow the accurate construction of the buildings.

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