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  • In the ancient forme’. On the reception and ‘invention’ of ancient building techniques in Early Modern Times

Valeriani, Simona, 2008, Journal Article, In the ancient forme’. On the reception and ‘invention’ of ancient building techniques in Early Modern Times Hephaistos. ISSN 0174-2086

Abstract or Description:

As part of her work on knowledge formation, accumulation and transmission in early modern Europe (forthcoming as a monograph), Valeriani explores in this article the complex relationship between the knowledge heritage from antiquity and the formation of new knowledge in the period immediately antecedent to the ‘battle between the ancients and the moderns’.

Valeriani sets out to answer two questions: what does direct evidence tell us about ancient and late antique timber structures? And how much of what has become an integral part of our mental image of them derives from subsequent interpretations? To answer these questions, Valeriani combines in-depth analysis of Italian Renaissance treatises and later sources. She shows that architects during the Renaissance – in their attempts to reconstruct architectural forms and building practices from classical antiquity – began to associate structures that dated from the Middle Ages with classical architecture. Renaissance ideas of ancient building techniques (particularly under the influence of the work of Palladio) came to shape understanding, even in ways that still persist today.

Valeriani’s article appeared in Hephaistos, a peer-review journal that promotes critical re-evaluation of current methodologies and proposes alternative approaches. The special issue is dedicated to the work of Lambert Schneider, a classical archaeologist who devoted his career to extending the borders of the discipline by, inter alia, employing archaeological rigour to analyse the uses of architectonical elements from antiquity to postmodern architecture. The invitation to contribute to this volume was testimony to the originality and rigour of Valeriani’s research. Valeriani was also invited to present on this topic at the Institute of Structural Engineers, London and at the University of Hamburg (2008). She was invited to produce a further article on a closely-related topic published as Die Quadratur des Dreieckes. Spätantike und frühneuzeitliche Dächer zwischen Ikonographie und Baubefund, in Byzas, 11, 287-98 (2011).

Subjects: Architecture > K900 Others in Architecture
School or Centre: School of Humanities
Date Deposited: 28 Nov 2013 17:48
Last Modified: 28 Nov 2013 17:48
URI: http://researchonline.rca.ac.uk/id/eprint/1593

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