Neü-herfürgegebene Kriegsarchitectur opens with a very rich and well-kept cover. The illustration on the front page shows two figures discussing an architectural project drawn on a sheet of paper held by the hands of both. The two figures are likely allegories of war (on the left, recognizable by the shield below) and architecture (on the right, recognizable by the geometric instruments at its feet). The title of the book, the author’s name and other details are written on a cloth carried by two little angels, who also carry geometric instruments.
The book is composed of 67 pages and is divided into two main parts: up to page 48 the book is divided into chapters and consists of text. Although most of these chapters are written, inside the incipit we find a mathematical table, placed to explain the various amplitudes of the angles for the different polygons. (The theme of the polygon returns several times, the book being a treatise on military fortifications).
The text is very dense and organized in a single large central column. Even the subdivision by paragraphs is not very airy, as there is no more space between one line and another. The first three chapters present three large, very detailed and elaborate capitals. The last 68 short chapters each refer to one of the illustrations in the second part of the book and all bear the title of the number, expressed in Roman numerals, corresponding to the figure.
The second part of the book, which presents the illustrations mentioned so far, is structured in a different way. The pages are larger and are folded with an accordion to fit into the format of the book. They are all in horizontal format. There is often more than one illustration on the same page. These are neatly divided by well-defined rectangles. The illustrations are very fine and detailed and are of different types: sectional drawing, top view, perspective drawing, depending on the most suitable format for the subject. The images are often complementary to each other.
The format in which the book is organized suggests a very practical and pragmatic use. Although the layout is well cared for and from time to time more refined embellishments are found (as in the drop caps and the cover picture) the book lends itself to practical use and is designed to allow you to jump back and forth from one chapter to another, from one picture to another, as needed.
The following file refers to the book Précis des leçons d’architecture, written by Jean-Nicolas-Louis Durand, published 1805