Drawing Out Meaning

The long 18th century: Joseph Bonomi

Transverse section of St Paul's Cathedral, shown within a similar section of St Peter's Basilica 

Transverse section of St Paul's Cathedral shown within a similar section of St Peter's Basilica, both drawn to the same scale, 1798
Designer: Gian Lorenzo Bernini, Michelangelo, Sir Christopher Wren
Artist: Joseph Bonomi
© RIBA Library Drawings and Archives Collections  


During the 18th century the section became an increasingly popular method for analysing ancient and contemporary architecture. Here, St Paul's in London has been set within St Peter's in Rome to compare and contrast the complexity of these two enormous buildings.

Joseph Bonomi, born and trained in Rome but working in London from 1767, drew both structures in fine detail overlaid with washes to convey depth and detail. Colour helps to code the image, with yellow ink calling out the concealed wooden structure of St Paul's dome.

 

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