Bretez, Louis

La perspective pratique de architecture, contenant par leçons une maniere nouvelle corte et aisée pour representer en perspective les ordonnances d’architecture & les places fortifiées. Ouvrage tres-utile aux peintres, architectes, ingénieurs, & autres dessinateurs.

Paris, Charles Antoine Jombert 1751.

Reference: 14111
Price: £2 [convert currency]

Full Description

Large folio. Engraved frontispiece, (4)pp, (2) leaves of engraved text, 52 + (5) engraved plates. Contemporary full mottled calf, gilt spine (a small area of surface loss on lower cover). The Bute copy, with the Luton Library bookplate of the 1st Marquess of Bute (1744-1814) or of the 2nd Marquess of Bute (1793-1848). A good, unrestored copy.

A rare and handsome publication on architectural perspective by Louis Bretez, otherwise best known as the draughtsman employed by Turgot in the mid 1730s to produce his celebrated map of Paris. The first edition of the present book had been published in 1706, when Bretez was a much younger man, and it may be that Bretez was dead by the time of the book’s mid eighteenth century reissues, initially in 1746 and then again in 1751. As originally conceived the book was engraved more or less throughout, with only the title leaf and preface being printed in letterpress, and each plate carries varying amounts of explanatory engraved text in addition to accurately engraved diagrams showing how to draw the orders of architecture and other architectural details. The present copy of the 1751 edition includes five further engraved plates bound in at the end, in the same format as Bretez’s original plates but engraved by a different hand, and without plate numbers, captions or explanatory text. A catalogue note for the Fowler copy of the 1706 edition of this title (Fowler Cat 66) refers to the present Jombert edition having four (sic) additional plates, but the Sotheby catalogue entry for the late M. de Vitry’s copy of the Jombert edition (Sotheby 10-11 April 2002, lot 102, much inferior to our present copy) makes no reference to additional plates, and it may therefore be that the 1751 edition exists in more than one differing state. The Berlin copy was of the 1706 edition (Berlin Cat 4727), while there was no copy of any of the editions of this title in the BAL Cat. The bookplate in this copy shows that the copy derives from the extensive library, strong in architectural books, formed by successive Lords Bute at Luton Hoo, their Bedfordshire country house. Although the bookplate itself is of early nineteenth century date, the core of the library had been put together by John Stuart, 3rd Earl of Bute (1713-1792), briefly Prime Minister early in the reign of George III, and the present book may well once have been his, since he was keenly interested in architecture and in related subjects.