On the first page of the book Jean Françeois de Neufforge writes that his book contains several studies of the orders of architecture according to the opinion of the ancients. The title “Recueil elementaire d’architecture” translated in English means “the elementary collection of architecture”. He wants to provide inspiration for others with his images. By looking at the list of contents one will see that the books also include modern interpretations and examples of decorations of all types of buildings.
The author of the book, De Neufforge, studied engraving and architecture, this is what explains his beautiful drawings. At the age of twenty years he moved to Paris, where he spent the rest of his life. In the year 1755 he started to gain popularity, based on his project “Recueil élémentaire d’architecture”. His work consisted of 96 plates, for use by artists, amateurs and students. Nearly every single drawing was done by himself, that is why the volume is sheer.
His book became famous around in the 1700s. It was widely used architects. The engravings cover the full range of buildings of his day and included facades, floor plans, doors, columns, vases, stairways, fireplaces and fences. It was sort of like a lexicon for architecture.
To sum it all up one can say that the intention of de Neufforge was not to persuade anyone to believe in an architectural ideology or educate in a specific topic but rather to provide exapmles and inspirations from all known architecture at the time.