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Architecture]; Blondel Jacques François

Published by Paris Charles Antoine Jombert, Libraire du Roy pour L’artillerie & Le Génie a L’Image Notre Dame (colophon: De L’Imprimerie de J. Chardon) 1737-1738, 1738
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First Edition, early issue. With the illustrations drawn by Cochin and engraved in copper by Soubeyran, profusely illustrated throughout (see collation), the frontispiece in red and black. A profusion of the plates are multi-folding and quite large. 4to (mm. 295 x 215), handsomely bound in full contemporary vellum, the spines with raised bands and decorated with maroon morocco lettering labels gilt. (8), 198, 43 very finely engraved plates; (8), XVI, 180, 109 very finely engraved plates; a fine frontispiece in Vol. I and 27 beautiful vignettes, head- and tail-pieces and capital letters engraved in copper. A fine and handsome set, and a beautifully preserved copy. The work was originally published with 155 plates. Expert and sympathetic restoration to fill in hole in some leaves. FIRST EDITION, EARLY ISSUE OF THIS IMPORTANT WORK, PROFUSELY ILLUSTRATED WITH FINE ENGRAVINGS. Blondel was born in Rouen, and trained under his uncle Jean-François Blondel (1683–1756), architect of Rouen, then began a career as an architectural engraver, but developed into a conservative and thorough architect, whose rationally ordered mind consolidated French classical tradition and practice. His hugely influential encyclopedic work, DE LA DISTRIBUTION DES MAISONS DE PLAISANCE, ET DE LA DÉCORATION DES EDIFICES EN GENERAL was issued at Paris, 1737–38. It contained 155 carefully engraved plates. "Blondel was the most significant French architectural educator of the eighteenth century.his objective was to establish design principles for domestic architecture that correspond to the classical principles already in practice for civil structures" (Millard 1993, p. 25). Blondel was in Paris by 1726. His DISTRIBUTION DES MAISONS DE PLAISANCE and other engraved work attracted a commission to produce thirteen of the engravings for the festival book commemorating the fêtes that celebrated the wedding of Madame Elizabeth of France with Dom Philippe of Spain. In 1740 he opened his architectural courses, the Ecole des Arts, in Paris, sanctioned by the Académie in 1743. In the ensuing years a long sequence of architects profited from his discourse: Boullée, Brongniart, Chalgrin, La Guêpière, Desprez, de Wailly, Gondoin, Ledoux, Guimard and Rondelet, and to foreigners who would bring Neoclassicism home with them: the Anglo-Swedish Sir William Chambers, and the Dane Caspar Frederik Harsdorff. His four volumes, L’ARCHITECTURE FRANÇAISE (1752– 1756), brought him to official notice; he was inducted into the Académie d'Architecture in 1755 and appointed architect to Louis XV.[5] In L'architecture he covered the past century and more of French buildings, setting them in their historical context and providing a wealth of detailed information that would otherwise have been lost. Though his executed body of work was small, mostly confined to work he executed at Metz under commission of the duc de Choiseul,[6] his approach was soundly grounded: for the Encyclopédie he contributed the article on masonry, among others. He was among the earliest founders of schools of architecture in France, and for this he was distinguished by the French Academy; His COURS D’ARCHITECTURE OU TRATÉ DE LA DÉCORATION, DISTRIBUTION ET CONSTRUCTIONS DES BATIMENTS CONTENANT LES LEÇONS DONNÉS EN 1750, ET LES ANNÉES SUIVANTES began appearing in 1771 and ran to nine volumes by 1777, with a volume of plates to each two volumes of text; the last volumes were seen through the press by his disciple Pierre Patte. His practical, encyclopedic approach, largely ignoring the excesses of Rococo, had survived changes in taste and remained in the mainstream of French architectural training for several decades more.’. Bookseller Inventory # 23467

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Bibliographic Details


Publisher: Paris Charles Antoine Jombert, Libraire du Roy pour L’artillerie & Le Génie a L’Image Notre Dame (colophon: De L’Imprimerie de J. Chardon) 1737-1738

Publication Date: 1738

Binding: Hardcover

Edition: 1st Edition

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