BOOKS ON ARCHITECTURE
|| Kasemann, Rutger
|| Livre d’architecture...
|| Paris, J. Messager, 1622
|| Paris, Ensba, Les 1256
consists of a title page with escutcheon inset, followed by four pages
of comments and 24 prints. Both the title page and the prints are identical
to the original German edition of the same work, published in Cologne
in 1616 under the title of: SEILEN BOCHG Darin Gieziert Seilen Vnt
Termen Sin. Nievlichg An Dachg Giestelt Rotger Kaseman. Gietrvcket Bie
Herman Schreiber. However, four prints from the original edition
were not included in the French edition. Also the sequence of a number
of prints was changed. The order of the prints was indicated with the
letters A to BB. It is quite possible that the Cologne-based publisher
Herman Schreiber sold the print plates for this work to his Paris colleague
Jean Messager in the period between 1616 and 1622.
introduction, the German author Rutger Kasemann (c.1589-after 1645) refers to the examples of ancient
Rome and to those of cities like Cologne and Antwerp, where the “actual
models and patterns of this older architecture” are still present.
Although the author claims to represent the “pedestaux, thermes,
bases, colomnes, chapiteaux, frises, cornices, balustres & autres
pièces” of the various column orders, he has not done so
in a systematic fashion. He also claims to apply the Vitruvian principle,
which consists in shortening the successive column orders and also making
them more slender. Thus, the first plate shows the Tuscan order. The
proportions between the various elements are indicated with simple measuring
units. The proportion system and the module are taken from the work
of Hans Blum, who in his standard work Von den fünff Sülen
Gruntlicher bericht (Zurich, 1550) describes how measuring units
are determined on the basis of dividing up the height of the pedestal of the Tuscan column into 6 equal parts. Kasemann,
in imitation of Blum, uses the height of the pedestal, minus two units
for the base and the astragal, for the construction of a square, in
which a circle is drawn, with another square being drawn within this
circle. The side of this second square is used as diameter of the underside
of the shaft and chosen as measuring unit for the height of the shaft
(six times). On the drawing on the left side of the same sheet, we see
that Kasemann, in imitation of Vitruvius and Blum, makes the upper column
one-fourth shorter than the lower one. On the next sheets, the different
drawing methods for the Doric, Ionic, Corinthian and Composite orders
are adapted so that the columns become increasingly slender. Each time
an example of a column with and without base is drawn on top of another.
Different ornamentations of the shaft are also represented on the same
drawing of the Ionic order (with horizontal bands and flutes). The subsequent
prints show several highly elaborated variants of shafts and capitals
of the various column orders. Plate E depicts the Doric, Ionic and Corinthian
orders provided with lavish ornaments. The Doric shaft contains war
trophies and weapons, and thus conveys a primarily utilitarian reference;
the Ionic order is much more elegant with C- and S-shaped scrolls, whilst
the Corinthian order with its floral motifs and geometric parterre structures
on the shaft is related to pleasure and relaxation. The subsequent prints
depict ornaments of friezes, capitals and cornices. Remarkable is the
use of upwardly curling motifs in the Corinthian and Composite orders.
Kasemann attaches such great importance to the use of balusters on the
column shaft, and as independent ornaments, that he devotes six plates
to it. They also feature turned shafts. Furthermore, the author pays
a great deal of attention to the representation of terms, which are
sometimes excessive and partly shown in perspective because of their
complexity. Only on two examples are the capitals of the terms ornamented
with women’s torsos. The use of recesses in terms results in an
enormous reinforcement of the upper parts of the terms, whereby the
upper capital is allocated a secondary role and the whole construction
loses much of its harmonious structure. Also, the engraver does not
always succeed in correctly representing these complex structures in
clearly belongs to the typical German architectural treatises from the
second half of the sixteenth century to the first half of the seventeenth
century. These publications seek to take up a more independent position
in relation to the Italian treatises of Vitruvius, Alberti and Serlio,
and therefore also in relation to their translations, e.g. those by
Walther Ryff (1548) and Pieter Coecke van Aelst (from 1542). This
German tradition of column books began in 1550 with Hans Blum’s
column book and continued with various publications of Wendel I Dietterlin,
Veit Eck, Johann Jacob Ebelmann, Jacob Guckeisen, Gabriel Krammer, Daniel
Meyer and Johan Georg Erasmus. Also this work of Rutger Kasemann fits
into this tradition, because it not only builds on the theory of column
orders according to Blum, but also puts great emphasis on the decorum
of the column order, and on the exuberant ornamentation of terms in
of these works is to promote the dissemination of the Vitruvian column
orders among the general public (stonemasons, bricklayers, sculptors,
cabinetmakers etc.) by providing a large number of examples of all elements
of the five orders, in combination with a simple geometric construction
of proportions. As regards the language of forms and the ornamentations
on the columns, they were to a great extent taken from contemporaries
such as Dietterlin, Vredeman de Vries, Mayer and Krammer.
The use of diamond motifs on many of the examples is believed to find
its origin in the then fashionable ornaments in furniture art.
Kasemann a limited number of architectural works is known, all published
in Cologne, barring the French translation under discussion, which was
published in Paris. Architectura was published in 1615 and
reprinted in 1643. Seilen Bochg came out in 1616 and was published
in French in 1622. Blum’s column book was published by Kasemann
as Architecture in 1625, and republished in 1644 and 1664.
In 1627 a sheet with five column orders was published and the architectural
treatise Architectvr, engraved by Hermanus Esser and provided
with an extensive introductory text, came out in 1630. This work was
repeatedly republished throughout the seventeenth century.
Piet Lombaerde (Hoger Instituut voor Architectuurwetenschappen
Henry van de Velde, Association Université Anvers ) - 2006
U.-C. Bergemann, Die Meisterrisse der Ingolstädter Schreiner
1617-1742, Ingolstadt, Verlag Donau Courier, 1999, pp. 85-87.
H. Günther, Deutsche Architekturtheorie zwischen
Gotik und Renaissance, Darmstadt, Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft,
G. Irmscher, Kölner Architektur- und Säulenbücher
um 1600, Bonn, Bouvier Verlag, 1999.
E. von May, Hans Blum von Lohr am Main. Ein Bautheoretiker der
Deutschen Renaissance, Strasbourg, Heitz/Mündel, 1910, pp. 71-72.
U. Thieme & F. Becker (éd.), Allgemeines Lexicon der bildenden
Künstler von der Antike bis zur Gegenwart, "Kasemann
(Kaesmann, Kasmann, Kosmann) Rutger", Leipzig, Engelmann, 19,
1926, p. 581.
P.S. Zimmermann, “Hans Vredeman de Vries und die Folgen in der
Architekturlehre”, H. Borggrefe & V. Lüpkes (éd.),
Hans Vredeman de Vries und die Folgen, Marburg, Jonas,
2005, pp. 91-100.