the Interpretation of Architecture
Theory of Interpretation
Vol. 12, No. 2, December 2008
|The Rules of Rhetoric as Manual for Reading Classicist Architecture|
From the mid-fifteenth through to the early nineteenth centuries
rhetoric has been the backbone of education. The rules for persuasive
speech, analysed in Antiquity by Aristotle and laid down by Cicero and
Quintilian, were taught in the whole of the Western world. Moreover, these
rules were adapted to other disciplines than the art of speaking, such
as painting, sculpture, and indeed architecture.
Approaching the building, we see the openings, and especially the space between the columns – which in some temples are narrow and in other ones larger – gives various appearances to the eye and generate various impressions, of softness and beauty, or of grandeur and severity, like the spaces between the voices do to the ears: what is consonance for the ears is beauty for the eyes.
solids and voids can be thought of as particular to viewing; calling something
soft or severe is an act of
interpretation. In this passage Barbaro shows how conscious he was of
the fleeting boundaries between viewing and interpreting.
In his guide to Venice (1581) Francesco Sansovino, the son of the sculptor and architect Jacopo Sansovino, wrote about the new Mint his father built in front of the Ducal Palace (1536). The entry is as much a description as an interpretation.
At the end of Library towards the Canal lies the Mint, an important structure, made by Sansovino on the orders of the Supreme Council of the Ten. It is unique for its composition, and of a unity as there is no other. … But among all other features its most remarkable one is that it is knitted together from top to toe and in all its parts from natural stone, bricks, and iron, and that one won’t find even an inch of wood, so that as to strength and fire safety there is no other place that is comparable to it. The main entrance on the Piazza (for one may also enter by the canal) demonstrates at first meeting the solidity of the building, because it is composed of the rustic order combined with the Doric one. And instead of columns or pilasters that sustain the doorway, there are two herms, one and a half times bigger than natural size, very nobly made. … The main façade answers the Canal Grande with a partly rusticated, partly smooth order with such a blend that it is pleasing to the eye and according to the rules of Vitruvius.
Sansovino description is superficial and incomplete, and his way of viewing doesn’t follow any precise order. The text cannot conjure up before the reader’s mind’s eye the square, originally two-storey building block with its piers-and-arches ground floor that bears a piano nobile in a half-rusticated Doric order with engaged columns that bear a full and richly sculpted entablature. Nor does the author mention the second floor, in an equally half-rusticated Ionic, that was added to the building in 1558. Instead, he focuses on the main character of the building; according to him, its structural strength is represented by the rustication of the walls and the entrance, and he maintains that they convey the character of the Mint immediately to the viewer, at the moment when he first set his eyes upon it. Technically speaking Sansovino treats especially the entrance as a pars pro toto that is small enough to be seen in a single glance and allows the spectator to create at once a mental image of the building’s meaning.
more precise and intellectually more refined example of interpretation
can be found in The Origin of Building, or: The Plagiarism of the Heathen
Detected by the British architect John Wood of Bath (1741). He gives
a reading of the studio the painter and art theorist Federico Zuccari
built in 1577 in Florence.
The façade of the building consists of a rusticated base, bearing three
relief panels that show the instruments of the three arts: sculpture,
architecture, and painting. The window grills are decorated with the Zuccari
arms. Over the door is a cartouche with a coat of arms, and in the middle
of the frieze that crowns the basement is another one.
The upper part of the façade shows two niches (for statues, no doubt)
at the outer positions, above the rusticated engaged columns that frame
the nether part, and in the middle tract, between two windows, a large
panel, meant to contain a fresco. On the architraves of the window frames
is an inscription that reads ‘FEDERICUS ZUCCARUS MDLXXVIIII’.
Matthew writes, that our Blessed Lord and Saviour declared that Man to
be wise who built his House upon a Rock; so that Signiore Zuccheri seems
to have had in View, to make the Base of his House, which is to be supposed
a Rock, an Emblem of his Wisdom; and that the Figure of that Base, … making
a perfect Square, should allude not only to his Solidity and Stability,
but to Mercury, the Deity who was held by the Pagans to preside over Learning,
Eloquence, and Trade: For the proper Emblems among the Antients, of Solidity
and Stability, was a Cube; and the Grecians represented Mercury under
Wood weaves description and interpretation into a single canvas, while suggesting that the interpretation follows the methodical and impartial viewing of the studio’s façade. He uses common knowledge of the Bible, emblems, mythology, and architectural expression to sustain his reading.
A third example of viewing and interpreting is Sir John Soane’s use of the front of Pitzhanger Manor, the country retreat he built for himself in Ealing (1800-03), as a case to present to his students. In the preparatory notes for his fifth annual lecture at the Royal Academy in London (1819) he cautioned his hearers:
Describe the front. No man will suppose that the architect or owner had attained civic crowns for saving the lives of his fellow citizens […]. To judge of this species of building we should endeavour to discover the object to be attained: for example, in the building before you, if we suppose the person about to build possessed of a number of detached pieces of ornament, such as eagles and wreaths, demiboys and foliage, columns and statues, pedestals and acroters &c, and that from a desire to preserve them from ruin, or to form a building to give a faint idea of an Italian villa… this building may thus be considered as a picture, a sort of portrait.
fact, Soane doesn’t describe the façade at all. What he does is highlighting
some of its most salient features, and suggesting that looking at these
features will disclose to the viewer the character of the patron who commissioned
the building. Here, viewing is presented as if it is a search for details
that can be clues for better understanding.
And like the orator goes on recounting everything in an ordered manner, appropriate to time and place, and uses the colours of rhetoric and the terminology of the art, in exactly the same way the architect must lay out his inventions, designs and the disposition of the parts in a well-ordered way to the building, and apply to the type [of building] the order which is best suited to it.
This is a very down-to-earth way of applying the rules of rhetorical composition to architecture. There are examples of more refined ways also. Monsignor Daniel Barbaro, for instance, whose Vitruvius edition would remain a standard for centuries, considered architecture actually as a rhetoric for the eye:
And like a speech has forms and various ideas to satisfy the ears, so has architecture its aspects and forms to satisfy the eyes. And like the things we have in our minds and our souls are proffered to others by means of the art, and the words, figures, composition of words, elements, members and clauses constitute the ideas and forms of speech, so the proportions, the compartments, the differences of aspect, the elements and the collocation of the various parts constitute the idea of a building, because they are proper to the matter for which they are used.
Scamozzi, Barbaro maintains that an architect should use the rules of
rhetoric when designing a building. But with Barbaro we also find a conscious
stress on the impact a building should have on the viewer. The final product
should satisfy the audience, the ears of the listeners in case of a speech,
the eyes of the observers in case of a building. This requirement, too,
is in harmony with rhetoric, for an orator should educate, move and please
the audience. And although instruction by means of an abstract art such
as architecture presumably is more difficult than by words, Barbaro here
effectively puts them on a par.
Architecture, although its object may seem to be no more than the use of material, is capable of a number of genres that bring its component parts to life, so to speak, through the different characters that it conveys to us. Through its composition a building expresses, as if on stage, that the scene is pastoral or tragic; that this is a temple or a palace, a public building destined for a particular purpose or a private house. By their planning, their structure and their decoration, all such buildings must proclaim their purpose to the beholder. If they fail to do so, they offend against expression and are not what they ought to be.
Boffrand compares a building to an actor on a stage. Orators, like actors, do perform. Hence it need not surprise us that Sir John Soane identified the delivery of the orator (actio) with the character of a building, implying that in the end it was the “performance” of the edifice that made it act upon the mind of the observer. In 1819 he wrote in a preparatory note for the fifth lecture he was to deliver at the Royal Academy:
every building whether great or small, – simple or elegant, must like the picture speak intelligibly to the beholder, – each must have a positive character, peculiar to itself; sufficient to point out the purpose and uses for which it was erected: – this cannot be attained if the work is deficient in character – The Athenian Orator being asked what were the great requisitions of his art, replied, action – action – action; so if it were asked what constituted the distinctive beauties in architectural composition, the answer would be, character – character – character.
and Soane’s views did not differ much from the very practical, down-to-earth
German handbook anonymously published in 1788, entitled Inquiries into
the Character of Buildings.
What its author wanted to instill upon his readers was that they had to
design their buildings so that these would be eloquent. It is in line
with Boffrand’s dictum: ‘A man who does not know these different
characters, and who does not make them felt in his works, is no architect.’
The anonymous manual was double-edged, though. It taught the architect
to make designs for eloquent buildings. Conversely, a reader could learn
from the manual how to interpret a building designed according to its
These two things are contained in all matters, but above all in architecture: that which is signified and that which signifies. What is signified is the matter set forth by what is said. What signifies this is a demonstration developed through the principles of learning.
Now this is a very rhetorical way of stating things. As Monsignor Barbaro makes clear, it means that the subject matter has to be shown by means of signs that are capable of being interpreted by the viewer. In rhetoric the signs were words and phrases, which ought to be appropriate to the subject; indeed, they had to be its mirror. Barbaro had written that ‘[n]ecessity has it that the words be equal to the meaning, for, as is already said, one is speaking to this end that what much we have inside will be shown at the outside.’ In architecture application of this rule meant that a building had to express the status or other qualities of its patron or owner. This became the classicist standard. Over time, this requirement of correct expression of the matter was expanded in such a way that a façade should not only express status or use, but also character. Boffrand, for example, took to this view:
It is not enough for a building to be handsome; it must be pleasing, and the beholder must feel the character that it is meant to convey; so that it must appear cheerful where it is intended to communicate joy, and serious and melancholy where it is meant to instill respect or sadness.
rhetorical idea explains why the design of a façade was a matter of concern.
The question was: how was expression achieved, and how could it be recognized
for what it was? When the façade showed purely
architectural means, that is to say: no identifyable paintings, sculptures,
or explanatory inscriptions, the expressive apparatus consisted of the
in these modern times it seems to me that the procedure should be different, but not too far from the ancients. What I mean is that, following our Christian customs, I would (as far as I could) dedicate sacred buildings, according to their types, to God and to His Saints, and I would give secular buildings, both public and private, to men according to their rank and professions.
the eighteenth century Boffrand once again pointed to the fact that the
genres of poetry are to its chosen subjects what the orders of architecture
used by the Greeks and the Romans are to the various genres of building.
Moreover, he maintained that the ‘profiles of mouldings, and the other
members that compose a building, are in architecture what words are in
But for anyone who wants to see how clean and bright is his spirit, let him look at his face and his house; let him look at them, I say, and he will see what calm and what beauty one can contemplate in a house and in a face. If it wasn’t that it would look like an I don’t know what, I would compare the bedrooms, the hall, the loggia and the garden of your living space to a bride who awaits her relatives who will come to see her giving her hand.
Aretino a house was the portrait of the intellectual qualities and the
character of the owner. The owners adhered to exactly the same views as
the authors, not surprisingly so as most theorists belonged to the propertied
classes themselves and hence can be expected of giving vent to received
opinion. Occasionally, we actually can hear the voice of an owner. At
the end of the eighteenth century Giovanni Tommaso Faccioli wrote down
a faded inscription he had discovered on the façade of villa Trissino
near Vicenza. This originally fifteenth-century villa had been completely
renovated in the early sixteenth century, its exterior faced with stucco
and adorned with frescoes. Its bright walls earned it the popular nickname
of “Ca’ imprenta”, the “painted house”. On its front it read: ‘If you
want to know the soul of the master look at and think of his house.’
The reason for a Proœmium is simply to prepare the hearer to be more favourably inclined towards us for the rest of the proceedings. Most authors agree that there are three main ways of doing this: by making him well disposed, attentive, and ready to learn. Of course, these aims have to be maintained throughout the pleading, but they are particularly vital in the initial stage, since it is by means of this that we gain admission to the judge’s mind so as to make further progress later.
orator emphasizes that the introduction has to be in proper proportion
to the subject (and the size) of the speech and alerts his readers to
the condition that an opening address ought to be free of uncommon words,
daring metaphors, archaic expressions or poetic licence: ‘At this stage,
we are not yet accepted, the attention of the audience is fresh and watchful’.
This is sound rhetorical advice. As the orator must aim for enthralling
all of his audience in order to win them over to his point of view, he
has to be cautious when he is setting out. If he would start his speech
using unconventional words or arcane phrasing to represent his case, he
might be aiming too high for some of his hearers whereas others would
consider it inappropriate or just distasteful. Both groups he will loose
from the onset; as to them the rest of his words would fall on deaf ears.
as the introduction is … what is first presented to us, and because we look with the strongest attention to what meets us first, it is a good and appropriate idea to propose in introductions the subjects we want to be most carefully looked at and listened to.
The introduction prepares the audience for the main points, which will be elaborated in what follows. In architecture the most obvious candidate for fulfilling the task of making the spectators receptive to the message of a building would be the façade or, even more concise, the main entrance. According to Francesco Sansovino, the son of the sculptor and architect Jacopo Sansovino:
The introduction to an oration is like the beautiful and rich entrance of a magnificent and well-designed palace, for as the observers as soon as it has presented itself to their eyes deduce from it that the palace is well-adorned at the inside, composed as perfect architecture in which all parts are proportional to the whole, likewise the entrance of an oration is the image and the demonstration of what has to be said and discussed.
speaking Sansovino saw the entrance as a pars pro toto, small enough
to be seen in a single glance and allowing the spectator to create at
once a mental image of the whole building.
The front of a building is like the prologue of a play, it prepares us for what we are to expect. If the outside promises more than we find in the inside, we are disappointed. The plot opens itself in the first act and is carried on through the remainder, through all the mazes of character, convenience of arrangement, elegance and propriety of ornaments, and lastly produces a complete whole in distribution, decoration and construction.
So, to classicist authors a façade was not only the “portrait” of the status and character of the owner – his built representative in public space, so to say – but also a preview. By looking at a façade the observer who possessed the key to the used idiom could figure out what manner of man the owner would be. Moreover, he would have a clue to how the interior of the building would look like. As the educated classes of the fifteenth to the early nineteenth centuries shared the common background of rhetoric and a set of well-known conventions, and architects designed their buildings according to these conventions, a correct interpretation of a façade was feasible.
N.B. Ancient authors are not included in the bibliography. Names (in round brackets) without any further indication are of the translators of these texts in the Loeb Classical Library.
Alberti, Leon Battista. 1966. L’architettura (De re aedificatoria). Ed. Giovanni Orlandi and Paolo Portoghesi, 2 vols. Milan: Il Polifilo.
Alberti, Leon Battista. 1999. On the Art of Building in Ten Books. Trans. Joseph Rykwert, Neil Leach, and Robert Tavernor (19881), 8th pr., Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press.
Andersen, Øivind. 2001. Im Garten der Rhetorik: Die Kunst der rede in der Antike. Trans. Brigitte Mannsperger and Ingunn Tveide. Darmstadt: WBG.
Aretino, Pietro. 1957-60. Lettere sull’arte. Ed. Fidenzio Pertile and Ettore Camesasca. 3 vols. Milan: Edizioni del Milione.
Barbaro, Daniel. 1557. Della eloquenza. Ed. Girolamo Ruscelli. Venice: Vicenzo Valgrisio.
Barbaro, Daniel, trans. and ed. 1567. I dieci libri dell’architettura di M. Vitruvio. 2d, rev. and enlarged ed. Venice: Francesco de’ Franceschi and Giovanni Chrieger.
Boffrand, Germain. 1745. Livre d’architecture contenant les principes généraux de cet art et les plans, élévations et profils de quelques-uns des bâtimens faits en France et dans les pays étrangers, Paris: for the author.
Boffrand, Germain. 2002. Book of Architecture, Containing the General Principles of the Art and the Plans, Elevations and Sections of Some of the Edifices Built in France and in Foreign Countries. Trans. David Britt. Ed. Caroline van Eck. Aldershot: Ashgate.
Bolzoni, Lina. 1983. L’idea dell’eloquenza: Un’orazione inedita di Giulio Camillo. Rinascimento, 2d s., 23: 125-166.
Camillo, Giulio. 1983. L’Idea dell’eloquenza. In Bolzoni 1983, 140-166.
Cataneo, Pietro. 1567. L’Architettura. 2d., rev. and enlarged ed. Venice: Manutius.
Eck, Caroline van. 1998. The Structure of De re aedificatoria Reconsidered. Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians 57: 280-97.
Eck, Caroline van. 2007. Classical Rhetoric and the Visual Arts in Early Modern Europe. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Grafton, Anthony. 2001. Bring Out Your Dead: The Past as Revelation. Cambridge, Mass. and London: Yale University Press.
Heikamp, Detlev. 1967. Federico Zuccari a Firenze 1575-1579: II. Federico a casa sua. Paragone 18/207: 4-34.
Howard, Deborah. The Architectural History of Venice. Rev. and enlarged ed. New Haven and London: Yale University Press.
Kemp, Martin. 1997. Behind the Picture: Art and Evidence in the Italian Renaissance. New Haven and London: Yale University Press
.McEwan, Indra Kagis. 2003. Vitruvius: Writing the Body of Architecture. Cambridge, Mass. and London: MIT Press.
Muraro, Michelangelo. 1986. Venetian Villas: The History and Culture. Trans. Peter Lauritzen. New York: Rizzoli.
Onians, John. 1988. Bearers of Meaning: The Classical Orders in Antiquity, the Middle Ages, and the Renaissance. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Palladio, Andrea. 1980. I quattro libri dell’architettura. Ed. Licisco Magagnato and Paola Marini, Milan: Il Polifilo.
Sansovino, Francesco. 1561. In materia dell’arte libri tre: Ne quali si contien l’ordine delle cose che si ricercano all’Oratore, Venice: for the author.
Sansovino, Francesco. 1581. Venetia città nobilissima, et singolare, descritta in XIIII libri. Venice: Iacomo Sansovino.
Sanudo, Marin. 1879-1903. I diarii di Marino Sanuto. Ed. Rinaldo Fulin e.a. 58 vols. Venice: Fratelli Visentini.
Scamozzi, Vincenzo. 1615. Dell’Idea della Architettura universale. 2 vols. Venice: for the author.
Serlio, Sebastiano. 1537. Regole generali di architetura sopra le cinque maniere de gli edifici. Venice: Francesco Marcolini.
Serlio, Sebastiano. 1996-2001. On Architecture. Transl., introd. and comm. Vaughan Hart and Peter Hicks. 2 vols. New Haven and London: Yale University Press.
Vasari, Giorgio. 1906. Le opere. Ed. Gaetano Milanesi. 9 vols. Florence: Sansoni.
Vasari, Giorgio. 1960. Vasari on Technique. Being the Introduction to the Three Arts of Design, Architecture, Sculpture and Painting, Prefixed to the Lives of the Most Excellent Painters, Sculptors and Architects by Giorgio Vasari. Trans. Louisa S. Maclehose. Ed. G. Baldwin Brown (19071). New York: Dover.
Vickers, Brian. 1999. In Defence of Rhetoric (19881). Oxford: Clarendon Press.
Rudolf. 1943. Federico Zuccari and John Wood of Bath. Journal of the
Warburg and Courtauld Institutes 6: 220-2.
 Barbaro 1567, 124: ‘Approssimando poi allo edificio, vedemo le apriture, e specialmente gli spacii tra le colonne, i quali essendo in alcuni Tempii piu ristretti, & in alcuni piu larghi, portano all’occhio diverse apparenze, & fanno diversi effetti, o di dolcezza, & bellezza, o di grandezza, & severità, si come fanno gli spacii delle voci nelle orecchie: però che quello, che è consonanza alle orecchie, è bellezza a gli occhi.’
 Sansovino 1581, 115r-v: ‘Nel fine della libreria verso il Canale, giace la Zecca, machina importante, & fatta dal Sansouino per ordine dell’Eccelso Consiglio de Dieci; la quale è singolare per compositura, & tanto unita che nulla piu. … Ma fra tutte l’altre questa è notabil cosa, che ella è tutta tessuta cosi di sotto come di sopra, & in ogni sua parte, di pietre uiue, di mattoni, & di ferro, senza che ui si troui pur un palmo di legno, di maniera che per fortezza, & per sicurezza del fuoco, non è luogo alcuno che se possa paragonare. La porta principale verso la Piazza (percioche ui si entra anco per la riua) dimostra al primo incontro la sodezza dell’edificio, conciosia che è composto d’ordine Rustico mescolato col Dorico. & in luogo di colonne o pilastri che sostengono il portone, sono termini scolpiti, molto piu grandi vna volta & mezzo del naturale: fatti nobilissimamente. … La principal faccia di fuori, risponde sul Canal grande d’ordine, parte Rustico, & parte gentile, con tal mescolanza, ch’ è diletteuole all’occhio, & secondo le regole di Vitruuio.’
 See Howard 2002, 169-71.
 Heikamp 1967, 8-9.
 Presumably Zuccari here kept to the same formula as he used on the corner column of his habitation: on the highest position the Medici arms, and on the lowest his own. See Heikamp 1967, 9.
 Heikamp 1967, 12.
 Heikamp 1967, 12.
 John Wood, The Origin of Building, or: The Plagiarism of the Heathen Detected (1741), book 2, as quoted in Wittkower 1943, 221-2. Wittkower points out that Zuccari in his own treatise L’Idea de’ pittori, scultori, et architetti (1607) more than once expounded the essential unity of the three arts and that there can hardly be any doubt that Zuccari represented this theory as a visual programme on the face of his house – thirty years before he printed the treatise.
 John Soane, ms. Lecture V 1819, fols 73ff., in Soane Museum Library AL Soane Case 156; quoted in Van Eck 2007, 128-30.
 Andersen 2001, 271: rhetoric was ‘vorrängig das persönliche Bildungsfach des einzelnen’; ibid., 255-271 Andersen discusses the permeation of rhetoric in Ancient civilization.
 Vickers 1999, 255-70. A good example of how teenage boys performed in rhetorical exercises and contests can be found in Sanudo 1879-1903, vol. 36, 181: ‘In questa matina, in una scuola a san Lio di maestro Stephanin optimo grammatico, uno fiol di sier Zorzi Venier, chiamato sier Francesco, di età di anni …. fece una oratione et lexè una epistola di Cicerone, videlicet la prima familiar, et per 12 soi condiscepoli li fo arguito, et lui li rispose, et poi datoli una epistola vulgar e lui la fè latina, videlicet cadauno variamente, che fo bel udir, et tra li quel che arguite fo uno fiol di sier Vicenzo Vicenzo Donado, uno di sier Hironimo da cha’ Taiapiera dotor, uno di sier Bernardo Donado, uno Parleon, uno Zucato, et altri; poi uno fio di sier Marco Trun qu. sier Mafio disse alcuni versi in sua laude. Erano molti zentilomini parenti dil prefato Venier, tra li qual io Marin Sanudo perchè l’è fio de uno fiol di mia sorella, ch’è viva. Et con laude grande si portoe. (8 April 1524)
 Pertinent on this point Quintilian, De institutione oratoria 3.5.2: ‘Tria sunt item, quae praestare debeat orator, ut doceat, moveat, delectet.’
 Camillo 1983, 160-166 (text of Camillo’s comparison); for the dating: Bolzoni 1983, 129. For a later source, see e.g. Boffrand 1745, 16 : ‘Les Sciences & les Arts ont un si grand rapport, que les principes des uns font les principes des autres.’ (NB: I have chosen to give here and in the following only Boffrand’s French original, although the book is bilingual: French and Latin.)
 Cf. Grafton 2001, 168-169, who discusses mainly the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.
 Scamozzi 1615, vol. 1, 43, ll. 39-42: ‘E sicome l’Oratore và narrando il tutto ordinatamente à tempo, e luogo, convenevole, & usa i colori Retorici, e termini dell’Arte: cosi parimente l’Architetto, dee spiegar le sue inventioni, disegni, e la dispositione delle parti bene ordinate all’edificio, & applicar al genere quell’ordine, che più propriamente se le conviene.’ (Idea, 1.13)
 Barbaro 1567, 115: ‘& si come la oratione ha forme, & idee diverse per satisfare alle orecchie, cosi habbia l’Architettura gli aspetti, forme sue per satisfar a gli occhi, & si come quello, che è nella mente, & nella voglia nostra riposto, con l’artificio di levarlo fuori di noi, & portarlo altrove, le parole, le figure, la compositione delle parole, i numeri, le membra, & le chiuse fanno le Idee, & le forme del dire, cosi le proportioni, i compartimenti, le differenze de gli aspetti, i numeri, & la collocatione delle parti fanno le idee delle fabriche, che sono qualità convenienti a quelle cose, per le quali si fanno.’ Cf. ibid., 36: ‘Come le maniere del parlare, che si chiamano idee, sono qualità dell’oratione, cosi le maniere de gli edificii sono qualità dell’arte conveniente alle cose, & alle persone.’
 Kemp 1997, 234.
 A good example is the transfer of rhetorical compositional technique to architecture in Alberti’s De re aedificatoria, as discussed by Van Eck 1998.
 Boffrand 1745, 16 : ‘L’Architecture, quoiqu’il semble que son objet ne soit que l’emploi de ce qui est materiel, est susceptible de differens genres qui rendent ses parties, pour ainsi dire, animées par les différents caracteres qu’elle fait sentir. Un Edifice par sa composition exprime comme sur un Théatre, que la scene est Pastorale ou Tragique, que c’est un Temple ou un Palais, un Edifice public destiné à un certain usage, ou une maison particuliere. Ces différents Edifices par leur disposition, par leur structure, par la maniere dont ils sont décorés, doivent annoncer au spectateur leur destination ; & s’ils ne le font pas, ils pechent contre l’expression, & ne sont pas qu’ils doivent être.’ (Trans. Boffrand 2002, 8)
 John Soane, ms. Lecture V 1819, fols 73ff., in Soane Museum Library AL Soane Case 156; quoted in Van Eck 2007, 130-1.
 Its full title is: Untersuchungen über den Charakter der Gebäude; über die Verbindung der Baukunst mit den schönen Künsten und über die Wirkungen, welche durch dieselben hervorgebracht werden sollen, Leipzig 1788. A reprint, with an introduction by Hanno-Walter Kruft, was published in Nördlingen 1986.
 Boffrand 1745, 26 : ‘Un homme qui ne connoît pas ces différens caracteres, & qui ne les fait pas sentir dans ses ouvrages, n’est pas un Architecte.’ (Trans. Boffrand 2002, 10)
 Vitruvius, De architectura 1.3.3: ‘Cum in omnibus enim rebus tum maxime etiam in architectura haec duo insunt: quod significatur et quod significat. Significatur proposita res de qua dicitur; hanc autem significat demonstratio rationibus doctrinarum explicata.’
 See McEwan 2003, 74-81.
 Barbaro 1567, 11: ‘Ma per dichiaratione dico, che significare è per segni dimostrare, e segnare è imprimere il segno. Ladove in ogni opera da ragione drizzata, & con disegno finita, è impresso il segno dello Artefice, cioè la qualità, & la forma, che era nella mente di quello, percioche lo Artefice opera primo nello intelletto, & concepe nella mente, & segna poi la materiale esteriore, dello habito interiore.’
 Barbaro 1557, 41: ‘La necessità uuole, che le parole sieno pari alla sentenza, perche à questo fine si ragiona, come si è detto, accioche quanto habbiamo di dentro, si dimostri di fuori’.
 Boffrand 1745, 27: ‘Non satis est pulchra esse poëmata dulcia sunto / et quocunque volent animum auditoris agunto. / Ut ridentibus arrident, ita flentibus adflent / Humani vultus… [Horatius, De arte poetica 99-102] Il ne suffit pas qu’un édifice soit beau, il doit être agréable, & que le spectateur ressente le caractere qu’il doit imprimer, en sorte qu’il soit riant à ceux à qui il doit imprimer de la joye; & qu’il soit serieux et triste à ceux à qui il doit imprimer du respect ou de la tristesse.’ (Trans. Boffrand 2002, 10-11) Boffrand translates poëmata with “edifice”, presumably in order to stress once more the similarities between a poem and a building.
 Serlio 1537, Vr.
 Serlio 1537, Vv: ‘Ma in questi moderni tempi à me par di proceder per altro modo: non deviando però da gli antichi, voglio dir: che seguitando i costumi nostri Christiani; dedicarò, in quanto per me si potrà, gli edifici sacri, secondo le specie loro à Dio, & a i santi suoi. Et gli edifici profani; si publici come privati, daro à gli huomini, secondo lo stato, & le profession loro.’ (Book 4: Regole generali, L’Auttore alli Lettori; trans. Serlio 1996-2001, vol. 1, 254)
 Boffrand 1745, 24: ‘Les ordres d’Architecture employés dans les ouvrages des Grecs & des Romains, sont pour les differens genres d’édifices, ce que les differents genres de Poësies sont dans les differents sujets qu’elle veut traiter.’ Ibid., 22 (quote): ‘Les profils des moulures, & les autres parties qui composent un bâtiment, sont dans l’Architecture ce que les mots sont dans un discours.’ (Trans. Boffrand 2002, 9)
 Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics 4.2.16 = 1123a5; Cicero, De officiis 1.39.138-40.
 Alberti 1966, vol. 1, 53: ‘Aliud enim foro, aliud theatro, aliud palestrae, aliud templo spatii locorumque debetur. Itaque pro cuiusque ratione et usu habendus areae situs erit et modus.’ (De re aedificatoria 1.7; trans. Alberti 1999, 19)
 Cataneo 1567, 95: ‘come secondo la facultà dell’entrate & dignità del personaggio si convenga procedere nella spesa & magnificentia della fabrica, & similimente che tutte le parti & membri dell’edificio debbono havere intra loro ragionevole & corrispondente proportione’. (Architettura 4.1) – Palladio 1980, 74-75: ‘Non si può dare certa e determinata regola circa le altezze e larghezze delle porte principali delle fabriche, e circa le porte e finestre delle stanze; percioché a far le porte principali si deve l’architetto accommodare alla grandezza della fabrica, alla qualità del padrone, et alle cose che per quelle deono essere condotte e portate.’ (Quattro libri, 1.25)
 Cf. Cataneo 1567, 95: ‘come secondo la facultà dell’entrate & dignità del personaggio si convenga procedere nella spesa & magnificentia della fabrica’. (Architettura 4.1)
 Vasari 1906, vol. 1, 146-147: ‘Per l’aspetto suo primo, la facciata vuole avere decoro e maestà, ed essere compartita come la faccia dell’uomo.’ (Introduzione: Dell’architettura, 7; trans.: Vasari 1960, 96-97, with minor alterations)
 Scamozzi 1615, vol. 1, 225, rr. 29-30: ‘L’aspetto dell’edificio, s’intende propriamente quella maestà, che si rappresenta à gli occhi nostri della sua figura; come l’aspetto della faccia dell’huomo, ò di qualche altro corpo individuale’. (Idea, 1.3.2)
 Aretino 1957-60, vol. 1, 125: ‘Ma chi vuol vedere in che modo il suo animo è netto e candido miri di lui la fronte e l’abitazione, e’ mirile dico, e vedrà quanto di sereno e di vago si può bramare in una abitazione e in una fronte. Se non che parrebbe un non so che: simigliarei le camere, la sala, la loggia e il giardino de la stanza, dove abitate, a una sposa che aspetta il parentado, che dee venire a veder darle la mano.’ (Trans. partially Onians 1988, 299)
 ‘Si Cupis Animum Domini Cognoscere Aspice Et Respice Domum’, quoted in Muraro 1986, 67.
 Quintilian, De institutione oratoria 4.1.5: ‘Causa principii nulla alia est, quam ut auditorem, quo sit nobis in ceteris partibus accommodatior, praparemus. id fieri tribus maxime rebus inter auctores plurimos constat, si benevolum, attentum, docilem fecerimus, non quia ista non per totam actionem sint custodienda, sed quia initiis praecipue necessaria, per quae in animum iudicis, ut procedere ultra possimus, admittitur.’ (Trans. Russell 2001)
 Quintilian, De institutione oratoria 4.1.62: ‘modus autem principii pro causa’; 4.1.58: ‘ne quod insolens verbum, ne audacius translatum, ne aut ab obsoleta vetustate aut poetica licentia sumptum in principio deprehendatur.’; 4.1.59 (quote): ‘nondum enim recepti sumus et custodit nos recens audientium intentio.’ (Trans. Russell 2001)
 Barbaro 1567, 97: ‘perche essendo il proemio […] quello, che prima ci è proposto, & per questo riguardando noi con maggiore attentione quello, che prima ci vieni inanzi, bello, & convenevole avvertimento è di proponere ne i proemii quelle cose, che noi vogliamo, che siano grandemente considerate, & attese.’
 Sansovino 1561, 4v: ‘Il Proemio nell’Oratione è somigliante a una bella e ricca entrata di un magnifico e ben inteso Palazzo, perche si come non prima s’appresenta a gli occhi de riguardanti, che essi da quella prendendo argomento fanno giudicio ch’il Palazzo di dentro debbe essere ben ornato, con perfetta Architettura composto, & insieme tutto corrispondente alle parti, cosi questa entrata dell’Oratione, è l’imagine et il dimostramento di quel che si dee dire e trattare.’
John Soane, Academy Lecture, quoted in Van Eck 2007, 127-8.