chapter  9
Tough Love
A study of the architecture of Pezo von Ellrichshausen
ByDavid Leatherbarrow
Pages 13

In Renaissance architecture, the statue is an architectural element in human form. Besides artificial human figures and other images of the body, Poliphilo's architecture teems with exquisite materials and ornamental details chosen to demonstrate it bursting with life. Architecture and its constituent elements are dynamic, circulatory bodies that seduce, provoke, mimic, confront, contemplate, and make eye contact. Architectural form, though organized by geometry and abstract qualities, is attributed animate features. Beauty is integral to the mechanism that circulates erotic energy between lover and beloved, self and other, body and world, inhabitant and architecture. The sequencing of architectural settings in the primary narrative hints at an identical process. Each work of architecture including the pyramid, the bathhouse, and the temple, geometrical complexes of stone and bodily figurations, gets dismembered behind the scenes into phantasmic elements that in successive re-compositions are transformed yet recognizable to the reader.