Quatremére de Quincy, (Antoine Chrysostome)
De l’architecture égyptienne, considérée dans son origine, ses principes et son goût, et comparée sous les mêmes rapports à l’architecture Grecque. Dissertation qui a remportée, en 1785, le prix proposé par l’Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres.
Paris, Barrois l’aîné et fils An XI-1803.
4to. xii + 268pp, 18 engraved plates (2 double-page). Contemporary quarter calf, marbled boards, small vellum outer corners (these slightly bumped), label on spine renewed. Half title leaf, title leaf and final plate a bit spotted and soiled, some minor spotting at outer blank margins of the other plates.
The most significant treatise of its period on the architecture of ancient Egypt, originally composed by its author, the eminent architectural theorist Antoine Chrysostome Quatremère de Quincy (1755-1849), as his prize-winning entry in a competition organised by the Académie des Inscriptions in 1785, but not published at that time and issued with an expanded text in its present first edition in the aftermath of Napoleon’s invasion of Egypt when its subject matter had become suddenly topical. Quatremère de Quincy’s treatise, which has been described as “one of the seminal texts of the Egyptian Revival” (BAL Cat), had two principal objectives, that of describing the state of architecture in ancient Egypt, and, equally significantly, that of exploring the possible influence of Egyptian architecture on the architecture of the ancient Greeks, and what he has to say on the relationship between Egyptian and Greek architecture was widely influential among his contemporaries. The present copy, although a bit spotted and soiled at front and back, seems, rather to the present cataloguer’s surprise, to be the only copy that our firm has handled, and although copies are held in older libraries, the book is certainly unfamiliar in the book trade today. BAL Cat 2678 (C.R.Cockerell’s copy) ; Cicognara 2545.