Architecture in Print: Obelisks in Baroque Rome

Perhaps more powerfully than buildings themselves, the printing press spread ideas about architecture far and wide in the early modern period.  Treatises recorded the work of individual architects and transformed architecture into an intellectual discipline.  If Italy was the epicenter of the production of books about architecture from the Renaissance onwards, Rome was its capital.  Although ceding its preeminence in publishing to the Low Countries, Rome remained an important printing center throughout the eighteenth century.  Publishers in the Eternal City managed to corner the market in lavishly illustrated folio books about architecture, antiquities, and urbanism.  These books traveled widely from England to Russia, where they graced princely libraries, collectors’ cabinets, and architects’ studios.  This talk will examine how large, splendidly illustrated books shaped international understandings of what contemporary Roman architecture looked like and what role her architects played in international design and building