Year of Palladio

The Four Books and America

Letís now investigate what The Four Books has meant to America, for it was through the various editions of The Four Books that Americans first came to know Palladio. We should start with the first book: Palladioís discussion of the rules for drawing the orders. From its first publication, this section became a textbook for architects and builders. This was especially true for Americaís colonial period. Numerous other architectural pattern books with instructions on the orders were available to colonial Americans, but most of their authors ultimately obtained their information from Palladio. The availability of various editions of Palladio in 18th-century America is a subject in itself. It is sufficient to note here that editions of Palladio could be found in libraries in Boston, Salem, New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Charleston, as well as in the libraries of Harvard and Yale universities. The estate of the Virginia Carpenter, Richard Brown, lists a copy of Palladio (Brownís only book) in 1717. The Salem architect/builder, Samuel McIntire, owned the first section of Palladio, the treatise on the orders _. Thomas Jefferson, Palladioís greatest advocate in America, called Palladioís book ìthe Bibleî, and believed it should provide the basis for the new architecture of the young country. Jefferson owned seven editions of _The Four Books during his lifetime.

Figure 4
Figure 4

I Quattro Libri Dellíarchitettura Di Andrea Palladio The Four Books | The Four Books and America | James Gibbs and Palladio

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