Façade of Strasbourg Cathedral (“Plan A1”)
Strasbourg, France, 1260s
33 7/8 x 23 1/4 in. (86 x 59 cm)
Musée de l’Oeuvre Notre-Dame, Strasbourg, Inv. no. 2
This elegant rendering of the Strasbourg façade is one of the earliest architectural sketches to survive. The artist’s blending of fanciful and precise descriptions of the church’s façade raises fascinating questions about the use of drawing in the development and construction of buildings in the Middle Ages, a topic which remains poorly understood. It eloquently conveys the importance of both the imagination and careful observation in working out the details of a church’s urban face.