The wonderful Architectura Navalis


Here’s something delicious for those of you who love to see great draftsmanship. And I do mean great – some of the work here is enough to pin back a fella’s eyelids and make him dribble.

This is Frederik Henrik AF Chapman’s Architectura Navalis. Published in 1768, it is a compendium of drawings of what Chapman, a prominent Swedish naval architect, considered to be the best and most interesting ships and boats of the time. Best of all, you can see them here:

For a timeline and a list of Chapman relics, click here:

Finally, here is one more postage-stamp sized image from the collection. I should warn you that the downloads held by the museum are in the tiff format and they’re also pretty big – you’ll need an image editor or viewer with a tiff facility to see them, and you’ll need something a little newer and with more memory than the old Windows 2000 laptop wordbox I use to view them easily.


2 thoughts on “The wonderful Architectura Navalis”

  1. I visited the Swedish Maritime Museum in 2005, and in addition to the Chapman exhibits was amazed to discover models of huge war galleys used in the Baltic around (as I recall) the 17th century. Some had cannon arranged along the centreline, firing to each side over the heads of the rowers. Fantastic. What with the Museum, the Wasa and the Stockholm Brig, not to mention Strandvägen where many wooden boats live, and all within walking distance of the centre of Stockholm, there is plenty there to interest the likes of us.

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