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Architecture at Edward Worth Library

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Types of Architecture

‘Designs in sundry Species of Architecture.’

Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach, Entwurff Einer Historischen Architectur (Leipzig, 1725), Preface to the Reader.

Edward Worth’s books on architecture and architectural engravings in his antiquarian collection offer readers a wide range of architectural types. First and foremost are Churches, and in this exhibition, out of the many options on offer, we have focused on the architectural development of three famous churches in Rome : St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican, the Jesuit mother church of Il Gesù and the Baroque jewel of San Andrea al Quirinale.

The Roman Catholic Church was not the only patron of Classical and Baroque architecture : the role of the Crown and nobility is explored in a section on Palaces, which investigates seventeenth-century plans for the Palace of Whitehall in London, and early eighteenth-century designs for the Viennese imperial Palace of Schönbrunn. Examples of far humbler Domestic architecture are also present, as is an investigation of Military fortifications, written in the seventeenth century.


Bernard de Montfaucon, L’antiquité expliquée, et représentée en figures (Paris, 1719), 5 vols. in 10, vol. 4, pt. 1, plate 110 (Arch of Constantine, Rome).

To these Early Modern examples we have added material from Worth’s extensive antiquarian collection and here the focus is on Tombs, such as the Pyramids of Giza, or the Mausoleum of Hadrian. Naturally Temples also feature in this part of the website. The range of such ancient architectural forms was wide, as these images of the famous Arch of Constantine and a Roman Praetorian camp demonstrate.


Bernard de Montfaucon, L’antiquité expliquée, et représentée en figures (Paris, 1719), 5 vols. in 10, vol. 4, pt. 1, plate 76. (Praetorian camp).


All English quotations are from Fischer von Erlach, Johann Bernhard, A Plan of Civil and Historical Architecture in the Representation of the Most noted Buildings of Foreign Nations…. Divided into Five Books…. Tr. Thomas Lediard, (London, 1737), 2nd edition. Lediard notes that his translation was initially based on the French translation but on chancing to find a German original he then incorporated as much material as possible.

Text : Elizabethanne Boran, Librarian of the Edward Worth Library.