© 2014

Geometrical Objects

Architecture and the Mathematical Sciences 1400-1800

  • Anthony Gerbino


  • First edited collection specifically concerned with mathematical and architectural practice in the early modern period

  • Provides a synthesis of both older and current scholarship, while also setting out an agenda for future research

  • Genuinely interdisciplinary in both subject matter and approach

  • Draws on original archival and documentary research

  • Richly illustrated with photographs and original drawings, many never-before published

  • Contributions by eminent scholars from North America and Europe


Part of the Archimedes book series (ARIM, volume 38)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiv
  2. Anthony Gerbino
    Pages 1-41
  3. Foundations

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 43-46
  4. Mathematics and Material Culture in Italian Renaissance Architecture

  5. The Baroque Institutional Context

  6. Narratives for the Birth of Structural Mechanics

  7. Architecture and Mathematical Practice in the Enlightenment

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 243-245
    2. David Yeomans, Jason M. Kelly, Frank Salmon
      Pages 281-312
  8. Back Matter
    Pages 313-318

About this book


This volume explores the mathematical character of architectural practice in diverse pre- and early modern contexts. It takes an explicitly interdisciplinary approach, which unites scholarship in early modern architecture with recent work in the history of science, in particular, on the role of practice in the scientific revolution. As a contribution to architectural history, the volume contextualizes design and construction in terms of contemporary mathematical knowledge, attendant forms of mathematical practice, and relevant social distinctions between the mathematical professions. As a contribution to the history of science, the volume presents a series of micro-historical studies that highlight issues of process, materiality, and knowledge production in specific, situated, practical contexts. Our approach sees the designer’s studio, the stone-yard, the drawing floor, and construction site not merely as places where the architectural object takes shape, but where mathematical knowledge itself is deployed, exchanged, and amplified among various participants in the building process.​


Antonio da Sangallo the Younger Architecture and Mathematics in Early Modern Religious Orders Baldassarre Peruzzi Beauty in Architecture Calculating an Architecture of Air Epistemological Obstacles to the Analysis of Structures Geometric Survey and Urban Design Geometry, Mechanics, and Analysis in Architecture Italian Renaissance Architecture Master of Painted Architecture Mathematical Assessment of Saint-Peter’s Dome The Palazzo Del Podestà in Bologna Vitruvius Meets Descartes Vitruvius’s De Architectura

Editors and affiliations

  • Anthony Gerbino
    • 1
  1. 1.Art History and Visual StudiesUniversity of ManchesterManchesterUnited Kingdom

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Geometrical Objects
  • Book Subtitle Architecture and the Mathematical Sciences 1400-1800
  • Editors Anthony Gerbino
  • Series Title Archimedes
  • Series Abbreviated Title Archimedes
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014
  • Publisher Name Springer, Cham
  • eBook Packages Engineering Engineering (R0)
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-3-319-05997-6
  • Softcover ISBN 978-3-319-35923-6
  • eBook ISBN 978-3-319-05998-3
  • Series ISSN 1385-0180
  • Series E-ISSN 2215-0064
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages XIV, 318
  • Number of Illustrations 105 b/w illustrations, 43 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Architectural History and Theory
    History of Science
    History, general
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