BULLET, Pierre

BULLET, Pierre Architecture pratique, qui comprend la construction générale & particuliere des batimens; le détail, les toisé & devis de chaque partie, ...

Paris, chez Jean-Thomas Hérissant, 1762


8vo.pp. xxx, 622, [ii]. a8, b8(-b8 blank), A-2Q8. Engraved frontispiece, 13 folding engraved plates, two folding printed tables. Roman letter, some Italic. Small ornament on title, woodcut head and tail-pieces, innumerable small woodcut illustrations in text, bookplates of J.B. and Michael Bury on pastedown. The very rare marginal mark. A very good copy, crisp and clean with excellent impressions of the plates, in contemporary cats-paw calf, spine with raised bands, gilt ruled in compartments richly gilt, marbled endpapers, a.e.r., corners bumped.

Excellent edition, beautifully illustrated with numerous folding engraved plates, and very numerous text illustrations, of this eminently practical architectural work. Pierre Bullet (1639-1716) was a celebrated architect, and early member of the Académie Royale d’Architecture, many of whose buildings are still notable in Paris today. He is renowned, amongst others, for the Porte Sainte-Martin (1674), the church of St. Thomas d’Aquin, and various private mansions including the Hôtel Le Pelletier de Saint Fargeau (1686-1690) and two Hotels on the Place Vendôme, for the financier Croizat (1703-1706 ), now the Ritz. He was also the architect of the Château de Champs sur Marne (1703-1707) (recently beautiful restored) and the château d’Issy (1681) which was burnt down during La Commune. In 1675 he published a treatise on the use of the pantometer supplemented in 1688 by a treatise on levelling. In 1676 with François Blondel, he also published a rare and very fine map of Paris. His most important work is this Practical Architecture first published in 1691. This work was often re-edited, with additions by Descoutures from 1755. L’Architecture pratique is a very complete manual for the use of builders. Its successive editions underline its importance for architects for almost a century. It brings together all technical aspects of building, including financial and legal information, for all the various parties involved in construction. It is almost like a ‘Builder’s Bible’ for the period. The book is abundantly illustrated with both folding and text plates and technical sketches. “Blomfield says that Pierre Bullet stood at the front rank of the Architects of his time and that ‘His famous work L’Architecture pratique .. was the first really practical treatise by an architect on building from a business point of view, the cost and measurement, and specifications .. relating to building. .. Bullet’s work has no literary pretensions or merit: it was an exceedingly useful surveyors handbook.” Fowler. The work reflects the change in the status of an architect that was becoming steadily more professional, involving a greater application of mathematics and leaving less and less room for on-site initiatives. “L’oeuvre la plus importante de Bullet fut cependant son Architecture Pratique, publiée initialement en 1692, puis nombreuses autres fois au XVIIIeme siècle. Ce fut le premier livre apportant une application concrète des mathématiques aux problèmes du dimensionnnement et de la détermination des volumes dans tous les types d’operations de construction.” Alberto Pérez-Gómez ‘L’architecture et la crise de la science moderne.’

Fowler 72 (first edn.)
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