Fra Giocondo

Title M. Vitruvii de architectura libri decem nuper maxima diligentia castigati atque excusi...
Imprint [Florence, F. Giunta’s heirs], 1522
Einsiedeln, Stiftung Bibliothek Werner Oechslin, A 04c ; app. 228
Subject Architecture
Transcribed version of the text


     The 1513 pocket edition of Vitruvius (8°) was reprinted seven years later by Filippo Giunta’s heirs in the same format. New italic font characters were used ; the engraved initials were deleted. As the title suggests (libri nuper maxima diligentia castigati), Vitruvius’s text was revised and improved. Since Giocondo had died in 1515, he could not be of help, as he had been in 1513. However the same woodcuts were used for the illustrations.
     It is this edition, in which Vitruvius’s text is not the same as in the 1513 edition, regardless of what was said about it (Fowler 396, RIBA 3493) which was followed by Guillaume Philandrier (In decem libros M. Vitruvii Pollionis de architectura annotationes...,1544). He borrows extracts from it which support his annotations and sometimes corrects them (Lemerle 2000, pp. 23-24, and Lemerle 2011, pp. 25-26). Actually the 1522 edition is of lesser quality than the 1513 edition. It was most likely produced in haste, revealed by coarse misprints. Some lessons which are his own are clearly inaccurate. (Lemerle 2014, pp. 188-189).

Frédérique Lemerle
(Centre national de la recherche scientifique, CESR, Tours) – 2017

Critical bibliography

Giovanni Giocondo umanista, architetto e antiquario, a cura di P. Gros & P. N. Pagliara, Venice, Marsilio, 2015.

F. Lemerle (ed.), Les Annotations de Guillaume Philandrier sur le De architectura de Vitruve, Livres I à IV, Introduction, translation and commentary, Paris, Picard, 2000.

F. Lemerle (ed.), Guillaume Philandrier, Les Annotations sur l’Architecture de Vitruve, Livres V à VII, Introduction, translation and commentary, Paris, Garnier, 2011.

F. Lemerle, “Philandrier et Giocondo”, Giovanni Giocondo umanista, architetto e antiquario, a cura di P. Gros & P. N. Pagliara, Venice, Marsilio, 2014, pp. 183-192.

F. Lemerle & Y. Pauwels, Architectures de papier. La France et l’Europe (XVIe-XVIIe siècles), Turnhout, Brepols, 2013, pp. 18, 31-32.