Doctoral Project
"Auszug" and "Projection": Late Medieval and Early Modern Architectural Drawing Techniques and Their Historical Entanglements

Doctoral Project
Daniel Tischler
Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Maarten Delbeke

The dissertation delivers the first comparative study of the ‘medieval’ Auszug and its ‘modern’ counterpart of Orthographic Projection, two major paradigms of architectural drawing practice in the late medieval and early modern period. It does so through a systematic and historical close reading of a selection of representative European drawings and textual source materials from the 14th to 17th centuries—the very time of both techniques’ allegedly most distinct documentation and emergence, respectively—to reveal their theoretical affinities and practical entanglements.
Encompassing actors as far apart as Laurenz Spenning and Francesco Borromini, the project highlights instances of complexity in order to argue that the history of architectural drawing practices is characterized less by a great rupture or coherent overarching narrative than by intricate entanglements, unnoticed continuities, and, indeed, instances of genuine discontinuities previously obscured. The case of Auszug and Orthographic Projection thus makes it possible to read the dominant historiographic narrative against the grain—by identifying the modern in the medieval and the medieval in the modern.

Image: Albrecht Dürer, „Dyß ist der schnech auß dem grund auf getzogen“, fig. 15 in Underweysung der Messung, mit dem Zirckel und Richtscheyt, in Linien ebnen unnd gantzen Corporen. [Nürnberg]: [s. n.], [1525]. ETH-Bibliothek Zürich, Rar 5113, / Public Domain Mark