BOOKS ON ARCHITECTURE
|| Androuet du Cerceau, Jacques
|| « Détails d’ordres d’architecture »
|| Paris, Binha, 4° Res 88 (1)
||Orders, Roman antiquities
von Geymüller, who gave the title "Détails d'ordres
d'architecture" to this collection, rightly distinguished two categories
in it. The first, which he calls "Premières études",
consists of nine engravings which, while inverted, go back to the ones
Sebastiano Serlio drew and Agostino Veneziano engraved. The latter had
obtained a copyright for them from the Senate in Venice in
1528. In the present volume, the series of the orders begins with the
Ionic; it is interrupted by an engraving representing a fountain at
more original category, called "Détails d'architecture d'après
l'antique" consists of a group of twenty engravings with details
of orders, mainly entablatures. On the first page, two elements refer
to Vignola's Regola: The griffons of the frieze, at the left,
evoke those of the Ionic frieze of engraving XIX, whereas the consoles
associated with the modillions, on the entablature engraved above on
the left, are almost exactly like those proposed by Vignola in his composite
cornice in plate XXXII. Du Cerceau, who never went to Rome and thus
could never have seen the real models, obviously was inspired by theItalian
book, all of which allows one to consider that these engravings were
published after the first publication of the Regola in 1562.
A few real
antique fragments can be recognized in the collection, such as the entablature
of the temple of Sarapis on the Quirinal, or the order of the basilica
Æmilia, identifiable by the decoration of the capital (egg-and-dart
molding on the echinus) or of its entablature (architrave with two facias,
decoration of the frieze, modillions of the cornice). Nevertheless Androuet
Du Cerceau brought a few subtle modifications, for example by grouping
the gutta of the architrave in twos. At the right of this profile is
another Doric profile, much less typical: the metopes and the trygliphs
are not on the frieze, as would be appropriate, but on the dripstone
of the cornice. Du Cerceau appreciated this sort of caprice very much,
since an almost similar entablature appears a little further. In general,
the collection shows the pronounced taste for extraordinary shapes,
in the literal sense i.e. "outside the Vitruvian orders",
and for ornamental abundance. One will particularly appreciate a Corinthian
entablature in which all parts, including the three fascias of the architrave,
are covered with sculptured motifs. It is very similar to the order
of the baths of Diocletian which Fréart de Chambray would present
in 1650 as a model of an ornate order, only to be used with infinite
precautions (Parallèle, p. 69).
find two engravings in the collection which are not related to the others:
the fountain of the château de Verneuil, which it is obviously
necessary to link with the undertaking of the Plus excellents bâtiments
de France, and a sacrificial scene.
Yves Pauwels (Centre d’études supérieures
de la Renaissance, Tours) – 2009
H. von Geymüller, Les Du Cerceau. Leur vie et leur œuvre
d’après les nouvelles recherches, Paris/London,
Rouam/Wood & Co, 1887, pp. 186, 314.
D. Howard, "Sebastiano Serlio’s Venetian Copyrights", The Burlington Magazine, 115, 1973, pp. 512-516.
A. Linzeler, Inventaire du fonds français. Graveurs du seizième
siècle, Paris, Bibliothèque nationale, 1932, 1, pp.
Y. Pauwels, L’architecture au temps de la Pléiade,
Paris, Monfort, 2002.