Description

    Rare Parts Issue of Isaac Ware's Translation of The Four Books of Andrea Palladio's Architecture

    Andrea Palladio. The Four Books of Architecture...viz. Book I. Containing the Five Orders, and the most necessary Observations in Building. Book II. In which the Designs of several Houses ordered by him both within and out of the City are comprised, and the designs of the ancient Houses of the Greeks and Latins. Book III. Wherein the Ways, Bridges, Piazzas, Basilica's, and Xisti, are treated of. Book IV. Describing and figuring the ancient temples that are in Rome, and some others that are in Italy and out of Italy. Literally Translated from the Original Italian by Isaac Ware, Esq; Particular care has been taken to preserve the Proportions and measures from the original, all the plates being engraved by the Author's own Hand. London: Printed for R. Ware, [n.d., 1753-1754].

    Rare parts issue of the second edition of Isaac Ware's translation of Andrea Palladio's I quattro libri dell'architettura (Venice: Domenico de Franceschi, 1570), which was first published in 1738 with title: The Four Books of Andrea Palladio's Architecture. Large folio (16.5 x 10.25 inches). [10], 110 pages. Letterpress title printed in red and black. Three engraved architectural titles and 212 numbered engraved plates (the first seven in the text), plus four unnumbered engravings in the text. Engraved head- and tail-pieces designed by William Kent.

    Contemporary calf (worn). Rebacked and recornered with heavy tan canvas. Original brown leather gilt lettering label retained. Title creased and soiled, and strengthened at gutter with cloth. Upper blank corner of A2 (Preface) cut away. Lower corner of N1 (pp. 45/46) torn and almost detached. Slight dampstaining to the lower corner in Books II and III. Verso of last plate slightly browned. Armorial ink stamp of Wallenstein on title. Ink signature of A. F. Gauager, St. Paul, May 10th 1876, on front free endpaper.

    "'The Four Books of Architecture' contain the principles of the architectural style which later became known as 'Palladianism'...Palladio's lasting influence on architectural style in many parts of the world was exercised less through his actual buildings than through his textbook. This is divided into four sections: orders and elementary problems, domestic building, public build and town planning and temples. Palladio's style was directly inspired by Roman classical models through the writings of Vitruvius and Alberti. Its characteristics are those of classicism: symmetry, order, fixed mathematical relations of the parts to each other and to the whole, logic and monumentality...Palladio followed the rules of classical Roman architecture more closely than any other architect, even sometimes at the cost of practicability and domestic comfort. In spite of the vogue for the baroque and the fact that Palladio left no immediate successors, his book exerted a powerful influence on contemporary architecture and classical ideals until the end of the eighteenth century" (Printing and the Mind of Man 92, describing the 1570 first edition).

    "Ware's translation from the Italian is the most literally reliable of any; for this he was expressly indebted to Lord Burlington, who 'with his own hands' revised and corrected it. The plates however were entirely his work. He exactly traced and engraved them himself; but, although he was very much more faithful to the originals than Leoni had been, he did on occasion add a little shading of his own, and, in order to present a tidier appearance, separated plans and elevations that were overlapping in the Italian editions" (Harris, BABW).

    "Starting on 15 September 1753 the four books were reissued in weekly parts costing sixpence each. Three months later, on 15 December, the 'Proprietor' announced that he had been 'obliged to reprint most of the numbers again' and that new subscribers could therefore start at any time with no. 1. The fifty-first and last number was published on 31 August 1754. The two title-pages bearing the imprint of Richard Ware, one undated, the other dated 1755 and described as 'Second Edition', presumably covered different stages of the part publication" (Harris, BABW).

    "This second edition of Ware's translation was published in weekly parts, and was the last English edition for over two centuries, coming as it did in the dying days of the 'Palladian movement'" (RIBA).

    ESTC N18531. Fowler 229 (mistakenly stating that the 1738 edition was the "only issue of Ware's translation"). Harris, BABW, No. 692. RIBA, EW Catalogue No. 2397.


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