Légitimer le traité technique : la rhétorique de Philibert De l’Orme dans les Nouvelles inventions et le Premier tome
- architectural treatises,
- Philibert de L'Orme,
Copyright (c) 2020 Yves Pauwels
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Philibert de L’Orme’s Nouvelles inventions pour bien bastir (1561), on carpentry, and books III and IV in his Premier tome de l’architecture (1567), on stereotomy, are the first printed texts dealing with purely technical questions. By publishing them, de L’Orme broke with the traditional methods used in the corporations to transmit technical skills: he incorporated the old oral know-how in the field of printed humanist culture. To legitimate this approach, he needed to use rhetorical techniques in his text. A precise narration explains how he presented his project to the king, and how Henry II ordered him to write a book on this subject. So he justified the publication of the Nouvelles inventions by a royal order, which protected him from the craftsmen’s criticisms. On the other hand, he presented an original allegory of the good architect in book III of the Premier tome, showing a new and prestigious aspect of the profession: the architect is no longer a mason, working in the field of the Aristotelian category of “art”, but also a humanist concerned with “prudence”: as such, he does not belong to the world of the corporations and may publish his works.