Barbaro, Daniele
Palladio, Andrea (illustrator)

Title M. Vitruvii Pollionis de architectura libri decem...
Imprint Venice, F. De Franceschi & J. Criegher, 1567
Localisation Einsiedeln, Stiftung Bibliothek Werner Œchslin, A 04d app. 928
Subject Architecture
Transcribed version of the text


     In 1567 the printing press of Francesco De Franceschi published for the first time Barbaro's Latin edition of Vitruvius with commentary.  It seems, however, that Barbaro produced simultaneously both his Italian and Latin editions of the text and the commentary on Vitruvius, as suggested by the request of copyright of 1556 (where Marcolini asked for the privileges of copyright for the publication of a Latin edition) and by the preface of De Franceschi in the Italian edition of 1567.
Whereas the original purpose of the Italian editions of Vitruvius (1556, 1567) was to make available to practicing architects who did not read Latin a reliable yet practical Italian text, the Latin version was meant for a sophisticated audience of scholars and the European market. The Latin edition does not seem to be a mere copy of the Italian translation printed in the same year.  It lacks the publisher's letter of presentation, the short life of Vitruvius, and a formal preface, although there is a kind of introduction before the actual commentary to the Latin text. There are 135 woodcuts (including two repetitions) throughout the ten books. This editions contains three original Marcolini blocks and the blocks of the Italian quarto edition of the same year, and another fourteen subjects.  The De Franceschi "Pax" device appears on the title-page and is repeated on leaf HH8v. On leaf R6v, there is a full-page map of Venice derived from Paolo Furlani's map of Venice of 1565, which does not appear in the Italian editions (1556, 1567).
While the 1556 and 1567 Italian editions are dedicated to Ippolito II d'Este, cardinal of Ferrara, the Latin edition is dedicated to Antoine Perrenot, cardinal of Granvelle, who was – like Barbaro – a former student of the Arts Faculty of the University of Padua and acted as ambassador of Philip II of Spain to Rome from 1566-71 (Barbaro was in Rome in 1566).  He shared Barbaro's interest in architecture and antiquity, and while in Rome was a member of the antiquarian circle of Cardinal Alessandro Farnese, of which Fulvio Orsini was a leading member.
For this edition, Palladio was commissioned to prepare a new illustration after Vitruvius, which does not appear in the 1556 and 1567 Italian editions, a reconstruction in plan of the Greek house.  A variant of this plan appeared in Palladio's Quattro libri, published only three years later in 1570.

Louis Cellauro (LARHRA, Lyon) – 2010

Critical bibliography

D. Barbaro, I dieci libri dell'architettura tradotti e commentate da Daniele Barbaro, reissue of the 1567 Italian edition with an essay by M. Tafuri and a study by M. Morresi, Milan, Il Polifilo, 1967.

P. Caye, L. Moretti, F. Lemerle, V. Zara (ed.), Daniele Barbaro 1514-1570. Vénitien, patricien, humaniste, Turnhout, Brepols, 2017.

L. Cellauro, Daniele Barbaro and His Venetian Editions of Vitruvius of 1556 and 1567, PhD dissertation, Courtauld Institute of Art, London University, 1996.

L. Cellauro, "Palladio e le illustrazioni delle edizioni del 1556 e del 1567 di Vitruvio", Saggi e Memorie di Storia dell'Arte, 22, 1998, pp. 55-128.

L. Cellauro, "Daniele Barbaro and his Venetian editions of Vitruvius of 1556 and 1567", Studi Veneziani, N.S. 40, 2000, pp. 87-134.

F. Lemerle, « Vitruvius Pollio, De architectura libri decem [con commento di Daniele Barbaro], Venetiis, apud Franciscum Franciscium Senensem, & Ioan. Crugher Germanum, 1567 », S. Marcon (a cura di), Daniele Barbaro 1514-70 Letteratura, scienza e arti nella Venezia del Rinascimento, Venezia, Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana 10 dicembre 2015-31 gennaio 2016, Venezia, antigaedizioni, 2015, pp. 145-146.

M. Losito, "La gnomonica, il Libro dei commentari vitruviani di Daniele Barbaro e gli studi analemmatici di Frederico Commandino", Studi Veneziani, N.S. 18, 1989, pp. 177-237.

M. Morresi, "Le due edizioni dei commenti di Daniele Barbaro 1556-1567", D. Barbaro, I dieci libri libri dell'architettura tradotti e commentate da Daniele Barbaro, Milan, Il Polifilo, 1987, pp. XLI-LVIII.