To join our mailing list submit your details below

Perrault, (Claude)

Ordonnance des cinq especes de colonnes selon la methode des anciens.
Paris, Jean Baptiste Coignard 1683.
Reference: 14505

Full Description

Folio. (8) + xxvii + (1) + 124pp, 6 engraved plates. Contemporary mottled calf, gilt spine. A little light internal spotting, but nonetheless a good, unrestored and pleasing copy.
First edition in its original language of one of the most challenging theoretical texts on architecture of the later seventeenth century. Perrault (1613-1688), a Parisian intellectual already well-known as the author of a new translation of Vitruvius, first published in 1673 (see item ), had now turned his attention to the five classical orders of architecture, and he proposes a new, arithmetically simpler, method of measuring their constituent parts. In the process he rejects the customary linkage between architectural proportion and musical harmony, and departs in other respects from what was received wisdom among his contemporaries. It is not surprising that his remarks were at once sharply criticised by François Blondel and the Académie Royale d’Architecture, but his treatise has now long been recognised as a landmark in the application of modern thought to older architectural doctrine, and his system of measurement served as the starting point for a similar system devised in the eighteenth century by the British architect James Gibbs and widely used in the English-speaking world. Although the treatise appeared in English translation in 1708, a second English edition following in 1722, the edition of 1683 remained until modern times the only printing of Perrault’s own French text, and it is thus essential for those collectors and libraries who wish to possess such a seminal text in its earliest printed form. The present copy, the first that we have had through our hands since 1997, is in good, unrestored condition. BAL Cat 2497; Fowler 247; Berlin Cat 2386.

Back to