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.

48 items
RIBA12309Crystal Palace, Hyde Park, London: perspective view of the nave and the south transept

RIBA18974Examples of perspective delineation

RIBA29189Designs for Bolsover Castle, Bolsover, Derbyshire: plan and frontal perspective view of the fountain in the garden featuring manneken-pis sculptures and a central pedestal incorporating lion's head masks

RIBA31226Design for the interior decoration of the RMS Queen Elizabeth for Cunard White Star: isometric projection indicating a decorative flooring scheme for a deck entrance

RIBA31685Design for Beckenham and Penge Grammar School for Boys (later Langley Park School for Boys): perspective view showing a corridor exhibition space with classrooms

RIBA35035Design for Wilton House, Wilton: perspective view of the house and grounds

RIBA35668Design for a stage set and proscenium arch for a performance of the opera 'La Clemenza di Tito', Act 1 Scene 1, Lisbon Opera House (Opera do Tejo or Phoenix Opera): perspective view of an atrium with a palace seen beyond

RIBA35684Design for a ceiling with columns and coffered arches

RIBA35893Design for a hotel in Nigeria: perspective view

RIBA35955Foundling housing scheme (Brunswick Centre), Brunswick Square, Bloomsbury, London: cross-section of a residential flat

RIBA36056Design for the Brunswick Close Estate, Finsbury, London: perspective view of a housing tower block

RIBA36723Design for a conservatory for a property in Cadogan Square, London: interior perspective

RIBA38296Demonstration of Albrecht Durer's Perspective Machine (Lens Perspectiva)

RIBA41602Design for the library, Gray's Inn, High Holborn, London, for the Honourable Society of Gray's Inn: perspective view of the reading room

RIBA53317Designs for Rowlett Street housing, Poplar, London: south-east axonometric projection drawing

RIBA85658Design for an eight-sided fortress for an ideal city: half-plan and section

RIBA92181Barbican Centre, Silk Street, City of London: perspective section

RIBA92531Designs for New Court, Christ's College, Cambridge: perspective showing the pre-cast concrete components

RIBA94144Design for Abadan International Airport, Abadan: airside perspective

RIBA94418Barbican Estate, City of London: perspective showing some of the garden layout including the pyramidal conservatory and ornamental water gardens

RIBA97145Designs for an 1/8 inch perspective grid: plan

RIBA97146Designs for an 1/8 inch perspective grid: plan

RIBA99429Hans Vredeman de Vries, Perspective, part I: plate 11 (interior view with sight lines and vanishing points marked)

RIBA99467Hans Vredeman de Vries, Perspective, part I: plate 28 (complex quadratura constructions incorporating human figures)