Kristina Luce
2224 Art + Architecture Building, 2000 Bonisteel Boulevard
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109 USA

N2008-LuceInterior view of the Pantheon, attributed to Raphael (Uffizi 164 A.r., Florence)

In the early years of the sixteenth century, several artists from Bramante's circle made copies of Raphael's original drawing of the interior of the Pantheon. It has been argued that that the importance of Raphael's drawing stemmed from its position halfway between the forms of perspective and section. Yet, in a time when neither of these drawing categories was stable, what does this liminal positioning actually explain? What motivated the artists who copied the drawing to replicate this image in particular? This paper re-examines Raphael's sketch and suggests that the Pantheon's interior presented a complex problem for the representational conventions of the time. Raphael's drawing adheres to no known graphic or projective system, and yet it shares qualities with not only orthography and perspective, but also cartography. It mediates between conflicting systems of architectural knowledge and seeks a resolution between the geometry of representation and the geometry of architecture. Further, in light of Raphael's avocation in 1519 for the combined use of plan, section and elevation in his letter to Pope Leo X, I argue that the drawing marks the moment when architectural representation began its transformation from image to system: when it grew out of its role as a tool of execution and became architecture's conceptual medium.

About the author
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. trained as an architect at Miami University of Ohio, receiving her M.Arch in 1996. While at Miami, Luce studied with Dr. Sergio Sanbria, assisting him on his Metz Cathedral project. The intimate exposure to the cathedral and to Sanabria's work led Luce to a series of questions about the relationship between built form and design processes that has carried through to her present work. After being employed in preservation and historic rehabilitation for several years in Cincinnati, Ohio, Luce returned to academia to study drawing's role within the process of design. Her work defines drawing as a conceptual medium for architectural design, and goes on to explore how this medium encodes a certain definition of architecture and circumscribes the architects understanding of the design problem. Her dissertation is entitled "Revolutions in Parallel: The Rise and Fall of Drawing within Architectural Design." She is currently a Ph.D. candidate in the History and Theory of Architecture at the University of Michigan, Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning. In 2006-2007 she was a fellow at Michigan's Institute for the Humanities, and in 2007-2008 she was a Pre-doctoral fellow at the Getty Research Institute..

The correct citation for this paper is:
Kristina Luce, "Raphael and the Pantheon's Interior: A Pivotal Moment in Architectural Representation", pp. 49-62 in Nexus VII: Architecture and Mathematics, ed. Kim Williams, Turin: Kim Williams Books, 2008.