BOOKS ON ARCHITECTURE
its pocket-sized format, the "petit Vignole français"
by Le Muet, published in 1632, played a noteworthy role in the extraordinary
international destiny of Vignola's Regola (514 editions of
the editio princeps in 1562 to the present day). Even if some
find the proportions and profiles put forward by Palladio more beautiful,
with which Le Muet himself sided in 1645 while translating his first
book on the orders, Vignola's "règle générale"
dominated as the easiest to follow, as François Blondel pointed
out in 1673 as he annotated the architectural bibliography given by
Louis Savot in his Architecture française des bâtiments
particuliers (p. 346, note a). One can distinguish between two
French editions, the first in Paris at Melchior Tavernier's shop in
1632, the second at an anonymous editor's in 1657; each edition was
reprinted several times. In addition, the first served as models for
the Dutch translations (Amsterdam, 1638), German
ones (Amsterdam, 1651) and English ones (London,
1655). If the frontispiece engraved by Michel Lasne, whose
signature was ML, bears the date 1631, the first edition came out in
1632, the date of the privilege, at the shop of Melchior Tavernier,
who had already published the first edition of the Manière
de bâtir pour toutes sortes de personnes by Pierre Le Muet
in 1623. The text and the plates are paginated continuously on top of
the page in the angle, from page 2 to page 101. Text appears on the
even-numbered pages or they are left empty; plates numbered from I to
L (the twenty-third plate is misnumbered XXIIV) appear on the odd-numbered
pages. After the word to the reader and the dedication to M. de la Vrillière,
at that time Superintendant of finances, signed by Le Muet, (p. 1),
the volume gives the translation of Vignola's general rule of the five
orders: the text on the left, plates on the right numbered I-XXXVI (pp.
2-73). The translation is borrowed literally, except for a few alterations
(notably pp. 8, 34, 56, 58), from the polyglot edition first published
in Amsterdam in 1617, which also served as a basis for the folio French
edition published in Paris by Pierre Firens before 1638.
Claude Mignot (Université de Paris-IV, Centre
André Chastel) – 2004
F. Lemerle, "Les versions françaises de la Regola de Vignole au XVIIe siècle", In Monte Artium (Journal of the Royal Library of Belgium), 1, 2008, pp. 101-120.
F. Lemerle, "Vitruve, Vignole, Palladio et les autres: traductions, abrégés et augmentations au XVIIe siècle", Architecture et théorie. L'héritage de la Renaissance, Tours, Cesr, June 3-4, 2009/Paris, École d'architecture de Paris-Malaquais, June 5, 2009.
F. Lemerle, “À l’origine du palladianisme européen : Pierre Le Muet et Roland Fréart de Chambray”, Revue de l’art, 178, 2012-4, p. 43-47.
C. Mignot, "Vignola e vignolismo nel Sei e Settecento", C. L. Frommel, M. Ricci & R. J. Tuttle (ed.), Vignola e I Farnese, Milan, Electa, 2003, pp. 354-374.
M. Walcher Casotti, "Giacomo Barozzi da Vignola: Regola delli
cinque ordini d’architettura", E. Bassi (ed.), Pietro Cataneo, Giacomo
Barozzi da Vignola: trattati, Milan, il Polifilo,
1985, pp. 499-577.