The book “Architectura”, or the “Architetura von den fünf Säulen” by Gabriel Kramer has an eponymous title, that reveals the theme and content of the book, which is : the system of the five orders. The person the author also refers to in the book is Vitruvius himself, which he admires, but at the same time he moves away from his style.
Analyzing the book , it can be seen from the beginning what type it is, namely a “Säulenbuch” and it is essentially a graphic book, which is devided in five parts and explains the five orders, how they are used in different instalations, combinations, such as columns,cornices, etc. It also reveals how the system is incredebly influencial, present and productive in history. Another thing that stands out is the type of columns is that they are not ordinary, classic, but more decorated and full of elements that blend harmoniously with each other.
The five parts are explained in detail, and a multitude of images drawn with precision and with refinement are presented to the reader, in order to better understand the author’s idea and what he referred to.
The classification of the five orders, from the most rustic to the most elegant, is the opportunity to develop multiple decorative elements, often very original, all sorts of rustication are associated with the Tuscan order. So, the “Architectura” fits perfectly into the northern European taste of the end of the 16th century. The four other orders are treated with a regular increase in refinement and ornamental delicacy: the Doric is warlike, the Ionic matronly, the Corinthian virginal. As for the composite, it allows for numerous combinations which bring in, among others, elements of a Gothic frame of mind, like the plant shapes ,very popular in the art of central Europe.
The book is close in size to an A3 format (h 292mm × w 187mm) , it is thin, which is admirable because the author managed to capture essential things and express his idea in a few pages.