Title Regola... Regel... Reigle... Regel...
Imprint Amsterdam, W. Jansz Blaeu, 1617
Localisation Ghent, University Library
Subject Orders
Transcribed version of the text


     Facing the considerable success that Vignola’s Regola encountered in Italy, constantly republished there since 1562, Dutch publishers were not to be outdone. Willem Jansz Blaeu (1571-1638) who had settled in Amsterdam in 1596, at first as a cartographer and maker of terrestrial and celestial globes, then as a printer and caster, produced in 1617 a quadrilingual folio edition (Italian, Dutch, French and German) intended for the vast northern European public, the same year in which a German version in an octavo format apparently came out (Regel der fünff orden...), if we can believe Juilius Schlosser quoted by M. Walcher Casotti (1985, n° 13). A translation of the Regola had already come out in Madrid in 1593 (Regla de las cinco ordenes de architectura...).
     Jansz drew on the enlarged version of the Regola, that is, the 32 plates from the original edition (Rome, 1562) enriched with 12 engravings, five provided by Vignola himself for a new edition (two doorways in the Farnese Palace in Caprarola, door and chimneypiece of the Farnese Palace in Rome, doorway of San Lorenzo in Damaso in the Palace of the Chancellry) and seven “Michangelesque” ones, (Porta del Popolo, Porta Pia, doorway of the Capitol, doorways of the Sforza, Grimani and Sermoneta palaces), which appeared in the later editions of the Regola at the beginning of the 17th century. He also added the plate of the five orders , which had appeared in 1573, replacing the privilege in this pirated edition.
     The formatting of the quadrilingual edition separates the brief text from the plate under which it appeared originally. The texts are printed left of the plate engraved on the right with different font types according to the language. The work was paginated from then on and the copperplates were numbered, from the plate on the orders (pl. I) to the last Michangelesque doorway (pl. XXXXIII). After the word to the readers, the inscription in Italian is found on top of the pages and continues on on the facing pages (text and illustration): “Descrittione dell’/ordine toscano”... “Descrittione dell’/ordine dorica” [sic], etc. Curiously the inscription on the plate of the orders is erroneous: “Regola delli cinque/ Ordine toscano”.
     With the success that this publication achieved, Jansz made a reprint of it two years later.

Frédérique Lemerle – 2016
(Centre national de la recherche scientifique, CESR, Tours)

Critical bibliography

F. Lemerle, “Les versions françaises de la Regola de Vignole au XVIIe siècle”, In monte artium, 1, 2008, pp. 101-120.

F. Lemerle and Y. Pauwels, Architectures de papier. La France et l’Europe (XVIe -XVII e siècles), Turnhout, Brepols, 2013, pp. 107-109.

M. Walcher Casotti, “Giacomo Barozzi da Vignola: Regola delli cinque ordini d’architettura”, in E. Bassi (ed.), Pietro Cataneo, Giacomo Barozzi da Vignola : trattati,Milan, Polifilo, 1985, pp. 499-577.