November 18, 2019

Another theorists such as Vignola continued this practice of

Another way a building could convey meaning was through the
employment of architectural orders.161 Columns had been one of the major
components of architecture for ancient builders and they were also subject to
very strict rules about their proportions, details and decoration. Early modern
architects knew of the properties of the columns and their orders first and
foremost through Vitruvius. However, since Vitruvius’ descriptions of the
orders were vague and difficult to understand and moreover there were no
illustrations accompanying the text, throughout the Renaissance theorists
continued to clarify the rules of their use. Serlio in Book Four of his
treatise on architecture attempted to clarify and codify what Vitruvius had said
and furthermore illustrated them in order with all of the basic information
being also supplied on the drawings. Serlio based the column proportions on
ancient ideas about human proportions, for example the Doric column was thought
to be based on the proportions of a man, the Ionic column was based on a woman
and the Corinthian column was based on a maiden. Therefore the orders were
associated with the characteristics of the human type they were believed to
represent. The Doric order was used most commonly for the ground floor of a
building as it was considered to be the sturdiest. The Ionic and Corinthian
orders were considered to be more refined and therefore carried more elevated
connotations. Other later architectural theorists such as Vignola continued
this practice of systematization of the orders. Therefore, the selection of a
particular column order could speak to the status and character of the family
or institution housed within a building.

Guarini maintains that fashions come in and out of style,
even for the use of the orders. Therefore, an architect must pay attention to
the relevance of style in the selection and design of the orders. While Guarini
accepted a similar view of the Greek orders, he extended the system of orders
to include the Tuscan and Composite orders, and also added the Gothic and
Atlantic orders. Moreover, Guarini included designs for each of these orders
that were uniquely his. Therefore, building on the ideas of P. Miliet Dechales,
a French mathematician whom Guarini cites, Guarini bases his systematic
approach to the orders on ancient geometrical order and harmonic proportions
whenever it is possible.164 Guarini’s orders are much more complex and reasoned
than previous standards, and therefore they could have been seen by his patrons
to be even more persuasive. The uniqueness of Guarini’s columns would speak of
his and his patron’s erudite learning, as well as serve to draw attention and
admiration to the buildings they adorned. This view of architecture may explain
the reason Carlo Emanuel II, the Duke of Savoy, hired Guarini to build San
Lorenzo. Before Guarini left Paris for Turin he had already developed an
international reputation for both his architectural accomplishments and his
scholarly publications due to Ste. Anne and Placita philosophica. Moreover, his
design of Ste. Anne was known to be unique and elaborate. This may be the
reason the royal family rejected Guarini’s design for the façade of San Lorenzo
as it would have been more elaborate and thus drawn more attention and
admiration than the royal palace to which it was attached. It was for the
benefit of his royal patrons and the church that Guarini employs the use of
emblems and symbols in his designs. Through the use of symbolism and metaphor
in Guarini’s buildings he could persuade the viewer of the patron’s prestige
and power by instilling in the viewer’s mind certain images such as through the
use of heraldic or dynastic imagery and his selection and design of the orders.
Moreover, it could cause the viewer to act in socially desirable ways by
inciting virtuous action165—by evoking admiration in the viewer towards the
state and by awing the viewer into compliance.

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One example of Guarini’s complex use of rhetoric
in his architecture is in reference to the ornament in the Temple of the
Shroud. In this chapel Guarini uses an abundance of geometric shapes such as
circles, triangles, and pentagons. John Beldon Scott points out that for
Guarini these shapes are largely not symbols.172 Instead, Guarini maintains
geometry “teaches how to deploy the numbers of the intellect by means of a
certain kind of argumentation that permits the discovery of other truths.”173
For Guarini, geometry unifies the parts of a design depending on the naturally
occurring relationships between them.174 Thus Guarini uses geometrical
operations for creative stimulation in the design process. Also, like 


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