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Versailles, original  Enveloppe ,1671
Versailles limited-edition book
Big Brush
Detail, Vanderbilt Gate
Trade hardcovers by Zega and Dams
Pencil and Brush

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Oxblood vase with gilt mounts by Thomas Hope


For all their beauty, architectural renderings are above all precision documents. Both the watercolors above and the Chinese vase at left are drawn as architectural elevations—drawings that, without perspectival distortion, document an object’s true dimensions at scale. Traditionally, architects have created highly finished presentation drawings of unbuilt projects for a variety of reasons, the foremost being to seduce potential clients.

We developed our technique while attempting exactly that for several prominent American architectural firms and designers early in our careers. Since then, we have concentrated on architectural history, particularly that of European and American garden architecture and ornament—an extraordinarily rich and varied field that includes some of the greatest buildings and objects ever designed.

In creating our watercolors, our objective is to depict the building itself as truly as possible, marshaling our research and technique to create a drawing that presents the building exactly as it is or was—or would have been, if it had been built. In this sense, our intention is to allow the thing itself to seduce, to render it in its full reality.

Left: Oxblood vase with gilt mounts, private commission.
Right: Perspective of a Parisian apartment.

Perspective, Parisian apartment