Drawing after Architecture: Renaissance Architectural Drawings and their Reception

Why did early modern architects continue copying drawings long after the invention of print should have made such copying obsolete? Carolyn Yerkes answers that question in a fresh investigation into the status of architectural drawing in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Her book explores a vast network of manuscripts and drawings that each have information about ancient and modern buildings—including the Pantheon and Saint Peter’s—that is not known from any other sources. The drawings also show how the information was recorded, transferred, and analyzed by others. Yerkes examines the nature of architectural evidence to understand how Renaissance architects used images to explore structures, create biographies, and write history.

About The Author

Carolyn Yerkes is assistant professor of early modern architectural history at Princeton University.

  • Publish Date: February 20, 2018
  • Format: Trade Paperback
  • Category: Architecture - Design, Drafting, Drawing & Presentation
  • Publisher: Marsilio
  • Trim Size: 7-7/8 x 9-7/8
  • Pages: 288
  • US Price: $40.00
  • CDN Price: $55.00
  • ISBN: 978-88-317-2674-0


"Drawing After Architecture is an important and immensely readable book about Renaissance drawings and major works of architecture. Yerkes shows how drawings carry information––at times supplanting the evidence of the buildings, at times providing lost evidence about them. She reads the anonymous with the same care as the famous. The result is new information about buildings we thought we knew and original insights into drawings, many of which have long been studied by architectural historians. Drawing After Architecture is a bold approach to architecture and architectural drawing that should be required reading for architectural historians and for anyone interested in architectural representation. It brings new insights to familiar subjects and, like the best of studies, sends one back to one’s own work alert to new possibilities and alternatives."
—Nicholas Adams, Mary Conover Mellon Professor, Vassar College
"In this compelling book, Carolyn Yerkes transforms copies of architectural drawings into something profoundly original. Taking as her subject the work of anonymous draftsmen, she demonstrates how the sheets they produced are at once unique and replicas. Through her lively investigations of drawings, she takes us from the building site, to the drafting table, to the pages of early books. What emerges is a compelling narrative about precision, doubt, and the nature of evidence in the early modern world."
—Heather Hyde Minor, Professor, University of Notre Dame
"Drawing after Architecture makes an outstanding contribution to the history of Renaissance architecture. It sheds valuable new light on the role and function of architectural drawings, their relation to one another, to models lost and surviving, and to Michelangelo’s executed buildings. The book also illuminates the history of the profession and the historiography of Renaissance architecture."
—John Pinto, Howard Crosby Butler Memorial Professor Emeritus, Princeton University