Scamozzi & Serlio
This illustrated commentary of the ruins of Rome is Scamozzi's first
book. It was a hasty production that was assembled for a developing market.
In the dedication he writes that the text was assembled in the space
of a few of days.' The images by Giovanni Battista Pittoni were first
used in 1561. Over half were copied, without reversal, from Hieronymus
Cock's Praecipua aliquot Romanae antiquitatis ruinarum monimenta
from the 1550s (also held in the de Beer collection).
In his seven-volume Tutte l'opere d'architettura that first
appeared in 1584, Serlio aimed to provide a practical manual of architecture
while avoiding explicit theory. As such the work became one of the most
influential of all publications on architecture. The third book which
is displayed here, was first printed in 1540. In it Serlio documents and
discusses Roman and Renaissance architecture. He measured and reconstructed
partial ruins. Serlio did not doubt the value of the lessons from antiquity.
In acknowledging that the work of the Greeks was superior to the Romans,
he prepared the way for debate in subsequent centuries.