HITORFF, Jacques Ignace (1792-1867) and Karl Ludwig Wilhelm ZANTH (1796-1857). Architecture Antique de la Sicile ou Recueil des plus intéressans monumens d'architecture des villes et des lieux les plus remarquables de la Sicilie ancienne. Paris: Paul Renoir for J. Hitorff, Jules Renouard, [1827-1829].
8 parts, 2° (585 x 425mm). 48 engraved plates, numbered 2-49. 5 plates with hand-colouring. Plate lists to parts 2, 4-8 mounted on two sheets of buff paper. (First plate slightly soiled, final plate lightly spotted and frayed at bottom margin, a few others slightly frayed or with short tears at edges, without plate list to pt. 3.) Unbound, with original front wrapper to part 1 carrying printed title (transcribed above) and mounted list of plates; modern green cloth portfolio.
FINE COPY IN UNBOUND SHEETS. The plates include views, reconstructions, plans and elevations, cross sections and details of pediments, issued without text other than the plate lists to be pasted onto the part wrappers. Although limited to 8 parts instead of the 30 originally projected with a volume of text, Hitorff's survey nevertheless proved both impressive and controversial in its depictions of polychromatic decoration. The German archaeologist toured Sicily from September 1823 through February 1824, travelling in the company of two draughtsmen, Karl-Ludwig von Zanth, and Wilhelm Stier (1799-1856). The three -- often with the aid of local draughtsmen, amateur archaeologists, and labourers -- examined and measured the civic and religious remains of ancient Taormina, Catania, Syracuse, Agrigento, Selinus (where they uncovered the 'Temple of Empedocles'), and Segesta. From the data assembled Hittorff developed general theories about the origin, nature, and significance of Greek architecture, and most notably about the use of paint as a decorative medium in antiquity. Blackmer 820; Borroni, Il Cicognara (Florence 1963), no. 9325; Brunet III, 237; V.C. Minischetti, G. Dotoli, and R. Musnik, Bibliographie du voyage français en Italie du Moyen Âge à 1914 (Fasano & Paris 2002), p. 318.