PALLADIO, Andrea (1508-1580)
I quattro libri dell' architettura
Venice: Domenico de' Franceschi, 1570. Folio; four books in one volume. (11 1/8 x 7 3/4 inches). 34 ff., 40 ff., 24 ff., 68 ff. Profusely illustrated with 217 woodcuts throughout the four books, of which 156 are full-page (of these 84 are printed as plates, recto and verso of 42 leaves).
Italian limp vellum over stiff paper boards, endpapers painted green.
First Edition, a work of superlative importance in the history of architecture. PMM 92: "Palladio's lasting influence on architectural style in many parts of the world was exercised less through his actual buildings than through [this] textbook. [...] His book exerted a powerful influence on contemporary architecture and classical ideals until the end of the eighteenth century."
"Palladio's Quattro Libri (Venice, 1570) is the influential architectural testament in which he set out his formulae for the orders, for room sizes, for stairs and for the design of detail. In the Fourth book he published restorations of the Roman temples which he had studied most closely and, in the Second and Third books (as no architect had done until then), offered a sort of retrospective exhibition of his own designs for palaces, villas, public buildings and bridges. Concise and clear in its language, effective in its communication of complex information through the coordination of plates and texts, the Quattro Libri represents the most effective illustrated architectural publication up to that time. [...] It was therefore not only Palladio's architecture, with its rational basis, its clear grammer, and its bias towards domestic projects, but the effectiveness of his book as a means of communication that led to the immense influence of Palladio on the development of architecture in northern Europe, and later in North America" (Guido Beltramini, "Andrea Palladio: The Complete Illustrated Works," p. 9).
Mortimer, Italian 352. Millard, Italian 65. Berlin Katalog 2592. Besterman 78. Cicognara 594. Fowler 212.