I quatro primi libri di architettura di Pietro Cataneo is composed by four main chapters. Each of these chapters represents one of the “quatro primi libri” mentioned in the title. All of these Chapters have many subchapters. The book uses a varying font size from very small to very large. The book uses initials/ drop caps, which is a very large letter used in the beginning of a text. While it follows these traditional rules of book layout, it differentiates itself from other books by only numbering every second page. So that the fourth page is labeled as page 2.
There are very detailed illustrations in the book. On one hand it uses very traditional architectural plans while it also has artistic drawings that help the reader to visualize the text. Sometimes these artistic drawings are combined with architectural plans. For example, a plan of a fort is accompanied by a drawing of the ocean with hand drawn boats on it.
These drawings mostly take up full pages and aren’t numbered/ labelled in any way. They are hand drawn, made with precision and, in my opinion, artistic talent. Images are always used in an explanatory way, as an addition to the text. Chapters often focus on one building or one type of building and use illustrations of different angles to demonstrate different aspects of those buildings.
Often there are about six illustrations that show plans of different sections and three-dimensional drawings that help bring the plans together. In conclusion it can be said that the illustrations are used in mainly three different ways: 1. To show a detailed floorplan of a building. 2. To show a perspective of the building that allows the reader to better understand it as a whole 3. To show the context in which the building can be found.