Francesco di Giorgio on Mechanics: A Quattrocento Lesson on the Transmission of Knowledge
- architectural theory
Copyright (c) 2020 Sophie Elaine Wolf
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
This article discusses the illustrations and descriptions of machines in the two main theoretical writings of Francesco di Giorgio, dating from the 1480s and 1490s, respectively. First, the singular characteristics of the two writings are highlighted, enabling us to characterize the earlier work as a “handbook” and the later one as a “treatise”. Then a small selection of machines is examined, with special regard for the use of technical terminology in the volgare text and for the representational methods of the individual drawings. This offers new insights into Francesco di Giorgio’s approach in representing three-dimensional machines in drawings and underscores his eminent role among Quattrocento engineers. The article further contributes to our understanding of Quattrocento architectural theory by offering English translations of all the volgare passages quoted.