Capriccio, or caprice, is an architectural fantasy – an artistic vision of a made up place consisting of an arrangement of buildings, ruins and other architectural elements. These components are often composed and stylised in a fantastical way to inspire wonder capturing a quality that exists only in this medium.

Artist Carl Laubin has spent many a rainy day painting modern day Capriccio in exquisite detail. This is his site:

Below I have created a GIF of one of his paintings called Metiendo Vivendum. It shows the gradual completion the progression of one of his pieces which is a collective and comparative study of the works of Sir Edwin Lutyens. It showcases the built and unbuilt works of the architect often described as Britains greatest. Each building is painted at the same scale to indicate the relative size.




One famous promoter of Capriccios was Sir John Soane. In 1888 he and his draftsman Joseph Gandy created the elaborate Selection of public and private buildings’ parts (below). Again, this is a collection of Sir John’s architectural works painted as if they were models collected in a gallery space.

The painting commemorates Soane’s works as if shrunk for the sake of preservation and stored in a secure place. Perhaps this echoes the idea of legacy he seemed rather preoccupied with and is evident if you were to visit his former house in London which contains his collections from antiquity and drafts of his own work.

You can actually buy depictions of his architect transposed onto blinds if you want to bring a bit of drama to your household.


Capriccio - Soane Gandy.jpg


Finally here is another modern occult’ish’ work called:

Asclepeion of Cymatic Trading: Capriccio after James Stevens Curl, by Patrick O’Keeffe (2017)

O’Keeffe has created, I think, an unfolding temple for healing from the supposed darkness of high frequency trading – expressing a transcendental journey through trial and tribulation to high and heralded space. It’s hard to get your head around but it looks great if not a bit trippy in an ominous kind of way…

 Capriccio - Cymatic Trading



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