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DURAND, Jean Nicolas Louis (1760--1834)
Recueil et parallèle des édifices de tout genre anciens et modernes, remarquables par leur beauté, par leur grandeur, ou par leur singularité, et dessinés sur une même echelle. Par J. N. L. Durand, ... avec un texte extrait de l'histoire générale de l'architecture: par J. G. Legrand, ...
A Paris de l'imprimerie de Gillé fils, An VIII. [i.e. 1799--1801].
52 p., engr. title-pl., engr. table, 86 [i.e. 90] pl. (1-86, bis pls. 52, 53, 56, 75) ; 50.3 x 67.5 cm. (obl. 2°)

Title from letterpress title-page. There is also an engraved title-plate reading as above, with the imprint '... à l'Ecole Polytechnique, chez l'Auteur, ... Paris, An IX.'. The 'Grand Durand', so called to distinguish it from Durand's Précis des leçons d'architecture données a l'École Polytechnique (q.v.), first published in 1802--5 and known as the 'Petit Durand', consists of 92 plates (including the title-plate and an engraved contents leaf) published in 15 livraisons between 1799 and 1801. The first of these was exhibited at the Salon of 1799 (An VII), leading to J.G. Legrand's offer in the Journal des Arts of 2 October 1800 to compile an accompanying text based on his unpublished comparative history of architecture. The Soane copy includes this letterpress text, which evidently never became an integral part of Durand's Recueil, and was reprinted in octavo format after Legrand's death as Essai sur l'histoire générale de l'architecture, 1809 (q.v.), presumably aimed at existing owners of the plates; an abridgment of Legrand's text also accompanied the guide to L.F. Cassas's 'Galerie d'Architecture', 1806 (q.v.). Durand's plates form an innovative comparative history of world architecture organized according to building types and intended to show universal common denominators rather than distinctive characteristics, in preparation of which Durand consulted by his own count over 300 architectural folios. Millard I, 67 (pp. 173-5); see also BAL, Early printed books, no. 956 (the second issue with the plates renumbered and lacking the letterpress).

Copy Notes Inscribed by Soane in ink on front pastedown 15.0.0 Decr. 1805. Soane acquired the present work a few months before his appointment as professor of architecture at the Royal Academy in March 1806, and the comparative technique used in his lecture illustrations shows the influence of the French tradition represented by Durand. See David Watkin, Sir John Soane: Enlightenment thought and the Royal Academy Lectures (Cambridge 1996), pp. 179-183, 396, 408. Soane also translated parts of Legrand's text between July 1820 and June 1821. (Soane Case 166/1).

Binding C19th half russia calf, gilt-ruled borders, thick-thin gilt-ruled and gilt-lettered spine, marbled-paper boards, sprinkled edges.

Reference Number 5084


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