Today we are sharing two architecture prints. The oldest is from one of the finest architectural works of the German baroque period, Paul Decker’s Fürstliche Baumeister, oder Architectura Civilis. The work was published in Augsburg, Germany by Peter Detleffsen in 1711, and featured plates engraved by several master engravers of the time, including Bodenehr, Englebrecht, Probst and Kraus. They illustrate Decker’s designs for royal palaces and country houses, with details of their interior decoration, gateways, and gardens. In contrast to other architectural texts from the same period which focused heavily on theory and history, none of Decker’s plates were accompanied with text or elaborate descriptions. Rather, his work in Fürstliche Baumeister was created solely with the aristocratic architectural patrons of Central Europe in mind, in hopes to influence and inspire them while they built their palaces and grand estates.
The contemporary print is by Linda Adato, a master of color intaglio. The subject matter of her prints varies from the architecture of New York City, to the chambers and ancient ruins of Europe, to her own backyard. She “enjoy[s] exploring the geometry of the structures in these images and capturing the light at a certain moment or time of day,” always drawing attention to the balance between light and dark, hidden and seen. Adato’s work is distinctive for its delicate synthesis of composition, subtle use of color, and classical elegance. She has been making color etchings for over twenty-five years and is exceptionally skilled at “a la poupee”, a one plate method of color printing where the colors are inked and wiped on the plate prior to printing.
Image on Top: Erste Seite der Furstle Hoff Capelle, mit dem Herrfchafftle Stuhl. By Paul Decker. Copper engraving, 1711-1716. Published by Peter Detleffsen. Image size 14 3/4 x 14 7/8″. LINK.
Image on Bottom: The Palace. By Linda Adato. Color etching with aquatint and soft ground, 1993. Edition 19/75. Image size 23 3/4 x 15 3/4″. LINK.