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.
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.