Vol. 6 (2020)
Articles

Sparkles under the Northern Sun: The Danckerts Press and the Slow Introduction of Writing on Building Technique in the Dutch Republic

Jeroen Goudeau
Radboud University, Nijmegen
Published December 11, 2020
Keywords
  • Danckerts,
  • architectura chivilis,
  • architectural treatise,
  • roof construction,
  • stairs,
  • Dutch Republic
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How to Cite
Goudeau, J. (2020). Sparkles under the Northern Sun: The Danckerts Press and the Slow Introduction of Writing on Building Technique in the Dutch Republic. Opus Incertum, 6, 114-129. https://doi.org/10.13128/opus-12365

Abstract

Between 1630 and 1727 the rich catalogue of the Danckerts press covered a wide span of subjects in contemporary architecture. This case-study makes clear that in the Dutch Republic the interest in autonomous information on building techniques arose relatively late. Publishers mostly looked to Italy, France and, as is demonstrated here, also to Germany. In the genres discussed, actual building techniques can only be traced to a very limited extent. It is more precise to speak of technical details in the communication of architecture. Only in 1680 the first book with exclusively technical illustrations appeared, Architectura chivilis, based on a German source. Danckerts proved to be a pioneer in what would become an independent technical book genre. Around 1700, books on elements of civil architecture, such as roofs and stairs, were accompanied by publications on mills, sluices, and bridges. It was only then that building techniques in the strict sense found their way into books.