Inspired by the ancient Romans: the masterpiece of the most important architectural theorist of the Italian Renaissance

First Book of Architecture by Andrea Palladio

Valladolid (Spain) — 1625

First Book of Architecture by Andrea Palladio

First Book of Architecture by Andrea Palladio

Valladolid (Spain) — 1625

  1. The first professional architect of Renaissance Italy was also the most significant architectural theorist

  2. Palladio's construction projects and writings influenced architects across the entire world

  3. His work, inspired by the Romans, was furnished with countless sharply engraved print graphics

Libro primero de la architectura de Andrea Palladio

First Book of Architecture by Andrea Palladio

Frontispiece

This extremely detailed, classically styled engraving appropriately presents the title of the first book flanked by Corinthian columns in a temple-like structure, upon which heralds are seated and blowing trumpets to proclaim the publication of this important architectural treatise. Labelled as REGINA VIRTVS, the Queen of Virtue is shown enthroned, crowned, and holding a scepter while dressed in flowing robes. She is reading from a codex, presumably the work at hand.

First Book of Architecture by Andrea Palladio

Alternative Titles:
  • Libro primero de la architectura de Andrea Palladio
  • Erstes Buch der Architektur von Andrea Palladio
First Book of Architecture by Andrea Palladio – R/16097 – Biblioteca Nacional de España (Madrid, Spain)
First Book of Architecture by Andrea Palladio – R/16097 – Biblioteca Nacional de España (Madrid, Spain)
First Book of Architecture by Andrea Palladio – R/16097 – Biblioteca Nacional de España (Madrid, Spain)
First Book of Architecture by Andrea Palladio – R/16097 – Biblioteca Nacional de España (Madrid, Spain)
First Book of Architecture by Andrea Palladio – R/16097 – Biblioteca Nacional de España (Madrid, Spain)
First Book of Architecture by Andrea Palladio – R/16097 – Biblioteca Nacional de España (Madrid, Spain)
First Book of Architecture by Andrea Palladio – R/16097 – Biblioteca Nacional de España (Madrid, Spain)
First Book of Architecture by Andrea Palladio – R/16097 – Biblioteca Nacional de España (Madrid, Spain)
First Book of Architecture by Andrea Palladio – R/16097 – Biblioteca Nacional de España (Madrid, Spain)
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  1. Short Description
  2. Codicology

Short Description

Andrea Palladio was the first professional architect of the Italian Renaissance and the most significant architectural theorist of the Middle Ages. His construction projects and writings influenced architects across the entire world and he had not lost any of his fame today. Some of his buildings have served as film backdrops over the last decades, e.g. in the film Casanova by Lasse Halström. The text at hand is the first part of his four-volume treatise on architecture from the year 1570, the Quattro libri. The edition was translated into Spanish in 1625 and features numerous printed graphics that are sharply and precisely engraved.

First Book of Architecture by Andrea Palladio

Alongside Leon Battista Alberti, the edifices and the so-called Quattro libri by the Italian Andrea Palladio make him the most influential master builder and architectural theorist of the early modern era. Its four volumes comprise a series of publications about architecture and has been frequently translated and now exists in every world language. After its 1715 translation into English by the architect Giacomo Leoni, Palladio’s work influenced the protestant and Anglican architecture of northern Europe above all. It concerns itself with inter alia building materials, foundations, ordering of columns, floors, and doors. This is a Spanish edition from 1625, which was translated by Francisco di Praves and printed in the workshop of Juan Lasso. The text is furnished with countless detailed and sharply engraved print graphics, illustrating what is explained.

Architecture in Theory and Practice

The master builder Andrea Palladio left behind a comprehensive architectural work, which is the topic of intense discussion today. Every year, thousands of art enthusiasts make the pilgrimage to his villas, most of which were built in Venice. The so-called Palladian architecture is spread across the entire world today. His fame is grounded, however, in his own construction activity and four books on architecture that came to be a reflection on fundamental architectural questions. In the first book, Palladio discusses all of the basic elements to be observed by the construction of a building. The second book is devoted to the construction of private homes in the city and in the country. Public secular buildings and the art of urban architecture are themes of the third book. The fourth and most comprehensive book finally concerns itself with sacred buildings of antiquity.

The First Architect of the Renaissance

Andrea di Piero della Gondola, Palladio’s actual name, was arguably the most important architect of Upper Italy during the Renaissance. Palladio was the first “pure” architect in the history of medieval architecture, whose fame reached beyond the borders of Italy. He concerned himself exclusively with the construction of edifices and was active in no other artistic field. His role models were Roman antiquity and the great architecture of the Italian Renaissance, above all Bramante, Michelangelo, Sanmicheli, and Sanosovino. Their construction projects were never pedantically imitated by him, but rather were continuously transformed creatively and unconventionally for the respective building assignment. Palladio’s architectural style demonstrated a unique harmony and elegance in all of his edifices. He won great influence as the founder of Palladian architecture through his buildings and his theoretical writings. He was considered to be an example for the classically-indebted architects of Western and Northern Europe, Great Britain, and the United States.

Codicology

Alternative Titles
Libro primero de la architectura de Andrea Palladio
Erstes Buch der Architektur von Andrea Palladio
Size / Format
96 pages / 31.8 x 21.5 cm
Date
1625
Language
Illustrations
Many engravings of architectural structures, parts, etc.
Artist / School
Libro primero de la architectura de Andrea Palladio

First Book of Architecture by Andrea Palladio

The Doric Order

Aside from discussing various building materials and techniques, the first book of Palladio’s architectural treatise also describes the five classical orders. Palladio illustrates the Doric Order here using simple, clean lines and includes various details such as common decorative elements like small flowers, a lion’s head, and the large bull’s skull on the entablature.

Originating from western Greece and the mainland, the Doric is the simplest of the classical orders with simple capitals and no base. It is also the heaviest with respect to the proportions of its columns, which feature 16 flutes. The entablature is divided into a smooth or horizontally-grooved lower half, and an upper half that alternates between triglyphs and metopes.

1 available facsimile edition(s) of „First Book of Architecture by Andrea Palladio“

Libro primero de la architectura de Andrea Palladio
First Book of Architecture by Andrea Palladio – R/16097 – Biblioteca Nacional de España (Madrid, Spain)
First Book of Architecture by Andrea Palladio – R/16097 – Biblioteca Nacional de España (Madrid, Spain)
First Book of Architecture by Andrea Palladio – R/16097 – Biblioteca Nacional de España (Madrid, Spain)
First Book of Architecture by Andrea Palladio – R/16097 – Biblioteca Nacional de España (Madrid, Spain)
First Book of Architecture by Andrea Palladio – R/16097 – Biblioteca Nacional de España (Madrid, Spain)
First Book of Architecture by Andrea Palladio – R/16097 – Biblioteca Nacional de España (Madrid, Spain)
First Book of Architecture by Andrea Palladio – R/16097 – Biblioteca Nacional de España (Madrid, Spain)
First Book of Architecture by Andrea Palladio – R/16097 – Biblioteca Nacional de España (Madrid, Spain)
First Book of Architecture by Andrea Palladio – R/16097 – Biblioteca Nacional de España (Madrid, Spain)
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Libro primero de la architectura de Andrea Palladio

1 volume: Exact reproduction of the original document (extent, color and size)
Publisher
Vicent Garcia Editores – Valencia, 2007
Limited Edition
3000
Binding
Parchment on wooden board. Presentation dust jacket cloth lined with gold engraved leather spine containing facsimile.
Commentary
1 volume
Language: Spanish
More Information
Numbered by notary and signed by the printer-publisher. Specially made laid paper.
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