Li cinque ordini dell’architettura civile di Michel Sanmicheli rilevati dalle sue fabriche /e descritti e publiati con quelli di Vitruvio, Alberti, Palladio, Scamozzi, Serlio e Vignola dal co. Alessandro Pompei is a writing/book that illustrates the different orders of Classical architecture: Ionic, Doric, Corinthian, Tuscan and Composite. The book also talks specifically about 7 of the most famous Italian architects and architectural theorists (mentioned in the title of the work).
The book does not have an index but is divided into several chapters. The book opens with a short proem. Then follows the first real chapter of the book, which takes the name of: de’ cinque ordini in generale, delle parti de’ medesimi, e del modo di geometricamente formarli, which, as the title says, explains the main characteristics of the five orders and the way to rigorously respect their geometric rules and proportions in the construction. The second chapter is called alcune notizie degli architetti che sono esposti in quest’opera, where the author dedicates a sub-chapter to each of the great architects and theorists of architecture of that period (authors mentioned in the title). After this extensive introduction and contextualisation, Alessandro Pompei begins to describe the different orders of architecture according to Sanmicheli. The first is Ordine Toscano del Sanmicheli, followed by Ordine dorico del Sanmicheli, Ordine ionico del Sanmicheli, Ordine corintio del Sanmicheli, as the last chapter of the book Ordine composito del Sanmicheli.
The book presents various theoretical and explanatory illustrations of the geometric proportions of the columns of the various orders. Most of them take up the whole page, while the vignettes illustrating the architectural theorists occupy half or a quarter of the page. The images appear to be made using the technique of iron or copper engraving, as they are very precise and detailed. There is a good percentage between text and images, about 50% each, which allows a good understanding of the text. The text is arranged in two columns. The pages with text are numbered on the top left/right, while those with pictures are not numbered.
The book is quite fine, despite the large number of pages. The large format makes it possible to appreciate the illustrations even more.
The author of the book, Alessando Pompei, is an Italian architect, painter and writer. He has always been attracted by classical architecture and his studies of it.