Skip to main content
padlock icon - secure page this page is secure

From a Painter's Perspective: The Introduction to an Illustrated Manual on Painting attributed to Serlio (Milan, Ambrosiana Library MS I 204 inf. 2)

Buy Article:

$23.44 + tax (Refund Policy)

Serlio achieved fame as an architect and the author of seven books on architecture, but his activities as a painter are hardly known. The recently discovered autograph manuscript reveals his thinking about this 'most noble art': collectively its pages form the introduction to an unfinished treatise on painting. As with his architectural discourse, Serlio's approach to writing about painting is entirely practical. In no sense a humanist reflection on the subject of art, the work was planned as an illustrated manual and pedagogical tool for the novice painter. The discussion opens with a first section on disegno where the rudiments of drawing are outlined. Very quickly Serlio turns to foreshortening and perspectives on the human figure, emphasising the infinite nuances possible as the body to be represented moves. Such concerns disclose the influence of his mentor Baldassare Peruzzi and association with other members of Raphael's studio. As presented in this manuscript, the manual may have graphically resembled Dürer's Vier Bücher in its printed form, but the rules of disegno respect the Italian workshop tradition as we know it from Carlo Urbino's Le regole del disegno (called the Codex Huygens) and the Leonardesque heritage. Serlio's projected volume of painting instruction may be regarded as a first literary experiment—a precursor to his later illustrated books on architecture.
No Reference information available - sign in for access.
No Citation information available - sign in for access.
No Supplementary Data.
No Article Media
No Metrics

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: independent scholar, Paris

Publication date: December 1, 2016

More about this publication?
  • The JWCI is intended as an interdisciplinary forum for scholars specialising in art history, the history of ideas, and cultural history. It publishes articles based on new research, normally from primary sources. Topics include the arts in their various forms, religion, philosophy, science, literature and magic, as well as intellectual, political and social life, from Antiquity to the dawn of the contemporary era. Usually the subjects discussed either centre on or have some connection with Western, typically European cultures; therefore, too, the JWCI provides a home for research into the many interconnections between those cultures and others which have flourished beyond European borders - particularly, but by no means limited to, the cultures and learning of the Near East.

    Founded in 1937 as one of the first publishing projects of the Warburg Institute following its arrival in London, the Journal of the Warburg Institute became the Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes two years later and has flourished as a collaborative enterprise since that time. Still produced in-house at the Warburg, the JWCI relies on Editorial and Advisory Board members drawn from both the Warburg Institute and the Courtauld Institute of Art, and on our two institutions' extensive scholarly libraries, research facilities and international links and networks.

  • Editorial Board
  • Information for Authors
  • Subscribe to this Title
  • Courtauld Institute of Art
  • Warburg Institute
  • Ingenta Connect is not responsible for the content or availability of external websites
  • Access Key
  • Free content
  • Partial Free content
  • New content
  • Open access content
  • Partial Open access content
  • Subscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed content
  • Free trial content
Cookie Policy
X
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more