The Architect and the Representation of Architecture: Sebastian Serlio's frontispiece to Il terzo libro

University of Sydney
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Architectural Theory Review, 2005, 10 (2), pp. 34 - 53
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This paper questions what at any time is used to represent the discipline of architecture and the figure of the architect as constructs within historical notions of the social. By examining a single illustration, the frontispiece to Sebastiano Serlio's. II lerzo libro, the paper argues that the frontispiece portrays a correspondence between the technical conventions of the architect with the concepts and principles of the discipline. The frontispiece didactically states that the architect is able to fulfil the role implicit in 'Nature.' to transform the 'licentiousness' of antique architecture through reason and judgment, and through this transformation bring ideals of decorum lo concepts of the social through architecture. The paper shows thai for late Renaissance Italy, the architect is represented as intellectually autonomous from, while dependent on. structures of governmentality and patronage for the formation of the discipline. This formulation enabled the architect to represent the social through architecture's resolution of the competing circumstances of the city.1
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