BOOKS ON ARCHITECTURE



Author(s)

Vitruve
Perrault, Claude

Title Architecture generale de Vitruve reduite en abregé...
Imprint Amsterdam, Huguetan, 1681 [1691]
Localisation Einsilden, Stiftung Bibliothek Werner Oechslin, A04c; app. 1394
Subject Architecture, Hydraulic, Machines
Transcribed version of the text

French

     An edition of the Abrégé by Claude Perrault appeared in Amsterdam in 1681, if we can believe the title page, but the frontispiece, missing from this on-line copy, bears the date 1691.  The book printed by Georges Gallet for the Huguetans was published under the name, Architecture générale de Vitruve réduite en abrégé, which was more suitable for the content, a brief version of Vitruvius' treatise, sorted out by Perrault.  The Amsterdam edition attested to the success beyond French borders of this handy "manual" (in-12) intended for practitioners. It would be used as a base for various translations, in particular the English version published in London in 1692 and the Italian version appearing in Venice in 1711.
The various copies consulted include a catalogue of the books on sale in the shop of Georges Gallet (Catalogus librorum, qui venales prostant, Amstelodami apud Georgium Gallet op de Keysers Graft), among them the Architecture générale, inserted between the “ Table des chapitres ” and the preface (Fowler 420; Riba 3540).  The presence of the catalogue seems to confirm our belief that there is an error on the title page (1681 instead of 1691).

Frédérique Lemerle (Centre national de la recherche scientifique,
Centre d'études supérieures de la Renaissance, Tours) – 2011

Critical bibliography

G. Germann, Vitruve et le vitruvianisme. Introduction à l'histoire de la théorie architecturale, Lausanne, Presses polytechniques et universitaires romandes, 1991 (1st ed.: Darmstadt, 1987).

W. Herrmann, La théorie de Claude Perrault, Brussels/Liège, Mardaga, 1980 (1st ed.: London, Zwemmer, 1973).

F. Lemerle, "Architecture antique et humanisme: L'histoire tolosaine (1556) et l'Épitomé de Vitruve (1559)", N. Dauvois (ed.), L’humanisme à Toulouse (1480-1562), Paris, Champion, 2006, pp. 423-437.

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, "D'un Parallèle à l'autre. L'architecture antique: une affaire d'État", Revue de l'Art, 170, 2010-4, pp. 31-39.

O. Medvedkova, "Un Abrégé moderne ou Vitruve selon la méthode", La construction savante. Les avatars de la littérature technique, Paris, Picard, 2008, pp. 43-63.

A. Picon, Claude Perrault, 1613-1688 ou la curiosité d'un classique, Paris, Picard, 1988.