A reconstruction  of the second Globe  as sketched by  Wenzel Hollar

A reconstruction of the second Globe as sketched by Wenzel Hollar PowerPoint PPT Presentation


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This project was initiated and developed by Tim Fitzpatrick in dialogue with Russell Emerson, who created a CAD (computer-aided design) of the reconstruction, and then made a 1:50 card model which he photographed extensively. The project has been in train for a number of years, and various stages of its results published in print and online journals. Those publications provide a full and detailed explanation of the principles and assumptions that guided our reconstruction (details on next slid30014

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A reconstruction of the second Globe as sketched by Wenzel Hollar

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1. A reconstruction of the second Globe as sketched by Wenzel Hollar Tim Fitzpatrick and Russell Emerson Department of Performance Studies University of Sydney

2. This project was initiated and developed by Tim Fitzpatrick in dialogue with Russell Emerson, who created a CAD (computer-aided design) of the reconstruction, and then made a 1:50 card model which he photographed extensively. The project has been in train for a number of years, and various stages of its results published in print and online journals. Those publications provide a full and detailed explanation of the principles and assumptions that guided our reconstruction (details on next slide). This slideshow summarises the work, and is designed for individual viewing, not for the purposes of a slideshow-lecture (it’s too complicated for that).

3. References Tim Fitzpatrick, “The Fortune Contract and Hollar’s Original Drawing of Southwark: Indications of a Smaller First Globe”, Shakespeare Bulletin, 14: 4 (Fall 1996): pp. 5-10 Tim Fitzpatrick with Russell Emerson, “Reconstructing the spatial dynamics of ‘lost’ theatre spaces; Shakespeare’s second, first and third Globe Theatres”, PaPER (People and Physical Environment Research) 53-54 (1999): pp. 42-57 Tim Fitzpatrick, “Reconstructing Shakespeare’s Second Globe using CAD design tools” Early Modern Literature Studies March 2004 (special edition, ed. Gabriel Egan, of online refereed journal http://www.shu.ac.uk/emls/emlshome.html) Tim Fitzpatrick, “The Visual Semiotics of Elizabethan Public Playhouses.” International Yearbook of Aesthetics 10 (2006): pp. 29-44 Tim Fitzpatrick, “Patronage and Theatre Design: The First Globe and its modern Reconstruction”, Patronage, Spectacle and the Stage, eds. Irene Eynat-Confino and Eva Sormova, Prague, Prague Theatre Institute, 2006 (refereed proceedings of International Federation for Theatre Research Conference on Scenography: June 18-22, 2003)

4. Hollar’s sketch In the 1630s Wenzel Hollar climbed the tower of Southwark Cathedral to do some preparatory sketches for an engraved panorama of London. One sketch included the second Globe (rebuilt in 1614 on the site of the first). It is the prominent building in the middle distance, about 400 yards away.

5. A close-up of Hollar’s sketch This detail is only an inch across in the original. It’s literally a ‘thumbnail’ image. It is amazing that Hollar could cram so much detail into such a small scale. Some scholars think this is a ‘topographic drawing’, which would be highly accurate. But it’s not a drawing, it’s a sketch.

6. A sketch, not a drawing Look closely at the multiple pencil lines under (and many of them not under) the inking. Note also where lines have been sketched beyond their point of intersection: a sketching technique, not a drawing based on sightings of intersections.

7. Is Hollar’s sketch accurate enough to help us get under its skin? If Hollar was sketching rather than doing a calibrated drawing, it is nevertheless possible that an accurate sketch might still provide invaluable information about the structure of the building he was looking at. Is it possible to deduce from the sketch the structural principles that governed the building, to work out the ‘skeleton’ which supports the ‘skin’ of Hollar’s sketch? Could we theorise and build a coherent structure that would look like the building in the sketch — and in the process validate the sketch?

8. We think the building which Hollar saw and sketched from the tower of Southwark Cathedral might have been this structure. It is seen here as if it were correctly oriented on the archaeological remains, and viewed from Hollar’s point of view. We did: first in CAD, then as a 1:50 card model

9. This is a sixteen-sided ad quadratum polygonal building. It has a complex, M-shaped stage cover with two parallel roof ridges ending in a double gable. And this superstructure is somehow integrated with the polygon.

10. Between the ridges of the roof is a ‘lantern’ structure. A hole in the roof lets in light, and the open structure above it is crowned by an onion dome to keep the rain out. There are two external stair-turrets for audience access to the galleries.

11. Our main task was to work out how the stage cover, an M-shaped double-gabled structure on a rectangular base, had been integrated with the polygonal structure of the playhouse. The fact that a rectangle seemed to be somehow anchored on the polygon suggested that the playhouse might have been ‘square’ in some fundamental way. This in turn indicated that it might have been designed according to the principles of ad quadratum geometry. How did we arrive at this particular structural interpretation of Hollar’s sketch?

12. A brief excursus into ad quadratum The relationship between the square and the circle has been of fascination to geometricians for hundreds of years. A simple mathematical relationship flows from a sequence of squares and circles nested within each other: the second circle is twice as wide as the first square.

13. Ad quadratum in theory The diameter of the second circle is twice the width of the first square. You can see this if you rotate one of the squares through 45 degrees, and draw some diagonals: the first square is two triangles across, the second circle is 4 triangles across. [It is fascinating that this simple geometrical relationship between the circle and square is proved by introducing the other member of the geometrical trinity, the triangle.]

14. So if you start, say, with a square 43’ across, then the second circle will be 86’ across; the difference between the first and second circles will be 12.6’, or 12’7”. Ad quadratum and the Globe?

15. There is a second reason why we might suspect there was something ‘square’ about the first Globe: the Fortune playhouse was based on it. In 1599 Peter Street built the first Globe on the Bankside by re-erecting the timbers of the Theatre. A year later Street was engaged by Richard Henslowe to build a new playhouse, the Fortune. The building contract has survived, and it was for a square playhouse… Another interesting set of numbers

16. The Fortune Contract

17. But the contract has some funny numbers…

18. What if Peter Street measured relevant bits of the Globe (stage width, depth of galleries) as the basis for the plan of a square playhouse? The Fortune contract’s combination of measurements (stage 43’ wide and galleries 12’6” deep) is very close to the combination generated by ad quadratum (a 43’ base gives 12’7”). If these numbers are indeed relics of the Globe, they might point to an ad quadratum first Globe. It would have been 86’ across, having a much smaller yard than the 100’-wide modern Globe reconstruction. Superimposing this notional first Globe onto the Fortune contract certainly makes the Fortune look like a ‘square version’ of it… Peter Street and a tape measure at the Globe?

19. The second Globe was built quickly, on the same site as the first. Its size was in all likelihood constrained by some royal ordinances designed to limit building density. So it may have been the same size, on the same foundations, as the first Globe. So if the first was an ad quadratum design, the second one might have been too. Has Hollar accidentally sketched an ad quadratum second Globe? We could try and find out, by building an 86’ ad quadratum structure to see if it matches Hollar. This is where the fun starts… One final assumption…

20. But before the fun starts, an archaeological problem: would such a structure fit the foundations?

21. Some considerable time later we had a CAD plan we could superimpose on the remains Two wall junctions suggest a bay of the polygon.

22. Some features of the remains require comment if we’re looking at them from Hollar’s point of view

23. We assumed an ad quadratum 16-sided polygon. This meant the stage cover could be supported by four posts of the polygon, since the relevant posts (circled) are in a rectangular relation to each other due to the ad quadratum geometry of the design. This stage cover would span the yard at its widest point, and cover the whole of the stage down to the mid-line of the polygon (as Hollar’s sketch shows). How did we arrive at a CAD plan of a 16-sided ad quadratum structure that would sit on the archaeology?

24. However its principal support is not at the widest point, but one bay back from the downstage line, where a beam (a---b) can be supported as well by two stage posts (c and d)—since we know the stages featured such posts. These stage posts, on the 45 degree radials, would also (due to the mysteries of ad quadratum geometry) be in a rectangular relation to two other posts of the polygonal playhouse structure, e and f. This would provide a solid rectangular base for the stage cover. We also found that if we positioned the stage posts (c and d) on these 45 degree radials, they gave us the right roof profile: the ‘nick’ in our M (the gully between the two roof ridges) matched Hollar’s! We’ll see below how the ‘nick’ in the M depends on the position of these posts. Structural considerations: how to build it so it stays up…

25. It has no main beam or ‘bottom chord’ (it would be where the faint dotted line is). Instead a collar tie higher up stops the diagonal beams from splaying outwards. These structural considerations result in a the final scale model that looks like this:

26. The serious structural work is happening one bay back from the front of the stage. Here is the main horizontal beam, with the roof pitched on it as two overlapping triangles supported on their inwards ends by the two stage posts… But the main support for the stage cover must be elsewhere…

27. …like this:

28. ‘Nicks’ and collar ties

29. Looking in under the collar tie These structures one bay back from the front of the stage cover, in under the front collar tie and gable, can clearly be seen on the model from Hollar’s point of view. Hollar too seems to suggest he could discern some structural complexity in the same part of his building: he sketches a number of lines there.

30. The model mapped onto Hollar’s sketch When we photograph this model from the scaled distance and relative elevation of Hollar’s point of view, it looks very similar to the building in his sketch. The image on the right superimposes a computer-generated outline of the model onto the sketch. Looking more closely…

31. The orange markers below map the outline of the model. The green indicate Hollar’s pencil lines which the model validates over his later ink lines. The blue markers bottom left indicate Hollar’s guesses for a baseline of the polygon.

32. A pretty good fit, but… Hollar’s stage cover is further to the left than the model would have it. On the right there is confusion in the sketch; the model matches Hollar’s pencil lines, not his later inking. The model’s baseline is ‘underground’ compared to Hollar’s guesses at where the building’s baseline might be.

33. Discrepancy 1) is Hollar’s fault: he has sketched unevenly, making the left-hand gable smaller than the right. The left one should be bigger, as it is closer to us, and this would move the whole structure further to the right and bring it into alignment with the model.

34. Discrepancy 2) On the right there are two pencil lines, one vertical and the other showing the curved ridge of the polygon roof, which Hollar has not inked (and he has inked elsewhere, where there is no pencil line). Who knows why his later inking didn’t respect his pencil lines.

35. Discrepancy 3) In the bottom left corner the model is lower than the lowest of the three pencil lines, indicated by the blue markers, where Hollar was guessing at the baseline of the playhouse—a baseline that (according to the sketch) was hidden behind bushes.

36. If our structure is the ‘skeleton’ underneath Hollar’s ‘skin’… …then there are four important points of detail where it might cause us to reconsider our view of what the inside of the playhouse was like. The inside is quite different from that of the third Globe reconstruction in London.

37. Further upstage another horizontal beam is supported by the next set of posts in the polygonal ring; it too is crowned by overlapping triangles. When we position the dome-topped ‘lantern’ above this beam structure, it matches Hollar’s positioning. You can see here how this ‘lantern’ would let in light to upstage — light which flares off the diagonal raking beams in this image. Detail 1: getting light onto the stage

38. If the lantern (g) is positioned above that beam (the fine dotted horizontal line h—j), it is too far back to maximise light onto the rear part of a stage that had a straight back wall running along this chord (the red stage). This suggests that the stage was deeper, with its back wall following the cants of the polygon, as was the case at the Rose playhouse (the green stage). The need to get more light into this upstage area would explain why a lantern structure was built in the gully between the two roof ridges (you wouldn’t buy into the drainage problems unless you had to).

39. The back wall of the stage may therefore have looked like this: angled, continuing the line of the polygon. Detail 2: the shape of the stage

40. This angled wall forms a shallow triangular recess upstage centre. Curtains could be hung on a rod across this recess to create a concealment space (it is about three feet deep at the centre). Detail 3: a recess to serve as a curtained discovery space

41. This curtained recess would have provided a ‘concealment space’ — a space where Polonius could hide unsuccessfully…

42. … or from where Volpone could observe: ‘Volpone peeps from behind a traverse’ (Ben Jonson, Volpone 5.3.8).

43. Note how the stage posts, positioned one bay back from the downstage line, provide a substantial unencumbered downstage playing area. The posts are 11’ from the front of the stage, 10’6” from the sides of the stage, and 22’ apart. Detail 4: the position of the stage posts

44. In contrast, the stage posts in London (further downstage and wider-set) constrict both the downstage and the extreme corners of the stage Since this photograph was taken the square bases of the pillars have been ‘shaved’ and made octagonal to reduce their intrusiveness.

45. Comparing the stage with that at the London reconstruction

46. A FINAL SUMMARY…. We have constructed a theoretical object based on one interpretation of the evidence for the first and second Globes. If this object had been on the site of the second Globe when Hollar climbed up the tower of Southwark Cathedral in the 1630s, it would have looked very much like the object he sketched. This may just be a coincidence, of course — but if it’s not then the structural logic of our object suggests four things about the inside of the second Globe that are quite different from the third Globe.

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