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. 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, 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 #
Title: LA DISTRIBUTION DES MAISONS DE PLAISANCE, ET...
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
Book Description Paris, Charles-Antoine Jambert, 1737-38. 4to. Bound in 2 cont. full calf. 5 raised bands, richly gilt compartments. Title-and tomelabels in leather on back. Bindings with light wear to hinges, so that the cords are occasionally showing, and some cracking of leather at upper and lower compartment, but binding tight. A little wear to spine ends, otherwise fine. Half-title, engraved frontispiece (by Cochin), title ind red/black, (6) pp. (= dedication a Monsieur Turgot),XVI,198,(1) (Errata leaf) ; VIII,180 pp. Volume one having 44 fine engraved plates (42 double-or triple-page, 2 single-page) and 9 engraved head- and tail-pieces. Volume two having 112 fine engraved plates (numb. 1-99, no. 25 omitted and 13 with double- or triple numbering) and 3 head- and tail-pieces. Most of the plates drawn and engraved by Blondel. All text-pages printed within a borderline. On good thick paper, fresh and clean. First edition, first issue (errata leaf and "Rue St. Jacques" for the printer on title) of Blondel's main architectural work, his monumental four-volume encyclopaedia of French buildings, which also constitutes his first work. The work is one of the most influential architectural treatises of the eighteenth century, as well as being one of the most comprehensive, beautiful and celebrated architectural works of the Rococco-period.Jacques-François Blondel (1705-74) is considered the most significant French architectural educator of the eighteenth century. After having produced his first work, the seminal "De la Distribution." at the age of 33, Blodel was so admired that he was asked to produce engravings for the festival book commemorating the celebration of the wedding of Madame Elizabeth of France to Dom Philippe of Spain. In 1740 he opened the "Ecole des Arts" with his architectural courses and became one of the earliest founders of schools of architecture in France, for which he was distinguished by the French Academy. Both through these couses and his works, he greatly influenced many later architects, such as Brongniart, Chalgrin, Desprez, Rondelet, as well as many other Europeans, who took Neoclassicism back with them from Paris. In 1755 he was inducted into the Académie Archtecture and he was appointed architect to Louis XV. He also contributed to the great Éncyclopédie of Diderot and d'Alembert.The first volume of his main work deals with the design of houses, the second with exterior ornamentation and interior designs and lay-out of gardens. Brunet I:977; Cohen-Ricci: 156-57. Seller Inventory # 26971