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Le Premier Volume des plus excellents Bastiments de France. Auquel sont designez les plans de quinze Bastiments, & de leur contenu: ensemble les elevations & singularitez d'un chascun. Par Iacques Androuet, Du Cerceau, Architecte.

Jacques Androuet du Cerceau

RA Collection: Book

Record number



Variant Title

Volume des plus excellents Bastiments de France
Plus excellents Bastiments de France


A Paris,: Pour ledit Iacques Androuet, du Cerceau., M. D. LXXVI.

Physical Description

8 f., [77] pl. on 63 dble. sheets; 422 mm. (Folio)


[T.-p.] - Table Des Bastimens Contenuz en ce premier volume - [Dedic.] - [Text] - [Plates].

Responsibility Note

No draughtsman's or engraver's name is given on the plates.

The work is dedicated by the author to Catherine De Medici.


RIBA, Early printed books, I (1994), 100; National Gallery (Washington), Mark J. Millard Architectural, I (1993), no. 8, p.13-15; Harvard University, Harvard University College Library Department Of Printing And Graphic Arts Catalogue Part I: French 16th Century Books, comp. R. Mortimer (1964), vol. I. no.23, p.29-32; Johns Hopkins University, The Fowler Architectural Collection (1961), no. 24, p.20; H. de Geymüller, Les Du Cerceau (1887), p. 312-3.

D. Thompson, ed., Les plus excellents bastiments de France par J.-A. du Cerceau [1988]; J. S. Byrne, 'Du Cerceau's drawings', in Master Drgs, XV (1977), p. 147-61; G. Rousset-Charny, 'Le Relevé d'architecture chez Jacques 1er Androuet du Cerceau: Les Plus Excellents Bâtiments de France (1576-1579', in Inf. Hist. A., XIX (1974), p. 114-24; F. Boudon and H. Couzy, 'Les Plus Excellents Bâtiments de France: une anthologie de châteaux à la fin du XVIe siècle', in Inf. Hist. A., XIX (1974), p. 8-12, 103-14; M. Tafuri, 'Alle origini del Palladianismo: Alessandro Farnese, Jacques Androuet Du Cerceau, Inigo Jones', in Stor. A., XI (1971), p. 149-61.

Summary Note

Le Second Volume appeared in 1579.

Together the two volumes provide a comprehensive record of sixteenth-century architecture in France, showing many buildings which have since been destroyed or altered., including some on which Androuet du Cerceau himself worked (Montargis, Verneuil and Gaillon in Volume I; Charleval in Volume II).

The plates show plans, elevations, sections and views (including views of gardens).

Several preparatory drawings for the work may be seen in the British Museum, London, and the Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris.


Acquired between 1769 and 1802. .Recorded in RAA Library, Catalogue, 1802.

Binding Note

19th-century calf, with gilt decoration in 16th-century style on upper and lower covers; spine lettered 'Androuet Du Cerceau Bastiments De France Vol. I Paris 1576 R.A.'


Architecture, French - Châteaux - Country houses - Public buildings - Gardens - France - History - 16th century
Plans - Elevations - Sections - Views - 16th century
Pictorial works - 16th century