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Dictionnaire D'Architecture, Civile, Militaire Et Navale, Antique, Ancienne Et Moderne, Et De Tous Les Arts Et Métiers Qui En Dépendent; Dont tous les Termes sont exprimés, En François, Latin, Italien, Espagnol, Anglois Et Allemand. Enrichi de cent une Planches de Figures en Taille-Douce, Pour En Faciliter L'Intelligence, Auquel On A Joint Une Notice des Archtectes, Ingénieurs, Peintres, Sculpteurs, Graveurs & autres Artistes les plus celebres, dont on rapporte les principaux Ouvrages. Par M. C. F. Roland Le Virloys, ci-devant Architecte du Roi de Prusse, & depuis de l'Impératrice-Reine. Trois Volumes In-Quarto. Tome Premier.

Charles François Roland Le Virloys

RA Collection: Book

Record number




A Paris,: Chez les Libraires Associés., M. DCC. LXX. (-MDCCLXXI.) Avec Approbation Et Privilege Du Roi.

Physical Description

3 vols.; 289 mm. (Quarto).

General Note

Vol. I: [4], iv, 648 p. Most copies lack pp. [i-]iv (dedic. and Preface). - Vol. II: [4], 671, [1] p. - Vol. III: [4], 152, 297, [3] p., 99 [i.e. 100] pl. (41 dble.). Pl. 61 occurs bis. Plate (5) lacks its number. Page 297 is misnumbered 298.


Vol. I: [Half-title] - Noms Des Libraires Associés - [T.p., dedic.] - Préface - [Text, A-F]. - Vol. II: [Half-t., t.p.] - [Text, G-S]. - Vol. III: [Half-t., t.p.] - [Text, T-Z] - Vocabulaires Latin, Italien, Espagnol, Anglois, Et Allemand - Corrections Et Omissions - Approbation [1769]; Privilege Du Roi [1769]; [colophon] - [Plates].

Responsibility Note

The plates do not carry the name of a draughtsman or engraver, apart from plates 3 and (5), which are signed as designed and engraved by Roland le Virloys Architect, and plates 8 and 19, which are signed as designed by him.

Several headpieces and tailpieces are signed as by Le Brun, 'J', or 'V.LS' (i.e. Vincent Le Sueur?). The dedication headpiece is signed as designed by L. Masquelier and engraved by D. Nee.

The printer is named in the colophon: 'De l'Imprimerie de Quillau, rue du Fouare, 1771'.

The names of the Libraires Associés are given on the verso of the half-title of Volume I: [Gabriel] Valleyre Pere, [Louis Etienne] Ganeau, [Guillaume Luc] Bailly, [F.J.N.] Debure Fils jeune, [Laurent Charles] D'Houry Pere, Veuve [Marie Catherine] Savoye, [Pierre Guillaume] Cavelier, [Guillaume] Desprez, [C.J.B.] Hérissant le Fils, [Honoré Clément] De Hansy jeune, [C.J.C.] Durand [de Sugères], [Charles] Saillant, [Jean Luc] Nyon, [Pierre Nicolas] Delormel, [Nicolas] Desaint, [Charles Joseph] Panckoucke.

The work is dedicated by the author to the Marquis de Marigny.


RIBA, Early printed books, 5 (2003), no. 4093; National Gallery (Washington), Mark J. Millard Architectural, I (1993), no. 147, p.418-9.

Summary Note

The text is a compilation of current knowledge, rather than an original contribution to its subject. It was intended to supersede the manuals by A.-C. d'Aviler, Belidor and Aubin.

The plates include plans, sections and elevations of Roland Le Virloys's theatre at Metz, completed in 1752 (plates 1-9), his new 'French order' (pl. 19) and his 'pantographe de perspective' (pl. 99), and several detailed representations of building tools (plates 40-42, 57-60, 67). Most plates are copied from earlier publications, such as d'Aviler's Cours, C. Perrault's Vitruvius and Félibien's Principes.

They fall into the following groups: 1-9: theatre at Metz; 10-20: the orders; 21-28: windows, doors, mouldings, pilasters, borders, balustrades, niches; 29: temple plans; 30: column groupings; 31-37: cornerstones, arches, vaults, curved stonework; 38: foundations; 39: bridges; 40-42: stonecutting tools; 43-47: joints, pulleys &c.; 48-54: wooden vaults, coves, domes, bridges, moveable structures and parts; 55-56: wooden ships; 57-60: carpenters' tools &c.; 61-63: locks &c.; 64: knots; 65-66 patterns for flooring &c.; 67: tools; 68-71: geometric patterns; 72-76: tools; 77-87: fortifications, artillery; 88-89: gardens; 90-91: colums, pediments, walls &c.; 92-98: artists' monograms; 99: person using perspective equipment.


Recorded in RAA Library, Catalogue, 1802.

Copy Note

Possibly purchased in 1779. Cf. 'RA Cashbook 1769-1795', entry dated [April or later in] 1779: 'Paid for Books ... Dictionn. des Arts £3:3s.'

Binding Note

18th-century tree calf; rebacked in 20th century, gilt-decorated spine, red and black spine-labels lettered 'Dictionnaire De Architecture Tom I (-III)'.


Architecture - History
Architecture, French - Theatres - Techniques - Tools - Instruments - Construction equipment - France - 18th century
Plans - Manuals - Encyclopedias and dictionaries, French - Reference books - France - 18th century
Pictorial works - France - 18th century