Diego de Sagredo
Gordon 1526 .S27 (Click on the call number to view the digital facsimile.)
Raison darchitecture antique, / extraicte
de Victruue, et aultres anciens architecteurs, ; nouuellem¯et
traduit despaignol en Fr¯acoys: a lutilite de
ceulx q[ui] se delect¯et en edifices.
[Paris] : Imprime par Simon de Colines demourant a
Paris rue sainct Iehan de Beauuais, a lenseigne du
[According to Renouard's Bibl. des éd. de
S. de Colines, published between 1526 and 1537.]
Gordon 1542 .R27(Click on the call number to view the digital facsimile.)
Raison darchitecture antique, / extraicte de Victruue, & aultres anciens architecteurs, ; nouuellem¯et traduit despaignol en Fr¯acoys: a lutilite de ceulx qui se delect¯et en edifices.
[Paris] : Imprime par Simon de Colines demourant a Paris en la grand rue sainct Marcel, a lenseigne des quatre Euangelistes, 1542.
Diego de Sagredo’s Medidas del
Romano (Toledo, 1526)
was the first book on architecture written in Spanish
and the first published in a vernacular other than
Italian. Soon thereafter (sometime between 1526 and
1537), Sagredo’s treatise was translated into
French, with an additional section on the proportion
and spacing of columns, and published in Paris under
the title Raison darchitecture antique….
The Gordon Collection includes the first French
edition (reference above) and a subsequent
Sagredo’s work introduces the
terms of classical Roman architecture and its underlying
geometrical forms to his educated Castillian readers.
His primary source, acknowledged in the first part
of the Medidas, was the roman architectural
treatise of Vitruvius.
Nigel Llewellyn has also shown to what extent the
De re aedificatorio of the Italian architect
Alberti was another important influence on Sagredo’s
Sagredo’s treatise is set up
in the form of a fictional dialogue between Tampeso,
a clergyman whose voice is often associated with that
of the author, and Picardo, a painter who asks the
questions that allow Tampeso to expound on architectural
theory and forms. Tampeso defends the effort and expense
of grand architectural edifices, as well as the talents
and learning of architects. He emphasizes the importance
of geometry, part of a liberal arts training, to the
understanding of architecture. Influenced by Renaissance
humanism, Sagredo argues that the architect should
be a learned man, and accorded a higher status than
that assigned to the manual activities of the building
Following the example of Vitruvius, and
also the main currents of humanist thought, Sagredo
establishes the human body, created in God’s image,
as the model of ideal proportion in architecture. This
anthropomorphic view of architecture is evident in the
illustrations of the cornice, which clearly draw the
analogy between classical architectural design and the
human form. Elsewhere, Tampeso refers to the Vitruvian
description of a human figure within a circle and a
square, both perfect geometric forms. Illustrations
of that Vitruvian figure became a standard element in
Renaissance architectural treatises.
Along with an emphasis
on the geometric figures underlying architectural
forms, Sagredo focuses on the details of exterior
design, moving downward from the classical forms of
the cornice, to the types of columns that correspond
to the five orders of architecture and the rules for
their embellishment, to the bases and pedestals that
support them. Although the Medidas focus primarily
on the Classical orders, Sagredo did not forget the
aesthetic tastes of his fellow Spanish readers, and
included a chapter on the baluster, a type of column
that is identified as a uniquely Spanish architectural
-- Karen James (2005)
1 See pages 130-135 in chapter 6 of Paper
Palaces: The Rise of the Renaissance Architectural Treatise,
edited by Vaughan Hart and Peter Hicks. New Haven, CT: Yale
Hart, Vaughan, and Peter Hicks, eds. Paper Palaces: The Rise of the Renaissance Architectural Treatise. New Haven: Yale UP, 1998. Chapter 6.
Lemerle, Frédéric. "La version française des Medidas del Romano." Diego de Sagredo, Medidas del Romano. Eds. F. Marías and F. Pereda. Toledo:Antonio Pareja Editor, 2000. Vol. II, p. 93-106.
Provides a transcription of Gordon 1526 .S27 (first edition of the Raison darchitecture...) as a pdf file. Also includes digital versions (image format and transcription) of the 1539 and the 1542 editions, along with an informative introduction in French to the author and his treatise.
Access to a digital copy (facsimile) of Medidas del romano o Uitruuio: nueuame[n]te impressas y añadidas muchas pieças & figuras muy necessarias a los officiales.... Toledo : en casa de Jua[n] de Ayala, 1564.
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