Briseux, C.E.

Traité du beau essentiel dans les arts appliqué particulierement à l’architecture, et démontré phisiquement et par l’expérience. Avec un traité des proportions harmoniques … on y a joint les dessins de ces édifices et de plusieurs autres composés par l’auteur … les cinq ordres d’architecture … plusieurs essais de l’auteur (etc).

Paris, the author (and Chereau) 1752.

Reference: 15409
Price: £3 [convert currency]

Full Description

Large 4to. 2 vols. Engraved portrait frontispiece, engraved title leaf, 108pp engraved text (including decorative engraved headpieces and tailpieces), 40 engraved plates (some double-page, of which 2 are large and folding) ; engraved title leaf, 195pp (of which pp 1-70, 168-195 are text pages engraved both on recto and on verso, while the remaining pages carry a sequence of engraved plates which as well as being paginated are numbered in a separate sequence between 4 and 74, chiefly engraved on rectos only), (27) further engraved plates not included in pagination, numbered 1-3, 75-98, and an engraved privilege leaf. Contemporary full mottled calf, gilt spines. An old light stain in outer margin of portrait frontispiece of the first volume, and other light stains on outer margins of plates 95-98 and of the engraved privilege leaf in the second volume, but nonetheless a clean and pleasing copy of this handsome book.

First and only edition. A very impressive and attractively produced publication by the architect Charles Etienne Briseux (1680-1754), remarkable for being wholly engraved rather than typeset, and significantly rarer than the same author’s L’Art de Batir des Maisons de Campagne, 1743. Briseux offers a theory of architecture based on harmonic proportions and adds to this specific advice on the designing of buildings, based both on theory and on his personal experience as an architect. The plates illustrate designs by him for the Hotel D’Augny in Paris, and for the abbey of Saint Just en Chaussée in Picardy, and a particularly handsome group of designs for rococo interiors (plates 76-88) may well reflect Briseux’s known collaboration with the decorator Nicholas Pineau. There are also pleasing engraved part title leaves, headpieces and tailpieces, all apparently designed by the engraver Martin Marvye. Although Abraham Bosse’s three folio-sized volumes on the orders of architecture published in the third quarter of the seventeenth century are likewise entirely engraved and not typeset, and there are also various wholly engraved pocket sized books on architecture and surveying, it is not easy to think of another eighteenth century engraved book on architecture that is of these dimensions and of similarly handsome appearance. Berlin Cat 2403 ; not in BAL Cat. (an unexpected gap in their holdings).

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