Book Series Materiality, vol. 2

Building with Paper: The Materiality of Renaissance Architectural Drawings

Dario Donetti, Cara Rachele (eds)

  • Pages: 176 p.
  • Size:180 x 265 mm
  • Illustrations:30 b/w, 60 col.
  • Language(s):English
  • Publication Year:2021

  • ISBN: 978-2-503-59118-6
  • Hardback
  • Available

Against the scholarly tendency to treat architectural disegno in highly intellectualized terms, the essays collected in this volume offer a new perspective on this early modern practice, by reinserting it into the messy Lebenswelten of the architectural workshop and the building site.


“The resulting volume is a concise and stimulating collection of essays that point to exciting new directions for scholarship in architectural history.” (Katherine Bentz, in CAA Reviews, 2023.17)


Dario Donetti is Collegiate Assistant Professor Renaissance and Contemporary Architecture at the University of Chicago.

Cara Rachele received her Ph.D in art history from Harvard University in 2015. She is a specialist in early modern Italian architecture.


The introduction of paper is one of the major innovations of Early Modern architecture, and it had profound effects on its design processes. Wider use of paper changed representational conventions, while communication networks were affected by the many implications of portability and reproducibility: circulation of models for study and design increased, and new possibilities of remote control of the building site emerged. The material dimensions of these practices are the subject of the present volume, which collects essays that engage with the manifold inter- and multi-medial complexities of Italian Renaissance architectural drawings on paper.


Alina Payne
Preface: Architecture and the End of Drawing
Dario Donetti & Cara Rachele

Morgan Ng
«An Impression Made on the Ground, Either in Dust or Paste or Snow» : Mediums of Architectural Drawing at the Dawn of Paper-Based Design
Jonathan Foote
The Authorial Dimension of Paper: in Early Modern Architects’ Modani
Dario Donetti
Into the Fold: Drawings on the Move from the Sangallo Archive
Cara Rachele
Spolia, Imitatio and Detail Drawings in the Circle of Antonio da Sangallo the Younger
Giovanni Santucci
The Use of Architectural Paper Models in Medici Florence
Victoria Addona
Mixing Media in Late Sixteenth-Century Florentine Architectural Design

Marzia Faietti
Index of Names