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L'IDEA DELLA ARCHITETTURA UNIVERSALE
Venetiis: [Printed by Giorgio Valentino for] Vincenzo Scamozzi, 1615. FIRST EDITION y. Despite its confusing collation, this is a complete as well as especially attractive copy of the first appearance of one of the great 17th century treatises on Renaissance architecture. In Wittkower's words, it is written by one who "enjoyed an undisputed international reputation and provided a direct link with Palladio." Scamozzi had been a student of, and then assistant to, that great master and took over his unfinished ventures at Palladio's death in 1580. One of two major works by Scamozzi (the other being "Discorsi Sopra L'Antichita di Roma" of 1582), "Idea" is based upon our author's study of ancient writers in concert with his personal investigation of the ruins of Rome, which he considered essential, the present always being informed by the past. The book is a lavish production with well-designed text, with illustrations that clearly reinforce the written content, and with an aesthetically pleasing overall appearance. Born in Vicenza as the son of a building contractor, and influenced in his early life by Serlio, Vincenzo Scamozzi (1552-1616) was a gentleman-scholar-artist-philosopher of architecture whose interest and understanding in his field was extremely broad. In the "Idea," he divides architecture into four aspects: humanist discipline, building, decoration, and preservation. He delves in detail into cities, public buildings, private houses, foundations, columns, vaulting, roofs, planning, design, tools, etc.--in short, the whole gamut of architectural theory, practicalities, history, science, and art. But according to Millard, the core of this book is that "the 'idea' of the architect rests on basic geometrical forms rather than the imitation of nature practiced by figurative artists. Offering a vast architectural horizon, both geometrically and historically, Scamozzi articulates an eclectic use of the history of architectural theory and practice." Though well represented in auction records, copies that have fallen under the hammer have typically been in varying degrees of distress, as the book was almost always heavily read and referenced by those possessing copies. We are fortunate that our copy was apparently owned over the centuries by armchair architects who apparently confined their building activities to fine book collections.. 348 x 230 mm. (13 3/4 x 9"). Part I: [12], 90, [7], 96, [4], 97-128, 125-190, 190 (misnumbered for 191)-193, [2], 194-218, [4], 219-240, 243 (misnumbered for 241)-352, [34]; Part II: [12], 1-44, 33-36 (misnumbered for 45-48), 49-108, 111-114, 109-110, 119-120, 115-118, 121-172, [4], 173-232, 235-266, 277-279 (misnumbered for 266-269), [5], 271-370, [22] pp. (complete). FIRST EDITION. 19th century honey-brown quarter calf over marbled boards, raised bands flanked by decorative gilt rolls. With woodcut initials and headpieces, woodcut printer's device on six section titles, and 89 ENGRAVED PLATES, including two title pages featuring a portrait of the author and an elaborate architectural frame, eight of the plates double-page. Millard Architectural Collection IV, 123; Avery Architectural Library, p. 904; Fowler 292. Joints and extremities just slightly rubbed, mild chafing to paper boards, minor stain to head edge of preliminary leaves, faint dampstain to fore edge of last six gatherings, other trivial imperfections, but still A FINE COPY, the binding completely sound and with only minimal wear, and ESPECIALLY CLEAN, FRESH, AND BRIGHT INTERNALLY. Despite its confusing collation, this is a complete as well as especially attractive copy of the first appearance of one of the great 17th century treatises on Renaissance architecture. In Wittkower's words, it is written by one who "enjoyed an undisputed international reputation and provided a direct link with Palladio." Scamozzi had been a student of, and then assistant to, that great master and took over his unfinished ventures at Palladio's death in 1580. One of two major works by Scamozzi (the other being "Discorsi Sopra L'Antichita di Roma" of 1582), "Idea" is based upon our author's study of ancient writers in concert with his personal investigation of the ruins of Rome, which he considered essential, the present always being informed by the past. The book is a lavish production with well-designed text, with illustrations that clearly reinforce the written content, and with an aesthetically pleasing overall appearance. Born in Vicenza as the son of a building contractor, and influenced in his early life by Serlio, Vincenzo Scamozzi (1552-1616) was a gentleman-scholar-artist-philosopher of architecture whose interest and understanding in his field was extremely broad. In the "Idea," he divides architecture into four aspects: humanist discipline, building, decoration, and preservation. He delves in detail into cities, public buildings, private houses, foundations, columns, vaulting, roofs, planning, design, tools, etc.--in short, the whole gamut of architectural theory, practicalities, history, science, and art. But according to Millard, the core of this book is that "the 'idea' of the architect rests on basic geometrical forms rather than the imitation of nature practiced by figurative artists. Offering a vast architectural horizon, both geometrically and historically, Scamozzi articulates an eclectic use of the history of architectural theory and practice." Though well represented in auction records, copies that have fallen under the hammer have typically been in varying degrees of distress, as the book was almost always heavily read and referenced by those possessing copies. We are fortunate that our copy was apparently owned over the centuries by armchair architects who apparently confined their building activities to fine book collections.
      [Bookseller: Phillip J. Pirages Fine Books and Mediev]
Last Found On: 2017-06-22           Check availability:      IOBABooks    

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