Vitruvius Quotes

  • Beauty is produced by the pleasing appearance and good taste of the whole, and by the dimensions of all the parts being duly proportioned to each other.
  • Economy consists in a due and proper application of the means afforded according to the ability of the employer and the situation chosen; care being taken that the expenditure is prudently conducted.
  • Perhaps, to the uninformed, it may appear unaccountable that a man should be able to retain in his memory such a variety of learning; but the close alliance with each other, of the different branches of science, will explain the difficulty.
  • Quicksilver is used for many purposes; without it, neither silver nor brass can be properly gilt.
  • Wind is a floating wave of air, whose undulation continually varies.
  • Music assists him in the use of harmonic and mathematical proportion.
  • Nothing requires the architect's care more than the due proportions of buildings.
  • Architecture is a science arising out of many other sciences, and adorned with much and varied learning; by the help of which a judgment is formed of those works which are the result of other arts.
  • The temple of Ceres should be in a solitary spot out of the city, to which the public are not necessarily led but for the purpose of sacrificing to her.
  • The lanes and streets of the city being set out, the choice of sites for the convenience and use of the state remains to be decided on; for sacred edifices, for the forum, and for other public buildings.
  • Proportion is that agreeable harmony between the several parts of a building, which is the result of a just and regular agreement of them with each other; the height to the width, this to the length, and each of these to the whole.
  • Wherefore the mere practical architect is not able to assign sufficient reasons for the forms he adopts; and the theoretic architect also fails, grasping the shadow instead of the substance.
  • I am moreover inclined to be concise when I reflect on the constant occupation of the citizens in public and private affairs, so that in their few leisure moments they may read and understand as much as possible.
  • But I, Caesar, have not sought to amass wealth by the practice of my art, having been rather contented with a small fortune and reputation, than desirous of abundance accompanied by a want of reputation.
  • From the exterior face of the wall towers must be projected, from which an approaching enemy may be annoyed by weapons, from the embrasures of those towers, right and left.
  • Consistency is found in that work whose whole and detail are suitable to the occasion. It arises from circumstance, custom, and nature.
  • Marble is not alike in all countries.
  • For an object under the eye will appear very different from the same object placed above it; in an inclosed space, very different from the same in an open space.
  • The thickness of the walls should be sufficient for two armed men to pass each other with ease.
  • Dimension regulated the general scale of the work, so that the parts may all tell and be effective.
  • I, therefore, O Caesar, do not publish this work, merely prefixing my name to a treatise which of right belongs to others, nor think of acquiring reputation by finding fault with the works of any one.
  • Care should be taken that all buildings are well lighted: in those of the country this point is easily accomplished, because the wall of a neighbour is not likely to interfere with the light.
  • Since, therefore, individuals as well as the public are so indebted to these writers for the benefits they enjoy, I think them not only entitled to the honour of palms and crowns, but even to be numbered among the gods.
  • Bodies which contain a greater proportion of water than is necessary to balance the other elements, are speedily corrupted, and lose their virtues and properties.
  • An easy approach to the walls must be provided against: indeed they should be surrounded by uneven ground, and the roads leading to the gates should be winding and turn to the left from the gates.