8/13/2019

The best books on Architectural History recommended by Dan Cruickshank

"It’s the most important architecture book ever written, insofar as it spawned and inspired imitations throughout Europe and North America from the late 17th century almost until now. There are various translations including an English one from 1738 by chap called Isaac Webb, so it very quickly became available in English. In fact, the earliest translation was in 1710, so it was available in Italian, English, German, French and it sets out an architectural theory of what we now call Palladian architecture.

It sets out the proportions and argues that beauty in architecture is a divine gift and that if one follows these proportions that Palladio, through trial, error, observation and intellect, had gleaned from his study of Roman architecture and nature, you can create beauty, architecture with harmonically related paths which really are attuned to the divine beauty. In the 18th century this book was like a bible, setting out a series of rules to copy, to inspire, and, indeed, he ends up really creating what we now term Georgian architecture which is still much loved, admired and fostered. So that book is an amazing document. It’s not a history book as much as the others, not reflecting, but it has inspired great architecture and it remains an accessible read."

- 'The best books on Architectural History recommended by Dan Cruickshank'