Drawing Out Meaning

The Victorian era: John C Rogers

Drawings of the Koran School, Jerusalem

Drawings of the Koran School, Haram esh-Sherif, Jerusalem, 1913
Pencil, pen and ink and watercolour
Artist: John C Rogers
© Victoria and Albert Museum. Museum number E.1264 – 1963


In the early 1900s, the history of architecture formed the core of an architecture student's curriculum, but in order to enter the profession, students had to acquire skills to present projects accurately in pencil, pen, ink and wash. John C Rogers drew these two sheets deconstructing the Koran School in Jerusalem to introduce students to the architecture of the non-Western world and excellence in draftsmanship.

Using perspectives, elevations, sections, plans and annotations, the drawings comprehensively illustrate a vaulted porch at the school. The drawing on the right is a net, or a flattened-out map of the arch, showing the ribs supporting the structure and the resultant geometries. At the top right-hand side, a number of arcs have been drawn to show the different methods of constructing an arch with masonry.

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