Pollio, Venice, 1511.
[Library shelfmark Fin.16].
Dating from the first century BC, Marcus Vitruvius Pollio's 'De architectura' is the only architectural text to have survived from ancient Rome.
The book records Roman building methods and design, and influenced artists and architects from the Renaissance onwards.
At the Library, we hold the first illustrated edition of 'De architectura', printed in 1511. This text was the one to which all others referred until at least the 18th century.
Robert Adam and 'De architectura'
Inspired by the architecture of the classical world depicted in books like 'De architectura', Robert Adam educated himself in the art of drawing and the architecture of the classical world.
These inspirations contributed to the Adam style and neo-classical architecture. Adam wrote in a letter that he hoped 'to have my ideas greatly enlarged and my taste formed upon the solid foundation of genuine antiquity.'
Vitrivius's 'De architectura' was on display in 'The beautiful spirit of antiquity', at the Library from 16 June to 18 September 2016.