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LE GEAY, Jean Laurent (fl. 1732--1786)
Collection de divers sujets de vases, tombeaux, ruines et fontaines, utiles aux artistes, inventée et gravée par G.L. Le Jeay, architecte.
A Paris chez Mondhare, 1770.
Etch. general t.-pl., [24] etch. pl. ; 38.2 cm. (2°)

Le Geay, a French architect and draughtsman, is best remembered for the influence of his dramatic engravings of antique monuments on Piranesi; his designs were also copied by Chambers before 1755. See S. Jervis, The Penguin dictionary of design and designers (London 1984), p. 290; J. Harris, 'Le Geay, Piranesi and international Neo-classicism in Rome 1740--1750', in D. Fraser et al. (eds.), Essays in the history of architecture presented to Rudolf Wittkower (London 1967), pp. 189--206. The present volume consists of four suites of six etchings prepared by Le Geay in the late 1760s: Fontane per l'aqua del tè inventione di ... Le Geay, [n.d.], Rovine ..., 1768, and Tombeaux ..., 1768, and Vasi ..., [n.d.]. In 1770 these suites were assembled with a new general title-plate engraved in a different style, which is lacking in the Soane copy. See Gilbert Erouart, Architettura come pittura: Jean-Laurent Legeay un piranesiano francese nell'Europa dei Lumi (Milano 1982), cat. no. 127--150; Guilmard p. 238; Berlin Kat. 4182.

Copy Notes Without the general title-plate. It is not clear whether the Soane copy is an ad hoc collection of the four suites as originally issued or an imperfect copy of the collected edition. The plates are bound out of order with assigned pencil numbers, with the suite title-plates bound as nos. [23], [3], [15] and [1] respectively. The plates bearing pencil numbers [1], [5], [7], [8] and [10] are excised from the original sheets and laid down on new leaves. Plates [12] and [15] appear to have been hand-coloured.

Binding C19th grey paper boards, paper spine-label lettered in ink 'Le Geay. Vasi. &c.'.

Reference Number 6538


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