13

Summary

"For Renaissance architects, Vitruvius acted as the stabile point of reference, at times even as a rule, in connection to the heterogeneous ancient remains that were visible amongst the Roman ruins."

Comment:
… but only if we exclude Alberti from the list of Renaissance architects, because for him – as was cited in the first footnote – Vitruvius was far too "dark" to serve as a "stabile point of reference" … or wasn't he?

"The circumstance that Vitruvius’s text itself was a literary palimpsest formed the outset of a passionate Vitruvian exegesis."

Comment:
The author may have a look at any good lexicon and search for the term "palimpsest" – Vitruvius' text is not one.

"The many studies and publications of Vitruvius in the 16th century can therefore be perceived as efforts to arrange the ancient source in such a way that it became more comprehensible to a 16th century user."

Comment:
As far as I know NONE of the Renaissance publications of or on Vitruvius 10 book (re-) arranges the text …

"Based on two case-studies, the article explores the literary methods employed when Renaissance architects and humanists sought to come to terms with Vitruvius’s difficult text."

Comment:
The first example does not show how G. B. da Sangallo "sought to come to terms with Vitruvius’s difficult text", instead, it shows only what he did – and we may suppose – to understand the text. But the example itself does not support the claim. The second example may be seen this way, but only, if one suppresses the second half (even a little bit more) of the Accademia's programme and  misreads Tolomei's usage of the term "vocabolario". – But both together simply do not represent "literary methods". 

"The first turns to the private study space of the Florentine architect Giovanni Battista da Sangallo."

Comment:
What is the "private study space" here? How do we know that the drawings, for instance, have not been made during a vivid (not so private) discussion among G.B. and his brothers and other family members, most of them involved in architecture, or even among him and the members of the Accademia? Is there any proof that he did the drawings and comments without any help from others in his "private study space"? Not at all. – So, how could one base any following scientific discussion on this suppostion?

"Through formal observations concerning the notes and autograph drawings that the architect made in his own Vitruvius, this case-study attempts to establish a relationship between a textual description mode that enhances the detail and the reading act."

Comment:
How could there not be "a relationship? Why should one try to establish" it at all? What, exactly, is the "textual description mode": making margin notes to a text? That's something as old as written books, long before books were printed. And, of course, this was part of the "reading act" all the time (ok, there may be some very rare examples of margin notes that can be prooven to have been made by people who did not read the book. But the usual way is to read a book (make a "reading act") and then make notes to it on the margins (= "establish a relationship"). Oh, yes, the relationship established is the one between the "textual description that enhances the detail" and the reading act. But when would this have been different?

"In order to set this investigation of the field between text and reader into a broader context, the second case-study turns to then-contemporary studies of Vitruvius directed for the public, such as the Vitruvius-programme of the Accademia della Virtù and the many publications of Vitruvius in the first half of the 16th century."

Comment:
The "many" publications (in fact, only a few) are more or less only mentioned in one sentence each. There is no thorough investigation or anything else that would support any scientifically based claim on them. As is the case with the (mis-) reading and 'castration' of the programme of the Accademia della Virtù. …

"By focussing on essential literary systematization tools of structuring the ancient source that became prevalent, this case-study explores textual mechanisms at play with the advent of printing and their potential impact on Renaissance architectural thought."

Comment: These "essential literary systematization tools" seem to be the "word lists" and the "indexes" = the indexes, because the examples given for "word lists" are indexes … and the identification of Tolomei's "vocabolarii" as "word list" is simply wrong. But neither these "tools" (= indexes) nor the "word lists" (= indexes) and even not the "vocabolarii" mentioned by Tolomei are absolutely new in the 16th century. Can anything that did exist for centuries like indexes have any (special, Renaissance-specific) impact on Renaissance architectural thought? I would doubt that heavily.