13 June 2002
LE ROY, Julien David (1728-1803). Les Ruines des plus beaux Monuments de la Grèce. Paris: H. L. Guerin & L. F. Delatour, and Jean-Luc Nyon; and Amsterdam: Jean Neaulme, 1758.
2 parts in one volume, 2° (510 x 380mm). Title with woodcut printer's device, half-title, 60 full-page engraved views, architectural plans and maps by Le Bas and Littret de Montigny, de Neufforge and Patte after Le Roy, woodcut tailpieces. (Three plates cut down to platemark and laid down, occasional light spotting mainly affecting title and a few final leaves, minor repaired tear to corner of plate 22.) Half red morocco gilt with marbled boards by J. Wright, gilt edges (occasional light scuffing to extremities).
FIRST EDITION of this important discourse on the history and architecture of ancient Greece, a model for the development of French neo-classical architecture. Le Roy, a leading French architect of his time, was trained by Jacques-François Blondel and later succeeded him as Professor of Architecture at the Académie Royale d'Architecture. He went to Greece in 1754 and having spent four years studying, measuring and drawing ancient monuments and sites, published Les Ruines, in which he challenges the architectural principles of beauty, relating it to history rather than to the universal ideal. He combines his archaeological discoveries with architectual theories 'developed and expanded from the important controversy of Perrault and Blondel'. Berlin Kat. 1888; Cohen/de Ricci 627; Millard French, 101.
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