Essai sur l'architecture / par le P. Laugier ...

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Accession number: 
PML 195080
Laugier, Marc-Antoine, 1711-1769.
Paris : Chez Duchesne, Libraire, rue S. Jacques, au-dessous de la Fontaine S. Benoît, au Temple du Goût, 1755.
xliv, [4], 316, [4] p., [1], 8 leaves of folded plates : ill., plans ; 20 cm.
Purchase: Gordon N. Ray Fund, 2008.

A master of Rococo illustration, Eisen understood perfectly the author's arguments against Rococo ornament in architecture—a capricious stylistic aberration that should be corrected by a return to nature. A winsome goddess of architecture reclines against the ruins of the classical orders and gestures toward a more truthful and authentic structure, a rustic cabin framed by living trees. Laugier applied some of the same reasoning to garden design in the last chapter of this influential treatise. As much as he admired the work of Le Nôtre in Versailles, he had to regret the relentless insistence on symmetry in that type of formal garden and preferred instead the elegant simplicity of the Chinese style, which had been described by missionaries in their reports on oriental customs and culture.


Title in red and black; vignette; head- and tail-pieces; initials.
Illustrated with engraved frontispiece by Jacques Aliamet after Charles Eisen and 8 folded plates of architectural plans engraved by Fonbonne.
Privilege given to N.B. Duchesne, Paris.
"Fautes à corriger"--p. [4] of second count.
"Dictionnaire des termes de l'architecture"--p. 277-306.
"Autres livres d'architecture qui se vendent chez Duchesne, rue St. Jacques, au Temple du Goût"--p. [4] of last count.
Includes index.

1/4 calf.