This sketchbook of architectural drawings is one of the most significant documents of the appearance and structure of antique and contemporary buildings in early sixteenth-century Rome. Containing interior and exterior views, elevations, and ground plans of Roman buildings, as well as a variety of decorative details, it is of great importance as an example of an architect’s model book of the early sixteenth century. The draftsman’s numerous notations of measurements and his various inscriptions in a precise and meticulous hand provide valuable information on individual projects but also demonstrate the diverse sources from which a Renaissance architect drew his inspiration.
Some of the most notable drawings in the Codex are related to the designs for St. Peter's by both Bramante and Raphael, but it also records many contemporary and antique Roman structures including the Palazzo dei Tribunali and its church of S. Biagio della Pagnotta, both planned by Bramante for Pope Julius II; the interior of the Pantheon; and the elevation and cross section of the Colosseum.
Little is known about the draftsman responsible for the sketchbook. It has been variously attributed to Domenico Antonio (also called Menicantonio) de Chiarellis, a member of a family of stone carvers associated with Bramante, or to the sculptor-architect Domenico Aino da Varignana
The hardcover books are made with two pieces of real wood on the inside. The leather is a 4 oz cowhide, from a small supplier in New York state. The Glue we use to attach the leather to the wood is made at our facility, and is a period correct wheat glue. Along the spine, we use a modern perfect binding, with modern glue, to make the binding last longer. We also add three layers of mull cloth to the outside of the perfect binding, drying in between each layer, a traditional way to make the binding stiff, strong, and resilient.