Author(s) Alberti, Leon Battista
Tory, Geoffroy
Title Libri de re ædificatoria decem... Opus integrum et absolutum...
Imprint Paris, B. Rembolt, 1512
Localisation Paris, Ensba, 20 8°
Subject Architecture, Treatise
Transcribed version of the text


     The second edition of Alberti’s De re ædificatoria (Paris, 1512) is the first treatise on architecture printed in France. We are indebted to the humanist and printer Geoffroy Tory. It consists not only of the Latin hexameters of “Baptista Siculus” and the letter from Ange Politien to Lorenzo de Medici, the dedication from Tory to Philibert Babou, then Superintendant of Finance to the King, and to Jean Lallemand, the mayor of Bourges, the city of his birth (“« Godofred9 Torin9 Bituric9 Philiberto Baboo & Ioanni Alemano Iuniori viris ornatissimis. S. P. D.”), but also a table of contents (“De re ædificatoria in libros decem Index”), the alphabetical index of the annotations accompanying Alberti’s text in the margins (“Tabula dictionum et rerum scitu dignarum in margine annotatarum "), and the elogy of the humanist and theologian Johann Kierher de Sélestat (“Encomium Rei ædificatorie Ioannis Kierheri Slettstini”...). Other innovations such as the division in chapters, which, as Tory mentions in the preface, was provided by Robert Duré, principal of the collège du Plessis, and the titles given to each chapter and their division into paragraphs, make this publication a precious tool. In fact, Jakob Cammerlander’s edition (Strasbourg, 1541), which would serve as reference for later publications (1546, 1550, 1553), retained the principal of the division of the books in chapters and that of the title.

Frédérique Lemerle (Centre national de la recherche scientifique,
Centre d’études supérieures de la Renaissance, Tours) – 2007

Critical bibliography

Dictionnaire des Lettres françaises, Le XVIe siècle, Paris, Fayard, 2001, p. 1127-1128 (1st ed. : Paris, 1951).

M. Carpo, "La traduction française du De re aedificatoria (1553). Alberti, Martin, Serlio et l’échec d’un classicisme vulgaire", F. Furlan, P. Laurens & S. Matton (ed.), Leon Battista Alberti, Paris/Turin, Vrin/Nino Aragno Editore, 2000, p. 924.