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I Dieci Libri Dell'Architettura Di M. Vitruvio, Tradotti & commentati da Mons. Daniel Barbaro eletto Patriarca d'Aquileia, da lui riveduti & ampliati; & hora in piu commoda forma ridotti.


RA Collection: Book

Record number



Uniform Title

[De architectura., Italian., Barbaro., 1567.]


In Venetia,: Appresso Francesco de' Franceschi Senese, & Giovanni Chrieger Alemano Campagni., M D LXVII.

Physical Description

[viii], 249, [1], 250-258, [1], 259-506 p.: illus.; 239 mm. (Quarto.)

General Note

Some copies have different pagination.


[T.p., dedic.] - Francesco De Franceschi Sanese A I Lettori - [Text, with commentary.]. - [Tables; Index.]

Responsibility Note

In his address 'A I Lettori' Franceschi names Giovanni Chrieger as cutter of the blocks (leaf a3v). Barbaro's translation is dedicated to Cardinal Ippolito d'Este.


Royal Institute of British Architects, British Architectural Library ... Early printed books, 4 (2001), no. 3523; Harvard University, Harvard College Library Department Of Printing And Graphic Arts Catalogue Of Books And Manuscripts Part II: Italian 16th Century Books, comp. R. Mortimer (1974), vol. II. no. 549, p.768-9; University of Cambridge, Catalogue Of Books Printed On The Continent Of Europe, 1501-1600, ed. H.M. Adams (1967), v.II. V917; Johns Hopkins University, The Fowler Architectural Collection (1961), no. 410, p.321-2. R. Tavernor, ''Brevity without obscurity': text and image in the architectural treatises of Daniel Barbaro and Andrea Palladio', in The rise of the image: essays on the history of the illustrated art book, ed. R. Palmer and T. Frangenberg (2003); Vitruvius, Vitruvius on architecture, ed. T.G. Smith (2003); L. Cellauro, 'Daniele Barbaro and his Venetian editions of Vitruvius of 1556 and 1567', in Studi Veneziani, N.S. XL (2000), p. 87-134; Vitruvius, Ten books on architecture, tr. I.D. Rowland (1999); G. Germann, Vitruve et le Vitruvianisme (1991); J. Onians, Bearers of meaning: the classical orders in antiquity, the Middle ages and the Renaissance (1988); L. Vagnetti, 'Regesto cronologico e critico delle edizione, delle traduzioni e delle ricerche ... Marco Vitruvio Pollione', in Studi e documenti di architettura, 8 (September 1978), p.11-184; V.P. Zoubov, 'Vitruve et ses commentateurs du XVIe siècle', in La science au seizième siècle (1960), p. 67-90.

Summary Note

Barbaro's version of Vitruvius was the most widely used edition, until superseded by those of Perrault (1673) and Galiani (1758). Among Barbaro's accomplishments was to establish the formula of plan, section and elevation instead of perspective as architects' principal means of representing buildings. The De architectura is important as the only ancient text on Greco-Roman architecture that has survived complete - although on Roman architecture its value is limited by the fact that the principal contributions of the Romans to the development of architecture occurred after the death of the author ca. the end of the first century B.C. Vitruvius had travelled widely and had worked as a military and hydraulic engineer. His treatise ranges over public and domestic architecture and engineering, includes a bibliography of earlier writers, and originally was illustrated (with what the author calls forma, schema, diagramma and exemplar). The ten books address the following topics: 1. Elements of architecture; siting, planning; 2. Building materials; origin of buildings; 3. Temples: anthropomorphic proportions, columns, foundations, Ionic order; 4. Temples: Corinthian, Tuscan orders, origin of orders; 5. Public buildings; 6. Houses: proportions, embelishments; 7. Cladding of floors, walls, ceilings; wall decoration; 8. Hydraulics; 9. Time-pieces; 10. Machines; war-engines. In the 15th century Alberti and Raphael recorded the obvious discrepancies between Vitruvius's recommendations and surviving ancient buildings. The Latin text was first printed between 1484 and 1487; the first illustrated edition appeared in 1511; the first Italian translation in 1521. Barbaro's Italian translation with commentary and illustrations, was published in 1556 (followed by a Latin and the present revised Italian text in 1567). Barbaro prepared himself by studying Roman buildings in Rome, in the company of Palladio,who also helped him with illustrations. Vitruvius was soon translated into French, German and Spanish; but no complete English translation was available until 1791.


A reprint of Barbaro's Vitruvius was published in 1993 (Rome: Bardi Editore).


Acquired by 1802. Recorded in A Catalogue Of The Library In The Royal Academy, London (1802).

Copy Note

Imperfect; wanting the plate paginated as '258'. On the last page the text 'Il Fine' is followed by an inscription in ink in an unidentified hand: 'dei dieci libri della Architettura m. Vitruvio [deleted words] Gaudia [?] Jouanes Bapt. Bononus, Gaetanus Bononus, Antonius Bononus, Joseph Bononus, Rosa Bonona'. Between pages 146 and 147 an engraved schematic diagram of the world, captioned 'figura X seconda' and signed 'Antonio Santuccj Inventore', has been loosely inserted.

Binding Note

19th-century half calf, brown cloth-covered boards; rebacked, retaining older spine-piece and black morocco spine-label, lettered, 'Vitruvio Da Barbero'.


Architecture - Theory - Architecture, Roman - Temples - Public buildings - Houses - Building materials
Architecture, Roman - Architecture, Greek - History
Treatises - Latin literature - 1st century B.C.
Translations from Latin - Translations into Italian - Plans - Elevations - Sections - Reconstructions - Italy - 18th century
Pictorial works - Italy - 18th century


Daniel Barbaro, translator, commentator
Ippolito d' Este Cardinal, dedicatee
Johann Criegher, publisher, engraver
Francesco De' Franceschi, publisher