Figures for Åke Ekwall's
Volutes and Violins

| Fig. 1 | Fig. 2 | Fig. 3 | Fig. 4 | Fig. 5a | Fig. 5b-c | Fig. 6 | Fig. 7 | Fig. 8 | Fig. 9 | Fig. 10 | Fig. 11 | Fig. 12 |

 Fig. 5a. Palladio's construction of the volute, after Inigo Jones. Figures 5b and 5c are enlarged details of the eye. | back to text | The description states that the numbers dsignate the different points for "the fix'd foot of the Compass..." It seems to me, however, that the picture fits better with a drawing procedure in which the "compasses" consisted quite simply of a piece of string. The centre points I then take as being holes in a round plate. In each hole is a removable pin. The inner ones become gradually longer than the outer. The drawing process starts by fastening the plate to the flat hewn block of marble. The string has a loop at each end. One loop is fastened around ped no. 1 and the other around a pencil. The taut string is then allowed to wind itself up around pegs 2 to 13, as the volute is drawn. The inner line is then drawin in a corresponding manner, starting with the eye in point 14. The dotted lines in Palladio's detail of the "eye" could thus, I believe, indicate the string. Experimenting further with this idea, one finds that the inner whorls should in fact meet as I have drawn in Figure 5c. In this case, the length of the string would be given and the geometric logic better served. However, drawing volutes with the help of a string and one or more centre pegs might very well be a game that predated geometry.

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