(London: Printed by T. W. for J. Walthoe et al. 1733). 355 x 230 mm. (14 x 9"). 12 p.l., xxxvii, 115,  pp.; 3 p.l., 74 pp.Translated and edited by John Evelyn. Fourth Edition, with the addition of "The Elements of Architecture, Collected" by Sir Henry Wotton.
Contemporary sprinkled calf, covers with gilt-ruled borders, raised bands, red morocco label. Printer's device on title page, decorative woodcut initials, and WITH 50 ENGRAVINGS (40 full-page, two half-page, the rest smaller, as well as eight head- and tailpiece vignettes). Avery 78; Cicognara 507; Fowler 127; ESTC T117369. A couple small dark stains and half a dozen minor abrasions to boards, one leaf with small hole affecting lower edge of one engraving, occasional minor marginal stains or smudges, other trivial imperfections, but still A VERY ATTRACTIVE COPY, the text quite fresh and clean, and the binding still lustrous and scarcely worn.
First published in French in 1650, this is an important collection of writings on the orders of columns--Doric, Ionic, Corinthian, Tuscan, and Composite--used in ancient buildings, and their application in modern architecture. In his preface, the author encourages builders to separate the first three "Greek" styles, which he calls "the very Flower and Perfection of the Orders," from the Roman-derived Tuscan and Composite orders that "seem as though a different species" and ought never to be mixed with the former. According to Avery, this book "launched the Quarrel of the Ancients and the Moderns in architectural theory. [Fréart's] commentary identified sizable differences among the 'modern' orders, despite the fact that all the Renaissance authors professed to follow the inviolable proportions of antiquity. Leaving his faith in the divine nature of proportion unquestioned, he attacked modern inventions and called for a return to the untainted forms of Greek classicism."
Though not an artist himself, Roland Fréart de Chambray (1606-76) was a great lover of the arts whose writings helped shape 18th century tastes and aesthetics. He is also credited with the first complete translation of Palladio's "Quattro Libri" into French (published in 1650). John Evelyn (1620-1706) published a number of important books, either original works or translations from the French, on architecture, arboriculture, gardening, and navigation. In addition to the present book, Evelyn translated Fréart's other major work on the perfection of painting ("Idée de la perfection de la peinture").
Added to this edition of Fréart is "Elements of Architecture Collected" by diplomat and writer Henry Wotton (1568-1639), which, according to DNB, "undoubtedly reflected his accumulated insights during two decades in Italy. Among his contemporaries, architecture was not yet a profession, but it was a frequent topic of discussion among his gentry friends." Here, "his purpose was to praise the elegant simplicity of Andrea Palladio's work and the magisterial advice of Vitruvius. Accordingly, he limited himself to explaining the four principles which they approved as norms for architecture. These were harmony, proportion, proper decor, and 'the useful casting of all rooms for office, entertainment or pleasure'." (ST16435)
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PJP Catalog: 78.124