The Architecture of Trees
Cesare Leonardi, Franca Stagi
Publication date: 03/26/2019
Rights: World English
|The Architecture of Trees is a legendary and unsurpassed botanical masterwork. This lavish large-format volume features more than 550 exquisite quill-pen illustrations of 212 tree species. Each is drawn to a scale of 1:100, with and without foliage, complete with tables of seasonal color variations and projections of shadows cast during the hours of daylight and season by season. L'Architettura degli Alberi, first published in 1982, has been out of print for two decades. This is the first English-language edition of a landmark study that took more than twenty years to complete. This gorgeous book is an essential addition to the library of architects, designers, botanists, and anyone fascinated by trees and by nature in all its varieties.|
In 1963, as an undergraduate at Florence University of the Arts, Cesare Leonardi (1935-) opened a design practice with Franca Stagi (1937-2008), a postgraduate at Milan Polytechnic. Together they designed the celebrated Nastro, Eco, and Dondolo chairs before turning to urban and landscape design, renovation, and redevelopment in Modena and its surroundings.
Editorial ReviewsThe Daily Beast:
"If any question the place botanical drawing has in art history (they might want to read up on Ernst Haeckel for a start), they would do well to spend some time perusing through the pine trees in this book with their seemingly infinite leaves, or the hauntingly beautiful sketches of a leaf-less weeping willow. Either way, we lost track of time flipping through this tome, dreaming of our favorite sylvan settings, set in black and white."The New York Times:
"The Italian designers Cesare Leonardi and Franca Stagi spent their spare time obsessively sketching trees in all seasons for editions of The Architecture of Trees. The book is newly available in English, and expanded into a sumptuous format weighing six and a half pounds. It combines quill-pen outlines of leafed and leafless specimens--as varied within strict parameters as Bernd and Hilla Becher's factory photos--with bare-boned but poetic texts. Captions and a glossary shed light on how to identify epicarps (fruit skins) and flabellate (fan-shaped) foliage. An essay by Ms. Stagi meditates on how 'nature experiments in infinite ways' within the confines of trees that 'grab on to the planet' and thrive only where it suits them."Landscape Architecture:
"The revival of a beloved design reference."The Architect's Newspaper:
"Any landscape architect worth their soil should pick up The Architecture of Trees, an all-encompassing atlas of all things tree-related."Western Art & Architecture:
"This book could be considered the Bible for tree lovers. Its large format is perfect for pouring over more than 200 species, hand-drawn to scale. We think The Architecture of Trees is a must-have for those who are interested in landscape design, botany, or just love shady places in the summertime."Minneapolis Star Tribune:
"In an age of digitized everything I was awed by the soft texture of Leonardi's ink drawings.... A tree's architecture, its silhouette, tells us what it is, what we can expect from it, and how we can manipulate its shape to serve a purpose: for fruit, for summer shade, for winter silhouettes that stop us midstep, as a hiding place from grown-ups. Now that I have this book, I need a new living room table worthy of the book's contents."Wall Street Journal:
"The text would be a valuable resource for any landscape architect, as would the plates showing the foliage color of dozens of species of trees, and the computer-generated diagrams of how their shadows fall at different times of year. But the heart of the book is the pen-and-ink drawings of trees found in Europe, each with and without its foliage and each shown in the same 1:100 scale. Their somewhat forbidding beauty is relieved in the back of the book, where lovely detail sketches of cones, berries and leaves punctuate technical descriptions of each tree."Choice:
"This oversized book (15 by 10 inches) would make a bold statement on any coffee table, but the drawings, systematic arrangement of species, detailed species listings, translation of Latin names, and the aforementioned color phenology and shadow sequences make this much more than an "art" book. The drawings are rendered so precisely that leaf shapes, crown architecture, and stem structure are captured. To call them works of art is appropriate, but they are more accurately said to be works of some hybrid of art and science. Summing Up: Highly recommended."