Regola delli cinque ordini d’architettura di M. Iacomo Barozzio da Vignola

Autore BAROZZI, Jacopo detto Il Vignola (1507-1573).
Tipografo Stamperia della Camera Apostolica per l’autore [Stamperia della Camera Apostolica per l'autore]
Dati tipografici Roma, 
Prezzo 12500.00
Regola delli cinque ordini d’architettura

Folio (407x272 mm). [I]-XXXII leaves, all engraved on recto only, including the etched title page after Federico Zuccaro with a portrait of Vignola set within an architectural frame and the dedicatee's coat-of-arms, the privilege leaf, the dedication to Cardinal Farnese followed by the note to the reader, and 29 architectural plates. Later half vellum, spine with lettering piece and a small paper label at the bottom bearing the manuscript letter “K” (panels stained). On the front flyleaf recto is a 19th-century stamp with the initials “PB”. Some marginal staining and foxing, but a very good, wide-margined copy with strong plate impressions.

This RARE FIRST EDITION of Vignola's main treatise, which was “immediately accepted as the most reliable short guide to the proportion and formal vocabulary of the Orders” (V. Hart, & P. Hicks, eds., Paper Palaces: Rise of the Renaissance Architectural Treatise, London and New Haven, 1998, p. 200), was probably “reprinted as demand dictated between 1562 and at least 1572” (RIBA, p. 2217). The earliest date established for publication is 12 June 1562, the presentation copy at the Biblioteca Nazionale in Florence being the only one known in the earliest state, with both plates I-II unnumbered.

The present copy shows the additional text (“Come è detto il mio intento […]”) below the note to the reader at l. III as well as the additions to plates IIII-VIII, XI-XIIII, XVII-XVIII, XX, XXIIII-XXV, and XXXI, which are typical of state B. Copies in this second state may contain additional unnumbered plates (from 5 to 7), showing doors and the fireplace of Cardinal Farnese (cf. M. Walcher Casotti, Le edizioni della Regola, in: P. Cataneo, “Giacomo Barozzi da Vignola. Trattati”, Milan, 1985, pp. 527-538).

The Regola is a practical manual that simply and effectively codifies the rules of classical architecture and proposes a calculation system to facilitate the constructors' task in designing and building their works in accordance with the five architectural orders (Doric, Ionic, Corinthian, Tuscan, and Roman). Given the principle that the height and diameter of a column are two relative values which can be determined only in relation to one other, Vignola elaborates an algorithm for each architectural order that allows for the calculation of a column's thickness starting from a given height. By this method he obtains the “module”, corresponding to the radius of the stem of the column, a unit of measurement on the basis of which he proceeds to calculate the dimensions of the other architectural elements, respecting a general rule valid for all five orders which establishes the exact proportions between pedestal, column and trabeation, independently of the different units of measurement then in use. This modular calculation was the expression of a rational architecture based on well-defined geometrical relations. The huge success of the Regola was mainly due to its practical purpose and pedagogical effectiveness, and is testified by its incredible number of reprints until the middle of the 17th century.

Edit 16, CNCE64068; L.H. Fowler, The Fowler Architectural Collection of the Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, 1961, p. 281, no. 351; Catalogo ragionato dei libri d'arte e d'antichità posseduti dal Conte Cicognara, Pisa, 1821, no. 416; J. Schlosser Magnino, La letteratura artistica, Florence, 1967, p. 375; Berlin Catalogue, no. 2578; RIBA, pp. 2216-2217.

  • Regola delli cinque ordini d’architettura
  • Regola delli cinque ordini d’architettura
  • Regola delli cinque ordini d’architettura
  • Regola delli cinque ordini d’architettura
  • Regola delli cinque ordini d’architettura