Record number 03/2525
Author Clérisseau, Charles-Louis, 1721 - 1820, author, publisher
TitleAntiquités De La France, Par M. Clérisseau, Architecte, de l'Académie Royale de Peinture & Sculpture de Paris, Membre de la Société Royale de Peinture, Sculpture & Architecture de Londres. Premiere Partie.
ImprintA Paris: De l'Imprimerie de Philippe-Denys Pierres, rue S. Jacques. Et se vend Chez L'Auteur, au Louvre, Porte de la Colonnade. Le Sieur Poulleau, Graveur, à l'Estrapade. Le Sieur Joullain, Md d'Estampes, Quai de la Mégisserie, à la ville de Rome., M.DCC.LXXVIII.
Physical Descriptionxxii p., frontis., 41 pl. (12 dble.); 573 mm. (Folio).
Content Format Note[Half-t., frontis., t.-p., dedic.] - Avant-propos - Table Pour L'Explication Des Planches - [Plates].
Summary NoteThe half-title is 'Monumens De Nismes'. The book is described on its title page as a 'Première Partie', but only the volume on Nîmes was ever issued.

The plates show the temple of Augustus and Rome ('Maison Carrée') (pl. 1-9), the amphitheatre (pl. 10-19), the temple near the baths, popularly called the Temple of Diana (pl. 20-35), and the baths (pl. 36-41).

As a young man Clérisseau had studied at Rome from 1749 to 1767 - befriended by Piranesi, Winckelmann and Cardinal Albani, and acting as teacher and cicerone to visitors, including William Chambers and Robert Adam. In 1757 he accompanied Adam to Spalato. After returning to France he became a leader in the Neoclassical movement, and accepted commissions from France, Britain and Russia - although many projects remained unexecuted. (One of his interiors - a salon for Laurent Grimod de la Reynière - may be seen at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London; and the state capitol, Virginia, follows his design, based on the Maison Carrée at Nîmes.)

Here, in his Avant-Propos, Clérisseau speaks of his wish to recreate the majesty of Roman buildings, comparing the sight of well-combined masses of extensive structures to that of a varied landscape or range of hills; so that the absence of views (apart from the frontispiece) is disappointing - especially as Clérisseau had a high reputation as a 'rovinista'.

A new edition was issued in 1804, with a new text by Clérisseau's son-in-law, J.-G. Legrand.
Responsibility NoteThirteen of the 41plates are signed by engraver C. R. G. Poulleau (pl. 6, 7, 9, 29, 31, 32, 34-39, 41). The frontispiece is signed as designed by Clerisseau and engraved by Poulleau. Title-page vignette, headpieces and tailpieces are unsigned.

The book is dedicated by Clerisseau to the Comte De La Billardrie D'Angiviller.
SubjectArchitecture, Roman - Antiquities, Roman - Temples, Roman - Amphitheatres - Baths, Roman - Public buildings - Ruins - France - Provence - Nîmes - Maison Carrée (Nîmes) - History
Art history - France - 18th century
Pictorial works - France - 18th century
Armorial bindings - Great Britain - 18th century
ReferencesRIBA, Early printed books, 1 (1994), no. 660; National Gallery (Washington), Mark J. Millard, I (1993), no. 52, p.118-9.

T. J. McCormick, Charles-Louis Clérisseau and the genesis of Neo-classicism (1990).
Binding NoteContemporary mottled calf, royal arms of Britain and 'R.A.' gilt-stamped on upper cover; rebacked in 20th century, spine lettered 'R.A.', red morocco spine-labels lettered 'Clerisseau - Antiquités De La Farnce Monumens De Nismes'.
ProvenanceAcquired between 1778 and 1802. Recorded in RAA Library, Catalogue, 1802.
Variant TitleMonumens de Nismes
Contributors Poulleau, Claude René Gabriel, 1749 -, engraver, publisher
Angiviller, Charles-Claude Flahaut, comte de la Billarderie d', 1730 - 1809, dedicatee
Joullain, François, 1697 - 1778, publisher
Pierres, Philippe-Denys, 1741 - 1808, printer
Clérisseau, Charles-Louis, 1721 - 1820, draughtsman
MARC Record view