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LE ROY, Julien-David (1724--1803)
[Ruines des plus beaux monuments de la Grèce. 1758]
Les ruines des plus beaux monuments de la Grece: ouvrage divisé en deux parties, où l'on considere, dans la premiere, ces monuments du côté de l'histoire; et dans la seconde, du côté de l'architecture. Par M. Le Roy, architecte, ...
A Paris chez H.L. Guerin & L.F. Delatour. Jean-Luc Nyon, libraire. A Amsterdam, Jean Neaulme, libraire, 1758.
2 pts in 1 vol. ; 53.5 cm. (2°)
I: xiv, 56 p., XXVIII pl.
II: [2], vi, 28 p., XXXII pl.

Julien-David Le Roy (or Leroy), winner of the Grand Prix de Rome in 1750, spent three months in Athens measuring and drawing the monuments, and managed to publish the results of his work, consciously modelled on Wood's Palmyra in scale and format, before the long-announced publication of the first volume of Stuart and Revett's Antiquities of Athens, 1762 (q.v.). Although both works were seminal in giving early momentum to the Greek revival, Stuart attacked the accuracy of Le Roy's handsomely illustrated work. An English translation was published by Robert Sayer in 1759 (see Harris and Savage 493), and a second French edition, including the author's rebuttal of Stuart and Revett's criticisms, appeared in 1770 (q.v.). BAL, Early printed books, no. 1785.

Copy Notes Copy 1: Preface and part II inscribed by Soane with pencil notes in the margins. Part II inscribed in ink on front free-endpaper in an unidentified hand Le 3a - 70th 1778 - 66th.
Copy 2: 53.7 cm. Purchased at the Adam sale, Christie's, 21 May 1818, lot 138 for £4. (Priv. Corr. XIV.E.3.13).

Binding Copy 1: C18th mottled calf, gilt-rule and roll-tool borders, gilt-tooled spine, red morocco and vellum spine-labels.
Copy 2: Contemporary C18th red morocco, gilt-tooled anthemion-pattern borders identical to the borders designed by James Stuart for special copies of The antiquities of Athens, volume I (q.v., copy 2), but without the central wreath and medallion, gilt-tooled spine with alternating quatrefoil and rosette motifs, gilt edges. See also Iain Gordon Brown, 'With an uncommon splendour: the bindings of Robert Adam's "Ruins of Spalatro"', in Apollo (Jan. 1993), pp. 6--11.

Reference Number 2647


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