Paris: Edme Martin, 1650.
Rare French language edition of Palladio's famous Quattro Libri dell' Architettura, translated by Roland Fréart. This edition was the last to be printed from the woodblocks of the first Venetian edition of 1570. Later editions became even more ornate, yet demand for copies printed from Palladio's original designs was so great that Consul Smith had a facsimile printed for English admirers of the work in the eighteenth century. Palladio offered prosaic practical advice for architects, not builders, hence an expensive book.
Born in Padua, Andrea Palladio (1508-1580) was an Italian architect who is considered one of the most influential figures in the history of Western architecture. It is an extraordinary thing to contemplate the number of buildings inspired by the work of Palladio. Thomas Jefferson is reported to have owned Palladio’s “Four Books on Architecture” in no less than five editions. The library of English architect, Sir John Soane (1753 -1857) holds a heavily annotated copy of Palladio in Soane’s own hand.
Palladio's approach to architecture emphasized harmony, proportion, and symmetry. Highly influenced by the classical architecture of ancient Rome and Greece, Palladio visited ancient Roman ruins and studied the architectural treatises of Vitruvius, a Roman architect, incorporating these principles into his designs. Palladio developed a system of proportional ratios known as the Palladian system, which aimed to create balanced and harmonious compositions. Columns, pediments, and domes are oft featured elements, forming the core characteristics of classical architecture as we have come to appreciate it.
Most famous architectural works by Palladio include the Villa Rotonda, the Basilica Palladiana, and the Teatro Olimpico, all located in the region of Veneto in Italy.
Palladio is revered as one of the great masters of architecture, and his works continue to be studied and admired by architects and scholars worldwide. His ideas on proportion, harmony, and classical aesthetics remain influential in architectural education and practice.
BIBLIOGRAPHY: Printing and the Mind of Man, no. 92 (listing the second edition, with the same plates as here).
Berlin Catalogue 2596.
A very good copy with splendid provenance.
Small folio, together four books each with ornamental title page, illustrated throughout, continuous pagination and a single leaf with printed Royal imprimatur, ample margins; an innocuous watermark to the top margin of the fourth book, but a very good copy in early half calf binding of the Berlin Royal Library with stamp to title-page, some wear, joints starting.
Price (AUD): $5,500.00 other currencies