(c. 80 BC - 15 BC)

While the life of the Roman architect Vitruvius remains obscure, his ten-book treatise On Architecture served as a touchstone for city planners and artists working through the Renaissance and the baroque period. Leonardo da Vinci derived his “Vitruvian Man” from a passage in Book III in which the author attributes the design of classical architecture to the proportions of the human figure.

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Voices In Time

c. 27 BC | Rome

Fresh Air

Vitruvius wants to breathe easily.More


“By its policy,” wrote Vitruvius between 30 bc and 15 bc, the Roman Empire “curbs the courage of the northern barbarians; by its strength, the imaginative south. Thus the divine mind has allotted to the Roman state an excellent and temperate region in order to rule the world.”


Roman architect Vitruvius hated the first-century-bc design trend of walls painted with fantastic images. “On the stucco are monsters,” he wrote of a house whose walls also showed plant stalks and candelabra painted to mimic structural supports. “Such things neither are, nor can be, nor have been,” he complained. “The new fashions compel bad judges to condemn good craftsmanship for dullness.”

Voices In Time

c. 25 BC | Rome


Building a better forum.More

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