16th century designs by Hans Vredeman de Vries, sourced from Rijksmuseum, University of Heidelberg, Frisian Historical and Literary Centre and Ornamental Prints Online.
Originally, the intention here was to focus in on the outlandish columns and plinths (from 1565) seen in the last half dozen or so images above. But providence would have it that the large-ish format images of the desired material was accompanied by some of the most intrustively toxic watermarking it has ever been my misfortune to encounter.
My energy and patience was zapped after painstakingly - and not quite successfully- removing or reducing the watermarks in the two larger images featuring columns. So the rest were assembled into quartets of the smaller versions by way of compromise. (many of the balance of the above images were background cleaned too, just by the way)
I was drawn to the columns because they pre-date a few other sets of ornate fantasy pedestals or caryatids that have been showcased on BibliOdyssey previously. Together, all these works appear to constitute something of a genre of onwardly-evolving architectural design fantasies, restricted only by the imagination of each of the artists/engineers/architects involved. Check out the following old entries to see the weird permutations of the 'style' (and no doubt this collection is woefully incomplete, in the bigger academic picture, but nevertheless very cool in the "I had no idea gobbling down handfuls of magic mushrooms was a prerequisite for architectural design in the 16th century" kind of way) ...
In year order of publication:
- The Architecture of Embellishment (Hugues Sambin, 1572)
- Architectural Zoology (Joseph Boillot, 1592)
- The Motifs of Understated Architecture (Part One and Part Two) (Wendel Ditterlin, 1598)
- Sandrart's History of Art and Architecture (Joachim von Sandrart, 1675)
***Be sure to see the follow-up, The Architecture of Fantasy II, for more examples, background detail and links***