1344. [Utopia]

PERRET, Jacques

[Des fortifications et artifices, architecture et perspective de Jaques Perret gentilhomme savoysien].

S.l.n., [1620?]

Folio: [4] ff., 21 (of 22) engr. pl., on laid paper, signed "Thomas de leu sculpcit" (all pl. bound in different order compared to the BnF copy. Missing: engr. title, dedication, pl. 21 of the BnF copy. The origin of the bilingual text part could not be identified, notes in ink by a contemp. hand on 1 pl., sl. toned, some inner margins split, some margins repaired).

Contemp. vellum (rebound).

Rare copy of this utopian project in urban design by J. Perret who was one of the first early Huguenot architects. After the 1st 1601 Paris ed., the work was reprinted in Frankfurt (1602), Oppenheim (1613), and Paris (1620). Each of these ed. is today quite rare, and apart from these, there exist deviant copies, such as this one. It incl. 4 bilingual text lvs (not P. 1601, Fr. 1602, 1613), entitled "Description des fortifications" in French and German, and 21 (of 22 in BnF) engr. pl. The book with the misleading title of a military opus dedicated to the art of modern fortifications is in fact an intriguingly personal vision of utopian Huguenot architecture. The 21 design drawings for his idealized city, all finely engr. by Thomas Deleu, incl. plans and views of fortifications, of religious and secular architecture. The work dates from shortly after the 1598 Edict of Nantes that put an end to the Wars of Religion. Therefore, the Huguenot temples to be incorporated into the new fortified towns are of great interest, particularly because these are designs for versatile spaces suitable for religious and secular activities. One of the temples could hold nearly 10,000 people on its mainfloor and included two additional balconies. At the end, the premonition of the "modern skyscraper" is dominating the design of a town. Often more ideal than concrete, Perret's work was innovative and certainly avant-garde for its date of publication.
Ref. BnF 39316913 (1601 ed.). - Millard, French, no. 139, pp. 401-02 (1601 ed.). - Cockle 799 (1602 ed.). - Ornamentstichsammlung Berlin 2368 (1620 ed.). - Brunet IV:5910. - Eagle, D. - "Historicizing the Megachurch", Journal of Social History 48 (2015), pp. 592-593.

€ 2.500 / 3.500

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