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COCHIN, Charles-Nicolas (1715--1790)
Observations sur les antiquités d'Herculanum; avec quelques réflexions sur la peinture & la sculpture des anciens; & une courte description de plusieurs antiquités des environs de Naples. Par MM. Cochin & Bellicard. Seconde édition.
A Paris, chez Ch. Ant. Jombert, imprimeur-libraire du Roi en son artillerie,, 1755.
xxxviii, [6], 104 p., 40 pl. (on 32 leaves, 5 fold.) ; 16.3 cm. (8°)

First published anonymously by Cochin as a fictitious Lettre sur les peintures d'Herculanum, aujourd'hui Portici (Brussels [i.e. Paris]: Jombert, 1751) and extensively revised and enlarged to its present form in 1754. Further French editions appeared in 1755 and 1757, together with an English translation as early as 1753 (q.v.). Although Cochin is named first on the title-page, all of the text apart from the second section concerning paintings and sculpture, was written by Jérôme-Charles Bellicard (1726--1786), winner of the 1747 Prix de Rome for architecture. This edition is dedicated to Madame de Pompadour's brother, Abel-François Poisson Marigny, Marquis de Vandières [later de Marigny] (1726--1781), with whom Bellicard and Cochin visited Herculaneum in 1750 as members of his grand tour entourage, along with the architect J.G. Soufflot (1713--1780) and art critic Abbé J.B. Leblanc (1707--1781). This party's on-the-spot experience of antique remains at the recently excavated site of the buried city of Herculaneum was to fuel a court-led neo-classical reaction against current rococo taste in France, largely through the influence exerted by Marigny as Surintendant des Bâtiments du Roi, to whom the book is dedicated. On Cochin's pivotal rôle in this movement see Christian Michel, Charles-Nicolas Cochin et l'art des lumières, Paris: École Française de Rome, 1993, pp. 64--74. Except for pl. I, a view of the crater of Vesuvius (and possibly eight other plates of antiquities apparently drawn from memory by Cochin - see E. and J. Goncourt, L'art du XVIIIme siècle, 1881--2, 2ème series, p.466), all of the plates were drawn and engraved by Bellicard. The dedication has an engraved head-piece signed by Cochin. Hooked on Books 5.3.

Binding C18th sprinkled calf, gilt-tooled spine, red morocco spine-label.

Reference Number 1960

Additional Names Herculaneum (Extinct city) - Antiquities, Early works to 1800; Vesuvius; Bellicard, Jérôme Charles (1726--1786)

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