BOOKS ON ARCHITECTURE
|| Androuet du Cerceau, Jacques
|| Second livre d’architectvre...
|| Paris, A. Wechel, 1561
|| Paris, Bensba, Les 1598
||Chimneys, Doors, Fountains, Attic windows, Wells
every great couturier designs a catalogue of accessories to accompany
his collection, Jacques Androuet du Cerceau, in the Second livre,
adorns the "prêt-à-bâtir" of the 1559 Livre
d'architecture with a repertoire of motifs designed to "enrichir
tant le dedans que le dehors d'un chacun édifice" of the
first collection: fireplace facings, dormers, entrances and windows
for the dwelling, fountains, wells and pavilions for the garden, and
for the very far-sighted client, a choice of the most stylish mausoleums.
To this end, du Cerceau brought together models and projects realized
previously; we recognize several drawings for some of them which go
back to the middle of the 1540s. If the book is clearly presented as
a complement to the preceding one, it also allows one to decorate an
already existing building, independently. Thus Jean-Jacques Gloton was
able to see the models for the second floor at Lourmarin in the fireplaces
numbered 19 and 21 in the ENSBA copy.
elements like the entrances and the fireplace facings, classified according
to the five orders, already appear here and there in Serlio's Quarto
libro; but it was not yet a question of a catalogue of embellishments
presented as such. The principle was inspired by a later publication
by Serlio, the Livre extraordinaire (Lyon, 1552), in which
the author proposed fifty models of entrances, all different- just as
Androuet du Cerceau's Livre d'architecture is similar to the
seventh book of the man from Bologna, never published during its author's
elocutio succeeds the inventio of the first book;
the search for embellishments is added to the search for construction
arguments, embellishments which add the indispensable venustas
to the commoditas and to the firmitas of the residence
models without which architecture would be nothing more than masonry.
With this in mind, the approach of the Second livre is essentially
esthetic in nature, in conformity with the canons in place circa 1550,
essentially based on richness, abundance and licence. Constructing these
adornments of the Livre d'architecture would seriously increase
cost projections… Du Cerceau gives himself up to the "fureur
architectique" and to the abundant "fantaisie"
Serlio suggested in the Livre extraordinaire, all the while
staying close to the French practice, particularly for the great very
ornate fireplace facings which remind one of those at Écouen
or Fontainebleau, or in the case of number three here, a fireplace whose
model David Thompson was able to identify as coming from the château
de Madrid in the Bois de Boulogne. On the whole, the decorative elements
make use of the repertoire of the orders very freely, and one can identify
Doric, Ionic and Corinthian fireplaces, dormers and entrances as in
Serlio's Quarto libro. Other elements superpose the orders,
calling on freer motifs, decorations in stucco in the Fontainebleau
style, and very varied anthropomorphic supports, which obviously anticipate
the Œuvre de la diversité des termes by Hugues
Sambin (Lyon, 1572). The freedom and the inventiveness which shows Androuet
du Cerceau in this book were particularly appreciated in northern Europe.
For example, Wendel Dietterlin is clearly inspired by it for some models
of doors and fireplaces in his Architectura von Außtheilung
Symmetria… (Nuremberg, 1598).
original part is the collection of mausoleums. They are all intended
for a very wealthy clientele in their ornamental richness and their
volume. In their conception, the tomb-mausoleums with recumbent and
praying figures even evoke the then-recent royal tombs of Louis XII
and François I at Saint Denis. Here du Cerceau repeats the masterpieces
characterising French funerary sculpture during the 16th century, and
he even anticipates Germaine Pilon's great realizations: the recumbent
figure of tomb number 62 is in exactly the same pose as the statue of
Valentine Balbiani (Paris, Musée du Louvre).
Yves Pauwels (Centre d’études supérieures
de la Renaissance, Tours) – 2004
J. Androuet du Cerceau, Les trois livres d’architecture :
Paris, 1559, 1561, 1582 (facsimile edition), Ridgewood N. J., Gregg
Press Inc., 1965.
J. Androuet du Cerceau, Les plus excellents bastiments de France...,
D. Thomson (ed.), Paris, Sand & Conti, 1988 (Documentary chronology
and general bibliography, pp. 310-316).
F. Boudon, "Les livres d’architecture de Jacques Androuet
du Cerceau", J. Guillaume (ed.), Les traités d’architecture de la
Renaissance, Paris, Picard, 1988, pp. 367-396.
M. Chatenet, "Une nouvelle “cheminée de Castille”
à Madrid en France", Revue de l’Art, 91,
1991, pp. 36-38.
H. von Geymüller, Les Du Cerceau. Leur vie et leur œuvre
d’après les nouvelles recherches, Paris/London, Rouam/Wood & Co, 1887.
J.-J. Gloton, Renaissance et baroque à Aix et en Provence : recherches sur la culture architecturale dans le Midi de la France de la fin du XIe siècle au début du XVIIIe siècle,
Rome, École Française de Rome, Palais Farnèse,
1979, I, p. 103.
D. Thomson, Renaissance Architecture. Critics Patrons Luxury,
Manchester/New York, Manchester UP, 1993.
D. Thomson, "Les trois Livres d’architecture
de Jacques Ier Androuet Du Cerceau, à Paris en 1559, 1561 et
1582", S. Deswarte-Rosa (ed.), Sebastiano Serlio à
Lyon, Architecture et imprimerie Lyon, Mémoire Active, 2004,