Record number 03/2869
TitleRecherches Sur L'Origine, L'Esprit Et Les Progrès Des Arts De La Grèce; Sur Leur Connections Avec Les Arts Et La Religion Des Plus Anciens Peuples Connus; Sur Les Monumens Antiques De L'Inde, De La Perse, Du Reste De L'Asie, De L'Europe Et De L'Égypte. Tome Premier. (- Troisième.)
ImprintA Londres: Chez B. Appleyard, Libraire, Queen Ann Street West & Wimpole Street, Cavendish Square., M.DCC.LXXXV.
Physical Description3 vols.; 284 mm. (Quarto).
Physical Description NoteVol. I: [ii], xxviii, 510, [2] p., 29 [i.e. 31] pl. (1 fold.). There are 31 plates, numbered 1-4, 6, 7A, 8B, 8A, 9-15, 15B16 [sic], 17B, 17, 18-24, 25B, 25A, 26-29. - Vol. II: [2], 480 p., 34 [i.e. 36] pl. (3 fold.). There are bis plates 8 and 9. - Vol. III: xii, 175, [1] p., 22 pl. (3 fold.).
Content Format NoteVol. I: [T.-p.] - Préface - Discours Préliminaire A Mr Charles Townley - Recherches Sur L'Origine ... Livre I - Errata - [Plates]. - Vol. II: [T.-p.] - Recherches Sur L'Origine ... Livre II - [Plates]. - Vol. III: [T.-p.] - Avant-Propos - Appel Aux Lecteurs - Extrait du New Review for Januari 1785 - Recherches Sur la tale du Gange, apporté de l'Inde par Mr. Boughton Rouse ... - Recherches Sur les Antiquités de Persépolis; sur la Religion des anciens Perses ... - [Plates].
Summary NoteThe self-styled 'Baron' d'Hancarville, is probably best known as the author of the explanatory text and catalogue of Sir William Hamilton's Collection of Etruscan, Greek and Roman Antiquities, (Naples, 1766-76).

In that work he already finds the origin of art in religion, and argues that representational art (the 'figure') carries something of the power of earlier non-figurative forms (the 'sign' or symbol). The present work is a comparative study of Greek, Persian and Indian art, and a further exploration of the possible links of artistic creativity with religion, sexuality and the irrational. In particular he sees the widespread image of the bull (often, breaking an egg - see Vol. I plate VIIIA) as the symbol of the generative power of the Creator.

The publication was subsidised by Charles Townley and Richard Payne Knight. In Zoffany's painting of Charles Townley in his library (1781-3) Baron D'Hancarville may be seen seated in the centre, explaining to Townley the antiquities which he has been invited to catalogue.
Responsibility NoteNo plate or in-text illustration is signed.

One plate (Vol. 3 no. 1) carries the publisher's imprint of B. Appleyard (dated May 11 1785).
SubjectArt - Art, Greek - Creativity - Religions - Religious objects - Religious symbolism - Symbolism in art - Bulls - Sexuality - Inscriptions - Antiquities - Sculpture - Greece - Asia - India - Iran - Theory - History - Comparative studies
Art history - Treatises - Great Britain - 18th century
Pictorial works - Great Britain - 18th century
ReproductionsA facsimile was published in 1984 (New York, London: Garland) (ISBN 0824035615).
ReferencesRoyal Institute of British Architects, British Architectural Library ... Early printed books, 2 (1995), no. 1569, p.828-9.

On Hancarville see F. Haskell, 'The Baron d'Hancarville', in F. Haskell, Past and present in art and taste (1987), p. 30-45, 230-32.

On art and religion see A. Schnapp, 'Antiquarian studies in Naples at the end of the eighteenth century. From comparative archaeology to comparative religion', in G. Imbruglia, ed., Naples in the eighteenth century (2000), p.155-; G. Carabelli, Veneri e Priapi (1996); G.S. Rousseau, 'The sorrows of Priapus', in Sexual underworlds of the Enlightenment (1987), p.112-8; A.D. Momigliano, 'Historiography of religion', in Encyclopaedia of religion, vol. 6 (1987), p. 383-90; P. Funnell, 'The symbolical language of antiquity', in M. Clarke and N. Penny, ed., The arrogant connoisseur: Richard Payne Knight (1982); The rise of modern mythology 1680-1860, ed. B. Feldman (1972); J. Deshays, 'De l'abbé Pluche au citoyen Dupuis: à la recherche de la clef des fables', in Studies on Voltaire and the eighteenth century, ed. T. Besterman, XXIII (1963), p. 457-85; R. Payne Knight, An account of the remains of the worship of Priapus (1786).
ESTC T149974
Binding Note18th-century mottled calf; red morocco spine-labels lettered 'D'Ankervill Recherches Un Les Arts I (-III.)'.
Provenance14 October 1797: 'Resolved, that Dankerville's Researches on Antiquity; and also Mr. Flaxman's Etchings, be purchased for the use of the Royal Academy ...' (RA Council Minutes II, 340).

24 October 1798: Copy reported as deposited in RA Library (see RA Council Minutes III, 1).

Xmas Quarter, 1798: Thomas Egerton paid £3.18s. for Hancarville's Recherches ('Abstracts of Bills', RA Treasurer's Account Book).
Contributors Hancarville, Pierre Francois Hugues, baron d', 1719 - 1805
Appleyard, Benjamin, publisher
Egerton, Thomas, fl. 1782-1838?, previous owner
MARC Record view