This book, whose title translates from Italian to « The four books of architecture » consists of four books, which are put togehter to one. Each one of the books has a different subject. The title suggests, that these are the books you have to read, if you are interested in or practise architecture. It is considered a very important book for the history of architecture. Even Tomas Jefferson is said to have referred to the book as « the bible ».
The first book is mainly about the five orders and building materials and techniques. In the second book, Palladio writes about private houses, such as villas. Most of the building described in this book were designed by Palladio himself. In the next book, the third, Palladio talks about the city and their elements. The last book has many different chapters. Most of them describe one church or temple per chapter as examples.
The book itself isn’t very thick compared to its importance and influence. There are many different versions and it was also translated in many languages. Important elements of the book are the drawings and plans. There are a lot of them and they are made very precise. Palladio drew them himself. Some are of buildings which he was interested in and some are designed by himself. Something special are also the highly decorated covers of the different books.
Andrea Palladio (1508-1580), who is the author of this book, was one of the biggest architect of his time. His work and theories had a huge impact on future architects. He took inspiration of the Roman architecture and was especially influenced by the writings of the roman author Vitruvius.