The text “Di Lucio Vitruvio Pollione de architectura” by Cesare Cesariano is generally arranged in one column. On most pages, however, there are insertions on specific topics, which are included as a separate column in the block. The font is Gothic and the headings are in capital letters, beginning with a large, richly decorated letter. According to the enormous size of the book (43 x 29 cm) the font size is quite large and easy to read. The margins are quite wide. The header line indicates the respective chapter and page number.
The text is accompanied by many architectural illustrations. These may be perspectives of buildings, floor plans, views, details or schematic explanations of the theory of proportion, but there are depictions of landscapes or everyday life. The copperplate engravings each take up about a quarter to a half of the page. The text runs around them. There are about 113 images on the 391 pages, so the illustrations take up about ten percent of the content. The images are important for visualizing and understanding the text. They show schemes or details that would be difficult or complex to describe in text form. The pictures are each labelled and explained with a few lines. However, there is no numbering or referencing.
Even though the design of the book and the many beautiful copper engravings are also very appealing to non-professionals, the book is more suitable for academic reading due to the long continuous text. It deals with current topics for today’s architects, such as the theory of proportion and the effects of the position of the sun on shadow casting, but especially architecture in the context of the way of life and mentality of the ancient world. For the interested reader these are presented in long texts, accompanied by some supporting illustrations.