<< YCBA Home Yale Center for British Art Yale Center for British Art << YCBA Home

YCBA Collections Search

IIIF Actions
Palladio, Andrea, 1508–1580
The First [... fourth] booke of architecture.
Additional Title(s):

Palladio's architectur MS

Four books of architecture

Quattro libri dell'architettura. English
England, not before 1611.
Physical Description:
1 volume (272 leaves) : pen and ink on paper ; 35 cm
Rare Books and Manuscripts
NA2515 .P25 1611+ Oversize
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection
View by request in the Study Room [Request]
Note: The Study Room is open by appointment. Please visit the Study Room page on our website for more details.

Copyright Status:
Copyright Information
Archives & Manuscripts
Comprises 185 pages of text, 82 pages of drawings.
Binding: 18th or 19th century full calf, with leather title label reading "Palladio's Architectur .MS." on spine.
Provenance: 1. Bookplate on front pastedown: A "Chippendale" cipher, unidentified, typical of the mid-18th century -- 2. On pages 3 and 66, the signatures of someone surnamed Moore. The signature is dated to the 20th of October 1817, and accompanied by the number 38 -- 3. On the flyleaf, the signature of “Frank Caws, Architect”, dated 1894. Frank (Francis Edward) Caws (1846-1905) was a British architect who practiced in Sunderland in the northeast of England. He served as President of the Northern Architectural Association -- 4. Purchased in the mid-1960s from B. Weinreb Ltd. by Paul Mellon, whose bookplate is on the inside front cover and from whom the manuscript came to the Yale Center of British Art.
Contact the Curator of Rare Books and Manuscripts for additional information on: details of the text present in the manuscript; watermarks used throughout the volume; a complete correspondence between illustrations in the 1570 edition of the text and those in the manuscript.
Anderson, C. Inigo Jones and the Classical Tradition, p. 227
Anderson, C. Palladio and Northern Europe, p. 124
Translation into English of Palladio's I Quattro Libri dell'Architettura from the first collected edition, published in Venice in 1570 by Domenico de' Franceschi. The translation is not related to Godfrey Richards' 1663 published translation of the First Book only.
The main body of the manuscript is neatly ruled written, in a tidy secretary hand. The introductory pages (pages 1-2) and Book I, chapter 2 (pages 9-10) are written in a less professional and perhaps earlier hand, without rulings. The main hand becomes increasingly less formal towards the end of the manuscript. This is particularly evident in Book IV and can easily be seen at page 71, where a leaf from Book IV has been bound into the middle of Book I. In places - for example at page 98 - the scribe leaves gaps in the translation, perhaps where the Italian vocabulary was difficult. Christy Anderson, Inigo Jones and the Classical Tradition (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007), page 227, n.11, notes that the definition for "loggia" in the glossary at pages 428-429 is taken from John Florio, Queen Anna's New World of Words, or Dictionarie of the Italian and English Tongues, 2nd ed. (London: Printed by M. Bradwood, for E. Blount and W. Barret, 1611). Anderson, Palladio and Northern Europe (Milan: Skira, 1999), page 124, finds the same definition in two seventeenth-century translations of Palladio, one held at Worcester College, Oxford, with the shelfmark B.3.12 and one at King's College, Cambridge. She argues that these manuscripts and the one held by the Yale Center for British Art "all bear striking resemblance to one another in their language and especially in the evidence of glossary of architectural terms made into English."
The manuscript has been damaged in several places. At pages 207-208 about two-thirds of the leaf has been removed, without loss of text. On pages 119 and 427, where the scribe has imitated the title page from the 1570 edition, the name of the Italian printer has been cut out of the page. This has resulted in slight loss of text on page 120. Another piece has been cut out of page 382, perhaps to remove part of a stain. The first three flyleaves have been cut out. It is just possible to see the beginning of a signature on the third.
The illustrations are in ink and pencil and are of the same size as the engravings in the 1570 edition. Between pages 238 and 256 they have been given basic shading with watercolor wash. The drawings are often simplified or unfinished and omit the letters that tie the illustration to the explanatory text. Some are accompanied by brief notes. The illustrator tends to include only one half of symmetrical designs and omit repeated elements.
Many illustrations have been omitted entirely, especially from Book IV. With reference to the 1570 Venice edition, these are: From Book I: the illustration of a column at page 15, the illustration at page 25, and the staircases on pages 62, 63, 65, and 66. From Book II: the plans on pages 11, 13, 21, 53, and 67, and the elevations on pages 31 and 32. Pages 187 and 203 of the manuscript has been ruled with compartments as if for drawing but no drawing has been completed. From Book III: the designs on pages 20 and 43. For Book IV, very few of the illustrations have been completed. The inscriptions for the illustration on page 16 have been written in, but the drawing has not been started. In the order in which they appear in the manuscript, the other drawings which have been made are from pages 21, 14, 38, 42, 59, and 94. As the translator also translated annotations from the illustrations, for example at page 533 (translating notes for Book IV, page 112 in the 1570 edition), it appears that they were intended to be included later.
Subject Terms:
Architecture -- Composition, proportions, etc. -- Early works to 1800.
Architecture -- Details -- Early works to 1800.
Architecture -- Early works to 1800.
Architecture -- Orders -- Early works to 1800.
Manuscripts, Renaissance -- Connecticut -- New Haven.
Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts, Yale Center for British Art.
Rome -- Antiquities -- Early works to 1800.
Temples -- Italy -- Early works to 1800.
Manuscripts, Renaissance -- England -- 17th century.
Ink drawings.
Graphite drawings.
Architectural drawings.
Caws, Francis Edward, 1846-1905, former owner.
IIIF Manifest:

If you have information about this object that may be of assistance please contact us.