The Geometry of Creation: Architectural Drawing and the Dynamics of Gothic Design


Frederick Burkhardt Residential Fellowships for Recently Tenured Scholars


School of Art and Art History


For residence at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences


This study of the geometry of Gothic architectural drawings provides the foundation for a larger reinterpretation of later Gothic art. Gothic drawings are the oldest surviving "blueprints" in the world, and their study can provide an intimate perspective on the Gothic creative process, but their value as non-verbal documents of intellectual history has received little attention to date. I explain both the nature and the fate of the drawing-based Gothic design tradition. The project involves close analysis of specific drawings and broad-ranging interdisciplinary research on the social and intellectual circumstances of the Gothic-to-Renaissance transition in visual culture.