I quattro libri dell’architettura» written by Andrea Palladio is a summary of observations collected and studied closely by Palladio. Each book treats grouped themes such as: building materials and building elements (first book), atrium and halls (second book), roads, bridges and places (third book) or temples (fourth book). As mentioned, his knowledge is based on observing the ancient buildings in Italy which he visited for the first time in 1541. The described building elements are shown in precise illustrated pictures which gives the readers an exact idea of length, width and ratio. One chapter immediately stood among the described concise treatise of the four orders in the first book. Chapter 20 is called “abuse” and discusses the use of wrong orders, combinations and mainly relations which roots, and origin Palladio leads back to the barbarians as a misunderstanding of ancient architecture.
This short chapter is used by Palladio to include the Vitruvian thought of architecture as an imitation of nature and to emphasize basic, already expected to be known, principles which always should be highly valued by an architect. Palladio wants to create an understanding, why design elements like the cornice or the column are shaped as they are and to give an importance to conservate their form. Thus, the reader should train his eye and sense of logic to detect abuse of principles in his own projects and designs. Palladio states that amendments always can be made but should never influence the general idea, concept of architecture. An architect should always be conscious about his design and the correct approach to reach his goal. An example is given by Palladio in the description of the use of rings or segmentations on a column as they work contrary to the original idea of it which is to hide the weight of a roof or ceiling in their elegance. The position of the chapter after the discussion of the four orders shows that the orders played a very important role for Palladio and he absolutely wanted reader to study them close. Further the importance of the subject is so big that Palladio leaves for one chapter his descriptive style of writing in the book to meet the reader on a more personal, advisory level to really state his point argumentative.