Printing as Architecture: Antonio Urceo Codro on Aldus Manutius

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As is well known, Aldus Manutius published one of the most famous architectural books of the Italian Renaissance, Francesco Colonna’s Hypnerotomachia Poliphili. But the Bolognese humanist Antonio Urceo Codro described Aldus himself as an ‘architect’, and this article explores what he meant by that. Identifying Codro’s ancient literary and philosophical sources (above all, Plato’s Statesman) reveals an intellectualising approach to artistic labour consistent with a wider discourse around the Aldine Press that included amongst its contributors Colonna and (later) also Erasmus, and was concerned in the end with elevating printing to the status of liberal art.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)145-156
Number of pages11
JournalMedioevo e Rinascimento
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2020


  • Italian Renaissance
  • Humanism
  • Architectural theory
  • Renaissance art
  • Erasmus
  • Hypnerotomachia Poliphili
  • printing press

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