Philandrier, Guillaume

Title M. Vitruvii Pollionis de architectura libri decem... Accesserunt, Gulielmi Philandri... annotationes castigatiores, & plus tertia parte locupletiores...
Imprint Lyon, J. I de Tournes, 1552

Heidelberg, Ruprecht-Karls Universitätsbibliothek, 68 B 295 Res

Subject Architecture, Orders
Transcribed version of the text


     After his final return to France in 1550, Guillaume Philandrier had an enlarged edition of the Annotationes published by Jean I de Tournes in Lyon. This version consists of a revised text in a quarto format, considerably enhanced, with new illustrations engraved by Bernard Salomon. The annotations were set apart and the extracts in Roman capital letters were slightly indented, making for a pleasant format. This fine edition, created by one of the best professionals of his period, is evidence of the importance of the humanist’s publication. Because of the death of François I (the first dedicatee of the book) in 1547, a new dedication to Georges d’Armagnac was added. In addition, the Lyon edition contains a portrait of the humanist, which would inspire all the following engraved portraits, like the one by Philippe Galle (Virorum doctorum de disciplinis bene merentium effigies XLIIII A Philippo Galleo, Anvers, 1572, 33). Enlarged by a third, this version was carefully revised (the spelling modernized, the extracts divided up again…) and especially considerably enhanced compared with the first edition published in Rome in 1544. The humanist benefited from the second stay he had made in the Eternal City (1547- 1550) : new antique and early modern references, numerous archaeological accounts of the greatest interest linked to recent excavations and to archeological excursions he made with his friend Ligorio in Rome and the vicinity, particularly in Tivoli.
The edition established by de Tournes has the distinct feature of presenting the entire De Architectura in addition to the Annotationes. The addition of Vitruvius’ text at the top of the annotations of each chapter was probably an initiative of the editor in Lyon who wanted to offer the Vitruvian treatise to the public with its commentary, following the example of his colleague from Strasbourg, Georg Messerschmidt in 1550. This gave a complex status to the work, which fostered the long-held belief in the existence of an edition of Vitruvius established by Philandrier, insofar as the indices take into account the whole book, which ends with the Epitome of Agricola’s treatise on weights and measures, also written by Philandrier. Now Philandrier cannot be held responsible for establishing the Vitruvian text because the corrections he puts forth in presenting his annotations are taken into account for only half of them. And the title page explicitly distinguishes between the new edition of the antique treatise owed to an author whose name is not mentioned (M. Vitruvii Pollionis de architectura libri decem... Omnibus omnium editionibus longe emendatiores, collatis veteribus exemplis) and Annotationes by Guillaume Philandrier (Accesserunt G. Philandri... annotationes castigatiores)and the Epitome by Agricola. Probably one must see here an initiative of Jean de Tournes himself, perhaps the author of this edition, different from preceding ones. In fact de Tournes, who had worked at the print shop of Gryphe as a typesetter for more than ten years before setting up in business for himself in 1542 and becoming printer to the king in 1559, had learned Italian, Spanish, Latin and Greek in his workshop.
The fact remains that Philandrier remains a virtual editor of Vitruvius on account of his corrections, most of which were taken up by later publishers, translators and commentators (Messerschmidt, Barbaro, Perrault...).
Jean II, the son of Jean de Tournes, published a posthumous edition of the enlarged version of the 1552 Annotationes in Geneva, where he and a certain number of his fellow Protestants had taken refuge.
In 1552 Johannes de Laet reproduced the Annotationes, preceded by the text of the De Architectura in the Vitruvian compendium that he brought out in 1649 in Amsterdam at the print shop of Louis Elzevier.

Frédérique Lemerle (Centre national de la recherche scientifique,
Centre d’études supérieures de la Renaissance, Tours) – 2013

Critical bibliography

A. Cartier, Bibliographie des éditions des De Tournes imprimeurs lyonnais, Introduction et appendices by M. Audin, biographical notes by E. Vial, Paris, Bibliothèque nationale, 1937-1938 ; reed. : Geneva, Slatkine Reprints, 1970.

F. Lemerle, “Philandrier et le texte de Vitruve”, Mélanges de l’École française de Rome – Italie et Méditerranée, 106, 1994-2, pp. 517-529.

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

F. Lemerle, “L’édition lyonnaise des Annotationes de Guillaume Philandrier (Jean de Tournes, 1552)” and note, in S. Deswarte Rosa (ed.), Sebastiano Serlio à Lyon, Architecture et imprimerie, Lyon, Mémoire Active, 2004, pp. 424-430, 431.

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