Manière de bastir pour touttes sortes de personnes
Pierre Le Muet
The full title of the book is “Manière de bastir pour touttes sortes de personnes” which means the way of building for every sort of people. From the title it is clear that the topic of the book is architecture and that it is seen as a guide which is speaking not only to architects but also to whoever is interested in architecture.
The book does not have a list of contents, but it is divided into two main parts. The first part is prevalently composed of illustrations of various types of buildings, plans and construction details, all accompanied with a detailed text describing them. The second part contains plans and elevations of existing French buildings and differs from the first only in the lack of the written description.
Illustrations are an essential part of this book. There are mostly plans and elevations, that are all very detailed, probably in order to show the buildings as corresponding to reality as possible.
The size of the book is quite large. This format allows the drawing to be bigger and with more details. However, the book is not as thick as one would expect, since it has about 130 pages. This means that the book could work as a manual, that could be easy to carry around while still providing the essential information needed to understand the topic.
The author is Pierre Le Muet, a French architect of the 17th century. At the beginning of his career he was mainly a theorist, publishing various French translations of famous architectural books such as Vignola’s Regola delle cinque ordini d’architectura. By writing his Manière de bastir he probably was inspired by Sebastiano Serlio’s sixth book Architettura, degli habitationi de tutti li grandi uomini.
I think Le Muet wanted to present and analyse in his book various examples of architecture in his time and make architecture more accessible by using images and explanations so that it could be understandable for a broader audience.