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Sketchbook of the Grand Tour through Italy

When leafing through these sketches, it is difficult to imagine that Berlage drew them. Isn’t he the father of modern architecture? Didn’t he strive after structural clarity, plain expanses of brick and austere ornamentation?

Berlage was a fresh young architect when he undertook his Grand Tour through Italy. Here in Siena, he was both intrigued by the refined decoration of a Renaissance gateway as well as the robust masonry of a fortress. This highly personal sketchbook casts a different light on Berlage’s reputation as an innovator. His modernist architecture did not emerge out of thin air. On the contrary, it is rooted in a long tradition from which he gradually set himself free.

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