The Four Books of Architecture

Courier Corporation
2
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Andrea Palladio (1508–1580) was one of the most celebrated architects of the Renaissance, so important that the term Palladian has been applied to a particular style of architecture that adheres to classical concepts. The wide spread of Palladianism was due partly to the private and public buildings he constructed in Italy, the designs of which were copied throughout Europe. But of even greater consequence was his remarkable magnum opus, "I Quattro Libri dell'Architettura"; translated into every major Western European language in the two centuries following its publication in 1570, it has been one of the most influential books in the history of architecture.
The Four Books of Architecture offers a compendium of Palladio's art and of the ancient Roman structures that inspired him. The First Book is devoted to building materials and techniques and the five orders of architecture: Tuscan, Doric, Ionic, Corinthian, and Composite. Palladio indicates the characteristic features of each order and supplies illustrations of various architectural details. The Second Book deals with private houses and mansions, almost all of Palladio's own design. Shown and described are many of his villas in and near Venice and Vicenza (including the famous Villa Capra, or "The Rotunda," the Thiene Palace, and the Valmarana Palace). Each plate gives a front view drawing of the building and the general floor plan. The Third Book is concerned with streets, bridges, piazzas, and basilicas, most of which are of ancient Roman origin. In the Fourth Book, Palladio reproduces the designs of a number of ancient Roman temples. Plates 51 to 60 are plans and architectural sketches of the Pantheon.
In all, the text is illustrated by over 200 magnificently engraved plates, showing edifices, either of Palladio's own design or reconstructed (in these drawings) by him from classical ruins and contemporary accounts.
All the original plates are reproduced in this new single-volume edition in full size and in clear, sharp detail. This is a republication of the Isaac Ware English edition of 1738. Faithful and accurate in the translation and in its reproduction of the exquisite original engravings, it has long been a rare, sought-after work. This edition makes The Four Books available for the first time in more than 200 years to the English-speaking public.
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About the author

Palladio is one of the most influential architects in the history of architecture. He is known as the first professional architect, since he was trained to build and in fact pursued that career throughout his life. Palladio was born in Padua but moved to Vicenza to apprentice with a stonemason. There he built some of his greatest works. Like many artists of the Renaissance, he was a student of Latin literature and of the works of the Roman architect Vitruvius. He found a patron in Giangiorgio Trissino, who in 1545 took him to Rome, where Palladio was able to study the remains of ancient architecture. This led to his revival of Roman symmetrical planning, which is particularly evident in the several villas he built in the Veneto from 1550 onward and for which he is now famous. Among these are the Villa Rotonda outside Vicenza. Palladio set forth his theories and achievements in his Quattro Libri dell'Architettura (Four Books of Architecture), which he published in 1570 and which has been republished many times throughout the world.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Courier Corporation
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Published on
Jul 24, 2013
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Pages
352
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ISBN
9780486132921
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Best For
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Language
English
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Genres
Architecture / History / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Book 1
Marcus Vitruvius Pollio, a Roman architect and engineer flourishing in the first century B.C., was the author of the oldest and most influential work on architecture in existence. For hundreds of years, the specific instructions he gave in his "Ten Books on Architecture" were followed faithfully, and major buildings in all parts of the world reveal the widespread influence of his precepts. According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, he was "the chief authority studied by architects, and in every point his precepts were accepted as final. Bramante, Michelangelo, Palladio, Vignola, and earlier were careful students of the work of Vitruvius." His book is thus one of those rare works that have been supremely important in the creation of the greatest art masterpieces.
Vitruvius describes the classic principles of symmetry, harmony, and proportion in architecture; the design of the treasury, prison, senate house, baths, forum, and temples; the construction of the theater: its site, foundations, and acoustics; the proper style and proportion for private dwellings; the differences between the Ionic, Doric, and Corinthian styles; methods of giving durability and beauty to polished finishings; and many other topics that help us understand the methods and beliefs of the Roman architect.
It is a direct, authoritative, and detailed introduction to the ancients' methods of construction, the materials of the architect, and the prevailing aesthetic beliefs of the times; but it is also a work of art. Vitruvius wrote in such a fascinating manner, and digressed from his subject so often (as, for instance, when he wrote about the winds, Archimedes in his bath, and why authors should receive awards and honors at least as often as athletes), that his book has had a continuing appeal to the general reader for many centuries. Besides being an instructive treatise on nearly everything connected with Roman and Greek architecture, it is an entertaining description of some aspects of the life and beliefs of the times. This edition is the standard English translation, prepared over a period of several years by Professor M. H. Morgan of Harvard University.
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