(Caristie, Auguste)

Notice sur l’état actuel de l’arc d’Orange et des théatres antiques d’Orange et d’Arles, sur les découvertes faites dans ces deux derniers édifices, et sur les mesures à prendre et les moyens à employer pour conserver ces précieux restes de constructions Romaines.

Paris, “Typographie de Firmin Didot Frères” 1839.

Reference: 15390
Price: £295 [convert currency]

Full Description

4to. 28pp, 9 litho plates, one litho text illustration (on p.7). Nineteenth century marbled boards, later cloth spine, original front printed wrapper mounted on upper cover. Some light intermittent spotting on plates. Ownership stamp on title leaf of “H. Revoil architecte” (Henry Revoil (1822-1900), an architect from Nimes (Gard), author of the standard nineteenth century publication on the romanesque architecture of the south of France). An inserted pencil sketch on tracing paper, presumably by Revoil, of the principal elevation and ground plan of a reconstructed Roman theatre.

A report on the then state of the surviving Roman triumphal arch at Orange and on the extant remains of the Roman theatres at Orange and at Arles. It had been compiled by Auguste-Nicolas Caristie (1783-1862), an Ecole des Beaux-Arts trained architect who had won the Grand Prix de Rome and who had gone on to become Inspecteur Général du Conseil des Bâtiments Civils. Caristie had been commissioned by the French Government to inspect and report on the condition of the arch at Orange as far back as 1824, and had kept up an interest in the arch and theatre there ever since, and he had been asked in the late 1830s to draw up the present report, this time including comments on the progress of measures to consolidate the visible surviving portions of the theatres at Orange and at Arles, and to clear the sites of both theatres by the demolition of intrusive modern buildings. The plates, from Caristie’s own careful measured drawings, show the substantial structural remains of the theatre at Orange and of the semi-circular stone seating of the theatre at Arles. As the title page of the report does not carry either Caristie’s name, a publisher’s imprint, or a date – these details are only provided on the report’s final page – it can be deduced that this printed version of the report was primarily intended for private distribution among government officials, members of the two houses of the French legislature (as Caristie indicates in his introductory remarks), and Caristie’s own friends and colleagues. BAL Cat 555.