In December 1499 the Hypnerotomachia Poliphili appeared in Venice under the imprint of Aldus Manutius, in an edition whose woodcuts and typography make it one of the masterpieces of Italian printing. The enigmatic dream recounted in the book describes Poliphilo's struggle to win his love and his final happy union with his beloved Polia. The study focuses on the group of architectural representations in the book. Free from a slavish attempt to illustrate, they follow the course of the love story within the framework of an inner visual logic. A second part analyzes the section of the Temple of Venus Physizoa, an architectural representation that was omitted in Lotz's famous study of 1956. Issues of the history of technology, such as the modern cartographic method introduced by Alberti in the 1450s, are addressed in relation to this section. From a comparison with representations of space from the 1490s, however, one may conclude that, contrary to the thesis proposed by L. Lefaivre, there can have been no direct connection between the author or the artist of the Hypnerotomachia and the architectural theorist. At the same time, the Master of Polifilo appears to belong to the group of painter-architects, along with Francesco di Giorgio Martini, Leonardo, and Raphael.
Research Article| March 01 2000
Architectural Representations in the "Hypnerotomachia Poliphili" (Aldus Manutius, 1499)
Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians (2000) 59 (1): 6–25.
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Roswitha Stewering; Architectural Representations in the "Hypnerotomachia Poliphili" (Aldus Manutius, 1499). Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians 1 March 2000; 59 (1): 6–25. doi: https://doi.org/10.2307/991560
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