SAINT-NON, Jean-Claud Richard, Abbé de (1727-1791). Voyage Pittoresque a Naples et en Sicile... Nouvelle Édition. Paris: Dufour, 1829.
Atlas only without the text volumes, 3 volumes bound in 2, 2o (509 x 330 mm). 515 (of 558) engraved and numbered maps (7 folding), plans and plates (lacking 43 plates, plate 375 with short marginal tear not affecting the image). (Some light intermittent spotting). Contemporary black morocco gilt, marbled paper boards, original wrappers bound in (covers detached, backstrip of Volume 2 lost, worn).
Second Edition, reprinting the majority of the plates and illustrations in the original Lafosse edition of 1781-86. This re-issue is testament to the success of Saint-Non's 25 year labor to publish a major artistic exploration of all aspects of the life and history of a lesser known region of the world. Saint-Non first went to Italy in 1759 to study art and architecture in Rome where, amongst others, he met the artists Jean-Honori Fragonard and Hubert Robert (who were among those who contributed drawings to this work). He traveled to Naples with them in the spring of 1760, spending several weeks in Naples itself, as well as visiting Paestum, Pompeii and Herculaneum, where he drew copies of murals and antiquities. On his return to Paris in 1761, preparation of the plates was put in hand under the direction of Jean Benjamin de La Borde, co-author with Zurlauben of the equally spectacular Tableaux de la Suisse. Saint-Non spent an immense amount of time and great deal of money in the preparation of the work. Publication did not begin until 1781, twenty years after his return from Italy, and then continued until 1786. The work was an undoubted critical success but a financial disaster, and it is said to have hastened Saint-Non's death in 1791. RARE: according to American Book Prices Current, only one complete copy has sold in the last 30 years (Christie's London, 25 April 1990, lot 63). Only 4 other copies, all also incomplete, are recorded there. Brunet V:56; Graesse 6:226; Cohen-de Ricci 930. Sold as a collection of plates, not subject to return. (2)