A new image every month celebrating architecture, chosen from RIBApix, where you will discover over 70,000 images on architecture, landscape and the decorative arts.

Palazzo Tursi, via Garibaldi (formerly Strada Nuova), Genoa: elevation of the façade, circa 1622. (© RIBA Library Drawings and Archives Collections)

Palazzo Tursi, via Garibaldi (formerly Strada Nuova), Genoa: elevation of the façade, circa 1622. (© RIBA Library Drawings and Archives Collections)

History can obscure the origins of a work, and for a while it was assumed (or even wished) that Peter Paul Rubens was the artist of the drawings used in his book ‘I Palazzi di Genova‘, first printed by the Plantin Press in Antwerp in 1622. It is now known that the drawings, including December’s RIBApix image of the month, were by other – and often unnamed – artists. This month’s image is that of the façade of Palazzo Tursi, a building designed by Giovanni Ponzello and located on Genoa’s via Garibaldi.

The same picture of the palazzo is in the RIBA’s collections several times, each reflecting different ways precious architectural items can be collected. In this post it appears in the form of a digital copy courtesy of RIBApix. It is also found in the RIBA’s 1663 two-part edition of Ruben’s 1622 book, his only publication dedicated to architecture. The engravings inside are based on drawings, a number of which are now held by the RIBA, that he collected on his travels.

These pieces indicate that Rubens, more famous for decorating the interior of buildings with his paintings and altarpieces, had a keen interest in architecture. ‘I Palazzi di Genova‘ was a channel to disseminate Renaissance ideas and reveals Ruben’s support for the classical style that he saw in Italy and subsequently, after his return to Antwerp, applied to his own home and studio, the Rubenshuis.



  • Savage, N.,[et al.] 2003. Early printed books 1478-1840: catalogue of the British Architectural Library Early Imprints Collection. London: Bowker-Saur. vol.5, pp.2725-6
  • Herremans, V., December 2011. Rubens as architect, Antwerp. Burlington Magazine. vol. 153, no. 1305, pp. 838-839.
About Wilson Yau
I work for the British Architectural Library at the RIBA as part of a team to share news, images and information online about the activities of the Library and the fascinating items we have in our architectural collections – it contains over four million items, so there's plenty to see! If you’re curious about what we do at the Library and with the collections, or want to discover the latest about our education programmes, public events and exhibitions at the RIBA, please visit www.architecture.com

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  1. C Campbell

    June 14, 2013


    Where are the pix of the month for this year, 2013?

    • Wilson Yau

      June 14, 2013

      Hi, I’m so glad you enjoyed the post. At the start of 2013 on RIBA Blogs we started an exciting new monthly feature to replace it called ‘Final Framehttp://www.ribablogs.com/?tag=final-frame . Every month a curator from the RIBA looks at an image from the RIBA’s collections / RIBApix. So far, posts have included the work of Rudolph M. Schindler, Ahrends Burton & Koralek and Oliver Hill and buildings in California, Dublin and Hamburg, through the drawings and photographs in the RIBA’s collections.


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