Villalpando’s Sacred Architecture in the Light of Isaac Newton’s Commentary



Volume II of Juan Battista Villalpando’s Ezechielem Explanationes of 1604 contains a re-creation of the Temple of Solomon illustrated by a portfolio of exceptionally detailed architectural drawings. His designs were built on the principles of Platonic musical harmonies and his interpretation of ancient measurements. Villalpando envisaged the temple as a building encapsulating the entire formal grammar of classical architecture. However, in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries his critics included Louis Cappel, Samuel Lee, Louis Compiègne de Veil, Nicolaus Goldmann and others who produced alternative reconstructions of Solomon’s Temple. In the twentieth century criticism from what appears to be an unusual source was uncovered. In Sir Isaac Newton’s unpublished manuscripts he claimed that although Villalpando had created the best of the reconstructions of the Temple of Solomon, the reconstruction had many problems. This paper examines Villalpando’s reconstruction of the Temple in the light of Newton’s unpublished commentary.


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© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The School of Architecture and Built EnvironmentThe University of NewcastleCallaghanAustralia

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