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Look Inside Wren's 'Tracts' on Architecture and Other Writings

Wren's 'Tracts' on Architecture and Other Writings


  • Date Published: November 2007
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521044240

£ 36.99

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About the Authors
  • This is a scholarly examination of the theoretical work of one of the most important architects of early modern Europe. Trained as a scientist, Wren applied the seventeenth-century scientific methods to his study of ancient, medieval, Renaissance and contemporary architecture. From his study of ancient buildings, he posited a new version of the origins and development of the Classical style, thereby becoming one of the first to challenge theoretical principles of architecture that had been upheld since the Renaissance. Rejecting the idea of beauty as absolute and innate, Wren formulated an empirical definition, based on visual perception and custom. His acceptance of the relativity of beauty also led him to recognize the Gothic style, then disparaged by himself and his contemporaries throughout Europe, as a legitimate one that evolved within particular cultural circumstances. This edition of Wren's writings includes accurate, annotated transcriptions of the texts.

    • Devoted to the study of Wren's theory of architecture
    • Provides accurate transcripts, in one volume, of all of Wren's writings on architectural theory
    • Shows how Wren was one of the first to challenge theoretical principles of architecture upheld since the Renaissance
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    Reviews & endorsements

    '… for everyone interested in the debate, a close reading of Soo's book will be essential.' Kerry Downes, Burlington Magazine

    'Soo's handsome edition is in every way a … usable and useful book to work with.' Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians

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    Product details

    • Date Published: November 2007
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521044240
    • length: 340 pages
    • dimensions: 245 x 169 x 17 mm
    • weight: 0.459kg
    • contains: 69 b/w illus. 2 maps
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    List of illustrations
    Editorial note
    1. Notes on the antiquities of London
    2. Notes and reports on Gothic churches
    3. Letter from Paris
    4. Letter on building churches
    5. Tracts on architecture
    Conclusion: Wren's method of design
    List of abbreviations
    Selected bibliography

  • Author

    Lydia M. Soo, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

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