Author(s) Perret, Jacques
Title Des fortifications et artifices / Architecture et perspective
Imprint s.l.s.n., [1620]
Localisation Paris, BnF, Rés. V-140 (Gallica)
Subject Churches, Domestic architecture, Military architecture, Urbanism
Transcribed version of the text


     Following up on the French editions of 1601 and 1602, a last edition of Jacques Perret’s book came out in 1620. The revised dedication to the king dated July 1, 1620, indicates the year of publication. The texts are incomplete. Only seven of the eleven annotations indicated from A to L (without the letter J) exist and their alphabetical sequence does not correspond to the one in the first edition. The iconography is just as incomplete with many gaps. The organization of the plates does not depend on any editorial logic. Consulting various copies dated 1620 (the INHA library- Rare book collection Jacques Doucet, Paris ; BnF-Library of the Arsenal, Paris ; the library of the Historical Society of French Protestantism, Paris ; Canadian Center of Architecture, Montreal) reveals great diversity in the copies, none of which is organized in the same way as any other.
Its authors obviously did not check this last edition, printed after Thomas De Leu’s death in 1612 and the death of Jacques Perret between 1610 and 1619. As Patricia O’Grady rightly points out (p. 21) Perret’s book did not see the same fate as the treatise on fortifications by Jean Errard from Bar-le-Duc. Errard’s second edition was also published in 1620, but came under his nephew’s supervision, “according to his uncle’s instructions against the flagrant printing errors in the counterfeit German edition”.
One of the peculiarities of Jacques Perret’s book is the presence of numerous hybrid undated copies printed all through the 17th century which can be considered avatars of this last 1620 edition. The online copy at the Bibliothèque nationale website illustrates this last case.

Émilie d’Orgeix (Université Michel de Montaigne - Bordeaux 3) – 2012

Critical bibliography

P. M. O’Grady, An investigation into Jacques Perret’s Des fortifications et artifices. Architecture et perspective”, Ph.D., University of Toronto, 1993.

P. M. O’Grady, “Des Fortifications et artifices. Architecture et Perspective de Jacques Perret, à Paris en 1601”, S. Deswarte Rosa (ed.) Sebastiano Serlio à Lyon. Architecture et imprimerie, Lyon, Mémoire Active, 2004, pp. 472-473.