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  • Villard de Honnecourt was a 13th-century artist from Picardy in northern France. He is known to history only through a surviving portfolio of 33 sheets of parchment containing about 250 drawings dating from the 1220s/1240s, now in the Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris. The great variety of subjects, makes it difficult to determine its purpose. Other subjects such as animals and human figures also appear. The traditional view, since the discovery of the portfolio in the mid-19th century, is that Villard was an itinerant architect/mason/builder, but there is no evidence of him ever working as an architect or in any other identifiable profession. Nonetheless, it is clear from his drawings that he was interested in architecture and that he traveled to some of the major ecclesiastical building sites of his day to record details of these buildings. His drawing of one of the west facade towers of Laon Cathedral and those of radiating chapels and a main vessel bay, interior and exterior, of Rheims Cathedral are of particular interest. Wikipedia

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