«Architectura» by Gabriel Kramer starts off with a title page that explains the book’s intents. Here it is explained, that the author Gabriel Kramer shows the five orders, in an analytical manner. He even mentions Vitruvius, who he wishes to compare his work to.
Upon scanning the pages it’s clear that the book is a “Säulenbuch”. These were books of northern Europe that depicted drawings of the five orders, showing examples of how these should look. The book holds about 10 pages of text (the amount varies among versions), but mostly only drawn images. These drawings are highly detailed and show rows of columns or other building parts. What stands out, is that these columns do not resemble the classical orders. They seem to show a new, more ornamented version of them.
This might have been influenced by Hans Vredeman de Vries’ work from 1577. His equally named book, also depicts rows of columns, changing these to his liking. This new “trend” of changing the classical orders is often represented in the “Säulenbücher”.
It seems ironic that Kramer references Vitruvius, since their views on the ancient orders differ a lot. Vitruvius wants to preserve and recreate the old orders, while Kramer wishes to adapt and change them.
Still, Kramer takes influence from Vitruvius’ thinking. He for example creates a column that looks like a human figure. This might be based on Vitruvius’ writings that often compare architecture to the human body.
The book seems somewhat contradicting, trying to honor and at the same time change Vitruvius’ ideas.