The book represents through graphical representations, with an initial introduction, a laudation and an explanation to the reader of the book, the main architectural styles thus; the Tuscan, the Doric, the Ionic, the Corinthian and the Composite order.
An overview of the column of a given architectural style is given followed by a series of examples of situations and portals consistent with the style submitted. This is repeated five times for the five genres, starting with the Tuscan genre and ending with the Composite genre, with a final representation of what appears to be the portal to hell.
The purpose of these representations, however, doesn’t seem to be that of the typical manual on the search for classical and exact proportions, but rather a qualitative identification of the respective forms, uses and decorations of the order. An overview of the appropriate proportions for the column is given, but the focus is set on the positioning of the genre in its particular context or an enhancement of its features by the contextualisation of its specific uses.
The details and decorations assigned to these places, or the coats of arms positioned in shields, but above all to the portals, almost make a metamorphosis by transforming themselves into animals or characters appropriate to the submitted genre. The column of the Tuscan style, for example, takes shape and becomes a humble man in a barrel with a vine growing around him, for the Doric style there is a soldier who crosses his legs and holds an axe and a guard under his arm full of arrows. For the Ionic style, there is a stiff lady with a hairstyle that very much looks like the Ionic capital. For the Corinthian style stands a young woman of rather sensual characteristics, bare-chested with a short skirt and finally for the Composite style another young woman but more discrete, decorated with flowers.
These overviews are then followed by several examples of exemplary portals or structures, consistent with the style, representing the ideal purpose, meaning and function. These structures are so placed in their appropriate settings for the genre or are depicted in ideal locations, as for the Doric genre represented by a conquered fortress or for the Ionic genre represented by the entrance to what may appear to be a curvilinear temple dedicated to water adorned by the statue of the king of the seas, Poseidon with his typical trident and the point and oar of a stranded lifeboat.
The meticulous decorations take shape manifesting themselves in animals, tools such as cannons or vases, men and women, following the myth on which the different architectural styles are based, fulfilling their function and performing their ideal task.
detail, abbondance, setting