Compass and Rule


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Architecture as Mathematical Practice in England 1500-1750

Anthony Gerbino and Stephen Johnston

View Inside Format: Cloth
Price: $65.00
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The spread of Renaissance culture in England coincided with the birth of the profession of architecture, whose practitioners soon became superior to simple builders in social standing and perceived intellectual prowess. This stimulating book, which focuses in particular on the scientist, mathematician, and architect Sir Christopher Wren, explores the extent to which this new professional identity was based on expertise in the mathematical arts and sciences.


Featuring drawings, instruments, paintings, and other examples of the material culture of English architecture, the book discusses the role of mathematics in architectural design and building technology. It begins with architectural drawing in the 16th century, moves to large-scale technical drawing under Henry VIII, considers Inigo Jones and his royal buildings and Christopher Wren and the dome of  St. Paul’s, and concludes with the architectural education of George III.  Interweaving text and visual image, the book investigates the boundaries between art and science in architecture—the most artistic of the sciences and the most scientific of the arts.


Exhibition Schedule:

Yale Center for British Art (opens February 2010)

Anthony Gerbino is a senior research fellow at Worcester College, Oxford. Stephen Johnston is Assistant Keeper at the Museum of the History of Science in Oxford.


Yale Center for British Art (opens February 2010)

“…beautifully illustrated and produced to the usual high standard expected of Yale…The authors should be congratulated for assembling this material and for shedding more light on an arcane but important subject. For those who missed the exhibition, the book is reward enough.”—Nigel Crowe, Context 123

ISBN: 9780300150933
Publication Date: August 25, 2009
192 pages, 9 x 12
120 color illus.