Selection of works


SERLIO, Sebastiano. The third book of Sebstiano Serlio Bolognese ...

SERLIO, SebastiaSERLIO, SebastianoIl terzo libro di Sabastiano Serlio Bolognese: nel qual si, figurano le antiquita di Roma, and le che che sono in Italia, and fuori di Italia: con noue additioni, come ne tauola appare.

In Venetia: [Printed by Francesco Marcolini ...], 1544

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It is the first popular-language printed compendium that contains wood engravings with images of the older buildings in Rome and Italy. It also includes projects by Bramante, Rafael and Peruzzi. Among the contemporary works in the treaty, Saint Peter of Rome stands out.

The third book, dedicated to Francis I (king of 1515 to 1574) who brought Serlio to France to work at Fontainebleau until 1547, contains perspectives that were new to the study of architecture and ancient art in his day.

The significance of this book lies in the fact that the representation of architecture had not been used before as an informative medium aimed at an audience. That is, the illustrations are as central as the text.

The cover shows a ruin with pilasters and arcs with the inscription: Rome how much escaped ipsa ruina docet ("even its ruins show us what was ancient Rome. ") with the intention of attracting the reader.

In the library we keep two copies of this book from the Manual Ribas i Piera collection. One of the copies is linked with two more works by Sebastiano Serlio:

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vitruvianVITRUVI POLÍLIÓ, Marco I Dieci libri dell'architettura di M. Vitruvio / tradutti et commentatti da Monsignor Barbaro ...; with due tavole, the one di tutto quello if it contains per i capi nell'opera, the other by dechiaratione di tutte le cose de importanza

In Vinegia: By Francesco Marcolini, 1556

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The Venetian translator and commentator Daniele Barbaro is the third great Italian interpreter of Vitruvius in the XNUMXth century and the first intellectual to be no architect.

The Vitruvius of Barbarian and the Quattro libri dell'architettura de Palladio published in 1570 complement each other so that the respective contributions of the two authors to Vitruvi's comment are inseparable.

This first edition of the work is illustrated with wood engravings based on Vitruvi's drawings.

Seconds David Rosand: "for the preparation of this volume, which could have begun in 1547, Barbaro participated with Palladio, to whom he not only owes the most important illustrations, but also contributed by contributing his experience and knowledge both in archeology as in architecture Barbaro especially praised the work done by Palladio in relation to the ancient Roman theater, as impressive as the illustrations is Barbaro's own commentary, basically Aristotelian, in which a single line and even a single Vitruvius' words become a real discovery. "

In 1567 Francesco di Franceschi and Giovanni Chreigher published in Venice the second revised and enlarged edition in a smaller format. The same publishers also produced a Latin edition in the same year. Later editions appeared in 1584, 1629 and 1641, all in Venice.

The first known Spanish translation is a manuscript published between 1584 and 1600 that is preserved in the National Library of Spain.


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PALLADIUM, Andrew. I Quattro libri dell'architettura: ne 'quali, dopo un breve trattato de cinque ordini & di quelli avertimenti che sono piu diversij nel fabricare si tratta delle case private delle vie, de i ponti, delle piazze, de i xisti et de templi

In Venetia: appresso Domenico de Franceschi, 1570

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First edition of Four Books who had a great influence on the architects and architecture of the later centuries immediately after his publication, and made Palladio the most imitated architect of all time.

The Palladian canon for the ancient orders proved very useful. The main reason was in the illustration: the symmetry and harmony of Palladio's designs, with its very didactic schematic conception, was especially practical for the construction of palaces, villas, bridges, civil buildings at the same time as Christian temples and churches.

Palladio began work on this treaty in 1550 when he was collaborating with Daniele Barbaro on the illustration of the Vitruvius edition of 1556. It was written for a long period of time.

Although Palladio's initial idea was to create a broader architecture treaty (in the style of the Sixteen libri Vitruvius), which did not diminish, did not diminish the central importance of this work.

It is known that the manuscript was circulated in 1555 thanks to the mention of that same year by AF Dion. Giorgio Vasari read it, already revised, in Venice about 1566.

One year after Palladio's death in 1580, his children prepared an expanded edition with a fifth book that his father would have completed before his death, but it was never published.

Later the work was reedited in many occasions as much in Italy as in other countries. According to James S. Ackerman: "The luxurious London edition of 1715 translated by Giacomo Leoni was the precursor to the" revival "of Palladio in England where, a century ago, Iñigo Jones had already been commissioned to introduce and widely disseminate the work palladiana. " TheLeoni edition Manuel Ribas i Piera is also available in the library within the same collection.


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ALBERTI, Leon Battista. The ten books on architectureALBERTI, Leon Battista. The Ten Books on Architecture. Madrid: in house of Alonso Gomez ..., 1582

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First printed and ninth Spanish translation of the Alberti treatise published in the house of Alonso Gómez, the king's printer. It includes a dedication to Juan Fernández de Espinosa (treasurer between 1578 and 1582 of Felipe II) probably with the aim of obtaining his sponsorship (common at the time). Philip II himself gave free rein to the edition in Madrid on October 17, 1578, which took four years to be printed.

The work mentions that it has the approval of Juan de Herrera, which is remarkable since Herrera was the main figure in the architecture of the moment, closely linked to Philip II.

Work of vital importance in the Spanish context of the sixteenth century since, according to Fernando Marías a The long sixteenth century. The artistic uses of the Spanish Renaissance): [...] leaving behind the plateresque decorativism that, in general, acted only on surfaces, on the skin of architecture, and rarely in structures; in some way, the dictates of the Measurements of the Roman (Toledo, 1526) by Diego de Sagredo were surpassed. […].

Somehow he postulates the classicism of the reign of Philip II, confirmed by the later translation of the Rule vignolesca (also promoted by Juan de Herrera).

The edition has no engravings and this highlights the conceptual role of the text.

Source: Suárez Quevedo, Diego. About the first editions of Leon Battista Alberti's Re-edification. Faculty of Geography and History, UCM Online query


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SIRIGATI, Lorenzo. The practice of prospecting by Cavaliere Lorenzo Sirigati.

Venice: Girolamo Franchesci, 1596

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First edition of this book, which was dedicated to Ferdinando de Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany. In the first XNUMX sheets the basic principles are carefully explained and, after passing through arches, vaults, capitals, doors and facades, he makes representations of the violin and the lute.

The second book (without text) shows the application of various techniques to different parts of buildings and to a wide variety of open and closed polyhedrons.

Baltrusaitis in your article Anamorphoses, 1955, pages 58-70, cite sheet 43 as a precursor example of perspective "accelerated".

Seconds Paul Breman: "Sirigatti's treatise was well received by both his images and his good sense. For Renaissance painters and architects, perspective was one of the most highly regarded sciences, and Sirigatti occupied a prominent place with full rights. among the foremost authors in the field. His work was re-fashioned in the XNUMXth century, being praised primarily for its simplicity and its fundamentally practical approach. "


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THE MUTE, Pierre. Maniere de bastir pour toutes sortes de personae. Paris: Melchior Tavernier, 1623

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The aim of this book was to make available to bourgeois customers and amateurs essential information on everything related to urban construction. The work follows the basic format: a series of floors and elevations, accompanied by comments, of a wide variety of types of houses. But this work stands out, with respect to the predecessors of Le Muet (as Serlio in his book VI All degrees of men, of the Orme with Pour the grands and the little ones of 1567 or Jacques Androuet de Cerceau a Soît of small, moyen ou great state 1559) which includes more variety of models and also targets potential clients with lower budgets who were not allowed to hire architects.

Proof of this is that many of the slabs consist of a narrow façade without architectural ornament and a single room on each floor.

This treaty was an essential source of information on home architecture under the reign of the first two Bourbons in France: Henry IV (who reigned from 1589 to 1610) and Louis XIII (who reigned from 1610 to 1643). guide for many architects up to about 1680.

Le Muet added engravings to the Parisian hotels he had designed in the second edition of 1647, which was followed by the editions of 1663 (with some supplemental sheets with cover models) and 1681.


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KIRCHER, Athanasii. New PhonurgiaKIRCHER, Athanasius. Athanasii Kircheri Phonurgia nova, sive, Conjugium mechanico-physicum artis & natvræ paranympha phonosophia concinnatum: quâ universa sonorum natura, proprietas, vires effectuúm [que] prodigiosorum causæ, novâ & multiplici experimentorum exhibitione enucleantur: instrumentorum acustic que instrumentorum acustic adaptandarum, tum ad sonos ad remotissima spatia propagandos, tum in abditis domorum recessibus per occultioris ingenii machinamenta clam palámue sermocinandi modus & ratio traditur, tum denique in bellorum tumultibus singlaris hujusmodi organorum usus, & praxis per nouam phonologiam describitur
Campidonae: by Rudolphum Dreherr, 1673

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The edition of Phonurgia Nova (1673) by Athanasius Kircher (Geisa, Germany 1602-Rome, Italy 1680) demonstrates the degree of Jesuit fantastic commitment and scholarship to liberal scholars and scientists who defined the boundaries of knowledge in mid-XNUMXth-century Europe. Considered in his time as one homo universalis, his studies in medicine, astronomy, mathematics, history, architecture, music, mineralogy, etc. are known. among many others.

The title of the work contains the neologism "Phonurgia", composed of the Greek words φovή (sound) and ỏpγή (work, energy). Written in Latin, its subtitle translates as "new mode of sound production", recognizing towards the end of the book "phonurgia as facultas mirabilium by sonos operatrix”, Which means the“ ability to provoke the wonderful through means of sounds ”. Because for Kircher sound was not simply a physical phenomenon, but something that was deeply connected to human nature.

Kircher's works express the baroque vision of the "wonderful world", from machinist inventions that show a happy synthesis between science and magic: to surprise, to convince people of improbable things and, finally, to explain the arcane that lies between hermeticism and the exact sciences. His artifacts, gathered in a museum named after their author, could hardly be included in a genealogy of experimental science, but they nevertheless illuminated the futurgenerations of artists and architects, from the spirit of illustration to the surrealism of the twentieth century.

Source: Tronchin, Lamberto. Athanasius Kircher's New Phonurgia: The marvelous world of sound during the 17th Century, Acoustics Today, January 2009.


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 WATER WELL, Andrew. Perspective pictorum et architectorum Andreae Putei e Societate Jesu = Prospettiva de 'pittori e architetti by Andrea Pozzo della Compagnia di Giesú. Thin part [... seconda]. In Rome = Zu Rom: nella stamperia di Gio. Giacomo Komarek ... = gedruckht von Joann. Jacob Komarek ..., 1693-1700. 2 flights.

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Pozzo was a self-taught architect who was trained with the help of XNUMXth-century Italian tractors. He emphasized that architecture came from painting and the technique essential to any painter: perspective.

The treaty has a practical approach and, for the most part, is original. It was very popular and had a great impact. His studies of perspective, as well as his architectural designs, had long been an inspiration.

Both volumes of the treaty begin with a dedication followed by a brief prologue "To the Reader" (Ad readerum) and an index, and include a series of 101 and 116 engravings in each volume, with annexes in Latin and Italian.

Most of the prints are by Vincenzo Mariotti, a pupil of Pozzo. Volume 1 is dedicated to Emperor Leopold I (reigned 1658 to 1705) and volume 2 to his son Joseph I (1705-1711). After the Latin and Italian covers, each volume contains an allegorical representation referring to the study of architecture. A second preface, Monita ad Tyrones, ("Beginner's Note") introduces the first volume and explains the gradual construction of the treaty, which is presented as a manual.

Volume 1 begins with simple exercises focusing on the perspective representation of the square. It follows with exercises that rely on different architectural elements and structured stone groups, and then some Pozzo projects for altars and theater sets. The last sheets are dedicated to the fresco on the roof of the main ship of Sant'Ignazio (discovered in 1694, two years after the first volume was published). Its construction in perspective was the didactic and theoretical object of the first volume. Volume II focuses on complex building exercises as well as projects for other churches.

Various editions of the treaty were published in the 1700th century, and it was widely disseminated in favor of the extension of the Jesuit order (to which Andrea Pozzo belonged) around the world. The first translations into French and German were published in 1707. In 1708, a bilingual text in Latin and English was published in London, and in XNUMX in Brussels in Latin and Flemish.


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BLONDEL, Francois. cours d'architecture I taught at the Academie royale d'architecture

BLONDE, Francois. Cours d'architecture enseigné dans l'Academie royale d'architecture, premiere [.. cinquieme] partie: ou sont expliquez les termini, l'origine & les principes d'architecture, & les practiques des cinq ordres suiv la doctrine de Vitruve & de ses principaux sectateurs, & selon celle des trois plus habiles architectes qui ayent écrit entre les modernes, qui sont Vignole, Palladio & Scamozzi / dedié au Roy par M. François Blondel, de l'Academie royale des sciences ...

In Paris: from the Lambert Roulland printing house, in the house of Antoine Vitré, rue du Foin, for sale at Pierre Auboin & François Clouzier, near the Hotel de Monseigneur le Premier President, court of the Palais, in bloom de lis, et chez les mesmes sur le quay des Grands Augustins, à la fleur de lis d'or, M.DC.LXXXXVI [1696]

In Paris: Chez l'Auteur au Faux-Bourg Saint Germain rüe Jacob, au coin de celle de Saint Benoît et Nicholas Langlois rüe S. Jâcques à la victoire, M.DC.LXXXXVI

To Paris: from the printing house of François le Cointe rüe des Sept-Voyes, near the College de Reims.    

El Courses of Architecture, who contributed greatly to the systematic study of orders, consisted of the author's lectures at the Académie, where he was professor and director from 1671 until his death in 1686. It is the first organized course of architecture in France and initiated a new genre of architectural treatise. A large part is devoted to the erudite commentary and comparison of the orders of Vitruvius, Alberti, Vignola, Palladio, and Scarmozzi. The sections are accompanied by tables and complicated comparative diagrams of proportions.

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BIBIENA, Ferdinando Galli. The Architettura civile prepares its geometry and ridotta alle prospettive considerzuioni pratiche.

In Parma: by Paolo Monti, 1711.

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Ferdinando Galli, the father of Giuseppe Galli Bibiena, sought to unify painting and architecture, as Andrea Pozzo, using the concept of perspective in this manual, relying on the specific art of stage design, in which he was a specialist. set designer and renovator of theaters in Genoa, Milan, Turin, Venice, Rome and Naples.

The Architettura civile (first edition) is a treaty, divided into five parts and illustrated with diagrams and engravings, which studies the history, theory and practice, of perspective and the quadrature. After reviewing the contributions of leading architectural theorists and painters interested in the problems of perspective, the treatise focuses on Part IV, on the documentation of the various perspective techniques developed by him, including the veduta by angolo which replaced the central perspective inherited from Renaissance painting.

Its historical significance stems from the widespread dissemination of this text.


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LAUGIER, Marc-Antoine. Essai sur l'architecture. In Paris: chez Duchesne, rue S. Jacques, au Temple du Goût, M.DCC.LIII [1753]

LAUGIER, Marc-Antoine. Essai sur l'architecture. New edition, revised, corrected, & augmented with a dictionary of terms and plates which facilitate its explanation.

To Paris: Chez Duchesne ..., 1755

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Despite its modest presentation (small eighth books without illustrations), Laugier's books had an immediate impact.

Seconds Richard A. Etlin: "L'Essai he was at the forefront of the three main issues of the time: architectural composition, urbanism, and landscape architecture. Following the example of Nouveau traité de toute l'architetture of Cordemoy (2nd ed. 1714), Laugier denounces the "abuses" of Baroque architecture (broken pediments, attached columns, pilasters) and, having done so, goes on to offer a construction model for the futur in his memorable description of the primitive hut. At the same time that Jean-Jacques Rousseau was exploring the myth of the good savage in order to determine the foundations of human nature and society, Laugier returned to the origins of architecture, based on structural logic. and formal of the Greek temple, to establish the principles of architectural design. And in doing so, Laugier also diminished the importance given in architectural theory to debates around the proportions of orders, to give it to questions of composition through the use of pure geometric forms. "

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ARFE Y VILLAFAÑE, Juan de. Varia commensuración for sculpture and architecture. 5th imp. Madrid: Printing house of Miquel Escribano, 1763

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According to B. Bury, Juan de Arfe was the son and grandson of renowned platers. He himself is the author, among other pieces of great magnificence, of the most representative and impressive example of Renaissance silverware: the custody of the Cathedral of Seville (1580-87). However, he did not want to belong to the guild of silversmiths in Burgos because, according to his own words, his true professions were those of "gold and silver sculptor and architect", and moreover he was a "Hidalgo e persona principal. .. and of the most eminent men of Spain in their art".

A Of various commensuration, the author's portrait and monogram under his coat of arms indicate his strong sense of dignity and personal status. The aim of the book, according to what he himself points out in a note to the readers, is limited to "what can teach artifice in sculpture and architecture". In other words, it is essentially a didactic manual, aimed specifically at those who make objects (Book I: sundials), sculptors (Books II and III: human and animal figures) and architects and plate makers (Book IV: the orders, the sacred vessels).

Title I of Book IV provides a brief and masterful summary of the five orders, based on Serlio, but with a strong Plateresque bent and an interest in all that "permissible" ornamentation appropriate to the architecture of silversmiths and also, as he explained Palladio to his Four Books (IV, 15), for small buildings.

Font: The Architecture Treaties: from Alberti to Ledoux. Madrid: Hermann Blume, 1988

This copy of the library comes from the Manuel Ribas i Piera Collection

In the library you can also find the edition of 1795 which comes from Founding of the library of the Barcelona School of Architecture (before 1817)



BRISEUX, Charles-Étienne. Modern architecture, or the art of good building: for all kinds of people both for private houses and for palaces... In Paris: chez Claude Jombert..., 1728

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Briseux, in his treatises, reflects the new architectural orientation experienced in the 1728th century. This work is published anonymously in XNUMX and its authorship has recently been attributed following the updating of a treatise by Pierre Le Muet of a similar name: Manière de batir for all kinds of people (also described in this section of Selection of works).

Briseux proposes in his works numerous variations of the plan and elevations of houses and urban palaces. It tries to reconcile in a harmonious way the comfort, decoration and arrangement of a whole range of buildings that include from the narrow house, with several floors, to the luxurious palace.

Font: Theory of architecture: from the Renaissance to today, 89 articles on 117 Treaties. Köln [etc]: Taschen, cop. 2003. ISBN 3822825220, p. 278

This copy of the library comes from the Manuel Ribas i Piera Collection


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CHAMBERS, William, Sir. Traité des edifices, furniture, habits, machines and utensils des ChinoisParis: chez le Sieur Le Rouge, Ingénieur-Geographe du Roi..., 1776

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The translation of the text of Chambers design of Chinese buildings with adaptations and engravings of the plates of the English edition was published by Georges Louis le Rouge. It is probably an earlier edition of Cahier V de Anglo-Chinese Gardens de Le Rouge also published in 1776. The reduced format of the French version in contrast to the folio size of the English edition necessitated dividing some of the plates into two sections.

There is also a slight difference in the organization and pagination compared to those of Cahier V. As a result of these adaptations, part of the illustrative integrity of the work is lost. But the Treaty it certainly serves its purpose: to satisfy the growing French interest in the picturesque garden with material from Chambers's publication, which was akin to the French interpretation of garden design.


Chambers' work was produced during a period in which he focused on architectural ornament in gardens and intended to correct the excesses in the use of this ornament by explaining the classical tradition.

Font: The Mark J. Millard architectural collection. Washington: National Gallery of Art; New York: Georg Braziller, 1993-. Volume | French Books, p. 112-113

This copy of the library comes from the Manuel Ribas i Piera Collection



FREZIER, Amédée-François. Theory and practice and the cutting of stone and wood: for the construction of vaults and other parts of civil and military buildings, or treatise on stereotomy in the use of Architecture. Strasbourg: JD Doubfeker le Fils; Paris: SH Guerin l'Amé, 1737-1739

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Jean-Marie de Pérouse de Montclos comments: this monumental treatise by Frézier represents the culmination of all the knowledge of stereotomy. Three editions were made and this shows that it was quite well received by the public. The military engineer Frézier is also the author of Traité des feux artifices (1747) and several dissertations on architecture published in Mercure de France. The first volume of theory, which constitutes a third of the complete work, is a mathematics course in which Frézier shows the follower the ideas of Desargues, but of the theoretical Desargues of conic sections rather than of the universal manner. The other two volumes present a series of studies on cases of applied stereotomy, exceptional for their length and their methodical organization very close to the spirit of the Encyclopédie.


Font: The Architecture Treaties: from Alberti to Ledoux. Madrid: Hermann Blume, 1988


This copy of the library comes from the Manuel Ribas i Piera Collection


In the library you can also find the edition of the 1754-1769 which comes from Founding of the library of the Barcelona School of Architecture (before 1817)



LABACCO, Antonio. Antonio Labacco's book pertaining to architecture in which some notable antiquities from Rome are featured. Printed in Rome: in our house, 1559

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According to Martí C. Perdue, he is a disciple of Sangallo the Younger, Labacco is best known for the construction of the large wooden model of Saint Peter as designed by Sangallo in 1547. He also worked with him on the fortifications of Parma and Piacenza in the 1520s.


Product of the new Renaissance interest in antiquities and archaeology, the Book by Antonio Labacco it consists of 36 plates, including the frontispiece engraved by his son Mario. All of them show views and reconstructions of the buildings of ancient Rome, such as Trajan's Arch, the Temple of Castor and Pollux, a centralized plan of San Giovanni dei Fiorentini and plans of Hadrian's Port. Despite some inaccuracies, this book was very popular. No two copies are alike, and the history and scope of their prints are not entirely clear.


Font: The Architecture Treaties: from Alberti to Ledoux. Madrid: Hermann Blume, 1988


This copy of the library comes from the Manuel Ribas i Piera Collection


In the library you can also find the edition of the 1588 and another without publication date that come from Founding of the library of the Barcelona School of Architecture (before 1817)



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Bibliography on ancient books consulted



PLACEK, Adolf K., ed. Avery's hotice : five centuries of great architectural books: one hundred years of an architectural library, 1890-1990. New York: GK Hall, 1997. ISBN 0783815972


Theory of architecture: from the Renaissance to the present. 89 articles on 117 Treaties. Cologne [etc]: Taschen, cop. 2003. ISBN 3822825220                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         




The Mark J. Millard architectural collection. Washington: National Gallery of Art; New York: George Braziller, 1993-

Conté: 1. French books, sixteenth through nineteenth centuries. 2. British books, seventeenth through nineteenth centuries / catalog entries, Robin Middleton ... [et al.] 3. Northern European books, sixteenth to early nineteenth centuries. 4. Italian and Spanish books, fifteenth through nineteenth centuries




WIEBENSON, Dora, ed. The Architecture Treaties: from Alberti to Ledoux. Madrid: Hermann Blume, 1988. ISBN 847214397X





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Last update: 21 / 03 / 2023