22.000

BARBAULT, Jean.. Les plus beaux monuments de Rome ancienne.– Les plus beaux edifices de Rome moderne.

Rome, chez Bouchard & Gravier, de l'Imprimerie de Komarek., 1761-1763

Folio (517 x 330mm), 2 volumes bound in one. Engraved vignettes on titles and 30 tailpieces, 44 double-page and 73 single-page plates, of which 44 have 2 separate impressions, woodcut decorative initials without half-titles, first work with old repair to marginal tear on leaf B and browning to leaf 2V and adjacent plate, but otherwise a clean, crisp copy with only a few minor insignificant scattered spots and stains. Contemporary calf by Brunck, signed in gilt at foot of spine, spine gilt in 8 compartments, gilt lettering-piece in second. (extremities restored). Provenance: John Waldie (armorial bookplate) – Sir Richard and Lady Waldie Griffith (presentation inscription gifting the book as a wedding present to:) – Lady Burleigh.

GBP 22,000

 

 

A beautiful architectural sammelband, in fine impression, with over a hundred engravings of ancient and modern views of Rome. After moving to Rome better to study its antiquities, the French Jean Barbault (1705-66) collaborated with Piranesi, etching several plates depicting sepulchral monuments. He fulfilled his passion for art and archaeology by producing several successful suites of architectural prints, republished after his death.

The first work, on the most beautiful monuments of ancient Rome, comprises 73 engraved plates, with a total of 128 copperplates (the number appearing in the work's title), mostly produced by Barbault. Most buildings (temples, arches, amphitheatres, columns, obelisks, aqueducts, etc.) are portrayed and accompanied by a brief historico-archaeological text on their architecture, bringing together ancient authorities and Barbault's personal experience as a French grand-tourist. Plates 55-73, which come without explanation, are entirely devoted to ancient sculpture (including an Etruscan figure found in a sepulchral urn) and bas-reliefs; pp.86-7 ‘illustrate and describe three large paintings discovered at Herculaneum, and include two small, unsigned views of excavations there' (BAL).

The second work, with 44 double-page and 20 smaller copperplates on Rome's most beautiful modern buildings, was published posthumously, and it is similarly organised, with illustrations and textual explanation. It opens with a magnificent large plate of St Peter's Basilica and Piazza; the following provide views of the church including its interior, of S. Giovanni in Laterano, San Paolo Fuori le Mura, Sant'Ignazio, the Jesuit Collegio Romano, Piazza Navona, and so on. Barbault renders modern buildings with the same monumentality of ancient ruins inspired by Piranesi, towering over the few scattered figures going about their daily life. The antiquity of Rome appears inevitably in several scenes, for instance, the view of Palazzo Chigi facing the Colonna Traiana.

Nothing appears to be known about Brunck, who bound this copy. One of his exquisite bindings is preserved at the BL (c154f2), as part of the Charles Ramsden Collection of Signed Bindings.

 

 

I: Brunet, I, 646; Grässe, I, 289; BAL 184; Fowler 37; Cicognara 3592.

LC, Missouri, NGA, Columbia, Princeton, Yale, Boston Athenaeum, Harvard, Phillips Exeter, Getty, UCLA, Cornell, JHU, Cornell, Penn State, HRC, Ohio State, Notre Dame, Minnesota, Chicago, Illinois and Penn copies recorded in the US.

 

II: Brunet, I, 646; Graesse I, 289. Not in BAL.

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