argumentation, page layout, discussion
The “Traité des cinq ordres d’architecture d’André Palladio mise enparallèle avec ceux de Vignole“ written by Alexandre Sobro stumbles upon several architectural topics, but it mostly discusses and describes them by using pure geometry explained in drawings. In the following I am going to take a closer look at the way the book is structured and how exactly it logically presents the architectural orders and styles. Starting with the layout of the pages I can say that they are structured very self-explanatory, although the book was written in French. They are mostly covered in sketches and plans which show the different details, elements and geometry of columns, arcs and many more. I can simply say that the book is a summary of the primary architectural orders expressed in different parts of the building: Doric, Corinthian, Ionic, Tuscan, Composite. Starting with the element, through which the orders firstly arise: the column, the book upgrades upon it and uses it as a starting point. At the very beginning the work summarizes its true nature and involves the reader by starting with a simple argument, probably most closely to the reader. Followed up by several chapters specifying on each order, Sobro compares the two different ways Paladio and Vignole understood and integrated the orders in architecture and their workflow. By taking a closer look at each order, it’s geometry, it’s part in a building and it’s different specifications become clear.
At first the content of the book seems very easy to understand, but it actually discusses a very important analysis of the architectural history. Sobro compares two theses about the same subject of two of the greatest Renaissance architects: Vignola and Palladio.
Getting back at the structure of the book I am very fascinated by the fact how it flowsa like a discussion. Without the use of many words Sobro presents both sides and creates a discussion by bringing up an argument on each page. He manages to put centuries of architectural history and analysis in one book by comparing Palladio and Vignola.
At the end of the book Sobro takes a look at the bigger picture: building plans, ports and temples. He is not explicitly talking about Palladio and Vignola, but how the diverse definition of the orders changed Renessaince buildings like temples or villas.
Summarizing the concept, Alexandre Sobro´s book is an analysis from an 18th century perspective of the Renaissance understanding of the five orders and the way they were integrated in Renaissance buildings.
Monika Ruseva, Atelier Schneider