Furttenbach, Joseph

Architectura recreationis. Das ist: von allerhand nutzlich und erfrewlichen civilischen Gebäwen: in vier unterschidliche Haupstuck eingetheilt …. alles aus selbst eigener vil-jähriger praxi, und experienza auffgemerckt und zusamen getragen allhier mit 36 Kupffer-stucken deliniert unnd beschriben.

Augspurg, Johann Schultes 1640.

Reference: 09023
Price: £6 [convert currency]

Full Description

Folio. (26) + 120pp, engraved frontispiece, engraved portrait of Furttenbach, 35 engraved plates (all double-page, many also folding). Contemporary full vellum. Nineteenth century armorial bookplate of Earls of Macclesfield, and their embossed armorial blindstamp towards top of first three leaves of text (as usual with books from this library). A very good, clean, fresh copy.

First and only edition of this very attractive volume of designs by the architect Joseph Furttenbach (1591-1667). Although based at Ulm in South Germany, he had spent ten years in his youth in Italy (Lombardy, Liguria, Tuscany), and his knowledge of Italian architecture and garden design influenced various publications by him between 1628 and 1641 on architectural and related topics. The present volume is arranged in four sections, of which the first offers designs for the houses and gardens of the wealthy merchant class ; the second offers more ambitious designs for the houses and gardens of the nobility ; and the third provides two designs for large palaces for princes, one of which incorporates a private palace theatre, and both of which incorporate much more elaborate gardens containing mazes, grottoes and so on. The final section is devoted to designs for a town hall, a customs house and a workhouse. Of pre-eminent interest are the plates and text relating to the design for the palace theatre, for the plates provide not merely illustrations of the theatre’s intended stage sets but also one of the earliest diagrams showing the positioning of lighting for stage performances (Furttenbach had studied stage design under Giulio Parigi in Florence). Of scarcely less interest are the designs for gardens, for garden architecture in South Germany had historically been less ambitious than in France or Italy, and Furttenbach’s designs show what he thought could be achieved having regard to German conditions and climate. Although all the plates are based on original design drawings by Furrttenbach, the perspective views of buildings and gardens were redrawn for publication by the local Ulm artist Johann Jakob Campanus, and Campanus’s handsome images were engraved for the present volume by Matthias Remboldt. This is one of the more difficult to find of Furttenbach’s publications, not represented in the British Architectural Library or in the Fowler or Millard collections. Berlin Cat 1957.

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