Take a Closer Look

While the CCA’s collection of prints and drawings is predominantly composed of materials from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, it includes a small but coherent body of records from the fifteenth, sixteenth, and seventeenth centuries that often depict ancient monuments and designs for ecclesiastical orders. These materials reveal ideas of architecture, the thinking process of architects, and the context they worked in.

We can see a desire to map the monuments of ancient Rome by Il Cronaca in order to construct a new architecture in the final decades of the fifteenth century; the definition of a new architectural language in the early decades of the sixteenth century and its affirmation a few decades later; and a sort of conclusion of the cycle with Scamozzi, who suggests to consider ancient architecture as one resource among the many an architect has to use, including medieval architecture, or science.

These materials were catalogued as they entered the collection at different moments of the CCA’s history. Looking at them again today, with a contemporary lens, allows to ask different questions than when they were originally described and to offer new interpretations, distinct from those of other collections of antique drawings. With this objective, the CCA invited a group of scholars to study these holdings during a week-long residency in 2021 and 2023. Their findings are used to update and enhance the descriptions of the works, but the scholars also talk to us, the readers, and explain why we should take a closer look at these drawings and what we can discover in them.

The CCA collaborated with the Centro Palladio. The scholars were selected by Dr. Guido Beltramini.


Michael Waters on Il Cronaca (November 2021)
Mari Yoko Hara on two drawings of proposed church facades (November 2021)
Elisabeth Narkin on Jacques 1er Androuet Du Cerceau (June 2023)
Timo Strauch on a sixteenth-century sketchbook of ancient Roman architecture (October 2023)

Take a Closer Look is supported by the Samuel H. Kress Foundation.


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