Hans Beham

Capital and base of a column (Vitruvius II)

Capital and base of a column (Vitruvius II) by Hans Beham

Artwork Detail

This engraving is part of a series of decorated columns based on illustrations from a 1521 edition of Vitruvius’s treatise De Architectura (On Architecture). Single-sheet engravings of Roman classical fragments proliferated in the Renaissance, disseminating knowledge about antiquity. They were, however, often reassembled in print albums and were frequently modified to create new inventions, creating a fanciful image of antiquity. Although the inscription on this print states that the column is of the Doric Order, its decorations would in fact suggest that it is a later example of ancient architecture and most likely the product of artistic fantasy. The architect Giovan Battista Aleotti (1546–1636) included a copy of this print in an album comprised of what he described as ‘fragments of each order that wandered as prints . . .’.

Capital and base of a column (Vitruvius II)
Hans Beham
Production date
77 x 50 mm
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, purchased 1981
Accession no
No known copyright restrictions
International Art
Display status
Not on display

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