27-28 September 2019

Thinking 3D: Architecture and Audience

Dr. Katie Jacobiec (Scott Opler Junior Research Fellow in Architectural History, Worcester College, University of Oxford) ; Dr. Laura Moretti (Senior Lecturer, University of St Andrews); Daryl Green, MSc (Librarian, Magdalen College, Oxford)

Over 27-28 September, Erin Giffin presents her ongoing research with a poster at the Thinking 3D: Architecture and Audience conference at Worcester College of Oxford, England, headed by Dr. Katie Jacobiec, as part of the Thinking 3D initiative organized by Dr. Laura Moretti and Daryl Green. The conversation focuses on the wide dissemination of ideas and designs of three-dimensional objects through two-dimensional media. The virtuosity of translation confronts the material and spatial limitations of evolving early modern design, which fueled innovation both in architectural construction and–as in the case of Erin’s presentation–on the printed page.

Erin’s presentation, entitled “Paper Pilgrimage: Engravings of the Santa Casa di Loreto,” traces the evolution of schematic engravings of the Santa Casa, such as the etchings included in Adam Philippon’s 1649 publication Le veritable plan, et pourtrait de la Maison Miraculeuse de la S.te Vierge, ainsy qu’elle se voit á present á Lorette, attributed to Stefano della Bella (Rijksmuseum Collection, Amsterdam). The final print in the series portrays the Santa Casa’s interior by depicting all internal surfaces, including structural, decorative, and deteriorative minutiae. These prints manifest a comparable iteration of the Santa Casa in miniature, complete with a measurable floor plan, votive-covered shrine, and cult altar. In their inventive specificity, these two-dimensional Sante Case shed light on a tradition of architectural replication nascent in the sixteenth century that evolved over the centuries following.

Authoritative prints of the Santa Casa di Loreto traversed Europe and colonial territories, providing key information for three-dimensional replication. Potentially, this printed media also acted as devotional foci unto themselves, as devotional imagery, and even three-dimensional Santa Casa models. This presentation addresses the communicative nature of Santa Casa prints through local recreations of the Holy House, and the fetishistic quality of printed sacred architecture.


In addition to this poster, Erin has also contributed an article to the Thinking 3D Website, entitled “Conflicting Sources for 3D Replicas: Adam Philippon’s Santa Casa of Loreto.” Check out Erin’s contribution here