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13 Anthropomorphizing the Orders: ‘Terms’ of Architectural Eloquence in the Northern Renaissance

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Chapter Summary

A more sweeping play of contradictions unfolds in the prints and books that shaped Renaissance architectural culture in the northern Europe. It arises from the clash between convention and invention in models for eloquent architecture. This chapter contextualizes Hans Vredeman de Vries's innovation, and scrutinizes the ways Gabriel Krammer developed the idea when they worked together at the court of Rudolf II some three decades later. By respectively showing how to invent anthropomorphic forms that manifested an Order's metaphorical character, and demonstrating how those forms should also manifest the Order's conventional proportions, Vredeman and Krammer realized a new, versatile rhetoric through which architecture vividly conveyed meaning. Vredeman entered Rudolf's service in Prague around 1596. The Emperor fostered a keen interest in architecture, commissioning many interiors and garden structures in Prague and at country residences for which the Caryatidum's Termen would have been appropriate ornaments.

Keywords: anthropomorphic forms; Caryatidum's Termen; court of Rudolf II; eloquent architecture; Gabriel Krammer; Hans Vredeman de Vries's innovation; northern Europe; renaissance architectural culture



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