London, South Kensington
8 May 2003
STUART, James (1713-1788) & Nicholas REVETT (1720-1804). The Antiquities of Athens, London: John Haberkorn (volume I) and John Nichols (volumes II-III), 1762-1794. Volumes I-III only (of 5), 2° (563 x 385mm). Titles with engraved vignettes, engraved portrait of James Stuart by C. Knight, folding hand-coloured map of Greece and 229 engraved plates, plans and maps by F. G. Aliamet, P. Foudrinier, William Blake and others. (Lacking subscribers' list, some plates with frayed foredges, a few with short tears or holes and losses in blank margins, some spotting and browning and dampstaining affecting at least half the plates and text leaves.) Contemporary calf (section of lower spine of vol. III torn away, rubbed and scuffed).
FIRST EDITION. "... of great importance in spreading the knowledge of Greek architecture ... the source book for the later Greek revival in England" (Fowler). "This is the first accurate survey of the classical buildings buildings of Athens. John Summerson has described it as 'one of the three most important architectural travel books of the century' (the other two being Wood's Ruins of Palmyra and Adam's Palace of Diocletian at Spalatro). Stuart and Revett's visit to Athens was made in 1751 at the instigation of the Society of Dilettanti" (Blackmer). Revett was responsible for the measured drawings, Stuart for the topographical view. Blackmer 1026; Brunet V, 570; Cicognara 2713; Fowler 340; Harris 857.
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