Palladio under the microscope

Palladio under the microscope: the RIBA's Palladio collection

Incision lines

X/18 under magnification, Villa Madama, Andrea Palladio (c.1541)
Copyright: RIBA Library Drawings Collection

The RIBA Library Drawings Collection cares for 350 drawings by Palladio, dating from between around 1538 and 1580. The conservator responsible for looking after them needs to know all about 16th century paper, drawing instruments and the properties of inks, chalks, lead point and graphite that Palladio would have used.

The conservator also needs to understand the condition of the drawings, recognise damage and know the best conservation and preservation techniques available.

Inlays and mounting are important too: very old, and often fragile, paper is placed on a new background or mounted to protect it from future harm and unnecessary handling.

The display of drawings involves meticulous planning and great care. Expert storage is essential before and after an exhibition.

Join the curators and conservator and take a look at Palladio's drawings under the microscope.