251.184 Documentation and presentation of architecture Renaissance architectural drawings
This course is in all assigned curricula part of the STEOP.
This course is in at least 1 assigned curriculum part of the STEOP.

2023W, VU, 2.0h, 3.0EC, to be held in blocked form


  • Semester hours: 2.0
  • Credits: 3.0
  • Type: VU Lecture and Exercise
  • Format: Hybrid

Learning outcomes

After successful completion of the course, students are able to analyze and understand early architectural drawings in their architectural and historical context and to compare them with ruined, destroyed, planned or executed buildings. They will also be able to recognize specific aspects of the development in the changing conventions of architectural representation and to apply their insights in their interpretation of such drawings and prints. The drawings as well as their (sometimes: mis-) interpretation will serve as objects and examples for the learning of academic work, writing and presenting.









The seminar will focus on historical drawings and prints from the (Italian) Renaissance of the 16th century of which the Viennese "Albertina" owns a very remarkable and interesting collection. These drawings show ancient Roman as well as contemporary buildings. Because of their wealth of information they represent very important but yet understudied sources for our knowledge and understanding of architecture from the Renaissance and Roman Antiquity. In addition, they allow to study the birth of methods and conventions of representation (of architecture) and even (to reconstruct) the beginnings of academic, interdisciplinary work.

Make your own DISCOVERIES!

The seminar offers a chance to unite ongoing research and teaching – in the way Humboldt imagined it: Because most of these drawings have never been studied extensively or been published before, exploring their information, students have a good chance to make their own real discoveries of new facts even with regard to famous and – presumably – very well-known buildings. 

In comparison with the related buildings it will become obvious how trustworthy these often seemingly hasty sketches are in reality. Because of that, the drawings deserve to be recognized as important sources for Archaeology, Buildings research, Architectural History & Theory and many more disciplines.

Attention please: Because of the limited space in the Albertina's Study Room, only 15 students can take part in the seminar.


Subject of course

On the basis of selected drawings from the holdings of the Vienna "Albertina", the ancient buildings depicted will be studied as well as the methods of their recording and representation. 

In comparison with later surveys and representations including photographs, these drawings are examined for their information content and the beginnings of the methods of investigation, documentation and representation of architecture, some of which are still valid today, are learned.

Since the drawings to be dealt with have been "neglected" by art historical and archaeological research so far, numerous "new" observations and findings are still to be expected. Not least because the draughtsmen documented the buildings at a time when they were still far better preserved or even undestroyed.The list of buildings is based on the inventory of the "Albertina".

Teaching methods

  • Application-based examination of original historical drawings:
  • Introduction to the topic (architectural drawings, Renaissance, the "Graphic Art Collection" of the ALBERTINA Museum,
  • historical building survey, ancient buildings and ruins as documentation objects, etc.)
  • Impulse lectures/guest lectures
  • Comparison of historical and current methods of drawing

Mode of examination

Written and oral

Additional information

Please do not apply for a participation if you cannot take part in every session!

Because of the 15-person limit, a selection will have to be made after September 30. This will consist in a question which should be answerable in a few sentences.

There are still 2 places in the Wahlseminar (after the closing date) dealing with the same topic but more in-depth. If TISS lets you apply for it (despite the closing date), please feel free to do so if you think your interest is great enough to handle more hours and more work. 

This course is part of the initiative for this year's (2023/24) topic "Transformation of the holdings" (? – difficult to translate – BK). For further information and an overview of the participating courses please visit https://futurelab.tuwien.ac.at/jahresthema-2023-24.



Course dates

Sat10:00 - 17:0014.10.2023 Online-Meeting (Zoom) (LIVE)Introduction
Sat10:00 - 17:0021.10.2023 Online-Meeting (Zoom) (LIVE)Session N° 2
Fri12:00 - 15:0024.11.2023 Albertina Study RoomVisit to the Albertina Study Room
Fri17:00 - 19:0024.11.2023 Main Building, HS 17 "Fritz Hartmann"Presentation "News from Ancient Rome" (not mandatory but recommended)
Sat10:00 - 15:0025.11.2023 Guided Tour "Schloss Neugebäude", if the weather is ok, the visit will be followed by a short visit to the Gloriette (doric order from Neugebäude)Führung Schloss Neugebäude (ca. 2:30) [5 € entry fee]
Sat10:00 - 17:0020.01.2024 Online-Meeting (zoom) (LIVE)final presentations
Course is held blocked

Examination modalities

  • Compulsory attendance at the lectures and visits to the Albertina
  • Willingness to participate in discussions and experiments
  • Submission of a "project paper" (description and analysis of a selected drawing)

Course registration

Begin End Deregistration end
01.09.2023 08:00 30.09.2023 20:00 05.10.2023 20:00

Registration modalities

Because of the limit to 15 persons for visits to the Albertina Study Room, the number or participants is limited to 15. If more students should be interested, the participation will be decided through a small/short text to be written by those interested.


Study CodeObligationSemesterPrecon.Info
033 243 Architecture Not specified
066 443 Architecture Not specified
600 SOF Transferable Skills - Architektur Not specified


No lecture notes are available.

Previous knowledge

There are no specific requirements exceeding those to basically be expected from students of architecture, like: the ability to read (modern) architectural plans and a certain (basic) amount of spatial sense.


  • Attendance Required!