Hand-coloured engraving by Adam after a drawing by Kubly, signed Groubenthal pinx. (volume III, pl. 46) View larger
Hand-coloured engraving by Adam after a drawing by Kubly, signed Groubenthal pinx. (volume III, pl. 46)
  • Hand-coloured engraving by Adam after a drawing by Kubly, signed Groubenthal pinx. (volume III, pl. 46)
  • Bound uniformly in contemporary russia leather, dyed purple, by Philipp Selenka of Wiesbaden
Mazois ([Charles] François), 1783-1826

Les ruines de Pompéi, par F. Mazois Architecte, Inspecteur Générale des Batiments Civils, Chevalier de L’Ordre Royal de La Légion d’Honneur. Première Partie [title in volume III: Les Ruines de Pompéi, par F. Mazois…Et Continué par M. Gau, Auteur des Antiquités de La Nubie. Troisième Partie; title in volume IV: Les Ruines de Pompéi, par F. Mazois… Ouvrage continué par M. Gau, Architecte, Précédé d’Une Notice sur F. Mazois, par M. Le Cher Artaud, Membre De L’Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres, et De L’Explication de La Grande Mosaïque Découverte a Pompéi en 1831, par M. Quatremère de Quincy, Secrétaire Perpétuel de L’Académie des Inscriptions et Belles Lettres… Le Texte de la Quatrième Partie a été rédigé par M. Barré, Professeur de Philosophie. Quatrième Partie]

Paris, Imprimerie et Librairie de Firmin Didot (volumes III-IV: Librairie de Firmin Didot Frères), 1812-1838
Very fine copy of a scholarly and thorough archaeological study of Pompeii, intended by its author as the beginning of a series on Paestum, Herculaneum, and Pozzuoli. Through the agency of Etienne-Chérubin Leconte, architect to Carolina Murat, Queen of Naples, Mazois had been appointed dessinateur de son cabinet, and given access to the excavations, still jealously controlled by the Naples Academy. From 1809 to 1811, he resided in the ruins, making hundreds of drawings. At the beginning of 1811, Mazois returned to Rome, where he apparently supervised the engraving of some of his drawings, and proceeded thence to Paris to prepare the text. The first fascicule was published in January 1813, and further fascicules appeared at irregular intervals thereafter. On New Year’s Eve, 1826, Mazois suddenly died, having just completed the first three fascicules of the projected third volume. His widow made available his drawings to Franz Christian Gau (1790-1853), and these were integrated into two further volumes: Gau wrote the text for the third volume, published in 1829; Louis Barré was the principal author of the fourth volume, issued in January 1838.
Subjects
Archaeology, Greek & Roman
Mural painting and decoration, Greco-Roman
Authors/Creators
Mazois, [Charles] François, 1783-1826
Artists/Illustrators
Cipriani, Giovanni Battista, 1766-1839
Feoli, Vincenzo, c. 1760-1827
Frommel, Carl-Ludwig, 1789-1863
Gau, François Chrétien, 1790-1853
Groubenthal, Ferdinand, 1792/1797-c. 1840
Ruga, Pietro, active 1812-1838
Printers/Publishers
Didot, Ambroise, Hyacinthe & Frédéric (Librairie de Firmin Didot Frères), active 1827-?
Didot, Firmin, active 1790-1827
Other names
Barré, Louis, 1799-1857
Gau, François Chrétien, 1790-1853
Quatremère de Quincy, Antoine-Chrysostôme, 1755-1849
Selenka, Philipp, 1803-1850

Mazois, [Charles-] François
Lorient, Morbihan 1783 – 1826 Paris

Les ruines de Pompéi, par F. Mazois Architecte, Inspecteur Générale des Batiments Civils, Chevalier de L’Ordre Royal de La Légion d’Honneur. Première Partie [title in volume iii: Les Ruines de Pompéi, par F. Mazois… Et Continué par M. Gau, Auteur des Antiquités de La Nubie. Troisième Partie; title in volume iv: Les Ruines de Pompéi, par F. Mazois… Ouvrage continué par M. Gau, Architecte, Précédé d’Une Notice sur F. Mazois, par M. Le Cher Artaud, Membre De L’Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres, et De L’Explication de La Grande Mosaïque Découverte a Pompéi en 1831, par M. Quatremère de Quincy, Secrétaire Perpétuel de L’Académie des Inscriptions et Belles Lettres… Le Texte de la Quatrième Partie a été rédigé par M. Barré, Professeur de Philosophie. Quatrième Partie].

Paris, Imprimerie et Librairie de Firmin Didot (volumes iii–iv: Librairie De Firmin Didot Frères), 1812–1838

Four volumes, broadsheet folio (555 × 405 mm):

I: (32) ff. letterpress, signed π1 (half-title, Première Partie) 2π1 (title) (1)–301 and paginated (4) 1–59 (1), with engraved vignette on title-page and twelve vignettes printed with text (list pp.57–59); plus engraved title-page (lettered Les Ruines De Pompei Dessinées Et Mesurées Par F. Mazois Pendant Les Années mdcccix – mdcccx – mdcccxi Publiées A Paris En mdcccxii) and forty engraved plates (numbered i–ii, i–xxxviii), of which the last is double-page (list p.[60]).

II: (55) ff. letterpress, signed π1 (half-title, Seconde Partie) 2π1 (title) (1)–531 and paginated (4) 1–104 (2), with engraved vignette on title-page and twenty-two vignettes printed with the text (list pp.101–104); plus fifty-eight engraved plates (numbered i–iii, i–lv), of which two are folding (pls. xliv, xlviii).

III: (40) ff. letterpress, signed (1)–401 (including half-title, Troisième Partie; and title) and paginated (1)–79 (1), with engraved vignette on title-page and twelve vignettes printed with text (list pp.78–79); plus fifty-three numbered engraved plates (numerated i–l, ix bis, xiii bis, xiv bis), of which four double-page or folding (pls. iii, ix bis, xiv, xxiii), and eight coloured by hand (pls. xxi, xxvi, xxvii, xxxvi, xxxvii, xlv, xlvi, l). This copy contains a second impression of plate xiv bis in a previous state (where wrongly numerated xvi bis).

IV: (52) ff. letterpress, signed π1 (half-title, Quatrième Partie) 2π1 (title, dated 1838) a–c1 (Notice sur F. Mazois) (1)–461 (47)1 (Avis au Relieur) and paginated (4) i–vi 1–91 (3), with engraved vignette printed on title-page; plus folding lithographed map (Plan général de la ville de Pompeia, dated 1837) and fifty plates (numerated i–xlix, xlviii bis), of which three are double-page or folding (pls. xix, xxxvii, xlv), and nine are wholly or partly coloured by hand (pls. i, xxi–xxiii, xxvi, xxxix, xlii, xlviii bis, xlix).

Occasional foxing, particularly to tissue interleaves; otherwise in excellent state of preservation.

bound uniformly in contemporary russia leather, dyed purple, engraved ticket in upper corner of pastedown Gebunden bei Ph. Selenka in Wiesbaden (volumes i–iii).

Very fine copy of a scholarly and thorough archaeological study of Pompeii, intended by its author as the beginning of a series on Paestum, Herculaneum, and Pozzuoli.

After studying for a short time in the studio of the architect Charles Percier, Mazois had travelled to Italy in November 1808 with a fellow-student, Achille Leclère, winner of the 1808 Prix de Rome for architecture. Through the agency of Etienne-Chérubin Leconte (1762–1818), architect to Carolina Murat, Queen of Naples, Mazois was appointed dessi­nateur de son cabinet, and afterwards gained access to the excavations, still jealously controlled by the Naples Academy. From 1809 to 1811, he resided in the ruins, making hundreds of drawings. At the beginning of 1811, Mazois returned to Rome, where he apparently supervised the engraving of some of his drawings, and proceeded thence to Paris to prepare the text. Owing to political circumstances, Mazois could not return to Naples until 1816, and then his visit was restricted to a month; in 1818 he was able to remain for nearly a year; his final visit, in 1819, was again very brief.

A prospectus inviting subscriptions to the work was published in December 1812,1 and the first fascicule appeared in January 1813, distributed by the booksellers M. Leclerc, Didot l’aîné, and Normand, on two papers: papier ordinaire and papier fin (i.e. vélin), each livrai­son priced respectively priced 20 and 30 francs.2 Further fascicules, often containing fewer, or more, than the prom­ised six plates, appeared thereafter at irregular intervals. In 1824, they were gathered up, and issued as two volumes.

On New Year’s Eve, 1826, Mazois died of apoplexy, having completed just the first three fascicules of the projected third volume. His widow made his drawings available to Franz Christian Gau (1790–1853), and they were integrated into two further volumes. Gau wrote the text for the third volume, published in 1829; and Louis Barré was the principal author of the fourth volume, issued in January 1838.3 The completed work as advertised by Firmin Didot Frères was priced 700 francs (papier vélin 1000 francs).4

Wall painting in the Macellum of Pompei, drawn by ‘Kubly’ and engraved by Jean Adam, with colour added by Ferdinand Groubenthal (iii, pl. xlvi: 465 × 377 mm). In the author’s opinion, ‘C’est sans doute une des plus belles, des plus riches compositions que l’antiquité nous ait léguées’ (iii, p.64)

The illustrations in the first three volumes were mostly drawn by Mazois5 and engraved by printmakers working in Italy, including Giovanni Battista Cipriani, Vincenzo Feoli, Carl Ludwig Frommel, Pietro Ruga, and Angelo Testa. The illustrations in the fourth volume were drawn by Gau, and by the Parisian draughtsmen André Giroux, J.N.L. Durand, or Frommel; the printmakers were mainly French, and included Jean Adam, Jean Baptiste Arnout, Louis Pierre Baltard de la Fresque, ‘Bigand’, ‘Bishop’, Thomas Boys, Louis Félix Butavand, Alexandre Charles Dormier, ‘Duvau’, ‘Fincke’, G. Hamilton, Charles Paul Landon, ‘Lemaitre’, ‘Lesnier’, ‘Millet’, ‘Normand’, I.ne Nyon, E. Olivier, ‘Réville’, ‘Sellier’, and A. Simonet. One of the hand-coloured plates (iii, pl. 46) is signed by the miniaturist Ferdinand Groubenthal (1792/1797–c. 1840).6 One of the few lithographs in (volume iv, pl. xlii) was printed by Gottfried Engelmann.7

This copy contains a leaf of dedication in volume i addressed ‘A sa Majesté La Reine Des Deux-Siciles’. The leaf is present also in the copy in the British Architectural Library, but is lacking in the Royal Academy Library copy: ‘If this was to Napoleon’s sister, Caroline, this dedication page may well have been omitted from sets of plates distributed after 1813, when she was evicted from Naples’ (opac of Royal Academy of Arts).

A beautiful set, finely bound by Philipp Selenka of Wiesbaden

Our copy contains the engraved ticket of the bookbinder Philipp Selenka (1803–1850) of Wiesbaden, brother of Johann Jacob Selenka (1801–1871), Hofbuchbinder in Braunschweig.8

references Friedrich Furchheim, Bibliografia di Pompei, Ercolano e Stabia (second edition Naples 1891), pp.58–59 (‘On ne trouve que rarement des exemplaires de cet ouvrage très-estimé’); Fabia Borroni, ‘Il Cicognara’: bibliografia dell’archeologia classica e dell’arte italiana, ii/4 (Florence 1962), no. 7475; Pompei: travaux et envois des architectes français au xixe siècle, catalogue of an exhibition (Paris 1981), pp.31, 75, 291–292; L’immagine dell’antico fra settecento e ottocento. Libri di archeologia nella biblioteca Comunale dell’Archiginnasio, catalogue of an exhibition (Bologna 1983), pp.39–41; Laurentino García y García, Nova bibliotheca pompeiana (Rome 1998), pp.797–798 no. 9073; Early printed books 1478–1840: catalogue of the British Architectural Library, Early Imprints Collection (London & Munich 1999), iii, pp.1113–1115 no. 2092; Vito Castiglione Minischetti, Giovanni Dotoli, and Roger Musnik, Bibliographie du voyage français en Italie du Moyen Âge à 1914 (Fasano & Paris 2002), pp.374–375


1. Bibliographie de l’Empire Français ou, Journal général de l’imprimerie et de la Librairie, 18 Decem­ber 1812, p.793 no. 5153.

2. The first fascicule was reviewed in Le Moniteur Universel on 17 January 1813 and in Journal de l’Empire on 9 August 1813; an announcement for the fourth fascicule states that the edition numbered 500 copies (Bibliographie de l’Empire Français ou, Journal général de l’imprimerie et de la librairie, 21 January 1814, p.17 no. 123). André Monglond, La France révolutionnaire et impériale: annales de bibliographie méthodique et description des livres illustrés, ix: 1811–1812 (Paris 1963), pp.910–911.

3. Louis Barré, in the preface to his Herculaneum et Pompei: recueil général des peintures bronzes, mosaïques etc. découverts jusqu’a ce jour (Paris 1839–1840), p.xiii, states that he completed part iv. Halsted B. Van der Poel, Corpus topographicum pompeianum, Pars v. Cartography (Rome 1981), pp.xxxvii, xxxiii, 99, 188–191; Jocelyn Bouquillard, ‘Les Ruines de Pompei de Mazois, genèse d’une publication archéologique au début du xixe siècle’ in Nouvelles de l’estampe 181 (2002), pp.17–29.

4. Furchheim, op. cit., p.58

5. Mazois’s drawings were donated by his widow (née Jenny-Malvina Duval, daughter of Alexandre Duval of the Académie Française) to the Bibliothèque Nationale de France in 1861 (Estampes, G.d.12.d-g); see Sergio Villari, ‘Disegni e manoscritti di François Mazois nella Bibliothèque nationale di Parigi’ in Disegni d’archivio negli studi di storia dell’architettura (Naples 1994), pp.150–153; Jocelyn Bouquillard, La résurrection de Pompéi: dessins d’archéologues des xviiie et xixe siècles (Arcueil 2000), pp.28–31.

6. Bibliothèque Nationale, Inventaire du fonds français après 1800, ix (Paris 1955), p.425; Allgemeines Künstler-Lexikon, 63 Munich 2008), pp.254–255.

7. Bilder aus Pompeji: Antike aus zweite Hand: Spuren in Württemberg, catalogue of an exhibition in Alten Schloss, Stuttgart, 23 October 1998–11 April 1999, edited by Marion Mannsperger and Joachim Migl (Stuttgart 1998), pp.79–81 no. 6.

8. Two bindings by Philipp Selenka in the Fürstlich Waldecksche Hofbibliothek, Arolsen, are descri­bed by Rudolf-Alexander Schütte and Konrad Wiedemann, Einbandkunst vom frühmittelalter bis Jugend­stil aus den Bibliotheken in Kassel und Arolsen, Universitätsbibliothek Kassel (Kassel 2002), p.54 no. 68 and Abb. 51. He was a specialist ‘Portefeuillear­beiter’; see Hektor Rössler, Ausführlicher Bericht über die von dem Gewerbverein für das Großher­zogthum Hessen im Jahre 1842 veranstaltete Allgemeine deutsche Industrie-Ausstellung zu Mainz (Darmstadt 1843), p.240.

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