Gabriel Aeschimann HS21
Extraordinario libro, Sebastiano Serlio
The book by Sebastiano Serlio consists mainly of pictures. These show many different ways to design portals or entrances. The book was published in Italian in Lyon in 1551. It was published by the famous printer and publisher Jean de Tournes. A year later, he published a book by Vitruvius, which later became world famous.
Vitruvian and classicist views were very present at that time. Serlio wanted to turn away from them through his book. For this purpose he used the title: “Extraordinario libro”, which means “extraordinary book”. This turning away from the old established values, was indeed very unusual and sensational at that time. Serlio began this departure as early as 1537 with his fourth book, in which he professes Vitruvius, but does not follow all his rules and experiments with architecture.
The book contains fifty portals, most of which are designed in a very rustic style. They broke old values, but always referred to the ancient Roman architecture. Serlio based his work on the fact that all people raise appetite for new things. His portals provide plenty of space to display things like weapons, coats of arms, etc.
Sebastiano Serlio grew up in Bologna and learned painting. Perspective painting, in particular, served as the basis for his later fascination with architecture. Serlio lived in Rome and Venice. In 1541 he moved to Lyon, where he died in 1554.