Barbican Centre, Silk Street, City of London

Disappear Here

Images of Perspective from the RIBA Collections

From the Renaissance to the present day, perspective has been a constant in architectural writing and illustration, linking the disciplines of art, architecture and mathematics.

Perspective drawing has been applied to the art of building for centuries and used as a tool to evoke illusory architectural spaces: a way of seeing which became a way of building. By translating three-dimensional space onto a two-dimensional surface, it has become the ultimate quest to depict realistic impressions of a complex world.

Sam Jacob Studio was invited by the RIBA to draw on the RIBA Collections for the exhibition Disappear Here. This gallery presents a range of images used as research material and inspiration for Disappear Here, as well as in the exhibition itself.

Highlights include John Smythson’s early 17th century Jacobean designs for Bolsover Castle; Hans Vredeman de Vries’ imaginary series of vistas and interiors from Perspective (1604); Étienne-Louis Boullée’s visionary design for a neo-classical cathedral and one of the many colourful perspectives from the office of R. Seifert & Partners.

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48 items
RIBA3079-37Project for a metropolitan cathedral in the form of a Greek cross with a domed centre

 
RIBA12661Perspective of the Economist Building, 25 St James's Street, London

 
RIBA16151Rotunda, Leicester Square, London: section


RIBA18827Illustration explaining how to draw the perspective of a round table and chairs

 
RIBA18975Illustration explaining how to draw the perspective of an L-shaped building with a tower

 
RIBA19702Pyramid of Caius Cestius, Porta San Paolo, Rome: sectional perspective


RIBA20611Two perspective views of roads passing through a rural landscape and approaching a village featuring weight and speed restriction symbols painted on the road surfaces

 
RIBA29351Willington A Power Station, Derbyshire: perspective view

 
RIBA31645Sainsbury Centre for the Visual Arts, University of East Anglia, Norwich: axonometric sketch demonstrating the heart of the scheme's integration of school and gallery spaces under one roof


RIBA35338Unexecuted design for the 'accepted' scheme for a Trianon pavilion at Thames Ditton, Hampton Court Palace, Richmond upon Thames, London: bird's-eye view of the Trianon set in its gardens

 
RIBA35770Section of an entablature drawn with perspective lines to an infinity point

 
RIBA36252Preliminary design for additions to Great Ormond Street Hospital for Sick Children, Great Ormond Street, London: isometric aerial projection of the site with a sketched elevation and a perspective view of the Powis Place entrance


RIBA36287Perspective illustration with accompanying text showing a small room or chamber

 
RIBA38320Perspective diagram depicting houses and an archway

 
RIBA38321Perspective diagram illustrating two flights of steps


RIBA67327Perspective of peristyle temple with rusticated podium

 
RIBA69409John Lewis Department Store, Kingston-upon-Thames, London: axonometric from Kingston Bridge and floor plans

 
RIBA81938The Belfry system for the production of standard industrialised houses: perspective showing the door and window units


RIBA84040View of the Market Cross (or High Cross), Bristol: perspective drawn showing vanishing points

 
RIBA99425Interior with an artist drawing a landscape through a window, to show the principles of copying by 'squaring up'

 
RIBA99426Methods for drawing perspectives


RIBA99428Illustration explaining how to draw the perspective of a house and garden

 
RIBA99475Hans Vredeman de Vries, Perspective, part I: plate 36 (spiral staircase with sight lines and vanishing points marked)

 
RIBA99478Hans Vredeman de Vries, Perspective, part I: plate 39 (complex quadratura constructions incorporating numerous architectural features)


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