Van Loon would use the architecture forms of a particular society as emblematic or representative of that society. Van Loon used architectural structures as a form of metonymy, where a part stands for a larger whole. Greece, for example, is represented as two columns, Rome as both cities and bridges, the tools of their empire. van Loon represents the Renaissance by the interior architectural spaces often favored by painters of the time; medieval Europe by the Castle—representative of the feudal aristocracy–and by the resurgent City, a representation of the newly emergent middle class.

"Greece," facing p. 84

Image 1 of 5