The goal of many architects in their drawings, Raphael in his Letter, humanists like Castiglione and Colossi, commentators of Vitruvius, and countless others was the graphic preservation of vanishing Roman monuments. This shared endeavor soon resulted in a proliferation of printed works on the architecture of ancient Rome, and it was primarily through these that orthogonal representation came to be more widely understood and appreciated, as many of the innovations that characterized drawings in the early sixteenth century reverberated in print.


It was not until Palladio's Quattro libri di architettura of 1570 that Raphael's three orthogonal modes would be used systematically; thus Raphael's supposed solution was not fully realized in a single project for over half a century.

Perhaps the most compelling evidence for the dissemination of orthogonal representation among humanist circles, and its validation by them, comes from the so-called Vitruvian Academy centered around the figure of the scholar Claudio Tolomei in the 1540s. [n. 26] The main project of the society, a definitive version of De architectura, was described by Tolomei in a 1543 [sic!] letter to Agostino Landi. Although his primary concerns were philological, Tolomei articulated a program that combined history and architecture, placed text and image on equal footing, and espoused a spectrum of graphic modes:

Along with the other books described above, there will be a very beautiful and useful work, presenting drawings of all the antiquities of Rome, and some which are outside of Rome, of which one can still have some idea from their remains. In that book all the plans, profiles, foreshortend views [scorci] and many other parts will be shown according to necessity, along with their correct and true measurements… And next to the figures will be two explanations: one historical, showing what building it was, and by whom and why it was made, and the other architectural, explaining the rationale, and the rules and the orders of that building. This, carried out diligently, will in a certain way draw from the grave the already dead Rome, and bring her newly to life, if not as beautiful as before, at least with some semblance or image of beauty. [n 27]

[Fortsetzung auf S. 35] 


[26] Jacks, The Antiquarian and the Myth of Antiquity, 208; Carolyn Valone, "Giovanni Antonio Dosio and His Patrons" (Ph.D. diss., Northwestern University, 1972), 110. There is no single work that provides a sustained examination of this important society. For a brief discussion, see Valone, "Giovanni Antonio Dosio", 109–114.

[27] (= ital. Text des Zitats), zitiert nach: Claudio Tolomei, De le lettere di M. Claudio Tolomei libr sette (Venice 1548 [sic!]), book 3.