Before the Cocktail Napkin

From Harvard Magazine:

Michaelangelo “The sketch on a cocktail napkin has become a modern-day shorthand for architectural epiphany,” writes Cammy Brothers ’91, Ph.D. ’99, an associate professor of architecture at the University of Virginia. The architect who interests her is best known as a painter and sculptor. In Michelangelo, Drawing, and the Invention of Architecture, rather than examining his drawings for insight into his buildings, Brothers interprets his buildings (the Medici Chapel and Laurentian Library) as the product of his imagination worked out on paper. She dedicates the book to Howard Burns, an expert on Palladio who taught at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design, and to the late Adams University Professor John Shearman, a leading Michelangelo scholar. Brothers also benefited from time spent at the Villa I Tatti and Dumbarton Oaks.

Michelangelo transformed the purpose and appearance of architectural drawings, and in so doing changed architecture itself. He demonstrated the possibility for architecture to be a vehicle for the imagination equal to painting or sculpture. The distinct character of his drawings… show[s] the way in which he would start with a remembered form, and how, in drawing and redrawing it, it would take on an entirely different aspect.…Michelangelo’s unusual approach to architectural drawing emerged from his figurative drawing practice.

More here. (For my nephew Jaffer Kolb who is also an artist posing as a wanna-be architect).