Paper Palaces: The Rise of the Renaissance Architectural Treatise
De Architectura, the ten books by the Roman architect Vitruvius, survives as the only complete architectural treatise from antiquity. Its influence ... Show synopsis De Architectura, the ten books by the Roman architect Vitruvius, survives as the only complete architectural treatise from antiquity. Its influence from the early Renaissance on was enormous, and many architects and theorists in Renaissance Italy, following Vitruvius's example, attempted to codify architectural practice and theory by writing their own treatises. In this important collection of essays, leading specialists examine the early editions of Vitruvius's writings and all the major Renaissance architectural treatises. The contributors offer new insights into the ideas of the treatises and discuss their significance in Renaissance Italy and their long-lasting influence throughout Europe. The book also traces the decline of treatises in the late seventeenth century through the influence of the French theorist Claude Perrault and new forms of architectural literature. The treatises, written for architects as well as for patrons and builders, illustrated ideal projects for villas, temples, palaces, and indeed cities. These "paper palaces" sought to establish design norms by adapting the rules of antique architecture to suit northern European building practices and contemporary needs.